Re: Summary: Estimating context-sensitive help

Subject: Re: Summary: Estimating context-sensitive help
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 08:50:46 -0600

At 02:27 PM 3/21/97 +0000, Katharine Woods wrote:

>I settled on doing estimates at 2 hours per topic for the context-
>sensitive topics and 3 hours for other types of topics. I thought I'd

I have not read the book you cited, but I am curious as to why it would
take less time to write a context-sensitive topic than it takes to write
another topic? Most online developers recommend that online help is
task-based ("How to ..." for a single task). Making it context-sensitive
doesn't require less effort. The topics would be the same, although with
context-sensitive help the software developers have a little more work to
do to call the appropriate topic at the appropriate time.

Maybe you are talking about the "What's this?" topics, which are really
just definitions most of the time. Or maybe there is something about
writing online help that I've missed over the past few years? Another
consideration is that some topics can be created simply by copying-pasting
small sections from the written document. Is this factor considered in the
time allotment?

I apologize if I've missed the original discussion. If so, just e-mail me
privately and tell me to butt out (gently).

Jane
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
AnswerSoft, Inc. Dallas, TX
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com

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