Re: Context Sensitive Help

Subject: Re: Context Sensitive Help
From: Phillip Winn <pwinn -at- S7 -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 14:33:44 -0500

I would absolutely, positively, enthusiastically cast my vote against
merely providing field-level help. I would *much* prefer to have
screen-level help, at the very minimum. Knowing the accepted range of a
given field does little good if a person doesn't know the concept behind or
purpose of that field, or how it may relate to other fields on this screen
or other screens.

The best solution I've found is to have the first line or two of pop-up
help detail specific information about this field (type of input, range of
input, etc), with an optional paragraph describing how this field relates
to others (What effect does FOB Cost have on the Landed Cost calculation),
followed by a description of this screen (Purchase Order Tracking is used
for this, that and the other thing). Most of my help is for database
systems which tend to have far-reaching effects with every field, and the
fully-informed user is less likely to "guess" at a value.

|- Phillip Winn -|- Strategy 7 -|- vox 972.458.2817 -|
|- pwinn -at- s7 -dot- com -|- Dallas, TX -|- fax 972.458.2218 -|

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