Online Documentation vs. Help

Subject: Online Documentation vs. Help
From: Ron D Rhodes <Ron_D_Rhodes -at- MAIL -dot- BANKONE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:55:44 -0500

Ben asked,

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
How would you pithily explain the differences between on-line
reference documentation and contextual help to non-technical
communicators?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A darn good question,

I would love to hear more on this discussion.

According to my William Horton book (He is some on-line help guru that
many of us, worship, tithe, pray to for rain. All the guru stuff.)

Anyway, Horton says you can't just dump documentation into a help file
and expect a result that users will appreciate. He says that a Help
file is a totally separate "thing" that needs to be carefully thought
out and developed.

If you already have some on-line reference doc, you may have a good
resource for writing a help file, but you DON'T necessarily have a
good help file.

Like I said, I would love to hear what other people have to say. This
could really be a great thread.

Ron Rhodes
my new e. mail is rrhodes -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com -dot- Please send any replies to
that address. I welcome flame mail off line, provided you go easy on
my mom. ;-)

http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/



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