Re: Online help and topic color choices

Subject: Re: Online help and topic color choices
From: "Merrick, Tim" <tim -dot- merrick -at- LSIL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 09:21:00 -0500


It is usually best to design for the lowest common denominator. Do you have
any way of verifying what types of equipment your end users will use to
display the Help? Color displays are common on laptops now, but you can't
assume that all of your users have the latest equipment.

The pale yellow background is a Microsoft standard. I don't have anything
close at hand to back this up, but I would guess that MS conducted usability
studies and found that the pale yellow was easier on the eye than white.
However, I worked on Help projects for HP, and all of their windows had
white backgrounds with black text.

I recommend you get a copy of "Designing Windows 95 Help" by Deaton et al.
It's a great reference for questions like those you have posed.

Tim Merrick
Technical Publications
LSI Logic Storage Systems

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