Context Sensitive Help or the Psychic Hotline?

Subject: Context Sensitive Help or the Psychic Hotline?
From: "Mark X. Dempsey" <mxd2 -at- OSI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 10:30:04 -0700

A recent discussion of context-sensitive help prompts me to write. I'm
curious to know how much users (or listmembers) actually use
context-sensitive help.

A previous poster says that it depends on the audience and the
intelligence with which the system is designed.

I say everything depends on the audience, and no amount of intelligence
can make you able to second-guess whether a help user is interested in
formatting or formula information in an Excel cell, for example. I'm
sure there are work-arounds, but they devolve to an index, or at least a
table of contents, in the final analysis.

Furthermore, the money spent developing and maintaining dancing
paperclips would be better spent making a good index, IMHO.

Those opinions stated, however, I understand not everyone gathers
information like I do. There may even be a place for talking
help/tutorials (cf. Quicken '99).

Any stats or anecdotal evidence either way?


-- mailto:Mark -dot- Dempsey -at- osi -dot- com
-- Mark Dempsey
-- Technical Publications
-- Objective Systems Integrators
-- 110 Woodmere, Folsom, CA 95630
-- 916.353.2400 x 4777

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

Previous by Author: Re: Reformat PDF for online info./don't replace WinHelp!
Next by Author: Resources for Writers of White Papers
Previous by Thread: Telecommuting in Boulder, CO
Next by Thread: Re: problem printing PDF

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads