RE: OFF TOPIC: Writing "Wizards", creating "Tips", and online tu torials

Subject: RE: OFF TOPIC: Writing "Wizards", creating "Tips", and online tu torials
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- ILE -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 10:52:30 -0600

Lisamarie,

I don't think this is at all off topic. However, what you're describing
isn't a wizard (which is a series of dialogs that complete a task based on
user input and some default parameters). Cheri Lockett Zubak refers to it as
"context embedded help." Here's what else she says about it:

"Of course, these factors, and the relationships
among them, are things that have to be programmed
at some level. In addition, they involve very complex
and time-consuming thinking work. As a result,
context embedding tends to be much more
expensive and time consuming to create than other
types of embedded user assistance. "

Not that she's against--much the opposite. However, it requires much more
interaction with the application thahn a standard help system--and that
means a serious committment on the part of the application developers to
create hooks for that context sensitivity.

I'm not even scratching the surface of the technology involved for this. You
might try the WinHelp list (winhlp-l) to see if one of those developers can
give you more details.


Bill Burns - Eccentric Technology Consultant
International Communications Design & Development
billdb -at- ile -dot- com
Y2K Complacent




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