RE: Designing a new help system -- Oh boy! ...ugh

Subject: RE: Designing a new help system -- Oh boy! ...ugh
From: "Kathi Jan Knill" <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- template -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 10:24:43 -0500

Renee asked for help with these issues:

1. Screen shots, good or evil --
I think they are evil! If the user is accessing help, he is already at the
screen he needs to know about. It can be more confusing if even one
tiny detail is changed between what he sees and what is in the screen shot.
I feel very strongly about this ... it is a pet peeve.


2. Internationalization --
Watch the spacing and sizing of menus. If you have a menu bar with 8
selections, words in English may be small but in Japanese may be much
longer.

3. Reviews --
Sorry, can't help you there. Never having used JH. However, if you have a\
QA dept., that is one way to make sure that your help does.
(help, I mean ;>) )

4. Project Schedule --
It may be difficult but you have to start with whereever the developers are
at the point in time that you are ready to begin planning. You should know
the features and functions of the system at that point. So you estimate how
long it will take you to do that part. Then you just add in
time factors for how many other features or functions the finished system
will have. (Hopefully someone has specs or at least knows what the finished
product is supposed to be.)


Hope some of this helps.

Kathi Jan Knill
Sr. Technical Writer
Template Software
Kathi -dot- Knill -at- Template -dot- com
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't
live long enough to make them all yourself.""





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