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

Subject: Re: Designing a new help system -- Oh boy! ...ugh
From: Anne Magee <magee -at- universal -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:45:11 -0400

"Giordano, Connie" wrote:

[snip]

> We came to the conclusion that screen shots were
> essential for beginners on the system, so we started developing a "basics"
> on-line help, that more experienced users never bothered with.
>
> Does anyone else have experience with feedback from users on incorporating
> screen shots? How did you resolve this kind of conflicting objective?

I have found the same thing. Some people like the screen shots because
it reassures them that they are in the right place, others find them
annoying. My problem with them was that they were usually much to big to
fit in the help window, which I try to keep as small as possible.

I compromised by putting all screen shots except very tiny ones in pop
ups. If users wants to look at the screen shots they can, and the shot
can be as big as it needs to be. If internationalization becomes a
problem, the shots can (relatively) easily be removed by removing the
links to the pop up windows.

Anne Magee
--
Technical Writer
Core Division
Universal Systems Ltd.
http://www.universal.ca




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