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

Subject: RE: Designing a new help system -- Oh boy! ...ugh
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "List, Techwriter" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 04:25:04 -0800 (PST)

I understand about context sentive, the downside is
that the developer would have to input over 1,000 map
id numbers and on the real estate issue, because this
application is used to view scanned documents,
everyone is using at minimum, 21" monitors, some
larger, with HUGE disks (I think the standard for this
application is 3 10gig disks per workstation
(thousands of TIFs from scanned documents takes mucho
room, even with optical storage). It is nice working
for a drug company that makes "bunches" of money, and
working in the research group, we get more than our

Also, part of the reason why I'm doing some things the
way I am is because I'm writing the help for a Version
2.0 and I need to follow the lead of the V1's bad enough that I rewrote 99% of the help,
but to competely change how it's presented to the user
migh be too much. V3 will be htmlHelp if i have
anything to say about it.

> Even though hotspot graphics are smaller than
> bitmaps, they take up valuable
> space, both disk space in the Help file and even
> more valuable screen real
> estate. This last is why graphics in Help files are
> almost always no-nos; it
> can be annoying enough that a separate Help file
> takes attention away from
> the application, but it also usually covers at least
> part of the
> application.
> Now, the move is going toward embedded Help systems
> that follow wherever the
> user is in the interface and providing immediate,
> context-sensitive
> information.
> > --- Kathi Jan Knill <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- template -dot- com>
> wrote:
> > > Renee asked for help with these issues:
> > >
> > > 1. Screen shots, good or evil --
> > > I think they are evil! If the user is accessing

John Posada, Merck Research Laboratories
Sr Technical Writer, WinHelp and html
(work) john_posada -at- merck -dot- com - 732-594-0873
(pers) jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com - 732-291-7811
"The art of creating software that is usable by individuals is a communication skill. It is not a programming skill."
--Bill Atkinson, creator of MacPaint and HyperCard
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