Re: Interesting article

Subject: Re: Interesting article
From: Sean Brierley <seanb_us -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 12:16:13 -0700 (PDT)

Well, we are overhead. And, nobody reads the manual
(online help) anyway.

Why not stop, for a sec., and consider your (pl. to
the list) own use of online help. Do you? If you do,
what do you think of the help for your main weapons?
Here's mine:

1) Adobe FrameMaker: in general, poor. Mostly, the
info is in there and poorly indexed. The online help
is a poor example of single sourcing and the printed
book needs more pictures and more big picture info.
For example, pretend you don't know what a series
label is, and try to find out why your numbered lists
aren't working the way you want. Online books (PDFs)
are a secret that really should be hooked back into
the Help menu. Best support: lists and user forums.

2) Microsoft Word: in general, poor. Slick, but poor.
Search provides way too many hits, the index seems
like an afterthought. The printed documentation . . .
well, is there any? Best support: lists.

4) Quadralay WebWorks Publisher 7 Pro/2003: I think
the printed doc and online help are good. The index is
okay, and a search usually gets you what the index
missed online. Universal gripes include poor
documentation of XML output and lack of macro language
documentation. Best support: lists.

5) Yahoo Mail: online documentation and support
stinks, is uninformative, and slow.

6) Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop: same problems as
FrameMaker docs, if you don't know ahead of time, you
are likely not to find the answer. Same support, too.

7) Microsoft Outlook: Online help better than Word,
because searching yields fewer hits (and fewer
irrelevant ones). Printed docs? MS lists are
hit-and-miss for outlook.

8) Techsmith SnagIT: I've not used the online help,
but their forums are responsive.

9) Macromedia Dreamweaver MX: I don't spend much time
in DW, but I've found the online documentation to be
good and content-rich. I can't say it's the best of
the bunch because I've not used it enough.

Well, aside from Media Player 9 and notepad, that's
all I have running right now



--- Sharon Burton-Hardin <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
> Complete article at
> Looks like we are not doing as good a job as we want
> to. And consumers are
> complaining. Good ammunition for those of us who
> need to convince our
> clients/boss that it is important the help - and by
> extension the manual -
> need to be useful and not a second thought.

Interesting article: From: Sharon Burton-Hardin

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