Re: Ideas on embedding help in customer-configurable software?

Subject: Re: Ideas on embedding help in customer-configurable software?
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 10:41:42 -0700 (PDT)

> I had a job interview Wednesday, and one question intrigued me.
> They want to create an API for their application. It is very
> configurable by the customer, and it links in to the customer's
> IT records. They asked how I would approach providing on-line
> help in this ....flexible situation.
> I pointed out that, if the online help were implemented in
> HTML/XML, it could be handled with CSS--where an unnumbered
> list could appear as a bulleted list in one manifestation, a
> set of tabs in another, a dropdown list in another....
> Does anybody have experience with such a situation, or can anyone
> point me to any resources on the web that address the matter?

Wrong're perspective is how is the application
configured to do it. The perspective should be how can you navigate
the user through the complexity. How it is presented is moot if the
user cannot get through it.

My answer would have been to analyse how the customer determines what
configuration they want, then match that logic to the helps. Look at
it from the user's perspective, not how you are going to get the help
to jup through hoops...once you address it from the user's
perspective, there may not be as many hoops as you think.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

?Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone
amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built
the Titanic.? - Dave Barry


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Ideas on embedding help in customer-configurable software?: From: Guy K. Haas

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