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The Five W's of Online Help for Tech Writers

TechWhirl WebsiteTechWhirl Website United StatesPosts: 396 admin
edited September 2013 via Wordpress in Technical Writing and Communications
imageThe Five W's of Online Help for Tech Writers

Lately, I've become a vocal critic of modern online help for a variety of reasons. But my biggest criticism is that despite the usability improvements offered by context sensitivity and modern indexing tools, many help systems become formulaic descriptions of procedures that fail to truly address the needs of their users. This problem arises partially from the inherent difficulty of writing online help, since users may need a range of reference, contextual (e.g., why a dialog box exists), or task-based "how to" information at different times and in different places.

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Comments

  • Steven SeillerSteven Seiller Posts: 1
    via Wordpress
    Nice work! I agree, most help content does not explain the background of why the issue is a problem or why the subsequent procedure is recommended. Let's hope help writers read this and get "why!"
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