Why bother with end user documentation for Web Applications?

In Rahel Bailie’s excellent presentation at the STC Conference (“The New Face of Documentation“), she looked at the “No Documentation” approach to software user assistance. This, she summed up, as the “we don’t document it; we just fix it” view of software development. She argued that a “No Documentation” approach doesn’t lead to no documentation. Users soon… Read more »

“The worst Help system I have ever seen”

Sarah Maddox reported from the WritersUA conference that Microsoft’s April Reagan gave a frank presentation on the planning and design that has gone into version 3 of Microsoft Help. She was quoted as saying the feedback on the Help 2 (used in Windows Vista) was poor. For example, “This is the worst help system I have ever seen”.  At a previous… Read more »

Help files – A question of trust

Last month, Forrester Research released results from a survey on how much consumers trust different sources for information. They didn’t include online Help or knowledge bases in the survey, so we don’t know how well or badly they would have come out in the survey. They found independent (non-corporate) information were the most trustworthy sources…. Read more »

When you need Help, do you press F1 or search Google?

I was at two clients in Cambridge earlier in the week, where the conversation turned to the Internet generation and how they search for information. Both publish their user documentation on their Web site, as well publish traditional PDFs and online Help files. The first client said that they’d found from their recent customer usability… Read more »