Answering User Questions Effectively
Online help offers users instant access to relevant information from within the product. These systems provide both context-sensitive help which describes an object, screen, or window; as well as task-based help which provides step-by-step instructions on how to achieve a particular function.
Help your customers help themselves
Elegant online help systems can leverage a significant amount of material from product documentation, but skilled online help developers can add great value with “Popups” for context-sensitive help and other types of object-dependent information, linked indexing and table of contents, and robust search capabilities.
- Build out the help system using the most appropriate tool and output type (such as compiled help file for portable end users, or hosted HTML-based systems for larger-scale solutions).
- Maximize value and help ensure consistency by leveraging product content from complementary technical resources, such as from user guides and training materials.
- Coordinate with marketing, design, and documentation teams to ensure a consistent look-and-feel that adopts your corporate branding standards.
Sample Online Help Project
Developing consumer-oriented online help
I developed this online help as a compiled HTML (.chm) file for a customer who needed to package it with their hardware/software product for the consumer market.
A top priority for this help system was to write the material using a friendly voice that minimized jargon and helped reinforce the key concepts—and more importantly, how mastering those concepts would enhance the user experience—that were presented in the companion user guide.
Ready to polish your materials and make your processes run like clockwork? I’m here to help.