Online help: exploring static information or constructing personal and collaborative solutions using hypertext

Dickie Selfe, Stuart Selber, Dan McGavin, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Carol Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We discuss the evolution of online help; book-oriented, exploratory, and constructive. Book oriented online help mirrors paper-based documentation; it is relatively static, linear, and is structured in a manner familiar to most users; but this type of online help is often not efficient at responding to the complex demands of specific users and tasks. Hypertext-based online help-either exploratory or constructive-offers an alternative model addressing some of the limitations of book-oriented online help. Exploratory online help takes advantage of a higher level of interactivity. It is possible to create multiple paths in a document, but it is more complex to navigate (because less familiar to users) than books. Constructive online help represents a higher level of complexity, customization, and interactivity. It can provide a higher level of feedback between users, managers, and developers. It can encourage users to reconceptualize projects and work habits but may require time to construct and gatekeep to avoid cognitive overload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProc 10 Annu Int Conf Syst Doc SIGDOC 92
Editors Anon
PublisherPubl by ACM
Pages97-101
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)0897915321
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993
EventProceedings of the 10th Annual International Conference on Systems Documentation - SIGDOC'92 - Ottawa, Ont, Can
Duration: Oct 13 1992Oct 16 1992

Publication series

NameProc 10 Annu Int Conf Syst Doc SIGDOC 92

Other

OtherProceedings of the 10th Annual International Conference on Systems Documentation - SIGDOC'92
CityOttawa, Ont, Can
Period10/13/9210/16/92

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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