Creating a Help Architecture Document

Subject: Creating a Help Architecture Document
From: Melissa Owsley <melissa_owsley_at_mibing__mis -at- CCM -dot- FRONTIERCORP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 13:01:33 -0500

I have been asked to write a general architecture for Help for my
company. I would like some suggestions on what types of things need
to be included, and, perhaps, methodologies readily available.

The platform is HTML/JavaScript since we cannot use anything that
depends on a given browser or non-web application. The preference is
that there is not a specific tool needed for implementation either.
The Help system will be a combination of hardcopy and application
integrated web-based information. The applications are all web-based,
as such, they can be run in either IE, Netscape, or anything that may
come down the pipe in the future.

One particular problem I am trying to find a solution for is the
navigation within the help system. All of the free-standing
JavaScript and HTML solutions I am aware of are very time-consuming in
their construction and upkeep. Are there any tools available that can
make this easier?

I am also wondering if there are any guidelines for approximating time
to delivery of help documentation. I can usually tell by the
complexity of a given application how long it will take me to
construct help. I need to be able to provide a formula others can use
to schedule time in the project plan.

I hope these aren't too basic of questions. Any help/suggestions will
be greatly appreciated.

Thank-you in advance,

Melissa L. Owsley
Melissa_Owsley_at_MIBING_MIS -at- frontiercorp -dot- com -OR- MLOwsley -at- aol -dot- com, or

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