[thelist] Good models for Help

M. Seyon evolt07 at delime.com
Wed Oct 4 18:31:44 CDT 2006

Hi Alida, and congrats on delurking.

This is anecdotal and personal opinion, so of questionable value.

99% of the time that I need to ask for help on websites, etc, it is with a 
question that is not covered by their Help Desk/Knowledge Base/Wiki/Forum/FAQ.

The single *most annoying* non-feature of help features is how difficult 
they make it to actually contact a real person, preferably via email, 
because sometimes it's easier to articulate a complex problem in typing, 
and it helps to have the answer archived somewhere, neither of which are 
possible with phone support.

So my two cents would be to ensure that whatever help functionality is 
available, it's backed up by an easy way to contact a real person when -- 
notice I said "when", not "if" -- the functionality doesn't adequately help 
the user.

What's really nice too, is when the help feature then archives my 
correspondence under a tab such as "Your Previous Questions".


Message from Alida Ladak (10/4/2006 03:59 PM)

>I'd like to incorporate a Help feature on a project I'm working on for a
>financial institution. It'll be a lean implementation as there is no
>interest in purchasing a product or allocating any significant development.
>Even with these constraints I still think it better to offer a lean but
>useful Help feature.
>The most common structure i've seen is a set of questions bundled at the top
>which link to the answers below.  I'm inclined to think a grouping by topic
>is a logical addition to this model.
>Has anyone seen/worked on anything they think is better model?
>long time lurker

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