3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2006 8:04 AM by RoboColum(n)

    Browse Sequences

    maniac9999 Level 1
      Is creating a browse sequence still considered "standard procedure" for developing help projects, especially WebHelp, or is it unnecessary?

      I'm writing help standards and procedures for other members of my team. In other help projects, I've included a browse sequence, but I've done it reluctantly, because it just seems to be one extra step, one extra thing to maintain and I'm not really sure how many end users will actually or do actually use it to click from one topic to the next.

      Thanks,
      Jim
        • 1. Re: Browse Sequences
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          The answer I'd give to that question is "It depends". There is no "standard procedure" as such. If your users would benefit from them then I'd say carry on using them. If they don't use them I'd ask why? If they don't find them useful then perhaps you should remove them. The long and the short of it is that browse sequences have their uses. So a little more research into your user's habits may give you the answer you need.
          • 2. Re: Browse Sequences
            maniac9999 Level 1
            Colum,

            Thanks for the quick response. In the years I've done help files, I think I've only had one project manager ask about a missing browse sequence. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to survey our end users, since they're mostly external clients and Marketing is VERY picky about who can ask them questions and why. Browse sequences in help would probably be considered low priority. For WebHelp projects, users wouldn't really notice that the Previous and Next buttons are missing, but they would if they compared it to other Paychex help projects that have it.

            From your experience, do you include browse sequences as a general rule or only if requested?

            Thanks,
            Jim
            • 3. Re: Browse Sequences
              RoboColum(n) Level 5
              Hi Jim. I really sympathise with your problem. I used to work for a company where a similar setup existed and it never ceased to amaze me how we were expected to use our crystal ball to figure out what our users wanted. Perhaps you could ask your Marketing Director if they'd like the users to be provided with the best possible solution for their needs! Anyhow onwards and upwards!

              IMHO I'd only add a browse sequence if I thought it added value to the documentation OR the user requested them. If you include them and your users won't know if they exist or not, you're not loosing much. If you have them and at least one of your users use them, then you can argue they are useful. Admittedly they are a bit of extra work. I'd say (hesitantly) that most RH Technical Authors don't use them although that has probably more to do with the documentation they produce and its audience.

              At the end of the day it is a judgement call that is hard to make without knowing more about your users and the documentation. Hope this helped