Creating the "User Help System" - is there a case for too much information?

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  2. 2 weeks ago

    Beatrix W

    May 15 Pre-Release Testers Europe (Germany)

    I wanted to help you. Guess, I'll stop doing this.

  3. Me, used the standard website creation tool to create the help system. Depends if (AppWrapper, for example), accept the files as a Help System.

  4. Steve K

    May 15 Melbourne, Australia

    Beatrix, Helping is fine, very good and appreciated, but when you push a point to your own self serving videos, then that can be looked at as serving yourself.

    Just take a lesson, sit down and think about it.

    Give me something about my original question, your ideas.

  5. Paul S

    May 15 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Netherlands, Den Haag)

    Unbelievable!
    What a rude reaction against Beatrix.
    Beatrix has always been and still is a very nice and friendly person and would never do what you are accusing her of.
    For me you have gone to far.
    I'm going to block you.

  6. Steve K

    May 15 Melbourne, Australia

    We all make mistakes - it's not the end of the world, relax, have some perspective - I love you all.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0OHj3fqR6Q

  7. Steve K

    May 15 Melbourne, Australia
    Edited 2 weeks ago

    So, getting back to the issue I was talking about.

    What Mark Carlton was saying as in a "link" is a good idea and pretty much what i've already done.

    -image-

    It does seem messy, but those small orange question mark symbols are only shown when the Bigger ? symbol is selected - the bigger one top menu panel with "Help" underneath. This enables the user to select a smaller ? symbol next to the point of interest and immediately be shown details regarding it's meaning/use.

    That is the way I'm doing it. In a way they ARE hyperlinks. - there is no going back.

    The point of my question is how to, or if there is a point anyway, to make it simpler. If you were confronted with the image (software program) above - does it seem obvious to click on the small ? symbols if that will show you immediately what that particular area of the software is about.

    It makes sense to me - ie. click on the ? symbol and you will be shown everything about that area - simple?

    [EDIT] The problem I have is "describing" what it means and what has to be done - it's a fair amount of work to do.

    I guess in the end this is not a question that can be answered by anyone else. But do the ? symbols make sense?

  8. Mark C

    May 16 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Spain 35510
    Edited 2 weeks ago

    on first look the ? symbol do seem an obvious solution, looks a perfectly good way to go, I wonder how it might look with a blue lower case letter I ..... for information, I can not type a lowercase letter I as the form make is an upper case letter and I do not know how to stop it doing that.

  9. Steve K

    May 17 Melbourne, Australia
    Edited 2 weeks ago

    I've had a break from my program for a couple of days - good thing too.

    I would like to apologise sincerely, absolutely and unequivocally for any offense I have caused - especially to Beatrix and also to Paul who tried to point out my error. I was absolutely rude, there's no doubting it and it's there for all to see. I can assure you it won't happen again. I'm normally the one that winges about other people's abrupt comments - I think I win the prize this time.

    I didn't mean it to go that way. My only excuse/reason is that it was about 2am, I'd been working on my help system, I was frustrated and had a few too many glasses of red wine. I can honestly say that I "thought" what I read was something different, I was convinced and interpreted it in a negative way, in that I was being sold something I didn't want.

    What makes it all the more stupid is that I didn't even properly read what Beatrix had posted (or anyone else, except for Mark's first post) and just went down some sort of ranting path. I truly apoligise to Beatrix who was only trying to help.

    Having read all the posts properly, there are some good ideas but perhaps some solutions are more than I might need. Although in a rather twisted way, Beatrix solution of using Fleeq is pretty much what I was thinking about a week ago, except it was using Icecream Screen Recorder. I fleshed out the idea with my brother who does most of the testing for me, and it was decided that using a screen recorder may not be the best idea. Reason being that the software will mostly be used in the field on a laptop and it would be annoying to have to try to hear what was being said, so it would have to have text as well.

    @Mark - I do like the idea of using an "i" for information instead of the ? mark. I think it's better but I can't get it to look good enough. Here's some various options:

    -image-

    I'd prefer bold italic but it doesn't render well - I'm drawing the objects directly into a canvas - I might look at just creating a bitmap png - it may well render better.

    This is what I have as the startup screen:

    -image-

    The ? (or "i" symbol) will do exactly the same as the hyperlinks, ie. show the relevant information.

    I suppose at this point I haven't decided exactly which way to go, but it's not a waste writing out the help procedure because it can always be tweeked or used in a different format later. It just takes a long long time.

    Thanks everyone.

  10. Mark C

    May 17 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Spain 35510

    Hi Steve, the lower case 'I' was for me a more 'mature' method of expressing the help point, for whatever reason the ? seems more akin to a school project, I have no idea why and obviously no upset intended on your great looking project.
    I also had in mind the whole of the help icon to be of a blue shade rather than just the letter, sorry for not being more precise.
    either way its looking good on screen here.

  11. Steve K

    May 17 Melbourne, Australia

    @Mark C Hi Steve, the lower case 'I' was for me a more 'mature' method of expressing the help point, for whatever reason the ? seems more akin to a school project, I have no idea why and obviously no upset intended on your great looking project.
    I also had in mind the whole of the help icon to be of a blue shade rather than just the letter, sorry for not being more precise.
    either way its looking good on screen here.

    Yep, I agree with your idea using the "i". It does look more professional. Now I've just got to make it look good in an aesthetic way. The concept was thought about more than a year ago, and I most likely would have taken a long time to try to choose a colour for the circles. I believe I started with a light-ish blue and I think I chose orange because it stood out more.

    Maybe just black would be more effective? I guess there's only one way to find out. The whole colour scheme is slightly offensive but the software is loosely based on an old time XY recorder.

  12. Julia T

    May 17 Sandy Hook, Connecticut

    The screenshot is a big help in understanding your original question regarding how much online help information is needed. I would suggest sitting a new user, who's never seen the program, in front of it and watch them try to operate it without having read a manual. You will quickly see if and where they get stuck or confused.

  13. Steve K

    May 17 Melbourne, Australia
    Edited 2 weeks ago

    Thanks Julia, Yes you are right - it's time to get someone else to test it.

    I have someone lined up and they at least understand the purpose of the software. I was going to release it to them, but my brother pointed out that it would not be a good idea if there wasn't a good help system. So that's where I am now. I was trying to avoid it. silly really.

    The person I have in mind has told me that they aren't that great with computers - so possibly they would be the perfect candidate?

    As per Marks suggestion, I've changed the ? symbol icons to an "i" and blue with white text. I think it does look better but I'm happy for anyone to choose a colour - perhaps the blue is too bright?

    Nevertheless, the icons only appear when the main "i" icon is "toggled" - I could probably get rid of the word Help.

    Help/Info toggled ON:

    -image-

    toggled OFF: (much cleaner)

    -image-

    That awful green play/replay icon (r/h side of the graph window) could be a dark grey?

    It's taken 2 years+ (part time) to get this point. I do need/want this to be tested, but this help system is the final hurdle and it's becoming the hardest part to overcome.

  14. Sascha S

    May 17 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Germany/W'haven

    Just wanted to say that the App looks beautifull. :)

  15. Jared F

    May 17 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Milwaukee, WI

    If you are concerned about people noticing where the help icons are on screen (though the blue color and traditional information symbol definitely help), a commonly used solution is provide a little animation to draw attention when they are shown.

    -image-

    Here's the project if you want to play around with it:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/q7uf6rczrogte6j/Growing%20Circle.xojo_binary_project?dl=1

  16. Julia T

    May 17 Sandy Hook, Connecticut
    Edited 2 weeks ago

    @SaschaSchneppmueller Just wanted to say that the App looks beautifull. :)

    I agree, it's very cool. Slightly "retro", but in a way I like that better than some of the more slick "tablet-looking" apps you see these days.

  17. Julia T

    May 17 Sandy Hook, Connecticut

    @SteveKelepouris That awful green play/replay icon (r/h side of the graph window) could be a dark grey?.

    Nah, the green is good - color communicates. And imho, the orange question marks went better with the overall color scheme and "feel" than the blue "I"s.

  18. Steve K

    May 17 Melbourne, Australia
    Edited 2 weeks ago

    @Julia T Nah, the green is good - color communicates. And imho, the orange question marks went better with the overall color scheme and "feel" than the blue "I"s.

    Interesting. Like I said before, I would have spent hours mulling over that orange colour (seriously). I tried to make it look subtle yet obvious.

    The software itself is quite complicated. I remember being told on this forum to have a separate window for the recording panel, otherwise you'll run into problems - which I have and it's made everything harder. But I think I've overcome that issue. But It just "had" to be one window - that was the concept.

    So if I kept the orange scheme but changed the ? symbol to the "i" - what about that?

  19. Julia T

    May 17 Sandy Hook, Connecticut

    @SteveKelepouris So if I kept the orange scheme but changed the ? symbol to the "i" - what about that?

    I think that might be weird - people are used to seeing the "i" in a blue circle. The question marks didn't bother me, especially since they're hidden unless the "master" is activated (good feature). Ultimately it's your baby, and an extension of your personality and aesthetic. I'm pretty sure it's for a pretty niche market anyway, so I wouldn't sweat it too much :)

  20. Steve K

    May 17 Melbourne, Australia

    Hmmm - lots to think about.

    2.45am and time for me to toddle off, get some sleep and go to my paying job in the morning.

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