The first place any customer looks for guidance is in the program's own built-in Help section, or failing that, the manual or other documentation that came with the program. Not only are these the fastest and most convenient means of solving your customer's problems, but they are also the fastest and cheapest means for you. Every problem solved this way is a phone call or e-mail that you don't have to answer.
As mentioned in Chapter 10, you need to plan the Help section as thoroughly as you plan the rest of the project. To work, it needs to cover everything. It needs to be keyed to search words that customers use habitually in their trade or calling, not words the programmer suspects might be appropriate. A good Help system describes how the program tackles tasks and provides a separate guide of function.
Printed documentation is particularly useful where explanations are inescapably complex and where purchasers may experience problems getting the program started the first time.
Was this article helpful?