Effective Help system navigation

Victor Lombardi, writing Effective View Navigation, for Noise Between Stations, cites a key challenge from George Furnas' work:

"despite the vastness of an information structure, the views must be small, moving around must not take too many steps and the route to any target be must be discoverable."

Efficient navigation isn't normally the hallmark of an onscreen help system, and today most are stuck in the now-traditional "Topics, Index, Find" view pioneered by Apple Guide, then institutionalized by WinHelp. The light provided by Furnas could help the profession break free of its mire, but reducing Help to "small views" seems unlikely given the ever-growing nature of most commercially produced Help.

Posted: January 11, 2004 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item