This paper examines the four kinds of invisibility Johnson-Eilola associates with minimalist help systems: fast information access that reduces user reflection and questioning, impersonal writing style that assumes the Shannon-Weaver communication model, narrow scope that leads to training but not teaching, and interface designs that oversimplify user tasks. For each of the four, the paper questions Johnson-Eilola's conclusions. Ultimately, the problems with truncated online help systems may disappear, as help systems are increasingly linking to the web, where adequate conceptual information is often supplied and opportunities for a social context for help are available.
ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD) – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Nov 1, 2001