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Our little help machines and their invisibilities

Our little help machines and their invisibilities 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD) Association for Computing Machinery

Our little help machines and their invisibilities

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by ACM Inc.
ISSN
1527-6805
DOI
10.1145/586569.586575
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: Nov 1, 2001

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