I recently commented on Lorelle’s post about Help pages on blogs. My answer got me thinking about an excellent Internet analogy.
I maintained a “Help” page on my personal blog for a long while. It was a practice in earnest to fight the good fight. I tested browser compatibility and noted errors with specific browsers. It helped me…never my audience. I think I gave up after reading “Don’t Make Me Think.” Ultimately, that is really the mindset and the answer. If I have to provide a help page, perhaps I’m doing something wrong. Perhaps I’m not making that personal connection with people because I’m ostracizing them through some personal elitism. I remember when DHTML was really cool and working with the DOM in unique, arcane methods was more a resemblance to the occult than anything Web 2.0 represents today. We’ve all grown up on this stuff. Internet adolescence is over and it’s time to get a real job; move out of your parent’s basement (no offense to you 30-somethings living in your parent’s basement). So I don’t have a “Help” page anymore. I try to offer help in more constructive ways – ways that a “Help” page can only make excuses for. Besides – who actually takes the time to read a manual, let alone my blog manual?
I have a copy of “Don’t Make Me Think” and it’s a GREAT book. I have it in the office, sitting on my desk and my boss loves the title of it. He has no idea what it means, but he thinks its funny. What he doesn’t know is that the book has helped me to learn how to develop layouts FOR HIM. Hahah…
There exist web sites on the internet that don’t make one feel stupid?
CIA (Computer Illiterates Annonymous)