On-line documentation for the software user

A review of the literature

Door Herman Gritter, Enschede, June 1993 (gereviseerd 14 okt. 1997). Supervision: R. Min & J. Moonen

Literature review for the Faculty of Educational Science and Technology of the University of Twente


To graduate in Instrumentational Technology at the faculty of Educational Science and Technology I have conducted three activities: an assignment in the design, development and evaluation of educational software at the University of Southampton, an internship combined with this assignment and a literature survey on the subject of on-line software user documentation. The result of this last activity can be found in this report.

1. Introduction

In this literature review some aspects of on-line software user documentation will be discussed. In this chapter first attention is paid to the problem definition. Second, the method of literature search is described.

1.1 Problem definition

The purpose of this literature review is to find an answer on the question: 'What precisely is on-line software user documentation?'

In order to answer this question the elements of the concept 'on-line software user documentation' were analyzed separately. So, first an analysis of literature about 'on-line documentation' and related terms has been conducted. Starting questions were:

Second, an analysis of literature about different types of on-line documentation has been conducted. The question that was put, was:
Third, an analysis of literature about the software user or the audience, and what sort of documentation the different types of software users need has been conducted. The next questions were asked:
These question were all asked in order to find an answer on the first question. Finally some attention has been paid to possible developments of on-line documentation in the nearby future.

1.2 Method of literature search

The literature search was conducted in two different ways. First, with the help of the catalogue system of the university books were selected on words in the title. The first search-word was 'HELP', with one useful title. Hereafter a search was conducted with the words 'DOCUMENTATION' and 'ON-LINE', again there was one useful title.
Second, on basis of these two titles the snowball method was used. With the snowball method references and the bibliography of a book are used to select other readings. These other books or articles are analyzed and again the references and bibliography was used to select useful books or articles. This procedure was repeated until enough information was gathered.

2. On-line documentation

In this chapter some aspects of on-line documentation are analyzed. First, definitions of on-line documentation and related terms are presented. In the first paragraph there is as well some attention paid to the reason why on-line documentation is needed. Second, the differences between on-line documentation and paper-based documentation are analyzed. Third, the advantages and disadvantages of on-line documentation are described.

2.1 Definitions of on-line documentation

In the literature we find several definitions for on-line documentation and related terms, which are all slightly different. In this chapter a number of these definitions for on-line documentation and related terms are presented. Houghton-Alico (1985) provides us with a definition of 'on-line':

For the term 'on-line documentation' numerous definitions are available. Below a selection of the definitions is presented. It has to be noticed that these definitions differ on some aspects. Cohen and Cunningham (1984) define on-line documentation as an electronically stored user manual:
Kearsley (1988) makes a distinction between on-line documentation, on-line help, and on-line training. On-line documentation attempts to explain something and therefore is descriptive. With on-line help the information is focussed on a specific problem. On-line training tries to facilitate learning. The instruction for all three could come from the same database, but it may be presented in a different way to the user. Other authors don't make a distinction between these three. Horton (1990), for example, defines on-line documentation in a wider perspective:
According to this definition even news-papers stored electronically are on-line documents, and as well computer based training for learning a language. Horton (1990) adds something more to this definition:
Brockmann (1990) provides us with a definition of on-line documentation that is more specific than the previous one, but more general than the definition presented by Kearsley. The definition below specifies on-line documentation to documentation especially for computer software:
In the literature we find some other terms that are related to the term on-line documentation. With the help of these terms it is possible to get a clearer perspective on what on-line documentation for software users is. In the IEEE Standard (1988) software user documentation is defined as:
In this definition no distinction is made between on-line documentation and paper-based documentation. Next it is clear that, according to this definition, on-line documentation is information stored on the computer in the format of a printed document. Houghton-Alico (1985) uses the term software documentation, and describes it as follows:
Next to this definition Houghton-Alico (1985) described the term 'on-line interactive documentation', which is more specific than on-line documentation:
Now that there is some clarity about how on-line documentation is described in the literature it is time to indicate some reasons behind on-line documentation. Brockmann (1990) sums three reason why on-line documentation is needed:

2.2 Differences between on-line documentation and paper-based documentation

In the literature we find some clear statements about what the differences are between on-line documentation and paper-based documentation. Here it is only described what the differences are according to the authors. It is not tried to make a judgement about which of the two is best. Probably on-line and paper-based documentation can exist next to each other and are supplemental to each other.
According to Horton (1990) paper-based documentation and on-line documentation differ in they way they are organized:

Shirk (1988) and Carlson (1988) agree with Horton. On-line documentation is not just a paper-based document dumped on-line:
According to Brockmann(1990) on-line documentation goes beyond the limits of traditional paper manuals because it integrates text, graphics, animation, sound effects and database organizational schemas. On-line user documentation solves four other problems that appear with paper documentation. These are the static organization, the often massive physical appearance, the passive role for the audience (manuals are only used when there is a problem), and inconvenient packaging. Brockmann (1990) indicates as well a rhetorical difference between on-line and paper-based documentation.
But, all of this doesn't mean that paper-based documentation has no value at all. According to Brockmann (1990) 75% of the techniques and ideas of effective paper documentation are transferable to on-line documentation.
Next, the question can be asked whether or not users, who use on-line documentation, perform their task better than users who use paper-based documentation. From research conducted in 1982 by Cohill and Williges (in: Kearsley, 1988) it seems that there are no significant differences in performing a task when using help presented on-line or using help presented on paper.

2.3 Advantages and disadvantages of on-line documentation

In the literature a number of advantages of on-line documentation are mentioned. These advantages vary from the way the information is presented to the convenience of the packaging of on-line documentation.

According to Cohen and Cunningham (1984) there is an increasing reluctance to read technical manuals. People today want to receive information faster and in a more graphic and interesting form.

Next to these advantages there are as well disadvantages or drawbacks on on-line documentation. Some of these disadvantages or drawbacks are not applicable on every today situation in which on-line documentation is used. If this is the case it will be mentioned.
Overall it can be indicated that on-line documentation is not a heaven on earth. Some advantages are at the same time a disadvantage, for example the physical appearance of on-line documentation.

3. Types of on-line documentation

In this chapter first a number of different types of on-line documentation are identified. Next these types are categorized into four categories and described.
Shirk (1988) categorizes the various types of on-line documentation as moving from relatively simple to complex writing. The 'Taxonomy of On-line Documentation' presented in figure 1 shows this hierarchy of increasing writing difficulty.

Figure 1: 'Taxonomy of On-line Documentation'

Kearsley (1988) makes a distinction between the three types, of which one is on-line documentation. The other two are help information and on-line training. The way Kearsley describes the term on-line documentation does indicate what he means with it. On-line documentation in his terminology is more or less the same as a reference guide, or a command reference, and so on.

Houghton-Alico (1985) distinguishes three types of software documentation: technical documentation that provides background information on the initiation, development, and operational phases of the life cycle of a particular software program; product documentation is the bridge between technical documentation and user guides; and user guides. Possible formats for user guides include the following:
Rubens and Krull (1985) distinguish some types of on-line information, ranging from error messages to tutorials.

Foehr and Cross (1986) look at documentation out a number of different perspectives. First, documentation is the bridge between two systems: human and machine. Documentation provides an orderly step-by-step explanation of a complex system to a user who knows nothing about that system. Second, documentation is a map that charts unknown territory for the user. Third, documentation is a sales tool. The documentation must satisfy the customer's desire to know what the system is capable of doing. Fourth, documentation is a training technique. Fifth, documentation is a reference guide.

Min (1992) distinguishes eight types of parallel instruction, that is instruction running or given concurrently with software, in his case a computer simulation program. The forms of parallel instruction that are on-line, are CBT, help and video and audio recorded for the computer.

Foehr and Cross (1986) distinguish six types of documentation of which only two are mend for external, that is for people not working in the producing company, use. These two are: operations documentation and the user's manual.

In the IEEE Standard (1988) a distinction is made between documents which are needed either to learn (instructional mode) or to refresh (reference mode). In the instructional mode the document shall:
Information-oriented instructional documents provide the user with background or technical information needed to use the software properly. Examples of typical information-oriented instructional mode documents include: overview, theory of operation manual, and tutorial. Task-oriented instructional mode documents provide the user with procedures to achieve specific goals. Examples of task-oriented instructional mode documents include: diagnostic procedures manual, operations manual, and software installation manual. In the reference mode the document shall:
Examples of typical reference mode documents include: command manual, error message manual, program calls manual, quick reference guide, software tools manual, and utilities manual.

In the following paragraphs the different types of on-line documentation will be analyzed more accurate. Here it is chosen to classify the various types into four categories: Messages, Helps, Reference material and Tutorials and CBT. Messages include those types of documentation that are initiated by the system. Helps are the systems that are accessed by the user when he or she needs information about a command. Reference material is the material that is accessed to get detailed information, for example about the syntax of a command of a programming language. And tutorials and CBT is on-line documentation that is used for teaching about the system it accompanies.

3.1 Messages

Messages are needed so that the user gets an idea about what went wrong, or about what the system or program is doing. With messages we mean system-initiated messages that occur when the user has performed an action. In the literature a number of different types of messages are found.
Shirk (1988) describes two sorts of messages, these are: system messages and error messages.

Price (1984) distinguishes error messages as well.
Kearsley (1988) is talking in this framework about 'System-Initiated Helps'. He classifies this type of documentation as help, but because it is initiated by the system it is classified among the messages.
Rubens and Krull (1988) add a new sort of system messages to the above mentioned, these are called are for support of interactive tasks. These system messages inform the user about the status of a process (e.g. the bar on the screen of indicating how far the computer is with copying a file (on the Apple Macintosh II)). They say that these sort of system messages are not the same as error and other system messages, because system or error messages do not help the user really, they just indicate that something has happened and do not give a solution.

3.2 Helps

As we talk about Helps we can ask the same question as about on-line documentation, 'Why is it needed'. Here for we find a number of reasons in the literature. According to Kearsley (1988) helps are needed for the following reasons:

An on-line help system was first not more than a few comments.
Later more sophisticated on-line help systems were developed, like dynamic helps, system-initiated helps (dealt with in the previous section) and help with multiple levels.

Some authors describe a help system as a system that gives a user assistance with the completion of a task. In 'On-line Help Systems, design and implementation' by Kearsley (1988) we find an accurate description of what a Help system is. Here we see that not only the content of the help-messages is important, but the way in which the user accesses the help system is important as well.
Shirk (1988) indicates that this assistance is build up out of directions. follows:
According to Shneiderman (1987) describes the on-line help facility as a system existing out of keywords with accompanying descriptions.
In the literature we also find that there are a lot of different kinds of help. Kearsly (1988) distinguishes the following sorts of helps:
Static versus dynamic helps: With static helps there are fixed entries that serve as an on-line glossary. With dynamic help on the other hand, the program determines the appropriate help message to display, based on the (last) action(s) of the user.
Next, helps can be distinguished on basis of the levels of help the program offers. The first level can be very general and as the users needs it he or she can request for more detailed help.
Houghton-Alico (1985) distinguishes helps in query-based helps and key-based helps. With the query-based helps the system can initiate the question, like 'Do you want additional information on how to do the merge-sort procedure, or the query can be initiated by the user, like 'Help Merge-sort'. The key-based helps are tied directly to a keyboard with a HELP or ? key, which the users press.

3.3 Reference material

Reference material varies from on-line user manuals to full text dumped on-line. Reference material is probably the most extensive form of on-line documentation and they are most of the time the same as the paper-based variant.
The following definitions on reference material do not concern just the on-line material, but as well paper-based reference material. According to Price (1984) reference material is:

Rubens and Krull (1988) on the other hand indicate that reference material is only concerned with the performance of a task:
Price (1984) distinguishes as well the quick reference card, only as a paper-based document. Personally I think that there is an analogue of this quick reference card, for example the stencil accompanying WordPerfect that can be accessed by pressing two times the key F3.
The on-line user manual is a real type of on-line documentation, but the way Shneiderman (1987) describes it makes it look like a paper-based product 'dumped' on line.
This is more or less the same than the full text described by Rubens and Krull (1988). Full text is duplicated printed text, dumped on-line.

Finally, Shirk (1988) provides us with a description of on-line reference guides. On-line Reference Guides: Comprehensive, detailed compilations of information about software or hardware that are structured like dictionaries or encyclopedias and accessed through various indexing schemes. They are organized for quick access by users who are knowledgeable about the basics of their subject matter.

3.4 Tutorials and CBT

The last category that is mentioned here is the category of Tutorials and CBT. These two are probably part of a recent development to make use of the computer as a teaching medium.
Shirk (1988) makes a distinction between software and hardware tutorials and CBT. The difference between these two is that CBT can deal with other aspects than the software and hardware tutorials. For example, the CBT can deal with background information that is not necessary to operate the software or the computer system. She defines this as follows:

Shneiderman (1987) describes what an on-line tutorial does
Rubens and Krull (1988) indicate why on-line tutorials are being used.
Tutorial documentation (Crandall, 1987) is a more embracing concept than on-line tutorials and it embraces as well paper-based tutorials.
Further Crandall (1987) states that tutorial documentation must stand alone, so that the user can depend entirely on the tutorial for the instruction needed. Last she indicates that a tutorial document must contain a number of 'tools', like a table of contents, a glossary, and an index.

A final type, and a rather awkward, perhaps out of place, type is the canned demonstration (Rubens & Krull, 1988):
A canned demonstration is build in the software program it supplies information about. It can be a picture-slide show, an example or an animation of the program. Important is that it shows the possibilities of the program.

4. Types of audiences

To determine what type of on-line documentation is needed it is important to identify the audience. In the literature some groups are distinguished. Schneider (1982) handles a so called 'user sophistication taxonomy'. In this taxonomy he distinguishes 5 types of software users:

  • 1. The Parrot
    An individual at the lowest level in the taxonomy, the Parrot, has minimal knowledge of the computer system. The Parrot operates with the smallest chunk available: a single character. A user at this level approaches the computer system and types strings of characters. This individual does not think, question understand or synthesize the text entered.

  • 2. The Novice
    Unlike the Parrot, the Novice analyzes each item, thus extracting lexical information. The language components now have meaning and can be used in a flexible manner.

  • 3. The Intermediate
    The Intermediate operates with items in fields and with fields in statements. The Intermediate begins to concentrate on the task rather than its components. Use of full language may be restricted by a lack of knowledge. Thus, the Intermediate continues to expand significant effort on language details. Towards the end of the intermediate level, considerable skill in the understanding and manipulation of a segment of the command set has been achieved.

  • 4. The Expert
    The Expert realizes that an interconnected collection of statements can be more productive for certain tasks. The Expert uses the largest chunk: a program or procedure. An Expert thinks about the possible outcomes of commands and has the ability to take appropriate action.

  • 5. The Master
    The Master expands the existing system, creating new objects and facilities to solve new problems whose solution cannot be derived from existing functions or objects within the system. Unlike the lower four levels, the chunk size is not a determining factor.

    Horton (1990) distinguishes only four types of users. The first one he mentions is the novice user. The second type is the occasional user, which can be compared with the intermittent Brockmann (1990) mentions. The third type is the transfer user, who is not a user yet, but uses a different system. The forth type Horton distinguishes is the expert user.

    Brockmann (1990) distinguishes six types of users. The first four, the parrot, the novice, the intermediate, and the expert match the description of Schneider (1982) for these four. The fifth type, the transfer user is equal to the transfer user Horton (1990) describes. The sixth type is the intermittent user. The intermittent users:
    Brockmann (1990) makes another distinction between users, based on their preference for a certain medium. We are not dealing with this, because here it is about on-line documentation.

    So, overall the following seven types of users are mentioned in the literature:

    5. On-line documentation in connection with the audience

    It is obvious that the indicated types of audience or users need different types of on-line documentation.

    Horton (1990) first starts with identifying what information the user needs. The novice needs information about how to operate the program and/or the computer. The types of documents that are best suitable for this are tutorials and helps. The occasional or intermittent user needs reminders of details, by messages, menus or help, and he needs information about how to do new tasks, by means of tutorials. The transfer user needs information about the differences between products and this can be given by tutorials, messages, menus and help. The expert needs information about advanced features, by on-line reference manuals, and he needs information about shortcuts, this information is stored in the help system.

    According to Foehr and Cross (1986) needs a novice user great detail, and as the user becomes more experienced less guiding is required. For an experienced user a quick reference suffices.

    Brockmann (1990) indicates that tutorial documentation is used for the first month a user is working with the software, and after the first month he can use reference documentation. Brockmann sophisticates this raw bipartition in the following way.
    The parrot needs a task-oriented guide that gives him quickly sense of success and he has to practice immediately on practical projects. The novice needs a task-oriented tutorial with in it a visualization of the whole product or system. The novice needs to practice a lot. The intermediate needs a reference manual with visualization in it, and he needs to practice as well. The expert needs a quick reference card. The intermittent needs a very robust help system, that is rather intelligent.

    So, it is clear that different users need different documents with different content. In the next chapter a classification is presented in which the type of documentation is connected with the type of user.

    6. On-line software user documentation

    In the previous chapters is dealt with a number of aspects of on-line software user documentation. In this chapter it is the intention to synthesize the gathered information, so that the question 'What is on-line software user documentation?' is answered. The answer on this question will not be a definition a description of what I think that 'on-line software user documentation' is, based on what is found in the literature. Next to that a classification will be presented in which is indicated what type of user needs what type of on-line documentation.

    6.1 A description of 'on-line software user documentation'

    When we talk about on-line software user documentation, we are dealing with three aspects. The first aspect is on-line documentation. In chapter 2 we have dealt with on-line documentation. The second aspect embraces the different types of on-line documentation. Attention to this has been paid in chapter 3. The third aspect is the software user. In chapter 4 it is indicated that there are different types of users with different kinds of needs. On the ground of these three aspects a description of on-line software user documentation can be formulated.
    From the information gathered about on-line documentation we can infer that:

    From the information about the different types of on-line documentation we can infer:
    From the information about the different types of users we can infer:
    After mixing these three components the next description of on-line software user documentation comes into existence:
    According to this definition all the classes that are mentioned in paragraph 3.1 to 3.4 are covered. Messages are normally build in the software, just like help systems most of the time are. Other help systems are separate programs, just like the on-line reference materials and the tutorials and the Computer Based Training.

    6.2 Software users and the on-line documentation they need

    Now that is indicated what on-line software user documentation is, and what different types there are, and what different users there are, it is possible to classify the different types according to the needs of the software users. In figure 2 it is indicated what users need what type of documentation. It has to be noticed that from the four categories mentioned in chapter 3 sometimes more than one type is represented in figure 2. This has been done because otherwise the differences between the needs of the different users are not clear.

    According to the literature a parrot needs a task-oriented guide and he has to practice immediately. System-initiated help gives him this chance. If he is making mistakes, the system-initiated help will support the parrot while doing so. The tutorial here is added, because an adjusted tutorial, that allows the parrot to exercise immediately would fit his special circumstances as well. System messages or error messages are not appropriate here because the parrot will not understand what they mean.

    Figure 2: Software users and the on-line documentation they need

    The novice needs, according to the literature, the same types of on-line documentation, and next to that normal help can be provided. System and error messages are not required because the novice will not understand them and this is already partly covered by the system-initiated help. Reference material is too detailed at the moment, although Foehr and Cross (1986) recommend great detail for the novice user. Perhaps when the user is starting to become more experienced this is required, but not when he just starts working with the software.

    The intermediate does not need the system-initiated help anymore. With the help of reference guides he can interpret the system and error messages. The availability of a tutorial is still recommended, but now more for guidance during practicing. The help system is still needed.
    The expert makes use of an on-line quick reference card, just for reminders. The expert knows what the error and system messages mean and the help system will probably only used for quick reminders.
    The master only needs the system and error messages. The quick reference card is not required but a practical tool for quick reminders.

    The intermittent needs like the novice system-initiated help, normal help and a tutorial. The tutorial has to be short, because the intermittent has not got much time for learning the basic skills required to work with the software. Probably the best tutorial for this type of user is a brief general description of the software, followed by a part in which the intermittent can choose certain units of interest.
    For the transfer user the documentation has two objectives. First it has to be shown what the software can do and how it looks like. Here for the canned demonstration is ideal. For working with the software the transfer user needs help, either system-initiated or normal help. Because he has worked before with a system like the one he is going to work with the system and error messages are appropriate.

    7. The future

    In this final chapter some possible future developments of on-line software user documentation will be presented. These developments are based on what the various authors predict. There are three main developments. The first is that the development of on-line software user documentation and the development of the software will take place at the same time. The second development is using hypertext technology for the development of on-line software user documentation. The third development concerns the storage of the on-line software user documentation.

    7.1 Concurrent development of software and the on-line documentation

    The production of on-line documentation accompanying the software, that is manuals and instructional programs, and the software development will all become part of the same process (Shirk, 1988). Grice (1988) describes this as follows:

    It is important that this happens, because at the present time most of the documentation belonging to the software is written afterwards. It is more a bad boring job that is done after the software is completed, and most of the time the documentation is of poor quality.

    7.2 Using HyperText technology

    Carlson (1988) predicts that hypertext will take an important role in future, and even in present, on-line documentation systems development. She describes this as follows:

    Horton (1990) provides us with a number of advantages and disadvantages of hypertext as on-line software user documentation. Next to that he indicates where hypertext eventually could be used. The advantages of hypertext are:
    The disadvantages according to Horton are:
    Next Horton provides us with a number of situations in which hypertext can be used. It is open whether or not these situation are specifically applicable to on-line user software documentation. The situation that Horton mentions are:

    7.3 CD-ROM as storage medium

    In the future on-line documentation, either for the software user or for other goals, probably will get larger. Brockmann (1990) predicts this because of two reasons. First, with the help of large-scale digital storage means like CD-ROM, data can be distributed more cheaply than on paper. Second, the demand for for customized and accurate user documentation of software products grows continues. The large storage capacity and the small package of the CD-ROM are the advantages that will take care that a lot of documentation is going to be put on this data carrier (Rubens & Krull, 1985; Brockmann, 1990).
    The use of CD-ROM for storing data has its consequences as well. Wilson (1985) indicates that:

    Wilson (1985) and Turner (1985) as well see manuals and instructional programs as part of the main application areas of CD-ROM. Horton (1990) expects that all documents finally will go on-line and computers will grow more like books. He does not indicate if the storage medium is going to be the CD-ROM. Houghton-Alico (1985) is as well convinced that most of the on-line software user documentation will go on-line, but nevertheless paper-based documentation will not disappear:

    8. Discussion

    In this literature review an answer on the question: 'What precisely is on-line software user documentation?', has been found. To find an all-embracing answer it was first indicated what on-line documentation is, next the different types of on-line documentation were analyzed, and finally the different types of user were indicated.
    This has lead to a precise description of what on-line software user documentation is and a classification in which it is determined what types of on-line software user documentation are suitable for what type of user.
    Further some attention has been paid to future developments, which are perhaps already taking place. These developments, indicated in the previous chapter, do need some further analysis.
    Finally it seems that certain advantages of on-line documentation are at the same time disadvantages. It would be interesting to know if these advantage or of greater importance


    Brockmann, R.J. Writing Better Computer User Documentation, form Paper to Hypertext. New York: John Willey & Sons, 1990.

    Carlson, P.A. 'Hypertext: A Way of Incorporating User Feedback into On-line Documentation'. In: Text, ConText and HyperText : Writing with and for the Computer. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1988, pp. 93-110.

    Cohen, G. & Cunningham, D.H. Creating Technical Manuals. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984.

    Crandall, J.A. How to write tutorial documentation. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1987

    Foehr, T. & Cross, T. B. The soft side of software. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1986.

    Grice, R. A. 'Information Development Is Part of Product Development - Not an Afterthought'. In: Text, ConText and HyperText : Writing with and for the Computer. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1988, pp. 133-148.

    Horton, W. K. Designing and Writing On-line Documentation, HelpFiles to Hypertext. New York: John Willey & Sons, 1990.

    Houghton-Alico, D. Creating Computer Software User Guides. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985.

    IEEE Standard for Software User Documentation. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. New York, 1988.

    Kearsley, G. On-line Help Systems, design and implementation. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1988.

    Min, F.B.M. 'Parallel Instruction: a Theory for Educational Computer Simulation'. In: Interactive Learning International, 8 (1992) no. 3, p177-183.

    Price, J. How to write a computer manual. California: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, 1984.

    Price, J. 'Creating a Style for On-line Help.' In: Text, ConText and HyperText : Writing with and for the Computer. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1988, pp. 329-342.

    Rubens, P. & Krull, R. 'Designing On-line Information'. In: Text, ConText and HyperText : Writing with and for the Computer. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1988, pp. 291-310.

    Schneider, M.L. 'Models for The Design Of Static Software User Assistance.' In: Directions in Human/Computer Interaction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1982, pp 137-148.

    Shirk, H. Nickels. 'Technical Writers as Computer Scientists:The Challenges of On-line Documentation.' In: Text, ConText and HyperText : Writing with and for the Computer. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1988, pp. 311-327.

    Shneiderman, B. Designing the User Interface: Strategies for effective Human-Computer Interaction. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1987.

    Turner, S. 'CDROM - here 's the solution, now what 's the problem?' In: Electronic Publishing, Corporate and Commercial Publishing. International Conference Proceedings. Londen, 1985, pp. 123-128.

    Wilson, W. 'Implication of CDROM for electronic publishers.' In: Electronic Publishing, Corporate and Commercial Publishing. International Conference Proceedings. Londen, 1985, pp. 129-136.