Reading Usable Help
@UsableHelp on Twitter
Gordon R. Meyer
A look at Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps
It has taken four years since the debut of iPhone, but there is finally a useful guide for technical writers who need to quickly get started with onscreen documentation for mobile devices. In short, if you're tasked with providing user assistance for mobile apps, you'll find that Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps is a very valuable resource.
It's appropriate that Joe Welinske wrote this book. After all, he's a co-author of a landmark book about onscreen help and he heads up WritersUA, a company dedicated to assisting technical writers perform their best work.
The first half of the book provides an overview of the current state of user assistance on mobile devices. This close examination establishes conventions, best practices, and general problem-solving techniques for the challenging requirements of delivering usable help for the mobile environment.
The rest of the book provides specific, helpful details about creating deliverables for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile devices. Even if you consider yourself conversant with these platforms, these sections will save you hours of research and hassle in setting up a working environment.
Welinske's attempt to establish terminology, process, and standard approaches is laudable. Apps and mobile technology are rapidly changing, and by self-publishing this book in print and ePub editions he'll be able keep it up-to-date. In addition to purchasing options, the book's website offers online versions of the many helpful resources that he references in the text.