Does the manual help? An examination of the problem solving support offered by manuals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
402 Downloads (Pure)


The paper examines whether manuals provide adequate help for users who are experiencing a problem. First, an outline is given of the main stages in problem solving. This outline offers a broad framework for the two studies of current practice that follow. The first study focuses on the accessibility of help. It examines how often manuals fail to offer the right keywords, and how often they have not marked or have misplaced problem solving information. The main conclusion is that most manuals pose formidable obstacles to accessing help. The second study investigates the main reasons for presenting problem solving information as a regular step, as a skipable action, or as an afterthought. The main finding is that writers or typographers tend to opt for a different design than what is theoretically best
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)146-156
JournalIEEE transactions on professional communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • METIS-135367
  • IR-26716

Cite this