Develop Guidelines for Testing

Before you begin testing, consider doing the following:

  • Create a test plan tailored to your help file or Web site that describes what needs to be tested and the methods you should use. If several people are testing, a test plan ensures consistency.
  • Make sure all the testers are running the same version of the help file and, if the help file is related to a program, the same version of the program.
  • Devise a method for reporting and tracking bugs until they are fixed. The bug report should be clear and complete so that it is useful to the help author who will have to fix the problem. Ideally, the bug report should contain information about the help file and topic affected, a description of the problem, and the steps required to reproduce the problem.

You might also want to ask someone who is unfamiliar with your help file and product to act as a sample user and help you test your help file. Ask the user to find information about particular tasks, to use the Index, Contents, and Search tabs to find information, or to read through overviews. If the user has difficulty using a part of your help file, rework it and try again.

Related topics

Develop a Process for Testing Help Files