What would be the right way to phrase a link in a complex dialog? The link provides information related to the exact meaning of the options and how to use these options. The choices are:

  1. View Documentation (link) to find out more about using Feature-X
  2. Here's more Help (link) to find out more about using Feature-X

Option-2 appears to be more proactive to me in terms of the system caring about the end-user whereas Option-1 seems to be an off-hand approach. Any suggestions?


In my mind "documentation" is more of a in-depth reference and more formal while "help" is more informal, concise and context specific. This is just a general rule and many forms documentation fall somewhere in between those extremes. So if you would characterize the doc/help as more formal and in-depth I'd say "documentation" but if it's informal and concise I'd say "help".

  • I do like the distinction between formal and informal ways to provide guidance and word the accordingly. Thanks. – anil Jan 10 '13 at 23:46

Help is what you are looking for because it is supposed to quickly solve your problem. With documentation I assotiate a lot of text to read that does not solve my problem.

  • Both are links. Which is better? View Help or View Documentation? – anil Jan 10 '13 at 21:59
  • Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I would say help is better, because help is what you need. Documentation is assotiated with a lot of text you have to read without finding what you are looking for. – Oliver Jan 10 '13 at 22:14

I would argue that View Help is better because more people knows what Help really means and it most likely fits the mental model of what they are trying to achieve by clicking it.


If your app is a business app, then simply underline the phrase or word and whenever user hovers on it then show a tool-tip "Click to know more about Feature-X".

Reason: For someone who is going to use this application on daily basis, he doesn't need to be told every time how he can use help.

If it is a consumer app, then also underline the phrase or word but this time simply explain the feature in brief in the tool-tip "Feature is ..... more (link to faq) dismiss (to not to show this tool-tip again)".

Reason: User is more likely to forget the meaning of this phrase and may not want to leave the page also, so give the info right away. But also give an option to user so that he can choose not to see the info again.

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