Help and getting started information.


  • Allow browsing content by topic area.
  • Provide effective search.
  • Allow bookmarking, so users can easily return to useful content.
  • Help documentation should integrate with downstream products:
    • Don't expose the word "GNOME", or refer to the system/product in a way that will interfere the identity of downstream products.
    • Allow the integration of downstream support services and sites.
    • Allow the incorporation of downstream docs? (See bug 690058.)

  • Provide access to system and application help.
    • When launched from an app, Help should belong to the app.
    • Help areas should be independent, in order to ensure coherent and intelligible structure/navigation.


  • An overview of all help documentation on the system.

Relevant Art


Chrome OS


What is the relationship between operating system and application help? This is particularly tricky for those applications that are tightly integrated with the rest of the OS, such as Software and Settings.

-- AllanDay

It's interesting to think in terms of a learning curve. The goal is to help users become happy and productive with GNOME. In the beginning, this might require learning basics. Later on, you might want to learn tips and tricks or more advanced topics.

  • The initial page could show that there are more advanced topics.
  • When Help is used for the first time (or when the user closes it), you could show a hint, suggesting that they could come back later.
  • Show which pages have been read? Or perhaps allow them to be manually checked off?
  • Show bookmarks more prominently, particularly on the home page.

-- AllanDay

Downstream distributors and ISVs often distribute documents (Mallard & DocBook XML documents, HTML and PDF files) and install them into a common system-wide documentation directory (normally /usr/share/doc/). what the Fedora Release Notes RPM looks like

Tentative Design

Jon's original mockups

Shaun's mockup from 2012


  • HTML support in Yelp seems to work without major issues (tested on Fedora docs).


See Also

Design/Apps/Help (last edited 2015-07-23 10:17:15 by AllanDay)