Interactive models in online help

16 February 2015

With the introduction of the eSTEM platform for publishing business models on the web, it has never been easier to get a planning or costing calculator in front of your audience.

Similarly, the new online help resource, published to coincide with the recent release of STEM 7.4, provides comprehensive documentation of the STEM solution anywhere, anytime, even if you are just looking for information ahead of a more detailed evaluation or purchase of the system.

Now we are building on these foundations to enrich the online help with a series of interactive help models which will bring to life modelling examples and figures in the Model features section of the help.

This is going to be an incremental task in the coming year: we are starting with the publication of ten examples for your immediate interest/benefit and would welcome your comments and suggestions to inform or further improve the general approach as we work through the rest of the programme.

Model features explained

Using a well-established structure, the features section includes alphabetical listings of all system inputs and outputs, complete with description and definition, cross-referenced to a comprehensive set of feature topics which explain in detail each of the STEM algorithms and how the various inputs relate to the outputs.

Figure 1: Existing structure of the Model features section

Modelling examples brought to life

Now we will be adding a ‘cluster’ of help models, each linked from the relevant feature (or specific example within a feature), and cross-linked back to the original location for ease of navigation.

As a chapter in its own right, it will also be easy (and more fun?) to flick back and forth directly between different models, allowing for the ‘random discovery mode’ more often associated with traditional printed manuals.

Figure 2: Parallel navigation of model features and associated interactive help models

The first of the new help models is illustrated below and you can click through the image to access the live model now.

Figure 3: Illustration of a live interactive help model

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