In short, HATs are software developed help authoring programs employed by technical writers to develop help documents, technical manuals and solutions.
As an example, take any product in today's competitive consumer marketplace world — be it an automobile, a home appliance, computer software or whatever product-type that requires operational instruction, functionality performance or assembly by the consumer — and you'll usually find an easily forgotten "behind-the-scenes" initiative by dedicated professionals that has led to the successful emergence of that product for sale.
Such is the case — and never to be lightly regarded — is the set of user help documentation that typically accompanies the product; with the ultimate goal of maximizing the usage and functionality experience for the buyer, as well as reducing support costs for the producer. Clear and effective user instructions can often make the ultimate difference in buyer appreciation, loyalty and acceptance as it can often "make or break" a product's success.
Days gone by... the past era of sad and frustrating instruction manuals
When a consumer today acquires a new piece of goods, a distinct sign of the commitment and dedication to producing it can often be noted by the included set of operating instructions and general help information.
Up until the resounding success of desktop computers and the Internet, well-laid out documentation writing from a single source was virtually unheard of. Frustration over poorly written and confusing instructions while eagerly trying to use a newly purchased product could often prove to be an agonizing experience for customers. Not so anymore in today's competitive marketing environment as those old standards have significantly changed!
Help Authoring Tools to the rescue!
In any industry actively seeking market share, competition brings out the best in the players competing for superiority, acceptance and economic success. As a result, the end-user consumer ultimately wins.
Such a designation can be attributed to the software developers of Help Authoring Tools. Several versions and variations on these authoring tools have emerged. One of them is HelpNDoc, an innovative software that bills itself as "enjoy documenting" with its user-friendliness to its prospective customers.
Without getting too technical, HATs basically have the ability to create specific reference material by adding it via content generated from different sources. Alternatively, a built-in rich-text editor feature allows the software program creator the latitude of creating his own, unique descriptive information. Anyone who has ever used a Word Processor software — such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice.org, Google Docs, or Apple Pages — can surely relate to the detail and organization potential that such a method offers. An orderly and structured system application such as this is a welcomed and essential tool that can overcome unsatisfied buyers bothered by the complexities of learning how to operate a newly acquired product.
No product is stronger than its weakest link
In summation, it's an accepted given that "nothing is stronger than its weakest link!" This adage certainly applies to the help-intended instructions that accompany most new products. With the ongoing evolution of Help Authoring Tools software, the threat of weak instructional help manuals have been effectively removed from the buyer's ultimate enjoyment experience.