About us RCL 20 Projects Colour Selector Library
Paola Kathuria
Frank Wales
Clients with several projects
Oxford University Press (1997-2005)
Redesign of OED Online
Redesign of OED marketing site
General & technical consultancy
Redesign of OED Online Help
OED Online Tour
OED marketing site
OED Online prototype
@ Limitless Innovations (2000-2003)
Berry Bros. & Rudd
One World Telecom
Scott Morrison Photography
Gratis & personal projects
Paolability Jewellery
Windsor Half Marathon
Psychology of Programming Interest Group
InetUK Usenet FAQ
Other sites by Paola
@ Limitless (1995-1999)
SilverPlatter Health & Safety Publishing
Institute of Physics Publishing
EU & UK ISP surveys
New Millennium Experience
Moorfields Eye Hospital
Ace Records
Embassy of Japan
Reuters Insurance Information Services
IBM Global Networks
Barclays Bank BarclayNet
Sainsbury's Wine Direct
@ Zengrange (1984-1990)
HP-41 Emulator for HP-48
Technical services

Redesign of OED Online Help ~ Oxford University Press

Paola Kathuria


Original Help   Redesigned Help
[Original help] [Redesigned help]
Original Help Redesigned Help

As part of the beta review of OED Online in January 2000, we noted that the Help pages were neither in the same style, nor of the same quality, as the rest of the web site.

We made a number of suggestions and illustrated them with a couple of mocked-up pages; OUP then asked us to apply most of our suggestions to the 43-page help system.

The original version of the Help pages supporting OED Online did not make use of frames, even though OED Online itself did. We therefore converted the 45 Help pages to a frame-based format; she set frames up in the same proportions as the main web site and adopted the right-hand index style of the Tour for the Help Contents.

We also adopted the style of page heading from the Tour to Help. After applying the rest of the existing house style to pages, we then created a consistent style for key page elements, such as headings, information panels, and lists of links to related Help pages, while maintaining the brand colours of yellow, red, green and blue. Text style was implemented in CSS and an external stylesheet.

The Help Contents were moved to a permanent frame on the right-hand side and the A-Z Help Index was available in the bottom frame. The original A-Z index had gaps in. We felt that the index should include the whole alphabet and show letters in an "unclickable" style if there weren't any relevant pages.

[Original A-Z index]

Original A-Z Help Index

[Redesigned A-Z index]

Redesigned A-Z Help Index

The new approach maximised access to the Help Contents and Index whilst making the system easier to maintain because of the use of frames and CSS with the external stylesheet. We provided a template to use when creating new Help pages.

The help pages were later integrated into the Oxford English Dictionary web site when we redesigned it in 2003.