Help dialogues that take the current state of an application interface into account.

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26
votes
8answers
2k views

Do people actually use tooltips?

I know I use them, and my peers use them, but how much does the average user actual use tooltips to figure out functionality?
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Best practices for online help

we're currently developing a fairly complex web portal. To improve the user experience, we want to provide a context-sensitive online help system that can aid the user in understanding certain aspects ...
17
votes
2answers
690 views

What happened to “What's this?” help?

"What's this?" help or context-sensitive help* used to be commonplace in Windows applications a few years ago. Dialog windows had an additional "?" button in the top right, that when clicked, gave you ...
7
votes
4answers
503 views

Context sensitive help for wordy user preferences

Current UI Here is a poorly designed panel on a preferences dialog for the open source audio editor 'Audacity'. I'd like to do something about it. How it got that way In the past the text beside ...
5
votes
2answers
840 views

Context sensitive help - making sure they use it

I want to add a context-sensitive help to my interface. It's a complex of numerous screens and data fields, intended for the trained enterprise user. Following this question and this one about why ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the name for a pattern featuring helper text in a semi-transparent overlay?

I am seeing an emerging design pattern in web apps that is used for helping new users get oriented to a page or application. It consists of showing a diagram with succinct helper-text over a ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is embedded help not popular?

I'm wondering why modern help systems are more passive than active? For example, each good guide through something look like this: So why we don't see this directly on website (service provider), ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Contextual error message

I am designing a new feature for a CMS my company uses. A few things you should know: We have content editors working mainly on adding pages to the system. We have thousands of pages, and no one ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

How to show an item's context in a hierarchy

I'm trying to figure out a way to allow contextual navigation to nearby items in a large hierarchy. For example, say my hierarchy is countries, states, counties and citites. When viewing a county, ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Dynamic help on an already cluttered screen [closed]

One part of our application is providing an analytical display of data on different parts of customer's website, this is achieved by using layover tiles that expand with data on rollover. We would ...