Increased detail and explanation for users to gain understanding on certain topics.

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30
votes
12answers
3k views

Hover over a disabled item to know why it's disabled. What do you think?

How many times did you use a desktop app or an online page and you come across one or more menu items which are disabled and you have no idea why its disabled. Using help or documentation is of no ...
23
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Multiplication sign, using '*' or 'x'

In Mathematics, the operator provide on keyboard is quite clear for addition, subtraction and divide as the follow + - / The multiplication * might be familiar as the multiplication for programmer ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
710 views

Discovering new features

I work with a web-based platform with lots of data and various tools to view the data, perform analysis. Users are often impressed by one or two features and stick with them. The platform adds new ...
16
votes
5answers
647 views

Is it a good idea to add tooltip to some text that says exactly the same?

Having tooltips on icons and images is understandable and the same goes for small pieces of links where tooltips may elaborate to the user what that particular link would do. Sometimes, however, ...
15
votes
1answer
413 views

Is the question mark “?” internationally recognised as an icon for help?

I'm looking to use "?" as my help button icon in a desktop application but I'm unsure how universally recognisable this will be. I can localise this for different culture if necessary. Any ideas?
14
votes
2answers
301 views

Does an “Other” category on a Help page have any value?

When designing a Help page or FAQ that is broken down into categories, is a category titled "Other" useful, or does it indicate a poor information architecture? Sometimes there are truly items that ...
13
votes
8answers
787 views

Are 'hints' or 'tips' popups a good idea?

I have a popup that will show every time the user navigates through different sections of the website, with hints like 'how to find feature X'. The popup can be disabled by clicking in a checkbox. I ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Float Label Pattern for Select Boxes

I'm sure you've all come across this pattern, does anyone know whether there is any documentation that can provide information on how this pattern can be used with other form elements for example a ...
12
votes
5answers
268 views

Providing two versions of --help

I'm thinking of providing two versions of help message for my command-line programs (cmd --help). The first one is the short version and the one users consult more often, mostly for examples and the ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Where should form instructions or hints be placed?

I was browsing Forrst and came about a screenshot of a form designed with Twitter Bootstrap that had the label on the left, the input field on the right, and the instruction that it's required under ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

What are some examples of well-designed website tutorial/help systems? [closed]

Background My company is starting to do some long overdue work on our online help/tutorial system, and the goal is to make it more lively, integrated, and interactive. We have a large database of ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is the “Help” feature really helping?

Almost all apps/sites have a feature 'help' regardless of type and subject of the app/site. I have rarely seen people using the same for their benefit. I would want to know if it's worth putting the ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

What's the best way to create screenshots with callouts to show features of a program?

I'm redesigning a website for a downloadable app. I'd like to create a Tour of the features which has screenshots pointing out how to use it. What are the best tools for doing this? For bonus ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Which type of help system is best?

At my company we create Windows based desktop applications. In the past, we have created .chm files for our help documentation and have been happy with it. We have now been faced with some issues ...
9
votes
6answers
6k views

Best way to display large amounts of user data on a single page?

I've been searching around for some related posts, but I haven't really found anything that has been a lot of help. I've found a few posts that might help generate some ideas. Here is what I'm ...
9
votes
2answers
343 views

What's the best term to refer to the pointy part of a comic-book-style balloon UI element?

In discussing balloon-ish UI elements, I've described the pointy part as 'points', 'arrows' or 'spikes', and that seems to get the idea across to many people alright... but I find myself falling ...
9
votes
4answers
722 views

Is it still preferred/acceptable to right-align the Help menu in Windows applications?

Back when I first learned Windows GUI programming, it seemed very common to right-align the Help menu in applications. It seems this is no longer the norm in all of the Windows applications I ...
8
votes
4answers
391 views

Built in user guides

I want my web application to be self-explanatory. There are input fields and whole pages which need some paragraphs of explanation. How to integrate these user guides to my application? How to make ...
8
votes
6answers
589 views

Best way to communicate an abstract app concept such as a 'workspace' to users

The issue I'm struggling with is fairly specific, but it touches on a general UX topic, which is how to help users grasp some abstract app concept, such as some information organization or structuring ...
7
votes
5answers
412 views

Help panels inside application

Are there good UX reasons for not putting a "help panel" within a web application? (one that can be shown or hidden). Most applications open help in a different browser tab. I'm thinking of just ...
7
votes
5answers
247 views

How to lay out a screen with dozens of fields and have help for each

We have a screen that has a form that gathers a lot of input. Many of the terms and questions are confusing so we have help for them. We are trying to put a little (?) help icon for each line. We ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

UI best practices for FAQ-style presentation

The web application I'm working on has a few pages where a list of questions and their answers will be displayed. All pages have the questions grouped into overall headings (which the users will be ...
7
votes
3answers
167 views

Form prompts inside form fields always wrong?

I've noticed in the edit-profile form on UX Stack Exchange a weird prompt with an important message - the date format. Personally I would consider it terribly wrong (force to memorize data format, ...
6
votes
3answers
361 views

guidelines for creating videos to demonstrate a web application's functionality to end user

In a previous question, a person asked: what are the Best/Standard Practices for Creating & Building Help Files for End User? My question is related, but already assumes that offering videos for ...
6
votes
2answers
356 views

When is the appropriate time to use the “i” icon in an app?

I am currently debating if: The "i" icon should only be used when the target page\view only displays additional information. (help text, credits, about, terms & conditions, etc.) The "i" icon ...
6
votes
3answers
148 views

If users encounter an error in an on-line/web process, typically what proportion actually complain?

Does anyone have any statistics or considered estimation on the proportion of users that contact a web site to inform/complain that an on-line process that they attempted failed? Further, does it ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

how should help text be written

I have a fairly large CRM-type Sass application for which I writing the help section. I'm wondering how should the help be best written: 1) When you press the blue button, you will do something cool ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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
266 views

How Many Screenshots Are Too Many

At what point am I offering too many screenshots? I am working a redesign of my company's help guides - these guides are mostly centered around our hosted mail services. How to set up Outlook, set up ...
5
votes
3answers
177 views

Is it necessary to include an interface's “hidden functions” in the manual / help?

Background A well designed interface allows any type of user, beginner, advanced, or expert, to achieve their objective quickly. In most cases, help information contains the description of elements ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Best/Standard Practices for Creating & Building Help Files for End User

Anybody know of any best or standard practices for creating help files/guide for software for the help of the end user? This is a software that has many features and options where the user would need ...
5
votes
4answers
277 views

Version Control for Help Files

What is the best way to have version control when creating complex help files with new updates and versions coming out quarterly or so? How does one best go about versioning the Help file? ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

Is an Apple Help Book the way to go?

I'm getting ready to release an app onto the Mac Appstore and am in need of some advice. The app is really very simple but I'm thinking about adding a quick tutorial. Would I be better off creating ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

Examples of online help for hands-on physical hardware components rather than software? [closed]

Almost all online help (OLH) "best practices" and solutions seem designed exclusively for software and assume that the tasks will be performed directly on a computer. Now, what about help for field ...
4
votes
3answers
887 views

Best position of a help icon in textarea

What is the best position of a help icon in a textarea? here is my idea but this position could have a chance that the user will already be done typing in their text before seeing this icon. ...
4
votes
3answers
140 views

When should you start working on help documentation on a large project?

I'm involved in a massive project that is turning 70+ antiquated systems into one system for a large company. The whole team and the executives at the company realize that this is a huge undertaking ...
4
votes
3answers
926 views

Are there any standards on when to use placeholder text vs. tooltips?

To assist an user entering some data in an <input> field, we're planning to provide tooltips and placeholder. Wanted to understand the guidelines and standards on 'when' to use placeholder vs. ...
4
votes
4answers
212 views

Taking payment from a card, how much help is needed?

I've noticed more recently the reduced amount of hints and help on card payment forms. Some are only offering help for CV2 code (the 3 digit one on the back). My question is... Has payment ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Providing in App help on iPad apps

We are building a Teacher app that has many functionalities and we want to add in-app help. Something interactive, contextual or otherwise. Which sort of in-app help should I use? Here is the app, ...
4
votes
3answers
298 views

Which is the better user experience for a web app: an integrated support ticket module or a separate app?

I am building a new web app which hopefully will be subscription based, and I am wondering what will be better: to develop a quick ticket module or redirect user to separate knowledgebase / ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

How should a CLI tool, that requires arguments, handle being called without arguments?

Context N.B. Herein, the terms "tool", "application", and "program" are used interchangeably. This question is not concerned with CLI tools that are intended to be useful when called without ...
4
votes
3answers
210 views

What is the preferred way of creating a help section for applications?

I'm wondering if there is a modern and preferred approach of the manual format from the standpoint of users. I thought about making a CHM file but my manager told me that feels very "Windows 98ish" ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Best uses of ? (help) and i (information) icons in UI

What are the best standards of usage for the help and information icons? (I'm unable to post an image because I am a new user, but the icons are either a ? or an i in a circle, most commonly) The ...
4
votes
1answer
752 views

A use case for popups?

I had always believed that popups, opening in new browser windows, were bad practice for various reasons including: Breaking the flow, bad for accessibility, potential to hide content etc. While ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

CVV “What is this?” help dialog - still necessary?

Many online shopping carts have a "What is this?" help dialog attached to a CVV input field. Here is an example from Paypal: My assumption is that more people are familiar with online shopping, ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

What is the value of FAQs on a product website?

I am re-designing a product site, and the client insists on having a FAQs section. I originally placed it in an area of low prominence on the site, but now the client is questioning it. What is the ...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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
186 views

Which is more usable FAQ or Help documentation?

Which is more usable FAQ or Help documentation for web services? I need to provide contextual help content for each page within the service. Also same content will be re-used in websites. In my ...