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10

I would call it an Inline Help Box which can take many forms and shapes. Take a look at UI Patterns: Inline Help Box, where they explain the following: Use to gently introduce functionality to the new and untrained user. ...which is exactly what "How to format" in your screenshot is meant to do.


7

People don't read. The best help is no help. Of course to do that, you need to put a ton of time and work into the UX. So, assuming you do need help, I'd suggest the best would be context sensitive help that can link to your web site with the latest up-to-date help information. You'd publish help as HTML, saving you from proprietary CHM production ...


7

As others said, you should look into generating HTML files that you ship with your product for help. One of our products (used in an environment without internet access) has been doing this for years and many users prefer it to the PDFs we also ship because the navigation is easier, the content lays itself out to fit the browser window, and the chunk size ...


5

If I'm sitting down to play a game, one thing I don't want to do is read instructions. Console games don't even come with printed manuals anymore, and users are going to expect a much bigger time investment than with a web game probably. What I do want to do is: play the game. I would recommend against a video for new users - you're asking them to make a ...


5

I think the term "tour" is more typical than "walk-through", as in "Take a tour of our features." Using the phrase "Get Started" is very recognizable as well. The phrase or term that you choose depends on what functionality the user will be walked through: If they will be completing something during the guided tour, then you should use "wizard" as ...


5

If UI space is your issue, why not take inspiration from Jelly Bean's own minimal, and familiar, carousel indicator?


4

Including a "new user experience" option is fairly common for many many applications. I have often recommended showing a message like you described upon first use, and even having the message linger for a few weeks. If you include an option "do not show this message again" at the bottom of the notification, you can prevent the message from becoming ...


4

It isn't redundant. It's a function people already use on a regular basis. Don't over-think it. People are used to slide to the right, and people are used to see bullets on how far they have progressed. If you truly think it's redundant, than I would ditch the carousel, since I believe it's better suited for navigating to different destinations in your app ...


4

A tutorial which users can leave at any time and come back to is your best option. Demo values will only confuse users if the values aren't accurate. But, in a tutorial-wizard like manor you should show all the options, with demo values and a demo user. This way you introduce the features of the site, and your user will quickly get up to speed of what they ...


3

Depending on the type and complexity of the game, you might be better served observing someone use your game for the first time and taking note of what confuses and frustrates them. Then, concentrate on making those interface elements or tasks more obvious through succinct labeling, hover tips, visual contrast, and movement. Then, test again. Making a ...


3

There isn't One True Term but I would say "walk-through" is more apt for what you are describing. A wizard will guide a user through a series of actions to achieve a desired outcome. It is active. A walk-through will be a quick overview of the system, a feature, etc. It is passive. A tutorial is an overarching term for a guide intending to teach the user. ...


3

PDF is a bad option: it's page oriented, which sucks for on-screen reading. PDF makes you choose between unreadably small and lots of scrolling. Search is terribly slow to handle in comparison to anything else Some people react strongly negative to some products associated with PDF. Imagine an Aggrobat hater in acompany with a very strict IT policy PDF is ...


3

For automatic generation of technical documentation you can use XML publishing formats such as Docbook or DITA. In particular, DITA is capable of generating PDF, CHM, RTF, and HTML. I have used the Serna Free editor which provides good visual editing support (WYSIWYG) for DITA in order to reduce the XML specifics. However, technical documentation is not ...


3

Interesting question and I'll be very interested to see what others have to say as well. With regards to video tutorials, an usablity study found that, most new users prefered watching the video tutorials as opposed to scanning the text.To quote the article Only a few of the users read the help. Most just watched the videos. Keep in mind that all of ...


2

A key question you have to answer is whether you want to offer separated help or a context-sensitive help mechanism. One, t'other or both will probably affect your choice of tool. Regardless of what you think of them, Adobe generally have pretty good help mechanisms within their application. From what I can see, they're bespoke alternatives to CHM, but seem ...


2

On the sketching front I would particularly recommend: Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam I also find myself largely agreeing with http://konigi.com/book/sketch-book However the absolute best way of improving is just that tedious process of practice ;-) A couple of years back I filled a couple of notebooks with a ...


2

There's the book Mobile Design Pattern Gallery with a section dedicated to the first time user experience, which the author Theresa Neil calls "invitations". She identifies 6 common patterns: dialog, tip, tour, demo, transparency, embedded, persistent, and discoverable. They are all summarized in an article on UX Booth. If your app is rather complicated, ...


2

Inline hints about something new are nice. The good ones don't get in the way, but provide an entry into an explanation of what has changed. The important thing is, no matter how you want to present your information, I need to be in control of when and where I dig into it. Your changes may not affect what I'm trying to do right now, I might be in a hurry, ...


2

I think a very good way of doing this is by means of an invite to users to try a new feature. By presenting your feature as a new thing that you would like to invite your users to try you make it more tempting while also providing the user with the opportunity to leave things as they are if they are satisfied with the current website. By it's very nature an ...


2

I think you have several options depending on what your website/application is and does. Depending on your web application, you can implement sandboxing or a tutorial. Sandbox If your application is intended for users to fiddle around, then probably the best way to teach users how to use your application is by creating a safe environment that they can ...


2

As a WP8 user, I feel this is not consistent with tutorials that I have seen before (namely Nokia apps). Why don't you show this welcome screen with an arrow to the right in the center and the user would swipe through the screens (especially that it's linear). The user would swipe through the different screens and when (s)he reaches the final one it'll ...


1

'Traditional' webpages follow the transactional model. searching for cheese buying a book booking a hotel room As web technologies have advanced, experiences are being created where the users transaction is very broad (e.g. tutorial on learning how to use a website) and they move towards the imersive model. Some principles to follow: Visibility of ...


1

I agree with Benny’s suggestion about a tutorial that can be accessed at any time.  Consider also an interface like the StackExchange login window, where dummy values/hints/prompts (such as “name@example.com” and “Password”) are displayed in gray letters that disappear as soon as the user clicks there (or as soon as he starts typing).


1

I do not know what you want to do however, you should focus on the scenario of what you want to show. I think that the video should be divided by actions rather than screen sizes. In which actions do you think that the user wants to use mobile screen view? In which actions do you think that the user wants to use desktop view? After designing your ...


1

The video/tutorial content should be specific to user's context. So for a smartphone breakpoint, the tutorial should reflect the smartphone interface and so on. The idea of help/tutorial is to give answers to the user and if the user has to translate it from one breakpoint to another, it put much more cognitive load on them.


1

Long processes can be overwhelming for a user. I have done a lot of lab testing around this and have found that breaking setups up into chunks of information delivers small wins for the user. It gives them a sense of immediate progress.


1

If the updates are regular, I'd keep it really low profile. It is very annoying to be forced to go through a "what's new" every time something changed, when all you wanted to do is quickly get something done using the application, that might not even have changed significantly recently. What you might try - and I never saw or tested this - is trying to ...


1

Since you have mentioned partial updates are regular, you could have info nudges on those pages where the interface has changed. This could be something like a little curtain with a message informing that things have changed on this page and the user could be given an option to lean more. Once you are in the learn more, you could have a modal popup ...


1

How about a good old plain and simple x/5 or x of 5 after the heading? I.e. referencing your screenshot, it could say ...ategories 2/5 ______ Featured 3/5 ______ Top ..., and so on. This way, you communicate the progress, the overall page count, nor do you have to sacrifice the screenspace a clickable-sized controll would require to be usable. However, the ...


1

I'm going to bet that you've already found a ton of good resources to read about that explain how to do design and follow design processes. I think your best bet of improving your actual design skills, though, is by actually doing design work. It might be worthwhile for you to just pick up some "throwaway" or "do it just because" design work, and get real ...



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