Looking for a pattern or guideline that will present an option to a mobile app user with an affordance to get some user assistance if there is no activity detected after a short time.

I've looked at the Kairos UI pattern, but I am wondering about community thoughts on how a user coming to a mobile UI and then being stuck (yes, I know, but fixing UI isn't option) might be best presented with a personal assistant popup that says" Hey you look like you need some help, try this..."

REF: http://ui-patterns.com/patterns/Kairos

  • 1
    "but fixing UI isn't option" – why not? Genuinely curious here. Is it an age-group/accessibility thing? My answer would be to add one line descriptions for every choice that outlines the "impact" of the choice, like "enable 2FA for better security" or "Add your location, for suggested places to visit near you". Emphasize the benefit & impact while making sure we don't get into "dark UX" territory Dec 22, 2020 at 11:40
  • I am unclear how this answers how a user might be best presented with a personal assistant popup that says" Hey you look like you need some help, try this..."
    – Ultan
    Dec 22, 2020 at 16:03
  • IMO if the UI isn't clear enough for the user, then the solution is to either simplify the UI or add helpful descriptions to them by default (not conditionally based on time or something). Ask yourself: what could the user be confused about? And then add something (an explanation or hint) to each section where the confusion arises. I'm not writing an "Answer" instead of a comment here because I don't understand where you would potentially need this pattern. (I'm not super experienced.) Dec 24, 2020 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


I haven't heard of the Kairos UI pattern before, but it seems to be a generic problem that has context specific solutions.

I think any type of 'customized' help or personal assistant works when there is some amount of usage data available already, but it might be hard for a new user.

One thing that you can do to avoid having to resort to this pattern would be to have some onboarding process or interaction (e.g. chalk marks to highlight potential features of interest or a walkthrough) so that the user isn't left wondering what to do next or what they can do.

Another layer of UI design that can be added to avoid this issue is to have good default or sensible empty states designed to drive the user to a particular call-to-action.

If you find that these additional layers of design doesn't help, or that they will still end up being stuck, then I think for new users you can certainly consider triggering a personal assistant to pop-up (I would make it appear sooner rather than later), but allow it to be dismissed or triggered at a later time so it doesn't become annoying to the user.

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