I remember from using 90s and I think also 2000s versions of software, mostly from Microsoft that there would often be a window (like the screenshotted one, although with non-joke advice), that would tell the user about some feature of the program, presumably to aid in discoverability of that feature. I remember this happening in either MS Office or Visual Studio, with the 95/98/2000 UI style. I tried to find better screenshots than this joke, but as I do not know the proper term for this technique I could not do so. In fact, I could find absolutely no information about this whatsoever other than these joke screenshots.

I have three questions:

  1. What is the proper name for this technique? (to facilitate further research)
  2. Why did it fall out of favor?
  3. Is it a good way (meaning effective and not otherwise deliterious, like annoying the user or making them feel talked down to) of educating users about how to use the software best? / Did it fall out of favor for a good reason? / Is it an anti-pattern?
  • Android Studio does it too.
    – Big_Chair
    Commented Apr 23, 2022 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


What is the proper name for this technique? (to facilitate further research)

Tips and Guider.

Why did it fall out of favor? Blockquote

In my opinion some user avoid this, and skip always, you have costs to do this. Some softwares still in user like Visual Studio, but if your project is not very complex, you can use ux wayfinding to guide your user into the software, making more discoverable. Always thinking in your user and their necessities

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