The 10thusability heuristicstates:

Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user’s task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.

网站和应用程序可以提供两种类型的帮助:主动和反应。Proactive help在用户遇到问题之前提供,以防止问题。这包括船上的教程和上下文提示。相比之下,反应帮助includes materials such as documentation, videos, or even tutorials for those situations when users have an issue and they seek out advice to address it. (Even though some users may consume such materials proactively, it is rare that they do so.)

这两种类型的界面有助于主动和反应。Proactive help can be further divided into two categories of push and pull revelations.

Proactive Help

主动帮助的目标是熟悉界面的用户。Proactive help often occurs in three scenarios:

  1. New users at first launch of an interface
  2. Novice users as they gain proficiency with an interface (this happens over time and is most relevant for complex applications)
  3. 遇到新的或重新设计的接口的现有用户

Proactive help can be implemented through教程,instructional overlays, templates, contextual help,工具提示, 和奇才


Push and Pull Revelations: Two Types of Proactive Help

主动帮助有两种形式,推动启示s and pull revelations. The difference between these relies on whether they are individualized to the user’s context and likely to be related to the current user goal.




AddEvent pushed a tutorial on new users
Addevent,Calendar事件工具,提示新用户选择接口的教程。此推送启示与跳过教程的选项适当配对。但是,即使用户与本教程从事,他们也会发现它太基本!创建事件的说明可能是不必要的,因为系统遵循 设计标准 and is aligned with traditionalmental models如何创建日历事件。提供基本信息作为主动帮助的接口部分是用户跳过推送启示的原因。当用户与它们搞并显示出明显的命令和控制时,他们可能会开始认为所有推动启示 low value and not worth engaging with.

Pull revelations show contextual tips that are relevant to the user’s task. They could appear when the mouse is near corresponding controls or when the user has started a corresponding flow。Implementation methods include tooltips, contextual overlays, or wizards. Pull revelations are less likely to be ignored because they provide timely information to help users accomplish a task.

Microsoft provided valuable help content through a pull revelation
Microsoft Word认识到用户正在恢复并提供提示Seeresume建议from LinkedIn. This is an example of a pull revelation, because it is triggered by the individual user’s behavior, not ‘pushed’ to all users.

Guidance for Providing Proactive Help



Dovetail provided timely help content
Dovetail, a user research platform, provided timely help content when users opened a data page — a pull revelation. This was a better choice than presenting this content as a push revelation (e.g., at login).

推动启示应该很容易忽略(例如,通过解雇它们)。Push revelations stall users from accessing the core interface. Additionally, push revelations can frustrate users that are already familiar with the interface or don’t feel they need help. Anytime you present content in this way, make sure users can skip it.

MindNode pushed a tutorial for first-time users, but allowed them to skip it
MindNode, a visual-mapping mobile app, launched a tutorial for first-time users (a push revelation) and offered an option to skip the tutorial.

Proactive help content should be accessible elsewhere.After engaging and exploring an interface on their own, some users may remember having seen a push revelation that was relevant but that they ignored at the time. This situation is common in complex-application domains. Allow these users to access proactive help content by linking to it from the application’s or site’s UI.

iOS provided tips in the form of push and pull revelations, depending on the context
iOS提供帮助内容(标记为尖端) for interface and system changes. These tips were presented as proactive help (both pull and push revelations depending on the context), but could also be accessed in the iOS尖端app (which is preloaded on iPhones).

Reactive Help

Reactive help is provided in response to the user encountering a problem.The goal of reactive help is to answer questions, troubleshoot user problems, or provide detailed documentation and materials for people who want to become专家用户Reactive help comes asfrequently asked questions, technical documentation or tutorials, or training modules.

Guidance for Providing Reactive Help

Ensure reactive-help documentation is comprehensive and detailed.不包括明显的信息。如果用户正在查看您的常见问题解答,培训手册,系统文档或任何类似的东西,他们并不是为了娱乐。他们需要帮助一些东西,并且可能想要详细说明。像这样的文档不应仅提供高级概述,但该内容在页面顶部有保证。

Material design provided expansive technical documentation
Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit documentation was sometimes vague and did not provide descriptions of mentioned designs. In this case, the documentation mentioned visual cues like ‘proximity light’ and ‘compressing cage’ but failed to define these patterns, how they could be implemented, or link to further details.
Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit documentation was sometimes vague and did not provide descriptions of mentioned designs. In this case, the documentation mentioned visual cues like ‘proximity light’ and ‘compressing cage’ but failed to define these patterns, how they could be implemented, or link to further details.

Support scanning by using the rules ofwriting for the web块内容, create a clear视觉层次结构,突出显示关键字,并使用项目符号或编号列表。当用户到达您的帮助页面时,他们可能会急于解决问题。即使他们只是在浏览,阅读您的内容也不是主要优先级 - 他们希望他们感兴趣的信息。

The support pages for Figma, a prototyping tool, were easy to scan: they had clear headings and numbered lists.
The support pages for Birds of Northern Europe, an iOS app, were hard to scan. Instructions were written in paragraph form rather than numbered lists.

Consider using图形和视频as a secondary information source.复杂互动,可视化方法可以帮助用户better understand and mimic instructions. Still offer text-based help, as people aren’t always able to (or want to) watch videos.

Oculus offered video and text-based instructions
Oculus provided video and text-based instructions on how to set up virtual-reality boundaries.
除了视频教程之外,Dyson还没有提供文本指令。Though captions are available in the video, listing the instructions on the page would increase visibility of the content and decrease the interaction cost

优化搜索。When users need immediate help for a specific issue, they need a tool to find it fast. Ensure that your search capabilities are fully functional and provide relevant results.

TeamDesk offered relevant documentation for search results
Teamdesk, an online database, provided relevant documentation search results and supported scanning 通过在整个结果清单页面上突出显示搜索关键字。

TheSupportpage for Netvue, a surveillance-camera manufacturer, had no visible search box.

Group help topics into relevant categories。用户可能会浏览您的文档,寻找某些类型的帮助,可以围绕体验级别或特定主题旋转。帮助用户通过对产品进行分类来确定满足其需求的内容。

AirBrush,IOS照片编辑应用程序,提供了GIF教程,但未能提供任何分类。该应用程序在单滚动视图中提供了20+ GIF教程,没有标题或分组。

Highlight top content that is frequently viewed.如果您有很多支持和帮助内容,请通过突出相关方面,帮助您的用户查找所需的内容。例如,您可能会突出流行的文章或培训模块,高manbetx官网手机登陆social proof(如强烈推荐或大部分观看)。

For various support categories, Nintendo provided a list of top articles.


Help and documentation are an important element of user experience. They are often necessary, but rarely fun. In general, users don’t like to read, and they particularly don’t like to read instructions. But any kind of trouble in the interaction is also a learning opportunity for the user and thus an opportunity for the designer to impact information and grow the user’s mental model in ways that would not have happened without the impetus of this trouble. Anticipate when your users will need help and provide relevant information that will support them in accomplishing their goal. Supplement your proactive help with a documentation repository that users can refer to as needed. And remember to keep help content brief, to the point, and easy to scan.