Projects/Usability/HIG/HelpSystem

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Purpose

The help system should be used as a secondary mechanism to support users’ complete and better understanding of tasks — the primary mechanism should be the user interface itself. Users consult the help system only if they can't accomplish a task with the UI.

Examples

Guidelines

Try to make Help unnecessary in the first place:

  • Make common tasks easy to discover and perform.
  • Provide clear main instructions as well as concise control labels that are goal- and task-oriented.
  • Provide supplemental instructions and explanations where needed.
  • Avoid problems by using controls constrained to valid choices, providing suitable default values, handling all input formats, and preventing errors.
  • Write error messages that provide a clear solution or action for the user to take.
  • Usually, the help system is activated by F1 respectively Ctrl+F1 for context sensitive information and via menu.

Implementation


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