Interactive Design Practical Guide Series (iii): Provide timely help

Source: Internet
Author: User
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The operation of any interaction process, for the user has learning costs, no one can guarantee that everyone will be able to walk through a process accurately. It is important for an interaction designer to consider the appropriate help to the user in a timely manner when designing. Timely help refers to the user's use of the process, when needed to be able to get help in a timely manner, on the contrary, without the need for help, do not appear information interference.

Not-so-timely help can cause users to use the process interruption, or to increase the difficulty of users to achieve goals. Invalid help can cause interference to the user, affecting the user to complete the task.

"Timely help" is a biased structure, first of all to help, and then conditioned is timely. Let's split up.

In the ideal interactive design state, we certainly hope that users in the process of "self-taught", but subject to hardware, use of the environment, user levels and other reasons, there is a "teacher" to help users is very necessary.

Han Yu in the "teacher said" in the beginning said: Ancient scholars will have a division. Teacher, so preach bred dispel doubt also. Who is not born, who can be without confusion?

Similarly, our help is similar to the role of preaching.

1. Preaching

Preaching is primarily a theoretical help, telling others what it is, mainly referring to some noun explanations, rule descriptions, and so on.

2. Tuition

Tuition is mainly the help of the operation, tell the user how to do to complete the process. Many of the current operating tips, process diagrams, etc. are part of this category.

3. FAQ

The main problem is to provide solutions when users are puzzled, such as suggestions for user action errors, help tips after a process is completed, and so on.

Then mainly say "timely". This is about when users need help. In general, there are three kinds of situations:

A. The first time a user uses a product feature.

When new users need help when using a product, or when old users are using a new feature, they will feel unfamiliar and overwhelmed by the lack of awareness. At this time help should appear in time, but can not always be forced to appear, should allow users to have the choice of room.

B. When the user has made an error or is about to go wrong.

When the user in the process is not careful with the system now there is a conflict between the rules should be timely reminders, can not let it, to the end of the display of "Sorry, you made a mistake", which may cause users to actively interrupt the process.

C. When a user encounters a problem that they don't understand.

When the user encounters a noun or operation that is not understood, it should give an explanation in time. When the user is aware of the information subject, if necessary, additional instructions should appear in time.

When the above three cases occur, we should take appropriate measures to help the user.

1. The Help information is obvious, the prompt way is flexible.

See Case:

Google Docs new features help information, the first visit, in the obvious form, the user click to close the next will not appear, if you click to remind me later, help information will be temporarily closed, the next visit will appear.

2. Timely feedback operation to prevent user error, analyze the cause of the error, give reasonable suggestions.

See Case:

For help tips on the error page, analyze the reasons why the user might appear, and give some suggestions. Let's take a look at the following negative case.

Users in the process of registration, the user already exists, the input is not prompted, until all the information is filled out after the submission, only pop-up results page, said that the user name has been registered, and then let the user to fill in again. This help is too late, if the registered user to fill out the user name, to detect whether the user name is valid, will not let users feel naught.

3. Timely replenishment, complete information

Then look at the QQ member page, in the opening member of the big button under a "QQ member is what" help information, this help is to let users first in theory to QQ members have a cognitive. Information that the user does not understand gives the path to the answer.

In short, help plays an important role in the effectiveness of the interaction design, and timeliness is an important key point of help. We can use two words together, describe the characteristics of timely help, that is "better than nothing". Only timely and unnecessary help information can better help users, thus completing a "valid" interactive design.

Author: Hi Yin

Article Source: Taobao ued

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