Friday, April 28, 2006

Need Some Help with That?

The usability of help...

"One of the special pieces of the Office 2007 user interface is the entry point to the help system.

Unlike in Office 2003, in which there is a Help menu, the main entry point to Help is a single, right-aligned "international help" icon under the caption buttons. It does not change as you switch tabs in the Ribbon, and it remains on the screen even if you collapse the Ribbon.

While this might seem at first blush to be not prevalent enough in the UI, it turns out that this actually works quite well in practice. In the usability tests we've done, 100% of people are able to find Help as easily as they could in previous versions. Despite that it's represented by a single icon, the placement and design of the icon is "right" enough that there's been no drop-off in the accessibility of help between versions.

Some of the reasons why we went with this design:"   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

The usability of help - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

The usability of help


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