Comments on I Don’t Need Help

23 Reader Comments

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  1. I like where you were going with this, but it bothers me that the help examples are not, generally speaking, very accessible, and several may be problematic in responsive contexts.

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  2. I like how you touched on the human element here. Few things are more frustrating than feeling helpless while using an interface and not having any place to turn for help!

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  3. This is a good read. One thing I find really helpful is having a chat option available. That saves a lot of time and also increases the human interaction. Another useful feature in one of the applications I use is short videos. These are always there in case you need it, but you’re not forced to go through these. As you delve into the product, you can use these videos.

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  4. My old website had major UX problems so I had to get a new one. What’s crazy is after I updated the site’s UX, I got about 10 more leads/week so yeah, I completely agree that if your UX isnt good, people aren’t going to go out of their way to seek out help. They’re just going to leave the site.

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  5. The main problem with UX is that it’s difficult to fine tune and balance out between the best UX you can deliver and a website where you get your point across.

    When it comes to UX, I always feel that less is always more since these days most users visit websites on a tablet from a personal experience and accessibility without any responsive conversions on a website just screams a nightmare for the average John Doe.

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  6. This is a really great perspective. As a former technical writer, I would often hear well-meaning UX-ers say that help should never be needed, if the interface was well designed. I like how you explain why help is always necessary.

    As a user, one of my biggest problems with contextual help is when it’s present, but it doesn’t answer my biggest questions. That’s where user testing can really give us valuable insights about how to design truly useful help. Thanks!

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  7. When it comes to design I think neglect of actual “help” questions breeds stagnancy.  When designers become to reliant on trends and themes they stop asking the simple, important questions that improve design.

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  8. Great job articulating the subtle difference between contextual help and stand-alone help, and the need for the integration of both.

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  9. I really like how you break this down and make it more user friendly and tailor it more towards the users experience instead of what you think is best. At the end of the day you want people to like your content and have an easy to navigate space.

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  10. Thought-provoking article! I especially love your perspective on contextual help. After much reflection, I must offer this addendum: help is a temporary part of the human condition. We are born needing help, but then we grow up. We are all learners, and we bring our experiences from other places (and other software) to the new software we are using. If you love your users, at some point you must set them free!

    We should never ignore help and ensure it is available when (and where) it is requested, but there is value in striving toward an interface that doesn’t require help because it leverages users’ existing knowledge of other interfaces and empowers them to proceed through potentially unknown tasks in a familiar and predictable way, or multiple ways. For example: we can strive for more thoughtful and accommodating interfaces that respect user input in all its forms, rather than listing the required date format near the text field.

    In the United States, the concept of self-reliance runs strong in our culture from the time of Emerson and the transcendentalists. We also had the pioneer spirit that had our ancestors cross the ocean, settle the continent, and travel to the moon. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Onward and upward (and maybe sideways too, to bring others along for the journey)!

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  11. One of my favorite sections on a website is the frequently asked questions or FAQ. Most people know what questions their visitors are going to ask, and by already answering it, it makes it more of a user friendly environment overall and keeps people on the website. Great write up man, I’ll check back in for your future work!

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  12. As a designer, i’m totally agreed with everything it says. Even if sometimes it seems to be impossible, just hold on your idea or wish and keep working hard!

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  13. I understand the need of help to the whole audience, that’s why me and my team focused the development of our page totally to the user standards. Also our content is always focused on do the best for the personal understanding of the audience. But in the country I’m living in right now the people are way too lazy and sometimes even ask for help to the most meaningless tasks. Since I work with personal development I encourage them to self-help and only seek me as the last resort. Also I found out recently, by a Q&A system, many users have been progressing personaly from lazy to proactive persons.

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  14. Absolutely; if the page is not designed for conversation chances are very low !!!

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  15. I totally agree. After redesigning our website early 2016 we have seen improvement in user experience and conversion rates.

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  16. I totally agree! After redesigning our website in early 2016 we have seen a huge improvement in user experience and conversion rates.

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  17. “Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.” Benny Hill ;)

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