Usability Considerations: Help Files Continuation

Aside from pages with downloads other web pages where help is appropriate include:

  • gaming sites - A help page where game information including the goal, rules, and instructions is needed for any website with games. Shortcut keys should be explained and a legend for icons given.
  • online shops - A help page where people can find everything they need to know is important. However, due to the nature of the site the help pages for online stores are often subdivided into different topics including FAQ, product details, security issues, etc.

In truth any website wherein users need to do anything more complicated than just read and comment usually should have some sort of help page. This doesn’t mean that all users will actually need to read that help page (especially if the website design is very professional and is very usable) but what’s important is that help be available to anyone who might need it.

Note too that the complexity or depth of the help files/pages depends on the complexity of the tasks that a user needs to perform in the website. A simple download will just need a brief description (although you can give information on troubleshooting in case the download doesn’t work) while purchasing a product will require not only product details but in depth information on shipping, online security, etc.

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