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2:16 Provide Assistance to Users

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2:16 Provide Assistance to Users

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 2 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


General User Experience


Provide assistance for users who need additional help with the website.


Some users require special assistance. This is particularly important if the site was designed for inexperienced users or has many first time users. For example, in one website that was designed for repeat users, more than one-third of users (thirty-six percent) were first time visitors. A special link was prepared that allowed new users to access more information about the content of the site and described the best way to navigate the site.


  • Covi, L.M. & Ackerman, M.S. (1995, August). Such easy-to-use systems! How organizations shape the design and use of online help systems. Proceedings of Conference on Organizational Computing Systems, 280-288.
  • Morrell, R.W., Dailey, S.R., Feldman, C., Mayhorn, C.B., & Echt, K.V. (2002, April). Older adults and information technology: A compendium of scientific research and web site accessibility guidelines. National Institute on Aging Report. Bethesda, MD.
  • Nall, J., Koyani, S.J., & Lafond, C. (2001, January). Lessons learned while usability testing the CancerNet Web site. National Cancer Institute, Communication Technologies Branch Technical Report.
  • Plaisant, C., Marchionini, G., Bruns, T., Komlodi, A., & Campbell, L. (1997). Bringing treasures to the surface: Iterative design for the Library of Congress National Digital Library Program. Proceedings of CHI’97, 518-525.

Good Example:

This examples provides ample assistance to first time