HCI blog

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Help Buttons....Discovery!!!!

When humans get really caught in the technological ventures of a new or existing computing systems, then there is something called 'Help' buttons to assist you further. 'Help Buttons' as we say consist of a manual or documentation of systems design and procedures or a caution to another human that you need help. Most of the computing systems have Help buttons, e.g. Trains/Aeroplanes have emergency alarms, softwares have Help manuals, smoke or fire alarms in business operations or at home and life buttons in a spaceship.
Few days ago, I was at the T building, also called the Learning centre. Suddenly, an alarm went off and there was a security officer trying to get students out of the building. After a while, they stopped and started discussing about what would have happened to get the alarm ringing. They found out that their computer showed a Panic Button being pressed { Panic Button: room UG32} in one of the labs in the building. However, when they looked around they couldn't find any Help Buttons in the lab and there was no design specification for such a button in that lab. What a jigsaw? Does a computer show alien behavior as well?


  • I totally agree, there are some silly positionings of the help button as well, for instance, if you are a person who has never used a windows 95 and upwards operating system before then you have no clue about the GUI, so if you want help you need to go to the start menu and select help. This means the user has to know about start menu and its functions before they can use the help. Once you have got the help open, on Windows XP its so complicated with a search field, which is ok, but then you get a lot of search from which you have to choose, which then opens the data inanother window, this for someone that is not used to a computer can frighten people of. Definately a poor design, maybe microsoft should look into having some tutorial button on the start bar at the bottom.

    By Blogger The Inspired Blogger, at 31 October 2004 at 16:44  

Post a Comment

<< Home