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Embedded help systems

Most thoughtful usability experts are of two minds when it comes to embedded help systems. On the one hand, it is good to add helpful information about the task at hand right on the page, sometimes in the form of a patch on the screen that reveals the helpful text upon mouse-over.

However, there is something in the soul of the usability professional that believes that if the interface were properly designed, no help would be necessary. But if you cannot build the perfect system, you should at least provide necessary help information without forcing the user to search for it.

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