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Procedural/contextual help


Design patterns

  • Messages/warnings

Summit Post-it Page

Procedural Guidance

1 / All
Also known as a "Wizard". Guiding a user through a multi-step series of interfaces to complete a task.

  • (S) Wizard component
    • Utilizes many good design practices
    • Clear action identified, consistent navigation, "where am I?" "How much to go?" indicators.
    • Wizard continue, back, cancel navigation
    • Inconsistent currently
    • Maybe this is wizard component at higher granularity
  • (S) Multi-step indicator
  • (S) Site setup checklist
    • I need to know what I should do to set up my site
    • It doesn't happen all in one session
    • I collaborate with others on this work
  • (S) Easy to populate wizard

Empty State Orientation Helper

2A / All
Properly orient the user to a tool when it has no data (empty state). An example would be an inbox with no email.

  • Where should I start?
  • Next step notifier, especially for unpopulated tools
  • If I click this link, where will it open?
  • (S) Forums, worksite setup, as student; what can I do here?
  • (M) Not clear what to do to create a new course
  • Should be obvious how to activate tools' initial state
  • (M) We immediately wanted to add topic content but our page was not set up to edit by default. Did not notice small "Turn Editing on" button in the upper right

Progress Indicator

2B / All
A status indicator for time to completion (for things like file upload).

  • (S) Progress indicator
    • System is working indicator
    • How much longer?


1 / All
Display of messages to the user.

  • (S) Feedback messaging component?
    • Success message
    • What I thought I did - I did. Could create a message for this, however, many times this is better done by highlighting and focusing on item if returned to list view
  • (U) Error message container
    • When session times out, it is not clear what has happened
    • When login fails it is difficult to see the error message
  • (S) Confirmation manager
  • (S) In editor window, ask before close without saving
  • (S) Did you really want to do that?
    • Warning when about to lose unsaved changes
    • May be needed in conjunction with breadcrumbs
  • Info meassages
    • Users should get info messages about actions - "you created a thingy"
  • (M) It wasn't clear whether student roles assigned by the user were accepted/saved into the main page
  • (M) When we clicked on the "X" to remove the link we received a message that made us believe we were deleting the entire file from our "Files", not just the resource link to the topic page

Contextual Help

1 / All
Help within the user's context.

  • (U) Contextual Help
    • Often none at all
    • If there is, inconsistent and non-holistic
    • Difficult to locate
  • (S) Pop-up help component
    • In resources (uploaded files and edit details), it is unclear what the meanings of many of the data elements are (display name, creator, date created, subject, and keywords)
  • (M) User looking into available (uploaded) course resources from this link in the activities box is not given any indication about what type of document is being listed
  • (M) The assignment marking help does not properly explain what the dropdown menu does
  • (M) Web page entry editor will accept formatted RTF but this is not specified
  • (M) Calendar entry types are user or course - not defined, no help, who sees what?
  • (M) In course format drop-down menu there are formats that are not described in the contextual help
  • (M) When you create an assignment activity, the help menu doesn't explain the various types of assignments possible. You have to create a specific type and then see what it's like