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Chapter 9. Help

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Patterns: How To, Cheat Sheet, Tour

Mobile applications should be easy to learn and quick to master. But no matter how intuitive the application may be, some form of Help should be provided. A couple of common Help patterns are:

Help Patterns

Figure 9-1. Help Patterns

How To

How To’s are just simple explanations of how to use the app. They can be one page like Phoster and Pictory or part of a larger help system like Awesome Note.

Phoster and Pictory

Figure 9-2. Phoster and Pictory

Awesome Note

Figure 9-3. Awesome Note

Note

Use a combination of screenshots, illustrations, and text to communicate in a How To.

Cheat Sheet

A Cheat Sheet offers a light weight way to introduce all the elements on the screen. Tap’n’scratch uses a separate page for this, whereas Android Swype opted for a dialog, see Chapter 7.

Swype on Android and Tap’n’Scrap

Figure 9-4. Swype on Android and Tap’n’Scrap

Note

A Cheat Sheet is no substitute for good design, but it can help users get comfortable and productive with the application.

Tour

A Tour is probably the best solution for providing help within ...

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