The Contextual Help pattern describes methods to help users navigate the user interface and accomplish their tasks by providing examples, hints, and suggestions within the context of their application (without invoking a separate help interface). Unlike ordinary labels and prompt text, contextual help is extra guidance focused on helping the user understand what to do next. It is often dynamic and situational, responding to user input and disappearing when no longer needed.
There are five common forms of contextual help.
Appearance characteristics for this pattern.
Common behaviors for this pattern.
Usage guidelines for this pattern.
Fig 1. Empty Data Set
Fig 2. Fixed Text
Fig 3. Page Level Message
Fig 4. Popup Tooltip
Fig 5. Hint Text