Advanced User Assistance Systems
The Evolution of User Assistance
Information technology (IT) capabilities are increasing at an impressive pace, but users’ cognitive abilities are not developing at the same speed. Thus, there is a gap between users’ abilities and available IT. Handbooks or online help functions such as “F1 help” try to close this gap by providing explanatory information for the IT capabilities at hand. However, there is strong empirical evidence that traditional support structures are not as effective as intended (Sykes 2015); on the contrary, they distract users from their work (Barrett et al. 2004), which results in decreased efficiency and effectiveness as well as lower job satisfaction.
Initial attempts to support users with more comprehensive integrated assistance functions failed miserably. A well-known example of such a dismal failure is “Clippy, the paperclip”, a cartoon character developed by Microsoft that automatically popped up to assist users of Microsoft Office. However, instead of...
KeywordsAdvanced user support Context awareness Interactive Intelligent systems
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