Creating contextual help for GUIs using screenshots

TitleCreating contextual help for GUIs using screenshots
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsTom Yeh, Chang T-H, Xie B, Walsh G, Watkins I, Wongsuphasawat K, Huang M, Davis LS, Bederson BB
Conference NameProceedings of the 24th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology
Date Published2011///
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-0716-1
Keywordscontextual help, help, pixel analysis

Contextual help is effective for learning how to use GUIs by showing instructions and highlights on the actual interface rather than in a separate viewer. However, end-users and third-party tech support typically cannot create contextual help to assist other users because it requires programming skill and source code access. We present a creation tool for contextual help that allows users to apply common computer skills-taking screenshots and writing simple scripts. We perform pixel analysis on screenshots to make this tool applicable to a wide range of applications and platforms without source code access. We evaluated the tool's usability with three groups of participants: developers, in-structors, and tech support. We further validated the applicability of our tool with 60 real tasks supported by the tech support of a university campus.