Creating Contextual Help for GUIs Using Screenshots

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Yeh, T., Chang, T. H., Xie, B., Walsh, G., Watkins, I., Wongsuphasawat, K., Huang, M., Davis, L. S. & Bederson, B. B. (2011, October). Creating contextual help for GUIs using screenshots. In Proceedings of the 24th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 145-154). ACM.



Contextual help is effective for learning how to use GUIs by showing instructions and highlights on the actual inter- face rather than in a separate viewer. However, end-users and third-party tech support typically cannot create contex- tual help to assist other users because it requires program- ming 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 plat- forms 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 ap- plicability of our tool with 60 real tasks supported by the tech support of a university campus.