Guidelines for app help

Applies to Windows and Windows Phone

These guidelines describe how to design effective Help content for your app. Help content should be a single page and can include text, links, and images. If you need to provide dynamic Help content, link to a support website or embed an online page in your Help section.

Should my app include Help content?

Whether to include Help is entirely up to you. Keep in mind not every app needs a designated Help section. For example, if you app contains only one or two UI elements that might confuse a user, you could integrate instructional UI, create a simple in-app demo, or consider redesigning those elements instead of creating a separate help section.

Dos and don'ts

  • Keep Help pages short and easy for users to skim.
  • If your Help content doesn't fit on a single page or if you need to include dynamic content that'll need updating, link to a support website or embed an online page in your Help flyout. Keep in mind that linking to a web page takes your user out of the app experience. If possible, embed the online content to create a more cohesive user experience. If you're writing a Windows Store app using JavaScript, see How to include online content in your help for step-by-step guidance.
  • Don't use technical terms and jargon.
  • Don't use Help to document all your app features. If you want to provide detailed content about your app, consider providing a link to a support web page at the end of your Help content.
  • Don't use Help to notify customers that a newer version of the app is available.
  • Applies to Windows

    • Allow users to access Help from the Settings pane.
    • Use a Settings flyout to display your Help content. When you use a Settings flyout, you can easily add Help to the Settings pane provided by Windows.
    • Label the entry point in the Settings pane "Help" to clearly identify it. For more settings recommendations, see Guidelines for app settings.
    • Don't directly link to a website from the Help entry point in the Settings pane. Instead, provide a link to online content in the associated Help flyout.

Related topics

For designers
Guidelines for designing instructional UI
Guidelines for app settings
For developers (HTML)
WinJS.UI.SettingsFlyout object
Adding app help
Windows Store app UI, start to finish (HTML)
For developers (XAML)
Windows.UI.XAML.Controls.SettingsFlyout
Adding app help (Windows Store apps using C#/VB/C++ and XAML)
Windows Store app UI, start to finish (XAML)

 

 

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