Users need help with a product and turn to the site for assistence


Create a support section and back it up with additional searching facilities


Use when

Users have a product that they bought either on a E-commerce Site or off-line. They have some kind of problem with it and they turn to the site for help because that is where they bought it, or because it is the site of the manufacturer. User may be looking for something particular such as a driver update, order status, a manual, or pricing. Alternatively, they may have a more general, or unknown, problem and need support.


Users are seeking assistance. Therefore the experience they are looking for is one that is 'helpful', 'clean' and 'straight to the point'. It is not appropriate to bother users with irrelevant commercial offers while they are seeking assistance. The site must be very effective for their visitors.

A support section
Although the site may have an organization based on topic, audience, or any other principle, it may be wise to add a 'support section'. It can be part of the Main Navigation or conveniently put in the Meta Navigation. Often such as section can be called 'Support', 'Customer Service' or 'Help' but in other cases it can be called differently.

The support section can contain several items. Sometimes it is appropriate to select the product users need help with which then leads users to a kind of Product Page where instead of trying to market to product, support information is given. Often there is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or Help Wizard. Once users are on the product level, they go into a sort of Information Seeking experience.

Additional searching facilities
When there is a lot of support information, users will need additional search facilities. An Search Box or Advanced Search is then needed.


More Examples

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1 comment has been added to this pattern.

Susan, 17th February 2009
Just a suggestion that you correct the spelling in the title and 1st paragraph to read "Assistance." Feel free to delete this message.

Thanks for a VERY informative website!

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