Contextual Help

What is Contextual Help?

Websites and web-applications pertaining to any industry are met with success when using context-sensitive, or contextual, help content instead of ‘user manuals’ – static help centers and databases. Context-sensitive help is a way of formatting help content to allow for information to be available to website-viewers in case-specific situations: help content is provided exactly when and where the customer will need them. This kind of visual content configuration allows a client to get their questions answered without leaving the application page they are currently on. Getting help is flawless and simple.

Another ‘pro’ that accompanies context-sensitive help is the reduced amount of support tickets sent in to your company. This is because when clients can access and understand your product quickly and efficiently, their need to ask for improvements consequently decreases. This allows for you to focus on your company and your brand, rather than stressing over your customer support. 

 There are four major types of contextual help content formatting that produce positive customer support results.


Tooltips are popups that appear when a customer briefly moves their mouse over a certain element or icon on the given website. The popup will provide a concise and incisive introduction or definition about what the component’s function is. One general benefit that tooltips provide is that it builds up confidence from the customer about your product. Though tooltips can also be considered burdensome to users with more technology experience, as they may think of the tooltips as time-consuming and distracting when they already have an understanding of the features already.


Walkthroughs can be described as a series of continuous tooltips that ‘walk’ a customer through the step-by-step features of a product or section of a product. It is meant to be able to support a client from start to finish through a product’s functionalities. The idea of a walkthrough is to digitally introduce the product to a user as if done by a real company employee.

Walkthoughts have an obvious benefit in that, for inexperienced or brand new customers, the step-by-step instruction gives them a crash-course to the product. This makes your product seem less intimidating and easy-to use, making a better initial impression to your customer and making your onboarding process easier on your company. 

In-line Instruction:

In-line instruction is the most common and basic type of context-sensitive found on web-applications. It can come in the form of text, a dialogue box, or a question on the application itself alongside its respective component. This can be seen on contact forms, registration forms, sign in pages, etc. Although not the most excessive and complex form of contextual help, inline instruction is the simplest way of informing your customer of necessary information. 

Embedded Help:

Embedded help is a pop-out or section of the page that directly provides help content. Text or articles pertaining to the subject of the page itself show up on the webpage that the user is one. The user no longer has to search up for help content on an external help center, but they have all the answers at their fingertips – or actually beside the component in question. It basically gives your user all the answers, in text or article form, that they need to navigate their way around your website without losing their train of thought.


We want to provide you with the tools to support your customers to the best of your capability. With Helpi5, we want you to be able to give your customers easy-to-use, efficient and accessible help content in a swift and secure format. We believe that contextual-help is the future of customer service, and we can’t wait for you to be a part of that future.