Virtual and Augmented Reality can teach us how to use, operate and navigate the physical world like no user instructions ever could. These new technologies are on their way to revolutionize the way we consume information.
Since its earliest days, it has been the ultimate dream of the user assistance profession to provide a help system that allows users to learn how to use a product right at the time and place when they need it.
An iconic scene in the 1999 sci-fi movie The Matrix extrapolates this vision when the two protagonists Neo and Trinity, on a chase, end up on a building’s rooftop with an abandoned helicopter as the only escape. Unable to fly this machine, Trinity instantly has the helicopter’s flight manual uploaded to her brain, learning to operate the aircraft and taking off just seconds later.
The evolution of user assistance
While this is an admittedly dystopian vision, user assistance for software products has come a long way towards providing users with techniques and systems to help them operate and navigate software "on the fly". Starting with printed manuals, user assistance evolved ...
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