Adobe CC Augmented Help

✋ What is it?

This is a solution found in modern Adobe CC products like Lightroom (and any Mac software that relies on this built-in functionality). When users perform a search query in the Help menu and select one of the results, Adobe will open the relevant menu and show that particular option or function with an arrow next to it.

🤲 How does this interaction or solution work?

When Adobe users are unsure about something, they can click the help menu of the top bar which will reveal a drop-down with a text entry field. The users can either select one of the top options or type a word related to what they are trying to do.

In this example, a user is trying to accomplish something in Adobe Lightroom. The user types "dat" (three first letters of the term "date").

The menu auto-completes the query in real time and defaults to "Edit Date and Time" which is what the user is trying to find in this case.

When the user hovers over the result, Lightroom automatically opens the Edit menu and selects the option "Edit Date and Time." Lightroom will also show a small vibrating arrow floating next to the menu item to increase the visibility of that particular menu item.

At this point, the user can choose to click on the newly displayed menu, however, clicking the help menu result or hitting enter will also retrieve and open that functionality for the user.

🙌 How does this interaction or solution work?

Learnability and Foolproofing.

Adobe CC is a comprehensive suite of design and media editing tools that come with multiple complex features.

For a new user, an Adobe CC product can be daunting. Adobe tackles part of this complexity by providing an augmented help menu. This menu can teach users the specific location of particular tools and perform actions from a contextualized search query that will show the user the position of that specific action or tool. It also gives the user an alternative mechanic to execute operations directly from the help menu.

By doing this, Adobe can provide a balanced learning system that can help the user to learn the location of features and tools. It also allows Adobe to offer a foolproofed experience that is friendly for beginners and occasional users, by allowing them to open and perform actions contextually.

That's it! If you like the content, consider subscribing to Waveguide Next, a newsletter / blog where I share new examples and lessons on User Experience.