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What are the design principles of an effective assistance? Assistance is necessary when the user does not know how to carry out her/his task. This is the case in training situation, but also when facing an unknown state of the device without the knowledge about how to get a known state. These are typically problem-solving situations and cognitive ergonomics was based on the problem solving processes to provide principles about the design of simple-to-use devices, but also to provide principles about the design of assistance systems. In this article, we describe the uses of assistances and, starting from the work of Piaget, Newell and Simon, Anderson, and Norman, we present a synthesis of the problem-solving approach that makes it possible to characterize the user situations that require a help. Knowing how the assistance systems are used, the training processes, and the causes of errors which lead to problematic situations, we show how the problem-solving approach makes it possible to determine the principles of a suitable help, and among them, the principles derived from AHMI (Auto-regulative Human-Machine Interaction) based on the follow-up of tasks realization, for the diagnosis and the remediation of the interaction.
Pour citer cet article :Barcenilla Javier, Tijus Charles (2006/2). A Contextual Approach to Understanding and Usability of User’s Assistance. In Gapenne Olivier & Boullier Dominique (Eds), Help Systems: A challenge for cognitive technology, Intellectica, 44, (pp.145-158), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2006.1295.