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This part of ISO 9241 provides recommendations for user guidance attributes of software user interfaces and their evaluation. User guidance as defined in this part of ISO 9241 is information additional to the regular user-computer-dialogue that is provided to the user on request or is automatically provided by the system. In addition to the general guidance provided in this part of ISO 9241, recommendations concerning dialogue-specific user guidance are provided in ISO 9241-12, ISO 9241-14, ISO 9241-15, ISO 9241-16 and ISO 9241-17.

This part of ISO 9241 is applicable to interaction components that aid users in recovering from error conditions. User guidance as covered by this part of ISO 9241 includes recommendations specific to prompts, feedback and status, error management and on-line help as well as general recommendations common to all these types of user guidance.

While user support can be provided via other means (e.g., on-line tutorials, on-line documentation, intelligent system performance aids) these types of support are not addressed by this part of ISO 9241-13.

The recommendations in this part of ISO 9241 are formulated to be independent of applications, environment, or implementation technology. They correspond to typical situations involving special needs for information and actions.

As with other parts of ISO 9241, this part of ISO 9241 can apply in all or in part. For example, applications that do not have browsable help would not need to follow recommendations concerning this class of user guidance.