UI Pattern: Unified Settings & Tutorial

by Luke Wroblewski November 5, 2009

This design pattern is a great example of using an ordinary user interface control as a learning opportunity for users. While Apple's Magic Mouse control panel contains the kind of standard checkboxes, buttons, and sliders you might expect in a settings panel, it also features clear and concise videos outlining the key functions of the mouse.

Simply mouse over the label or control you are interested in or want to adjust and the video on the right automatically plays to explain how the feature works. This turns an otherwise technical or confusing experience (very common in settings panels) into a simple learning moment that only takes a few seconds.

As Apple as recently invested a lot of time and effort in video tutorials, I expect we'll start seeing more embedded education within their user interface designs soon.