Most users learn new, complex systems through trial-and-error experience rather than referring to the manuals in a cognitive process that is called exploratory learning. While exploring a system, people find prototypical rules for using the system based especially on frequent tasks. The rules are formed from consistent task procedures and well-expected interface elements on the designed system. These rules play the role of the basis of users knowledge for performing tasks. The decision making to select and apply those rules interacting with an interface can be aided by properly provided hints on the interface. With appropriate hints, users can learn new systems easily and use them with reduced usability problems. This paper first reports an observation of user behavior performing tasks with prototypical interaction rules and finds a sound set of criteria to extract prototypical interaction rules systematically. Two types of hints are defined. Extending hints prompt users to apply prototypical interaction rules beyond well-known tasks. Preventive hints guide users out of possible capture errors by drawing attention to the variation of rules. A systematic and practical method is proposed to identify the opportunities for both types in designing interfaces. It is then verified through a usability test that the proposed method is effective in identifying the locations and types of appropriate hints to reduce or mitigate usability problems.