Browse Prior Art Database

Enhancing SmartGuides to Support Extended Task-Flows

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014036D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Most interactive software applications rely on a graphical user interface (GUI) to take instructions and data from the user and provide the user with feedback. One example of such an application is an integrated development environment (IDE) designed to allow the user to build other software applications. In many cases, in order to perform useful work, the user needs to complete tasks in a precise, pre-determined sequence. For example, in order to develop a computer program, the user may need to perform the following tasks in the indicated sequence: Import some existing source code (Task 1). Edit the source code in an editor (Task 2). Compile the source code (Task 3).

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Enhancing SmartGuides to Support Extended Task-Flows

Most interactive software applications rely on a graphical user interface (GUI) to take instructions and data from the user and provide the user with feedback. One example of such an application is an integrated development environment (IDE) designed to allow the user to build other software applications. In many cases, in order to perform useful work, the user needs to complete tasks in a precise, pre-determined sequence. For example, in order to develop a computer program, the user may need to perform the following tasks in the indicated sequence:

Import some existing source code (Task 1).

Edit the source code in an editor (Task 2).

Compile the source code (Task 3).

Deploy the source code (Task 4).

Run the executable code (Task 5).


1.


2.


3.


4.


5.

SmartGuides are used to guide the user through a task by presenting him or her with a series of prompts. For example, in order to guide the user through Task 1 (above), a SmartGuide could prompt the user for file name and location, and the project or directory into which the file would be imported. Traditionally-designed SmartGuides (or Wizards) don't provide the user with additional support on how to proceed to the next task in the sequence.

Extended SmartGuides described here include additional prompts and controls. These allow the user to decide whether to directly proceed with the next task in the sequence after the conclusion of the current task. If the user decides to proceed with the next task, at the conclusion of the current SmartGuide, a window, another SmartGuide, or dialog designed to support the next task in the sequence is automatically opened.

Enhanced SmartGuides support the extended task-flow by placing additional controls, not directly related to the current task, on the last mandatory page (i.e. the user cannot finish the SmartGuide without completing this page) of the SmartGuide. These controls present a choice of valid s...