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Intelligent User-Driven Universal Placement and Efficacy Drag-and-Drop "Question Mark" Functionality for User Interface Help Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019559D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-18
Document File: 1 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This proposal leverages that global recognition of the question mark by enabling users to click-select and drag the question mark icon over the functionality they are having a problem understanding in any area of the product User Interface to invoke a function-specific help agent for that functionality.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 84% of the total text.

Intelligent User-Driven Universal Placement and Efficacy Drag-and-Drop "Question Mark" Functionality for User Interface Help Systems

To those familiar with PC and system user interfaces (UI), the question mark is a globally acknowledged quick link to the help system which usually appears in the main tool bar of the application. Access to help for a specific function of the application requires the user to leave the area of focus (the point of need for help), go to the toolbar, open the help system, then search for help specific to the identified point of need. The user then typically prints that portion of the help system and then returns the cursor to the area in question, referring to the printed segment to assist the user in completing his/her task. If a quick print is not available, the user is forced to flip from the application to the help window repeatedly to get the information required to complete the task. Further, because most help systems are search/index based, the context specific to the focus area is usually contained within an extensive amount of information. Therefore even if/after the user prints the pertinent section of the help system, s/he has to scan through the printed document to find the area(s) pertinent to the specific task at hand. This proposal is implemented using existing technologies.

This proposal leverages that global recognition of the question mark by enabling users to click-select and drag the question mark icon over the functionality the...