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An automated graphical software program whose administration results in detailed diagrammed instructions necessary to complete any complex activity involving subtasks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031376D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

An automated graphical software program whose administration results in detailed diagrammed instructions necessary to complete any complex activity involving subtasks

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An automated graphical software program whose administration results in detailed diagrammed instructions necessary to complete any complex activity involving subtasks

Users have well-documented difficulties planning the installation and configuration of progressively complex computer systems. Anticipation of these usability difficulties alone inhibits sales. Reduced complexity or improved usability by design in these areas can greatly benenfit the reputation of an entire brand.

This disclosure proposes and describes a general improvement to product ease-of-use (installation and configuration) implemented during the product development period and implied by the on-demand model. It recommends development and use of an automated graphical software program whose execution would involve use of an enhanced flowchart diagram rendering editor and result in simplification of a products eventual/practical installation and configuration.

During the product design stage, the subject software program would associate symbols with each graphically diagrammed step of the anticipated installation and configuration processes. These symbols would establish relationships between steps, indicating all viable predecessor and successor activities associated with every possible anticipated outcome. Using the proposed tool during a product's development, a designer would be prompted by the proposed software program to author all questions (and all possible multiple choice answers) that the proposed software program would later administer to eventual users during the product enduser planning stage. Use of the proposed tool during a products development stages, instructional information units would be composed and associated with each possible answer. Help would also be composed for use within the proposed software program during development of any product for which the proposed software program is employed. Information units could also be constructed outside of the proposed software program at a later time, but a linking mechanism for for their eventual use would be necessary. In any case, each enduser response will eventually link the enduser to a detailed instructional unit prescribing practical performance of each the associated step. The instructional units will eventually be presented to the enduser in their recommended order of performance, based on all responses.

During the proposed product's enduse stage, questions authored by the designer would first be administered the enduser. The enduser's answers would initiate and constitute site planning. When submitted to/processed by the proposed software program, they would also yield a practical plan for the eventual installation and configuration of any product defined within the proposed graphical software program. During the question/response process, an enduser will proceed to select (from all possible pre-programmed multiple choice options) one answer from each possible answer to each question origi...