Browse Prior Art Database

Graphical Intuitive Help for Gui Screens

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107799D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Haynes, TR: AUTHOR

Abstract

In the current art, help for parts of a graphical user interface (GUI) window usually involves a scrollable list of textual descriptions of the functions available from the window (e.g., a list of all menu commands). There are two basic problems in this approach: 1. Not all parts of a window are easily described textually. 2. Presenting the window options in some format other than how they schematically are presented in the window forces the user to unnecessarily map from one presentation style to another.

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Graphical Intuitive Help for Gui Screens

       In the current art, help for parts of a graphical user
interface (GUI) window usually involves a scrollable list of textual
descriptions of the functions available from the window (e.g., a list
of all menu commands).  There are two basic problems in this
approach:
      1.   Not all parts of a window are easily described textually.
      2.   Presenting the window options in some format other than
how they schematically are presented in the window forces the user to
unnecessarily map from one presentation style to another.

      The figure shows an example of a Help window with the Screen
help displayed.  Labels to parts of the window present an intuitive
mapping of screen area to text description.  Some of the labels may
be hypertext-enabled, allowing the user to simply click on the label
and then jump to detailed help on that topic.

      Help systems are often unnecessarily complex and verbose.  This
invention maps window functions in a pleasing and intuitive graphical
format, minimizing the problem of extensive navigation through
multiple windows so common in GUI systems.