Browse Prior Art Database

Decision-Tree Task Help

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111983D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chafetz, L: AUTHOR

Abstract

Software products often provide several different ways to complete users' tasks. These variations are attempts to model our products after our customers' business environments and are valuable aspects to our products, provided they are accessible and do not adversely affect product usability.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 60% of the total text.

Decision-Tree Task Help

      Software products often provide several different ways to
complete users' tasks.  These variations are attempts to model our
products after our customers' business environments and are valuable
aspects to our products, provided they are accessible and do not
adversely affect product usability.

      Provisions of online help information for users' tasks is a way
of making the product function accessible to our customers.  The help
information is intended to supplement the product interface and must
be:

o   Easy to use

o   Accessible

o   Concise

o   Complete

o   Applicable to task

      The traditional approach to online help information is
inadequate for task help because of the complexity of the tasks, the
need to take the user through different windows, and the fact that
there are variations on steps required to complete the task depending
on the user's environment.

      A solution to this problem is to provide the capability to
display help information based on a decision-tree structure.  This
decision-tree structure would be generated by the users' answers to
questions on a single initial screen.

      Assume product X offers full-function processing for scanning
documents -- batch scanning of uniform multi-page documents, batch
scanning of variable-length documents, scanning with option to edit
scanned document, scanning with option to reset parameters, etc.  The
user is interested only in scanning si...