Browse Prior Art Database

Progressive Disclosure of User Assistance Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117452D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 47K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Anchell, E: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a software method providing the progressive disclosure of user assistance in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment. Seamless access is provided to all levels of user assistance, from a brief identification to voluminous reference material, without requiring the user to enter a subsystem separate from that through which tasks are being performed.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 100% of the total text.

Progressive Disclosure of User Assistance Information

      Disclosed is a software method providing the progressive
disclosure of user assistance in a Graphical User Interface (GUI)
environment.  Seamless access is provided to all levels of user
assistance, from a brief identification to voluminous reference
material, without requiring the user to enter a subsystem separate
from that through which tasks are being performed.

      With this method, a help system can be entered from anywhere in
the GUI.  The smallest piece of information, such as text supplying a
name for an icon picture, which is commonly called hover help, is
provided, together with entry points into the complete help
information repository.

      The Figure is an example of the application of this method to
the OS/2* LaunchPad 1.  The first level of assistance, hover help, is
displayed when the cursor is moved over an icon.  In this example,
"PostScript Printer" is displayed in a hover help box 2 as the cursor
is moved over an associated icon 3 displaying the printer.  If the
user wants to know more information, he moves the cursor over hover
help box 2, causing additional help information 4 to be displayed.
This additional information 4 tells the user how he can use the
object and provides several buttons 5, which can in turn be used to
used to cause the display of more complete information on the topics
described within the text of the buttons 5.
  *  Trademark of IBM Corp.