Browse Prior Art Database

Scaleable Tool Set: Communicating on the Reading Level of the User

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118202D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 104K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cronin, JE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a software system that allows a user of any reading level to use the software. The software system automatically re-writes itself to interact at the users reading and style level.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Scaleable Tool Set:  Communicating on the Reading Level of the User

      Disclosed is a software system that allows a user of any
reading level to use the software.  The software system automatically
re-writes itself to interact at the users reading and style level.

      Software tools that are made available to computer users today
generally are aimed at the more sophisticated users or at the generic
population of users.  However, this leads to problems in
communication for users of software or hardware of information
systems.  Much of the  information and value of a software tool is
lost to those outside the educational level and/or communication
patterns of the designer.  For example, a ten year old may have
problems understanding the help message  if it was written at the
college level.  This invention allows all software and hardware users
to reap the benefits of software tools written by any programmer.
This invention is specific to the understanding of written words
while interacting with an Information System, whether it be a
computer, an interactive KIOSK, other equipment  which interacts with
a user, etc.

      Today, the user interacts with the system through input devices
of mouse, keyboard, and predefined sequences of information in some
format.  There is not a way to understand the best and most effective
communication style.  All information is visual in today's generally
available systems.  The changes described by this invention will
allow the user to interact in a language style and type most
comfortable to them, resulting in better communication and less
misunderstanding of software communications.  Both a personal style
preference and computer  literacy level would be accounted for.

This invention is broken into two parts:

      The first is to determine the communication style preference
and computer literacy level of the user and then have the information
tool account for it and present the information at the reading level
and style preference of the user;

      The second is to have the style and reading level be
self-modified as the user becomes more knowledgeable or comfortable
with the system and/or application.

Specific Embodiment #1:  Reading Level

      When a user is to use a piece of software, i.e., Editor, the
user, upon entering into the program, is prompted for the reading
level (that is, 4th grade, 6th grade, college level, etc.).  The
answer to this question will provide a software switch which will
enable text interactions to occur at the user level specified.  For
instance, the user help available in the program itself would be
available at the reading level of the user.  Also, certain commands
would be re-written  at the users reading level.

      Today, there is a very concise determination of the vocabulary
versus grade level.  Certain editors (like the "proof editor" on the
IBM* VMS machines, can highlight words beyond an inputted grade
level. ...