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Method for automatically adjusting application program interface based on collective usage information from many users

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130429D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Oct-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-24
Document File: 1 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

When application programs are first designed, it is not always known ahead of time which functions will be most frequently used and would preferentially take a priority position in menus and other selection positions. This invention collects information about which functions users use most often across a wider population and automatically adapt all user's copies of the program to provide a generally more efficient usage of functions and most probably ordering of sequential usage of the functions. This invention provides a mechanism to accomplish this.

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Method for automatically adjusting application program interface based on collective usage information from many users

The invention takes statistics on the frequency of use of various user interface features of a programming application and aggregates this data from many users to a central set of one or more servers, similar to the techniques used to collect document usage information.

This permits the application developer to improve the interface based on the statistics and also identifying problem areas. This information can be used to automatically change the interface of the product, bringing the most commonly used functions into the forefront.

The program product has a list of servers to which to transmit the statistical data about its usage, when the computer happens to be connected to the Internet, and if the user is willing to permit the collection of those statistics. There may be a monetary incentive.

The program takes statistics on which menu items are clicked, how often, and in which binary orders (which items succeed after others). For example, if the HELP icon is usually pressed just before or just after a particular icon, this may be an indication that the subject icon is too obscure, non-intuitive, or non-obvious. If a particular sequence of icons is often clicked, this may suggest that a new icon representing the sequence would be helpful.

This information is periodically sent to the first server on the list, if the computer is Internet connect...