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Organizing, Accessing, And Displaying Multiple Levels Of Help Information Directly Within A User Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236404D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-24
Document File: 5 page(s) / 285K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method and system is disclosed for organizing, accessing, and displaying multiple levels of help information directly within a User Interface (UI).

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, Organizing,

And Displaying Multiple Levels Of Help Information Directly

               And Displaying Multiple Levels Of Help Information Directly Within A User Interface

Disclosed is a method and system for providing expandable help tips to organize, access, and display expandable help information directly within a User Interface (UI) of an application. The method and system displays multiple levels of context sensitive help information which allows a user to interactively access the application without leaving the current screen. Based on the current screen, the application retrieves the required help text from a stored location when the user activates an in-application help system. The application can retrieve the help information by topic and/or level. The application also uses tagging or a category label to retrieve only a desired level of the help information. Thereafter, the UI of the application is suspended and the retrieved help information is displayed on top of the UI.

The disclosed method and system enables the display of the help information in different levels as interactive help tips or a graphical overlay directly on top of the UI of an expandable help tips application. The help information is categorized according to levels. The expandable help information is organized into multiple pre-defined levels and is stored electronically. Additionally, the help information can be stored within the programming code of the application or in an external resource file stored on a local device or on a remote device. The different levels of help information can be identified by Extensible Markup Language (XML) tags. The XML tags are stored in an XML format such as Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) in source documentation and distributed as a resource file with a related application.

The exact number of levels, types and content of the help information can vary by the specific need of a wide range of users, from new to experienced users. Each level contains increasing amounts of help information such as, but not limited to, brief descriptions, conceptual topics, task-based topics and other types of information in an electronic format. The other types of information can include one or more of, but not limited to, diagrams, embedded video, embedded images, embedded related message threads from social networks and links to external resources.

In embodiments of the present invention, the application can also display the help as an interactive overlay directly on top of the UI of the application. The expandable help tips application provides interactive ways for the user to access and change the currently displayed level of the help information.

In an exemplary embodiment, the user can use an icon/button to display the first level of help information. Further, a "More" or "Expand" link in the help tips can expand information in the help tip to allow the user to selectively expand the help information in an individual help tip. The u...