Guiding Users Through The Discovery Of New Features In A Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) Application
Publication Date: 2015-May-04
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A method and system is disclosed for guiding users through the discovery of new features in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application.
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Guiding Users Through The Discovery Of New Features In A Software -
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Software development teams are delivering features ever more frequently and in shorter delivery cycles. Users must explicitly visit a web page that lists new and noteworthy features of software updates in order to learn about them. The method and system disclosed herein, particularly in cloud environment continuously delivers information about software features and capabilities to users, which may include new and noteworthy features from last versions of the applications used.
The disclosed method and system defines new features (not available in a previous version) for an application available in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment utilizes a technique that allows the new features to surface, and guides users through the discovery of the new features via the application's user interface.
In accordance with the method and system, developers define and categorize newly produced features of each installed application along with the location of each associated User Interface (UI). Subsequently, devices track the version of the application used during a last session (during the last interaction with the application) and determine if the user is interacting with a version newer than one used in the last session. Thereafter, visual signals are rendered (e.g., image overlays, explanatory text, help links) in the appropriate path to locate new features. Responsive to users logging in, the method and system present the location and in-context information pertaining to the new features (optionally including explanatory information about its value and how to use it, references to external sources, etc.). Additionally, help icons are also displayed that take the user to a detailed description of the new features that are being highlighted. This allows the user to learn continuously about new updates that are continuously delivered, without being forced to go to an external source of information.
Consider an example scenario where a user logs in, and is taken to an application landing page. A visual breadcrumb conveys to the user the navigation path to the location of the new features along with the location. As the user navigates closer to the new capability, additional visual breadcrumbs further guide the user through the path to the new capability until the capability is reached in the navigation space, as illustrated in the below Figure.
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Application developers develop a new version of an application (version.New ), as new content/code is built and submit a listing of the new features. The list is stored in a VersionX.Y_Feature Catalog metadata file and managed with the rest of the code. The file catalogs for each feature/change in the release the feature name and description, along with its location/view in the UI (defined by a set of HTML/Web application elements), and...