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Browse Prior Art Database

Incrementally displaying additional user assistance within a tooltip or bubble help based on length of activation time.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013307D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Sep-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18

Publishing Venue



The existing conventional description of how contextual tooltip or bubble help is that when focus is placed over a certain widget, a small visable pop-up of some sort appears in order to describe that widget. This information cannot be too substantial, as too much information can block other parts of the user interface. This disclosure describes a method where a new property that will be described as 'interest' is added to the contextual popup help. This property allows the developer to add incremental amounts of information, based on the interest shown in the focused widget. The property of interest is actually a value of time, that will launch the addition incremental information based on pre-set sections of said time as the said widget maintains focus. For the user, this results in initially the same type of interface. A small popup will apear when the widget of interest is focused, or hovered over. The novelty of this disclosure comes in when focus is maintained on said widget, and as interest is displayed and time passes, sections of the interest time trigger events that cause additional information to be added to the initial popup. One benefit that this could add would be that user interface real estate would not be populated until a particular interest is shown in a widget. Another benefit is that mnemonics could be used in place of full descriptions, allowing once again for smaller footprints on the user interface. As interest is shown in the mnemonic, more information could be expanded.