Level-based information display window
Original Publication Date: 2001-Nov-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a method for enhancing the display of messages (in this example an error message) by allowing software developers to provide different levels of information that users will find useful when running into errors. Providing different levels of information will also satisfy novice and expert users to troubleshoot errors more efficiently since depending on the degree of knowledge a user will find different levels of information to be better suited to their typical usage. The invention also eliminates the problems that customers phase when limited information is presented. It also provides an alternative to competitors' designs for presenting message displaying products. The invention is based on the notion of levels of information for messages. Messages used in software product have several levels of information which range from simple explanation of the message to language-specific error message (such as Java traces) to information provided on a help file. Figure 1. A 4-level Java message Figure 1 presents a 4-level Java message being outlined by the type of content that will be found at each level. It is important to note that the number of levels can vary depending on the type of message, the complexity of the product, information available regarding the message, and the language used to implement the product.