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Layered Navigation and Multiple Re-use of Structured Help Content

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016147D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Nov-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method of implementing layered navigation and multiple re-use of structured content to provide comprehensive user help and basic self-study education services for web sites and desktop applications. This method helps to overcome the limitations exhibited by many help services for web sites and desktop applications. Little context is provided for the new user. There is no ability for a big picture" overview level of user information. Navigation does not provide the user an ongoing sense of his position in the help material and effective access to other levels. Help systems and knowledge bases are organized by "technical" or application step, rather than by business task. Search capabilities are often available only at the top level or entry point for the help material. There is little re-use of help and education content; different services often use very similar but purpose-built material. Task help and education are presented as separate services using different mechanisms. Novel contributions include: Extensions to known techniques for structuring knowledge bases; Extensions to the use of recognized techniques for designing, structuring, and delivering minimalist instructional material; Methods which enable the developer to prepare content once and to re-use the same content to provide multiple targeted user services; Synergistic cooperation among the novel extensions and a number of known techniques for structuring and delivering user help services.