Browse Prior Art Database

Contextual Help Facility for Interactive Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000063556D
Original Publication Date: 1985-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-18

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Authors:
Berry, RE Johnson, SE Karat, JT Ruiz, TM [+details]

Abstract

A method is described which provides the operator of an interactive system contextual help information rather than reference information. In current systems help facilities consist of online reference manuals. When the operator initiates the Help command, a menu of the different system functions is displayed. The operator must then determine the function on which help is needed. The help information usually is a description of how the function operates. The problems with this type of system are: 1. The operator may not know what function to perform at the time. 2. The operator is removed from the current context of the application being performed. 3. More information is provided than needed. 4. The operator must navigate a complex help menu hierarchy. 5.