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Custom documentation checklist builder Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202006D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-30
Document File: 6 page(s) / 87K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is an application which allows end-users, by navigating through a series of predefined questions, to quickly locate relevant documentation from within a large repository. The system is dynamic, using the response from one question to determine which question should be presented to the user next. It generates a customized path to the information the user needs.

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Custom documentation checklist builder

User documentation usually contains much more information than the user needs at any one time, making it difficult to locate the specific desired information. Users need a fast and accurate method for locating the exact information they need.

The disclosed solution is an application that acts as a checklist builder, presenting a dynamic list of closed-ended questions and using the responses to generate a sequenced list of links to stored documentation modules explaining how to complete related tasks. The application dynamically generates each checklist based on user responses and provides a customized guided path through what are often large, complicated sets of information.

Of the prior art, many applications overlap one or two features of the checklist builder, but no single application provides them all. The checklist builder is novel because it is:
• Dynamic: Every user receives a customized list of tasks that references up-to-date content and focuses on information required to complete those tasks.

• Flexible: Information from a variety of sources can be referenced in a single checklist, the only requirement is that content be accessed and displayed in a web browser.

• Efficient: Because documentation does not require assembly, the resulting checklist requires minimal storage and always references the most recent version of the content.

• Solutions-oriented: The checklist builder can include content from multiple product documentation sets stored in a variety of formats and locations.

The checklist builder displays a set of predefined closed-ended questions. For each question, the user selects one option from a set of predefined responses. Each possible response is associated with a stored documentation module; when the user selects a response, a link to the corresponding documentation module is added to the checklist. The finished checklist contains a focused, sequenced list of links to the stored documentation modules, referencing only the information that the user actually requires.

Sample preferred embodiment: General Purpose

The company, I Scream, You Scream, manufactures ice cream sundae makers. It maintains a collection of 30 documentation modules relating to all aspects of assembly, operation, and cautionary notes.

Documentation modules can be selected from the collection as needed: (Figure 1)

Figure 1: Alphabetical listing of stored documentation modules


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The company sells three models of the ice cream maker, and many of the documentation modules apply to all three models, while several are specific to a single model. The company wants to create a checklist builder that enables purchasers to generate customized instructions for assembling the model they purchased.

Possible user-facing questions are in multiple-choice form: (Figure 2)


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Figure 2: User-facing questions

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