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Activity-Driven Recommendations using Passive Visualization Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246215D
Publication Date: 2016-May-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is an option for a system to provide the user with on-screen activity-driven recommendations in the form of a passive visualization. This solution enables an application to notify users of content that is outside the capabilities of the main interface, but is relevant that user.

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-Driven Recommendations using Passive Visualization

Driven Recommendations using Passive Visualization

Many applications, from email clients to data visualization tools, are capable of knowing far more about the served content than a single interface can convey. The application's main interface must be filled with the most commonly accessed and used functions, tools, and features. This can be a highly selective process. If the interface becomes too cluttered, it compromises the utility of the application as a whole.

A method is needed that enables an application to notify users of content that is outside the capabilities of the main interface, but is relevant that user.

Currently, two methods address this problem. The first uses some kind of alerting mechanism. An email client, for example, might pop up an alert when the user has critical emails that are waiting on a response. However, when an alert contains content that is not useful to the user, it is no longer an alert but an interruption. When the content in question involves a margin of error, such as determining which emails necessitate a response, alerts can quickly become aggravating. As a result, these system-driven recommendations can only be used when the application is certain that the alerts are useful.

The other option for recommending content outside the scope of the primary interface is to create a second interface to which users must navigate. For example, an email client could have a second view that lists only emails that may be awaiting a response. These are user-driven recommendations and bear no risk of disturbing the user; however, this approach is completely dependent upon the user's unprovoked initiative to access the screen and view the emails.

The novel contribution is an option for a system to provide the user with activity-driven recommendations. These recommendations appear in the form of a passive visualization (i.e., an animated visualization that does not depend on clicks or keystrokes in order to convey its message) when the user is not directly engaged with the application. The design allows the user to see the visualizations either in the periphery or when re-engaging with the application. The user can dismiss the visualization by re-engaging with the application in any way.

The core idea is to notify users of potentially interesting content, without interrupting the natural workflow. This approach involves a sequence of three actions within a given application when it is trying to bring new content to the user's attention:

1. Detect when a user is no longer actively engaged with the application. This can be done in many different ways, such as timing the lapses between clicks and mouse movements or detecting that the user opened a different browser tab (if the application in question is a web application).

2. Either the entire display area of the application or a component of its display is replaced with a passive visualization (agai...