Development of dynamic, context-driven help systems

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Authors
McClellan, Nancy Jo.
Subjects
Advisors
Shimeall, Timothy J.
Erickson, David A.
Date of Issue
1993-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
en_US
Abstract
This thesis develops a methodology to identify and employ elements of the user's context in the help system architecture, thereby improving the response provided by the online help system. Typical online help system structures are static, providing a pre-programmed response to a specific assistance request and are not effected by the dynamics of the user or the task being attempted. A dynamic, contextdriven help system has been developed that uses user- and system-based components of the working environment to influence the system access and presentation strategies. The provided response is tailored specifically to the user, based on the user's level of experience and help system command history; and specificially to the situation, based on the task being attempted. The resulting online system provides a more flexible interface that can serve the needs of all types of users and can evolve as the user's skill with the application grows. The dynamic, context-driven help system methodology is explained through design and implementation of a prototype help system for an interactive sofltware environment. TAE+ Help is a help component designed to assist users of the Transportable Applications Environment Plus (TAE+). It is initiated separately from TAE+ but runs concurrently in the XWindows environment. When the user requests assistance, TAE+ Help initiates a dialogue with the user, collecting situational environmental information and employs these dynamics in the help system access process
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Computer Science
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
121 p.
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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