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Reconfigurable user interfaces at various levels of complexity

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013194D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to allow a user to configure a user interface for a software program at various levels of complexity. The levels of complexity would be hard-coded by the writer of the software program or could be manipulated by an experienced user or administrator. Contemporary user interfaces have become extremely complex and hence a configurable user interface at various levels of complexity is useful.

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Reconfigurable user interfaces at various levels of complexity

Disclosed is a method to allow a user to configure a user interface for a software program at various levels of complexity. The levels of complexity would be hard-coded by the writer of the software program or could be manipulated by an experienced user or administrator. Contemporary user interfaces have become extremely complex and hence a configurable user interface at various levels of complexity is useful.

Earlier solutions had tackled the problem of the complexity of user interfaces in the following ways:
(a) Providing different versions of the program - some with reduced functionality and some with greater functionality.
(b) Providing different programs for similar tasks.
(c) Allowing users to hide menu items thereby decreasing the complexity of the user interface.
(d) Allowing for icons for most frequently used menu items.
(e) Creating alternate configurations of menu items as for example different display desktops.

In our invented method, a complex software would have menu items like the ones shown in the following examples:

Example A:

Complexity Level => Increase

=> Decrease

Example B:

Complexity Level => 1

=> 2

=> 3

When the user clicks on "Complexity level" he can increase it or decrease it (Example A). Another approach in our invention is to allow a user to choose a particular complexity level (Example B). The menu items can have different names or appearances at different levels of complexity....