Browse Prior Art Database

GUI Control for Combo Browse

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016085D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This paper presents a new GUI control (widget) that combines "combobox" functionality with browse functionality, to solve the usability problem that users need to browse for an input entry while attempting to select an entry from multiple choices. Existing GUI solutions to this problem are not satisfying. Details are presented below. Combobox, or dropdown list, can be used to present choices to users. For example, Windows 2000 has a Search For Files or Folders dialog, which contains a combobox as shown in Picture 1. Picture 1: Part of Windows 2000 Search Dialog Sometimes, a combobox or dropdown list can be used to present recent user input entries, so that users TM can choose one without having to enter it again. For example, in IBM DB2 Universal Database Command Center, a dropdown list is used to present scripts that have been run recently, as shown in Picture 2:

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 54% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

GUI Control for Combo Browse

    This paper presents a new GUI control (widget) that combines "combobox" functionality with browse functionality, to solve the usability problem that users need to browse for an input entry while attempting to select an entry from multiple choices. Existing GUI solutions to this problem are not satisfying. Details are presented below.

Combobox, or dropdown list, can be used to present choices to users. For example, Windows 2000 has a Search For Files or Folders dialog, which contains a combobox as shown in Picture 1.

Picture 1: Part of Windows 2000 Search Dialog

Sometimes, a combobox or dropdown list can be used to present recent user input entries, so that users TM can choose one without having to enter it again. For example, in IBM DB2 Universal Database Command Center, a dropdown list is used to present scripts that have been run recently, as shown in Picture 2:

Picture 2: Part of UDB Command Center

When users cannot find the entry they want from the presented choices, they typically need to browse for it elsewhere in the system. But, the browse function is usually presented by a different GUI control. For TM example, in IBM DB2 Universal Database , a browse button typically goes with a text field, as shown in Picture 3.

Picture 3: UDB Browse Button with Textfield

This paper proposes that a new GUI control is created to combine the combo and browse functions into one widget, so that users can browse for an entry if it is not already presented in the combobox, as shown in Picture 4 and 5. Picture 4 and 5 represents the proposed design with 2 alternative styles of look and feel.

Picture 4: Combo Browse Control - 1

1

[This page contains 4 pictures or other non-text objects]

Page 2 of 2

Or

Picture 5: Combo Browse Control - 2

Or

Now let's look at how the proposed design solve the mentioned usability problem better than existing solutions. In Picture 1, if users want to search for a file in the temp folder on their C drive, how should they do it? Usually, people look for a browse button to bring up a...