Browse Prior Art Database

Visual Notification when Dropdown List Contains Only One Item

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000024643D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-02
Document File: 1 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Visual Notification when Dropdown List Contains Only One Item

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Visual Notification when Dropdown List Contains Only One Item

In today's computer world, graphical user interfaces are pervasively used. The user interfaces for these GUIs commonly use a set of standard elements or 'widgets'. One of these is known as the 'dropdown' list. As an example:

Users of GUIs are accustomed to knowing that if they click on the down arrow in a dropdown, they will see a set of items from which they can select. For example, the user might see this after clicking on the down arrow:

What is frustrating is when, after clicking on the down arrow, the user sees something like the following:

The user has just wasted his time, positioning the pointer on the down arrow and clicking it, only to discover that the full set of available choices was already known to him -- that is, a set of one (the current choice). I personally encounter this problem quite often in my day-to-day usage of various common software products.

What is proposed is a change to the characteristics of the commonly used and encountered dropdown, such that when its menu contains only one choice (and that choice is currently selected and visible) then the control will provide indication to the user of that situation without making him click on the down arrow.

This could be accomplished in many ways. One method (not necessarily best mode) would be to remove the down arrow icon from the control. Another might be to 'gray out' the down arrow icon so that while it remains visible, clicki...