Browse Prior Art Database

TWO-HANDED DOCUMENT NAVIGATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000026888D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-06
Document File: 6 page(s) / 323K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

Many current computer systems have a pointing device, such as a 'house", for use with a direct manipulation graphical user interface (GUI) for manipulating information in screen workspace regions called "windows". A characteristic of direct manipulation GUIs is the display and manipulation of graphical display objects (variously called "icons", "tools" and "widgets") in order to interact with and accomplish tasks on the computer system. Graphical display objects perform two roles: they function as a display which conveys information about their function or about an object on which a task is being performed, and as a control that the user manipulates to accom lish a

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XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

Task B

Task A

TWO-HANDED DOCUMENT NAVIGATION
William A. S. Buxton

I

Proposed Classification

US. C1.340/706 Int. C1. G09g 3/02

Task B

Task A

I I ' I

I I I I I I II

+

Time

2 Fig. 1 8

Fig. 2

+

Ti me

Fig. 3

XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL - Vol. 19, No. 2 MarcWApril 1994 103

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TWO-HANDED DOCUMENT NAVIGATION(Cont'd)

48\

Fig. 4

104 XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL - Vol. 19, No. 2 MarcWApril 1994

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Page 3 of 6

TWO-HANDED DOCUMENT NAVIGATION(Cont'd)

Many current computer systems have a pointing device, such as a 'house", for use with a direct manipulation graphical user interface (GUI) for manipulating information in screen workspace regions called "windows". A characteristic of direct manipulation GUIs is the display and manipulation of graphical display objects (variously called "icons", "tools" and "widgets") in order to interact with and accomplish tasks on the computer system. Graphical display objects perform two roles: they function as a display which conveys information about their function or about an object on which a task is being performed, and as a control that the user manipulates to accom lish a

functions. From the perspective of the display role of the GUI, the GUI can be said to be space multiplexed. However, virtually all interaction with graphical display objects is undertaken using a single input device (e.g., the mouse.) Hence from the control perspective, the GUI can be said to be time multiplexed.

function. Different graphical display objects are displayed for di

F ferent

Time multiplexing constrains the GUI to be serial in nature, since the user typically cannot perform two functions simultaneously using only one input device. More importantly, a t ical sequence of actions includes an action for

process of selection takes a quantity of time which may be referred to as an acquisition time. In addition to taking time, a %elect display object" action may disrupt the flow of the user's work progress or train of thought. The graph 10 in Figure 1 illustrates acquisition times involved in performing a series of alternating tasks A and B in a time multiplexed GUI. The time intervals denoted by reference numerals 2,4,6 and 8, represented by sloped lines in the graph, are the acquisition times needed for the user to alternately select the graphical display objects that represent tasks A and B.

selecting the display object be ?? ore actually performing the function, and the

The technique described here proposes to significantly reduce or eliminate acquisition time by assigning a distinct input device to each of a user's two hands, thereby controlling selection of the graphical display object for, and the performance of, each task with a different input device. The use of two hands in a direct manipulation GUI is an extension of the use of two hands in many everyday tasks, where a person's nondomin...