Dynamic folder creation to ease navigation
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-25
Yiping Ye: AUTHOR [+4]
AbstractIn a graphical navigation system, trees and tree nodes are used to represent a hierarchical instance structure in a very organized manner. Normally users can easily find a node by expanding the parent node, and browsing through all the child nodes.
In a graphical navigation system, trees and tree nodes are used to represent a hierarchical instance structure in a very organized manner. Normally users can easily find a node by expanding the parent node, and browsing through all the child nodes.
The navigation operation becomes difficult when the number of tree nodes under the same parent tree node reaches a certain level. Searching through the huge list to find a certain type instance may require user scroll up/down the tree a lot and is not very convenient. (Figure 1)
Figure 1: The navigation tree without the Dynamic Folder. To see any objects at the end of the list, the user needs to scroll down the tree list.
One possible solution is to blindly create pre-defined folders to contain other nodes for each node type. This brings another problem: Extra layers of folders are sometimes unnecessarily introduced, such as when the folders contain only a small number of instances or even empty. (Figure 2)
Figure 2: Blindly create folder for every tree node type. The extra folder object is created even it is empty.
Another way to solve this problem is not to create a folder for every tree node type, but only for those who may potentially have a large number of instances. This solves part of the problem, but the basic problem is still there: extra layers of folders are introduced even when the tree structure is simple and straightforward. (Figure 3)
Figure 3: Not create folder for every node type, but define folder before-hands for certain node types. A folder will be created even there is no instance for it at the moment.
Automatically and dynamically create a folder based on certain criteria or rules. There can be only one criterion to be used to group the instances, or several criteria working at the same time. The criteria should be chosen to make the tree easy to navigate, no matter how the user changes the structure of the tree.
For example, the criteria can be the number of child instances and the instance type. If there is more than one instance for a node type under its parent node and this node type is not the only node type under its parent node, a folder will be automatically created to contain all the instan...