Browse Prior Art Database

A method to Improve access to a sequence to WebPages in a Browser

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030468D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 87K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Page Selection in WebPages -a transcoding approach to reduce pointer device/mouse movement when presented with a line of selectable links which vary in linear position on a web page.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 37% of the total text.

Page 1 of 3

A method to Improve access to a sequence to WebPages in a Browser

When one is using the Web for selection the search criteria are usually so wide that the result is a list of items that is too big to display on a single page. For example, if there are potentially 256 things that could be selected, only 10 can be visible on the screen at once. This display issue results in a selection sequence which shows a sequence of item blocks. This is a sequence of items (a list) which are webpage links as shown in Fig1.

[Fig 1]

<<PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
NEXT>>

    Observe that in Fig 1, the 1 option, indicating that one is viewing the 1st in the list of possible pages is not in blue, so it cannot be selected.

    This sequence of links enables two metaphors for moving through the list. The first is where one makes a guess about how far down the item of interest actually is, and you then hit the relevant link. This assumes that the distribution of items amongst the divisions is linear (which it usually is not). Fig 2 shows the act of selecting item 15.

[Fig 2]

<<PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
NEXT>>

    Observe that the 1 has changed back into a clickable link and that 15 now is not linkable. In real life, this attempt fails to get to the desired destination and one ends up either selecting a different link (if one considers the destination to be far away) or just looking at the next or previous page via the second mode of operation.

    The second mode of operation - which is that mostly used when navigating through a sequence of connected Web Pages of this type - is to put the mouse/pointing device on the NEXT>> button and keep clicking until you get to the desired location. This has the effect of moving the current selected item by one slot as shown in Fig 3 where NEXT>> has been clicked each time.

[Fig 3]

<<PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
NEXT>>
<<PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
NEXT>>
<<PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
NEXT>>

    There is an important effect to observe about the rendering of HTML items in a browser. It is that absolute positioning is never guaranteed. This is partly because the act of rendering HTML is designed to be device independent and so everything is relative. Another facet engendered because the browser itself can be configured to change/set Fonts and Sizes outside of the control of the WebPage designer. Consequently, one never knows exactly where something will be displayed for a

Page 2 of 3

WebPage rendered by a Browser (different Browsers contain different rendering algorithms).

    In particular, vertical positioning is affected by the contents of the items above the sequence line. An assumption is made as to the expected content, and this is used to sort-of determine the available space for items. It's only sort-of because this assumes tha...