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Browse Prior Art Database

Presentation of Prompt Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103266D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kahl, DJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article discusses extensions to existing "prompt" techniques. Many computer systems today permit users to request a list of potential values to complete a field. This is called "prompting"; CUA 1987 documented this technique. CUA 1989 enhanced it by defining an icon (graphic) to place next to entry fields where prompt information is available. Clicking on the icon allows users to access the prompt information.

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Presentation of Prompt Information

      This article discusses extensions to existing "prompt"
techniques.  Many computer systems today permit users to request a
list of potential values to complete a field. This is called
"prompting"; CUA 1987 documented this technique.  CUA 1989 enhanced
it by defining an icon (graphic) to place next to entry fields where
prompt information is available.  Clicking on the icon allows users
to access the prompt information.

      The prompt notion is a good one, but current architecture is
not general enough -- it permits only a list of potential values.
The value domain for many fields does not lend itself to list- based
presentations.

      Following the current CUA guidelines, application developers
who need to provide prompting must present prompt information in a
list or define another graphic to display prompt information in a
familiar manner.  The former inhibits usability while the latter
inhibits transfer of learning as there will be too many icons doing
the same basic thing.

      We propose extending the notion of prompting to allow
presentation of prompt information in a familiar manner. Consider
this simple example:

      A user needs to enter a date, e.g., 4 Jul 1989, in a field.
If the field is enabled for prompting, the user is better served with
a calendar "month" display than with a list of dates.  The user can
easily cursor to the correct date or change the month or the year.

      As yo...