Browse Prior Art Database

Help for Grayed Menu Options

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110320D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 1 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Miller, PC: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Currently, when a menu option is disabled to the user, it is grayed out, and if the user does click on the option anyway, it just beeps. This is frustrating and does not provide any feedback to the user as to why the menu option is grayed out.

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Help for Grayed Menu Options

       Currently, when a menu option is disabled to the user, it
is grayed out, and if the user does click on the option anyway, it
just beeps.  This is frustrating and does not provide any feedback to
the user as to why the menu option is grayed out.

      This article describes an interface for providing feedback to
the user on grayed menu options, so that the user will understand why
the menu item is gray and/or what actions to take to make the menu
option available.  See the figure.

      Scenario: The user is presented with a menu containing grayed
menu items.  In the present interface, clicking on a grayed menu
option would result in just a beep, with no help and no hints as to
why the option is unavailable.  Using this new technique, the user
can press mouse button two over any of the grayed menu options and
get an appropriate Help for Grayed Menu Item XXX window.

      This is a unique interface that allows the user to correct any
mistakes that may have resulted in the menu option being grayed, and
is much more user friendly and helpful than just a beep.