Browse Prior Art Database

Method and Apparatus for a Graphical Dial Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110897D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, WJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Prior art provides drag and drop operations on a dial control such that the user can position the dial at any point with the mouse. However, this interface is not adequate in many situations. Since the accuracy of the setting depends upon how precisely the user can drag and drop with the mouse, this approach will not work where there are a large finite number of settings from which to choose. The user needs a dial control metaphor similar to a television channel selector dial. Radio buttons could be used to provide this service, but so many buttons would be needed that the expense of valuable screen real estate would inhibit this option. A method is desirable for a graphical control with many finite options.

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Method and Apparatus for a Graphical Dial Interface

      Prior art provides drag and drop operations on a dial control
such that the user can position the dial at any point with the mouse.
However, this interface is not adequate in many situations.  Since
the accuracy of the setting depends upon how precisely the user can
drag and drop with the mouse, this approach will not work where there
are a large finite number of settings from which to choose.  The user
needs a dial control metaphor similar to a television channel
selector dial.  Radio buttons could be used to provide this service,
but so many buttons would be needed that the expense of valuable
screen real estate would inhibit this option.  A method is desirable
for a graphical control with many finite options.

      This system provides a Dial control that enables the user to
control a broad range of functions with a single iconical interface.
The Dial control resembles a conventional rotary dial, providing a
metaphor of a selector control such as a television channel selector.
The user can change the selection in various ways as follows:

o   By clicking on any selection label, thus automatically moving the
    selector to select that position.

o   By clicking on a right or left arrow at the top or bottom of the
    control, thus rotating the dial in the selected direction.

o   By dragging the selector switch either clockwise or
    counterclockwise around the dial.

      By the very nature of the dial metaphor, the Dial control
continually provides visual feedba...