Browse Prior Art Database

Technique for Managing Work in a Graphical User Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110990D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Berry, RE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A user interface technique is disclosed that allows users to organize objects associated with the performance of particular tasks and to manage the windows associated with those objects as a group. This technique results in fast task switching times, preservation of task context, and reduced window management by the user.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Technique for Managing Work in a Graphical User Interface

      A user interface technique is disclosed that allows users to
organize objects associated with the performance of particular tasks
and to manage the windows associated with those objects as a group.
This technique results in fast task switching times, preservation of
task context, and reduced window management by the user.

      Today's computing systems typically allow users to work on
several tasks at the same time.  The information associated with each
task is usually displayed in one or more windows on a display screen.
A user can become overwhelmed by the number of windows displayed when
several tasks are in progress.  Users spend much valuable time
opening, closing, and rearranging windows to help them focus on the
task being performed.  Such time spent on window management
activities subtracts from the time available to work on the user's
task.  Current systems provide little if any assistance to users to
help them manage windows and their work flow on a task basis.

      Designers of computing systems can provide users with work
areas to assist in task and work flow management.  A work area is a
container, like a folder, that is used to hold all objects used in
performing a certain task.  When a work area is displayed in a
window, it provides access to the objects needed to perform the task.

      The user opens and closes the objects in the work area as
necessary while performing the task.  The windows of objects opened
from the work area are associated with the work area's window.  If
the work area's window is closed, all windows for all objects opened
from the work area are also closed.  When the work area is reopened,
the associated windows are also...