Browse Prior Art Database

Using an Alternative Attention Mechanism for Icons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111565D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Henshaw, SF: AUTHOR

Abstract

A method is disclosed for presenting "needs attention" on icons and other user-interface devices that grabs a user's attention via "negative" indication. This mechanism will not add emphasis to an object to gain attention, but will remove information, then re-present it, in order to subtly attract attention.

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Using an Alternative Attention Mechanism for Icons

      A method is disclosed for presenting "needs attention" on icons
and other user-interface devices that grabs a user's attention via
"negative" indication.  This mechanism will not add emphasis to an
object to gain attention, but will remove information, then
re-present it, in order to subtly attract attention.

      The proposed solution is to alternate the normal presentation
of the icon with a masked view of that icon.  For example, the icon
can be dithered with every other pel being the color of the
background on which that icon rests.  This will be continuous, in
that a user can tell at any time which icon needs attention, but the
emphasis will be subtle enough that it will not force their attention
on the icon.

      Additionally, a user or developer can modify the mask that is
used as the alternative presentation, such as turning every third or
fourth pel to the background color.  The weight of this mask can vary
depending on how much emphasis a user needs on that icon.  The
greater the distance between the mask-affecting-pels, the more subtle
the cue to the user will be.