Dismiss
InnovationQ will be updated on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10am ET - noon. You may experience brief service interruptions during that time.
Browse Prior Art Database

Mechanism for Dynamically Changing User Interface Default Choices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111706D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 107K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Javey, S: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The following technical disclosure describes a generic user interaction mechanism for automatically changing user interface default actions, while actually using the default action itself. This is accomplished by combining existing user interface technology and metaphors.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Mechanism for Dynamically Changing User Interface Default Choices

      The following technical disclosure describes a generic user
interaction mechanism for automatically changing user interface
default actions, while actually using the default action itself.
This is accomplished by combining existing user interface technology
and metaphors.

      Graphical User Interfaces are highly interactive in nature and
often provide 'fast paths' to various functions in the form of
default choices.  Such fast paths are a powerful aid to expert users,
who are familiar with a software application, and wish to complete a
repetitive task quickly.  They are also useful for users whose main
style of interaction centers around the keyboard, rather than the
mouse.

      Fast paths are a standard part of most user interface style
guides, such as the IBM Common User Architecture 1991 definition, and
are implemented, for example, through default dialog push button and
default choices in conditional cascade menus.  In a default push
button implementation, a push button's perimeter is highlighted to
indicate that the 'Enter' key has been enabled to automatically
select the highlighted button.  In a default cascade the choices
generally consist of a preselected default cascade menu choice
indicated by a single check mark.  A default choice / action is
automatically selected when a user single clicks the mouse button on
the parent choice, for example 'Help', 'Open', 'Create Another' or
'Print'.  This can be contrasted with normal cascading menus where
the same user interaction would display the cascade itself, and
expect users to make the appropriate choice at the next level.  In
the default cascade, an additional mini-button would normally be
included in the conditional cascade parent to support this standard
cascade menu behavior.

      Default choices are often customizable through standard
mechanisms such as application settings, for example Notebook setting
controls in OS/2, or resource files in Motif.  However, access to
this customization usually requires users to change their current
workflow and invoke a specific customization tool.

      The authors believe that a more 'What You See Is What You Get',
direct manipulation technique would be applicable and easier to use,
and therefore propose the concept of dynamically changing user
interface defaults during normal user interaction with the software.
This allows users to change default options while interacting with
the user interface to complete their current task.  Users are
therefore able to both complete the current action, and
simultaneously make this action the new default choice.  The
implementation of a special key combination, which, when used in the
appropriate context, would not only select a user interface action,
but also make this...