Browse Prior Art Database

Display of Messages in a Graphical User Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114440D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 52K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Webster, MA: AUTHOR

Abstract

When messages arrive on the screen of a GUI it is difficult to get the user's attention without disrupting the work in progress. Messages signalling some kind of event (the arrival of a piece of e-mail) or the completion of an asynchronous process (printing a document on a LAN printer) should be delivered to the user immediately but not so as to interrupt them. The existing mechanisms for announcing the arrival of a message and displaying it are: o Clearing the screen and displaying the message which must then be cancelled by the user. o Placing a new smaller window containing the message in from of the window currently being used. This must be dismissed before the user can continue working. o Issuing an audible warning. The user must find the window that contains the message.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

Display of Messages in a Graphical User Interface

      When messages arrive on the screen of a GUI it is difficult to
get the user's attention without disrupting the work in progress.
Messages signalling some kind of event (the arrival of a piece of
e-mail) or the completion of an asynchronous process (printing a
document on a LAN printer) should be delivered to the user
immediately but not so as to interrupt them.  The existing mechanisms
for announcing the arrival of a message and displaying it are:
  o  Clearing the screen and displaying the message which must then
be
      cancelled by the user.
  o  Placing a new smaller window containing the message in from of
      the window currently being used.  This must be dismissed before
      the user can continue working.
  o  Issuing an audible warning.  The user must find the window that
      contains the message.

      In each case the user must stop what they are doing to deal
with the message.  If several messages arrive in quick succession
this can become rather annoying.  In order to continue working the
user must return to the original window and the text of the message
may be lost.

      Another mechanism is to briefly show a small window containing
the message in front of the topmost window.  This is much less
disruptive but the message can only be short as the user doesn't have
much time to read it.  Also, if the user's attention is not on the
screen or they are awa...