Browse Prior Art Database

Increasing the Usability of Focus-Driven Information Line Text

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115935D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, KD: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a technique that overcomes the usability problems inherent in the lack of scrollability of focus-driven information line text.

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

Increasing the Usability of Focus-Driven Information Line Text

      Disclosed is a technique that overcomes the usability problems
inherent in the lack of scrollability of focus-driven information
line text.

      In order to increase the usability of windows in an OS/2*
Presentation Manager* (PM) environment, applications are encouraged
to provide information lines.  An information line is a single line
of text appearing at the bottom of the window.  This line of text is
usually focus-driven, in that it is updated to provide information
about the control that currently has the focus.  The information is
essentially a one line help text.  As the user tabs or uses the mouse
to change the focus among the different controls in the window, the
information line dynamically updates to reflect the information about
the control that has the focus.

      The information line is not part of the main contents of the
window.  It is instead a frame control, and appears below the
horizontal scrollbar.  Like all other frame controls, it does not
scroll when the window contents are scrolled.  If it did scroll with
the window, the text would often be partially scrolled out of sight.
It could also make the user possibly scroll the control that had the
focus, and was thus displaying the information line text that was
being read, off the window in order to see all of the text.  Either
is bad, but in general, scrolling would be useful.

      Scrollable windows allow scrolling for the main contents of the
window, but not the status area.  In order to avoid these usability
shortcomings, information line text must currently be very short, and
translation to other languages may still make the information line
text too long.

      The solution to these usability concerns is to enable
information line text to scroll independently of the main contents of
the window.  By enabling scrollable information line text, the user
can scroll and see all of the text without scrolling or resizing the
window.  The text itself is also not constrained as to its length,
and language translation concerns for its new length would also be
eliminated.

      Visually, scrollable information line text not fully visible
would appear with scroll arrows at each end of the information line
area.  These scroll arrows would be the same left and right arrows
that appear at the ends of a horizontal scrollbar.  The text would
appear between the arrows.  The arrows would not appear when the text
is short enough to fit.

      The information line should not be in the normal tabbing
sequence so that the user's navigation of the panel with the tab key
will not be affected by this design.  A new keystroke combination
instead needs to be defined to allow the...