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Browse Prior Art Database

Focus Based Multicolumn List Processing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118152D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gengler, B: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The demands of a product's Graphical User Interface (GUI) have been getting more and more challenging as time goes on. With each product iteration, more information must be displayed to the user in a more intuitive and usable manor. This is especially true of networking products where incredibly large amounts of information must be presented to the network administrator. Things like user id's, alias and application definitions, servers, and network services are just a few of the resources an administrator is interested in.

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

Focus Based Multicolumn List Processing

      The demands of a product's Graphical User Interface (GUI) have
been getting more and more challenging as time goes on.  With each
product iteration, more information must be displayed to the user in
a more intuitive and usable manor.  This is especially true of
networking products where incredibly large amounts of information
must be presented to the network administrator.  Things like user
id's, alias and application definitions, servers, and network
services are just a few of the resources an administrator is
interested in.  How can this information be presented in an intuitive
manor so that the user can find the required information quickly when
there may be thousands of various types of definitions?  There has
been a progressive evolution of solutions to this problem that leads
up to the subject of this disclosure:
  o  The first solution is the listbox control where all
      information is presented in one long list.  If the
      information is not in the immediately viewable area,
      the user presses a scroll arrow along the right side
      of the list to scroll the viewable area up or down
      to a new section of the list.
  o  As the length of the lists grew, it became necessary
      to order the list itself.  Alphabetic sorting of lists
      was then implemented programmatically on the listbox
      control that would organize the list for the user.
  o  The next iteration was the addition of multicolumns to
      the listbox to give additional information about each
      list item.  For example, the user's name could be
      associated with each user id defined to a network.  This
      way the administrator could tell that the "SMITH" user
      id was assigned to Jim Smith and not Amy Smith.
  o  The latest enhancement to list support has been the
      concept of 'H to Hawaii'.  In a sorted list, if you
      press the character H, the list will jump to the first
      list item that contains an H as the first character.
      Pressing the H again will jump you to the next list item
      that begins with an H, and so on.  This allows quick
      access to a specific list item without having to scroll
      through the entire list to find it.

      These solutions still fall short in providing true usability...