Browse Prior Art Database

Balloon Windows for Supplementary Dialogues And Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000119893D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 111K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Temple, AC: AUTHOR

Abstract

A notation is described for visual display devices that clearly highlights to the user an important association relating to the window presented. Supplementary dialogues and information can be easily attached visually to a primary window using the ballon technique of comic strips for graphically associating windows.

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

Balloon Windows for Supplementary Dialogues And Information

      A notation is described for visual display devices that
clearly highlights to the user an important association relating to
the window presented.  Supplementary dialogues and information can be
easily attached visually to a primary window using the ballon
technique of comic strips for graphically associating windows.

      Today's user interface technology allows the user to develop
the resultant image in a primary window.  The user dialogues with the
system using menus, both action bar and pull down, in conjunction
with secondary window dialogues. Secondary windows should have
minimal overlap with the primary window so that the contents of the
primary window are not obscured.  If overlap is required due to
restricted screen space, then the dialogue window must not overlap
the related item in the primary window.  The following problems exist
with this approach.  When multiple applications are active, as is
possible with OS/2 and Presentation Manager, it is not obvious which
secondary windows belong to which primaries.  The CUA tries to solve
this dilemma by proposing that secondaries should overlap the related
primary, but this will often result in critical information in the
primary window being obscured.  Often the secondary window relates to
a specific item in the primary window and the relationship is not
always apparent, especially when there are many similar items in the
primary window.  When the secondary window is movable by the user,
the problem becomes worse since the secondary can now be remote from
the primary.  The result is that there is no direct association
visually between the primary and secondary windows. Sometimes this is
acceptable, but often it leads to short term confusion and mistakes
are made without the user being aware.

      Rather than encouraging the use of more than one application at
a time and windowing in general, the user minimizes the use of
multiple windows to save confusion, defeating the user's objective
and the system's design point.  A solution that resolves the problem
and provides direct association between two related windows is to use
the balloon technique employed in comic strips.  Here information in
a container (balloon) is associated with a source without visual
disruption.

      A number of common situations in which this design could...