Browse Prior Art Database

Integrated Multiple-Lists Drop-Down Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123102D
Original Publication Date: 1998-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 5 page(s) / 143K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Molander, ME: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Drop-down lists are becoming increasingly popular. They are a great way to reduce the overall layout size of a user interface by not directly presenting a whole list of choices. They do, however, make that list of choices easily accessible as long as the list isn't too long and the various choices are clear. But this isn't always the case.

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Integrated Multiple-Lists Drop-Down Control

   Drop-down lists are becoming increasingly popular.  They
are a great way to reduce the overall layout size of a user
interface by not directly presenting a whole list of choices.  They
do, however, make that list of choices easily accessible as long as
the list isn't too long and the various choices are clear.  But this
isn't always the case.

   Sometimes drop-down lists contain so many items they
require a lot of scrolling and searching to find the desired
selection.  Examples of long lists include the country-selection
lists that come up when setting up dial properties, font selection,
color selection, browser favorites, databases, etc.  Figure 1 shows a
typical country-selection list containing over 200 countries, but
only showing the very initial part of the list.

   From the addition of at least one more drop-down button
to the drop-down list control, which displays a filtered subset of
the entire list of items, this invention provides many benefits.  The
benefit of reducing elements in a list would mainly be from users
decreasing their error rates of wrong selections and by providing a
heuristic for the most common choices.  There would also be a
reduction in scrolling.  In the country-selection example, probably
more than 90% of the users live in 10% of the countries listed.

   Figure 2 below shows two drop-down buttons to open either
a short list or the full list.  Currently the shorter list of more
common choices is open.

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