Browse Prior Art Database

Reducing Desktop Clutter in GUI

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123233D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hutchison, GD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Typically, a graphical user interface (GUI) provides a 'desktop' displaying icons for activities available to a user of a system. As the user performs activities, the desktop tends to become crowded, interfering with effective use of the system. This problem of desktop clutter is addressed here by automatically 'fading into the distance' icons that have not been accessed recently or frequently. This can be done automatically and independently from any application or data the icon represents. When icons are displayed they are mixed with a degree of 'fog', scaled smaller and possibly slightly defocused by the window manager depending on how recently the icon was addressed.

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

Reducing Desktop Clutter in GUI

   Typically, a graphical user interface (GUI) provides a
'desktop' displaying icons for activities available to a user of a
system.  As the user performs activities, the desktop tends to become
crowded, interfering with effective use of the system.  This problem
of desktop clutter is addressed here by automatically 'fading into
the distance' icons that have not been accessed recently or
frequently.  This can be done automatically and independently from
any application or data the icon represents.  When icons are
displayed they are mixed with a degree of 'fog', scaled smaller and
possibly slightly defocused by the window manager depending on how
recently the icon was addressed.  The 'fog' could be implemented by
'toning down' the colours stored in the icon's bitmap and/or
inserting transparent (background) pixels into the icon that allows
the underlying desktop to show through.  The degree of this effect is
readily controlled by degrees of subtraction from the RGB palette or
by the number of pixels made transparent.  The adjusted icon is
calculated when the icon is first displayed in that desktop session
and subsequently used instead of the underlying base icon.

   For desktop icons a further visual clue to these icons
fading into the background is provided by decreasing their size
slightly in the proportion that they are faded.  Only icons
appearing in the 'foreground' would be in the users commonly
accessed set.  Differentiation of background and foreground icons may
also be achieved achieved by introducing slight blurring of icons, or
scrolling less used icons proportionately less than icons at...