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Browse Prior Art Database

Intelligent timing and response for dynamic buttons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131717D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-16
Document File: 1 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for adjusting the timing of the activation of the function of a button relative to a dynamic change in the button's label. Decoupling the label update and activation of the new function by a short period of time (e.g., delaying the activation of the new function by about 100 ms) can prevent user errors that otherwise occur when the user clicks the button just as the function changes.

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Intelligent timing and response for dynamic buttons

This invention solves a problem that commonly occurs with buttons that appear or change function based on some timing mechanism or occurrence of an event. Since the button suddenly appears or changes function, users often mistakenly execute an unintended process or stop the execution of an intended process. An example of such a button is a single button that allows users to manually start and stop the synchronization of a database. Since synchronization is also typically set on a timer, users experience a common problem such that, just as they are attempting to click a button that says "Start Now" (see Figure 1), the synchronization process automatically begins and the user clicks a button whose text has changed to "Stop" (see Figure 2), which is, of course the exact opposite of the user's intention.

Figure 1

Figure 2

There are many more examples of these types of buttons, some with much more costly consequences (for example, these types of buttons, when used in the online gambling or trading industries, could cause a usability error that costs the user a large amount of money).

This invention solves the problem described above by adding a short period of inactivity (e.g., 100 ms) to a button immediately following its appearance or function change. In a preferred embodiment, this period of inactivity could be adjustable based on user preference, user population, consequences of mistaken selection, etc.

When a bu...