Browse Prior Art Database

Rapid relocation of items in long lists

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000189421D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Nov-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Nov-09
Document File: 4 page(s) / 416K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Many tasks performed with Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) provide the user with control features for manually reordering items in a list. Current approaches include moving items by dragging and dropping, incrementally moving items up or down one position at a time and reassigning numerical indices for position. These approaches become cumbersome when the list is very long. This publication describes an approach for long lists based that takes advantages of likely moves in a list ordering - to locations near the beginning, end or current position.

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Rapid relocation of items in long lists

A user interface(UI) control for allowing computer software users to quickly rearrange items in long lists is disclosed here. This system improves on other similar user interfaces by taking advantage of the tendency of users to move items to specific locations in lists - either up or down slightly from their current position, to the front or to the back of the list. positions in intermediate locations are less likely to be targets of moves.

At least three different UI control patterns are typically used today:

Figure 1 illustrates the Move up/Move down button approach: The list widget has two buttons for positioning items, one moves a selected item one position up in the list and one moves a selected item one position down in the list.. This approach can be cumbersome when the list is long because the move buttons only move the item one position at a time. For example, if a list has 200 items and the user wishes to move the 100th item into the first position, it will require the user to click the "move up" button 99 times.

Figure 1. Move buttons.

Figure 2 illustrates the numeric index approach. In this pattern, each item in the list has a corresponding numeric position index. When a user changes the numeric index of an item, the
list reorders to place the indices in ascending or descending order and in the list. The numeric index approach works well for long lists but requires what might be called an "indirect manipulation". The user must: 1) identify numeric index of the target position (e.g position "3"), select the position of the item to be moved, enter the numeric value of the target position (e.g. "3") into the index field of the item to be moved, and then signal that the item is to be moved. This then causes the list items to be reordered and values in the list index fields to be renumbered up to the original position of the item that was moved. Note that if the list is so long that it requires scrolling, the user may need to scroll back and forth between the item to be moved and the target position. Note that this approach also requires a two column table to present a single, ordered list.

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numeric indices.

Figure 3. movement by drag and drop: In this pattern, users can select an item and then drag and drop it into the desired location. For simple, ordered lists, this would cause all items beyond that location to move down one position in the list. down one item). The drag and drop approach provides a more convenient means for a user to move an item up or down multiple items in the list with a single motion; however, it is still problematic for long lists. If the list spans multiple pages, this method would be entirely infeasible. If the list does not span multiple pages, but is sufficiently long...