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Temporary desensitization to movement in the vertical plane when selecting submenus in a user interface with a mouse pointer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199490D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 268K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a means for enhancing the user's ability to select an intended submenu item in a graphical user interface. When the cursor is over a parent menu item the sensitivity of the cursor to vertical movement is reduced with respect to horizontal movement so that the user has a greater chance of being able to select the intended submenu item.

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Temporary desensitization to movement in the vertical plane when selecting submenus in a user interface with a mouse pointer

Background

    When using a mouse to select one of a number of submenu items from a parent menu it can be quite easy to inadvertently 'slip off' the currently selected parent menu item when trying to move the cursor right (or left) onto a given submenu item. This is especially likely if the user has poor dexterity with the mouse cursor. Instead of bringing up the intended submenu the user may inadvertently invoke the submenu of a sibling menu item instead.

Example

    In the Figure below the user might intend to select an item from the submenu under

A

              (as is shown here). However, as they roll their mouse cursor to the right they might unintentionally slip off

A

pplication B or

                             pplication D respectively). This can be pretty irritating and confusing if many adjacent menu items also have submenus, as shown here; confusing because the submenus keep popping up and disappearing as the user's mouse moves around.

    The user could use the keyboard to navigate the menus with greater precision but ideally we could solve this problem using a mouse. Some user devices that employ haptic technology might inform the user when they have scrolled from one item to another but still not reduce the likelihood of them selecting the wrong item in the first place.

Invention

    The key idea is to reduce the sensitivity of the mouse to vertical movements when moving predominantly towards a submenu in the horizontal plane. This would reduce the likelihood of the mouse cursor rolling off the menu item onto a sibling menu item, resulting in a greater likelihood...