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Generative method for visual element layout and design using interactive decision animations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201310D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In the domain of visual layout and design much of the interface interaction is involved with performing what-if scenarios. Most frequently, the user moves a shape on the canvas and visually observes, and then considers the functional and aesthetic impact of the new shape position relative to the totality of the design. Instead of the user moving a shape to various positions and nudging them back and forth to get objects to align correctly, this solution animates through or exhaustively presents some predicted end results without the user having to perform the movements to obtain each individual result. The disclosure herein therefore suggests a novel solution to lower the cost of visual layout and design.

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Generative method for visual element layout and design using interactive decision animations

In the domain of visual layout and design much of the interface interaction is involved with performing what-if scenarios. Most frequently, the user moves a shape on the canvas and visually observes, and then considers the functional and aesthetic impact of the new shape position relative to the totality of the design. A decision is then made as to the final disposition of the movement action with a few possible outcomes:

The new shape position does not successfully contribute to the desired design. The

shape is reverted back to its original position and does not impart the designer with a clear subsequent interaction.

The new shape position does not successfully contribute to the desired design. The


2.

shape is reverted back to its original position, yet having been moved, observed and considered it successfully leads the designer to his next interaction.

The new shape position successfully contributes to the desired design. The shape is

left at this new position and the next interaction is contemplated.

A problem with the what-if approach, due to its feedback fueled nature, is the large number of closely spaced interactions between the user and the computer. The interactions are not always very usable and this leads to an arduous process that translates into a sometimes costly activity. The feedback loop between the user and computer also exists in the domain of computer programming. A computer programmer writes a program, validates its behavior and subsequently modifies it to fine tune its behavior. The user seeks to close the gap between the actual and desired program behavior. There are two relevant and useful distinctions between operating in these domains:

The set of possible corrective interactions is much smaller in visual layout and design

which affords a potentially predictive interaction approach.

The interaction feedback loop in visual layout an design is cycled at much smaller

intervals due to the speed at which the visuals can be interpreted and considered (versus larger intervals in the computer programming domain due to the compilation and run time costs for each validation iteration plus the cost of validating a computer program that may have a multitude of verifiable paths). This exasperates the usability pains in the visual layout and design domain since there are so many repetitive and mostly mundane iterations to the what-if process.

There are numerous solutions in the market that address the usability of visual layout and design tools. For example, there are product features known as "snap-to-grid", "align horizontal", "align vertical", "layout automatically using specific algorithms" as well as combinations of mouse movement, click and key combinations that contribute to lowering the cost for design practitioners. These solutions do not take full advantage of what can be done to automate some of the repetitive inte...