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Quick scrollbar repositioning to automatically detected user-interesting points

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000210958D
Publication Date: 2011-Sep-19
Document File: 3 page(s) / 176K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a smart scrollbar, capable of remembering positions on which the user spent more time. Those position are probably interesting to the user and the scrollbar provides an additional functionality to easily return to them.

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Quick scrollbar repositioning to automatically detected user -interesting points

The scrollbar GUI element is often used when the document to be shown is bigger than the available screen space. One problem with big documents is the difficulty in returning to an interesting part of the document after having moved away from it. Some applications offer bookmarking features, where a user can mark a specific point of the document and then ask to be returned to it. A fundamental drawback is that users have to explicitly mark the interesting points before moving away from them. An automatic mechanism to tag interesting scrollbar positions would be preferred.

Interesting points in a document can be automatically detected by measuring the amount of time a user has spent while observing them. In particular the application or GUI toolkit can flag as "auto-bookmarks" document zones where the user spent significant time. These points can be then shown to the user, who will be able to select one of them to return to one specific position.

The user does not have to mark places explicitly and will see this feature as a convenient help when he has "got lost" in the document. The developer of the application does not have to code for explicit bookmark management, because the invention can be implemented in the GUI toolkit and apply to all applications, including existing ones, with no code change required. In alternative, it can be implemented by a single application, with no GUI toolkit modifications.

The implementation requires than any movement of the scrollbar position is stored in memory, associated to a position timestamp. In this way, successive movements...