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Evolving UI

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225288D
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This idea consists of a UI that learns where a user expects to find menu options and choices, based on where a user starts searching for a particular function. The UI then adjusts the menu interface so that the location where the user started searching for a function is the menu location where the function can be found in future. This creates a UI that is uniquely tailored to each user, enabling users to easily find the function they want to use and increase their productivity.

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Evolving UI

UI design is fundamentally problematic. Despite a UI designers best attempts to create the perfect UI for a user, inevitably there will be users who expect to find functions in a different place to where they were placed within the UI. This causes problems for users trying to remember how they can perform certain tasks, and

where to find the button or menu option to do so. Current solutions involve:

 In Windows operating systems the task bar has your most recent list of programs opened.


 When right clicking the contextual menus change based upon where you are in the program.

 Careful planning, with months or years of focus groups used to decide on where UI elements are best placed. This is expensive and time consuming.
 Hiding less frequently used functions from the users view, thus helping them find the functions they are more likely to be looking for. The problem with this is that it can hide the function a user is actually looking for, increasing the time it takes to find and use the function.


 Providing multiple ways to perform the same function, including menu options, icon options and keyboard shortcuts. The drawback of this is that it can create a cluttered UI, where only one of the possible options is ever used

  to perform the function.
 Providing information in documentation to assist the user in finding the

function. The drawback of this is that documentation is often the last resort of a user, rather than the first, making it unhelpful for a user looking for a particular function.

The advantages of this over existing solutions is that it optimises the UI for

each user, making every command intuitive for the user to locate. Once a user has located a function once, every time they want to use that function in future, it will be in the place that is logical to them, rather than the place that was logical to the designer. It makes function easy to find, and increases a users ability to use the UI, rather than getting frustrated by it. No documentation is necessar...