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A method of hot swapping / linking product UI's for quick comparisons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235012D
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 47K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

When creating user interfaces, designers often want to compare their work with other products in the same software family or products with similar functionality. A method is disclosed that allows designers to quickly switch between similar sections of different applications.

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A method of hot swapping / linking product UI's for quick comparisons

A common problem we have seen that occurs during usability sessions and similar studies is wishing to view the user interface of another product in the same product family. Currently this is done by opening the other product and manually navigating to the same page. A smarter way would be to link common sections of UIs within the same family together and then automatically switching between them when comparisons need to be made.

    The method disclosed works by tagging states within the user interface of known products and then generating or calculating the series of actions required to view them. Once this cataloguing is complete, the user can quickly switch between them at the press of the button, with the underlying infrastructure generating the

series of actions required to view the same/similar screen in the other product.

    This will allow the user to more easily perform application switching to other parts of the user interface, within the same product or family of products and

beyond. This functionality is extremely useful when working on new versions of products as it allows user interface developers to view and understand the UIs from other products thereby ensuring that newly designed UIs maintain common interfaces improving the user experience of the new product/version.

    With design initiatives becoming more commonplace, there is a need for tools that are able to aid designers in generating new user experiences whilst ensuring common experiences so that the user is not frustrated.

    In order to implement this method there are two sections that need to be implemented.

    Firstly there needs to be a database containing information regarding the states/sections of the user interfaces in each product as well as the steps required to access them. Both the states and the steps are abstracted into generic ids and those containing similar content, e.g. the New Document, will be given identical ids, thus allowing designers to identify common parts of the user interface across products.

Example:
Id: document.new


Name: New document wizard
Product A (using application X):

Product B (using application Y):

Once this database of linked user interfaces has been compiled,

programmers and designers can then have access to them through their developer tools. Via a plugin or other tool, the method works by providing the user with the option to view similar user interfaces. Whilst viewing part of their development product that they wish to view in other product, the tool will:

    1) Identify that the current section of the user interface is avail...