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Method to Mask Application Controls in Title Bar to Reduce Visual Clutter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235847D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 334K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for maximizing the visibility of the title on a user interface while providing the maximum number of toolbar functions. The solution uses a flip-card design to mask application controls in the title bar and reduce visual clutter.

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Page 01 of 4

Method to Mask Application Controls in Title Bar to Reduce Visual Clutter

The proliferation of toolbars and buttons in user interfaces (UIs) seems to grow linearly with the number of features added to an application. Toolbars provide quick access to key application functions, but simultaneously increase clutter on the user interface. This clutter problem is exaggerated when an application simultaneously displays multiple content panes each with the associated toolbar.

To provide maximum functionality while displaying the maximum amount of the title associated with the content, operating systems and applications use many different approaches. In some cases, toolbars can reside in the same region that houses the title of a content pane (i.e. the title bar). However, as the number of toolbar buttons in a given pane, window, or card increases, the possibility of the toolbar colliding with the title increases. Long titles as well as titles that become longer when translated into other languages experience this problem. In some cases, titles are truncated to allow room for toolbar buttons. An application might use a shortened version of a

contact's name as the title for a conversation in order to make room for toolbar controls on the left and right of the title. In some operating systems, the font size used in the title is reduced, making it less readable. Browser applications might remove or minimize toolbars in favor of buttons with drop-down menus, which might

not be optimal for the user. Some applications allow the user to choose how many toolbars to show and which buttons to include. All of these designs have inherent

compromises.

A method is needed for maximizing the visibility of the title while providing the

maximum number of toolbar functions.

The solution is a method to mask application controls in the title bar to reduce visual clutter. The design assumes a title bar associated with a content pane exists in an application. In order to reduce visual clutter and maximize the amount of title that can be shown, the toolbar controls are hidden from the user.

The only visible control in the title bar is a tools button. The normal application toolbars and menus are made visible by clicking the tools button. Upon clicking the tools button, the title bar flips over or other appropriate animated transition, revealing any toolbars for application and layout functions as we...