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Method for Visual Location of Mobile Applications Through 3D Cubes

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243525D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-29
Document File: 4 page(s) / 97K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a solution to maximize visual clues to assist a user in locating a mobile application (app) by rendering logically grouped mobile app icons onto three-dimensional cubes. The cubes enable the display of more mobile app icons on the screen and direct users to appropriate groupings of apps through the prominent display of one mobile app icon rendered in full size on a cube face, and other app icons on alternate cube sides rendered smaller.

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Page 01 of 4

Method for Visual Location of Mobile Applications Through 3D Cubes

On a mobile device, users can select mobile applications (apps) from an app launcher that shows mobile app icons across a home screen. Mobile apps can be placed across multiple home screen panels, which the user navigates with a swipe gesture. Related mobile apps can also be grouped into folders.

Figure 1: App launcher showing two-dimensional (2D) mobile app icons across home screen panels, and smaller app icons grouped into folders

This user interface (UI) layout presents a number of usability problems. Mobile device users often install many mobile apps to a device. Even large mobile devices with high-resolution screens typically not have enough room to show all mobile app icons on a single home screen panel. This can result in a user having to swipe between multiple home screen panels to visually find the desired mobile app icon.

To address this issue, most mobile device operating systems allow mobile apps to be grouped into folders. However, this loses some of the visual clues associated with mobile app icons. A user looking for a particular app might visually be able to spot the app quickly by looking for the recognized logo. However, when grouped in folders, the app icons are greatly reduced in size, making it very difficult to visually recognize the app. Without visual clues, mobile users must remember in which folder an app is filed.

As visual clues provide such an important role in locating mobile apps, many mobile app launcher UIs have attempted to incorporate mobile app icons in novel ways onto a home screen. These solutions include arrangements of three-dimensional (3D) icons where icons are grouped on a carousel or in some other formation that the user can rotate to show additional mobile app icons. However, these solutions typically require a user to perform a gesture to navigate through the view of icons.

A UI is needed that persists the visual clues that mobile app icons provide, while permitting the grouping of app icons to maximize the number of mobile app icons that can be shown on a mobile device home screen panel.

The solution is to use transparent 3D cubes to maximize visual cues when a user is searching for a mobile app. The 3D cubes group apps in such a way as to visually guide a user to the correct grouping of apps.

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Page 02 of 4

The novel method and system comprise a mobile app launcher that consists of groupings of up to six mobile app icons rendered on a cube. The cubes act as visual cues to help the user locate a specific app icon. The user then rotates a given cube to launch a mobile app.

The novelty in this solution lies in mapping mobile app icons onto faces of a 3D cube whereby one mobile app icon is rendered in full size, two other mobile app icons are visible on the cube faces facing the user, and the cube faces directed away from the user are visible through semi-transparency of the other faces. Combining this with logically clu...