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A Method to Eliminate Visual Miscues from the Display of Scroll Bars

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012368D
Original Publication Date: 2003-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-May-01

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This publication presents an improvement to the current art of scroll bar technology. In current designs of 2D graphical interfaces, users have come to know that an application can contain scroll bars. These scroll bars frequently appear in multiple overlapping windows. It is very easy for the user, in trying to scroll the application in front, to click the scrollbar of one of the underlying applications instead. This has two bad side effects: 1. It brings the underlying application forward, and 2. It scrolls the underlying application. This is a common annoyance, creates a lot of screen flash, and disrupts the user's work flow, as they were expecting the original focus application to scroll. This publication presents a process for eliminating this problem. The mis-selection of scroll bars is created when the user chooses the wrong scroll bar; the mis-selection would not take place if only one set of scroll bars were visible. Yet, there is no need for scroll bars on a window without focus, except to confuse the user by presenting a selection affordance that has no utility.