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User Controllable Translucent Modal Dialog

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012852D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-03
Document File: 6 page(s) / 414K

Publishing Venue



Provide a way to temporarily "unblock" a modal dialog, allowing users to perform non-destructive tasks such as browsing with the underlying system; this reduces modality and enables users to get contextual information about errors or data entry

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User Controllable Translucent Modal Dialog

In computer systems that provide error feedback or prompt users for data entry in the form of a modal dialog box, this invention adds a UI control and a corresponding keyboard short-cut to allow users to toggle the dialog box between opaque and translucent states. When the modal dialog box is translucent, users will be able to obtain additional contextual information about the error or get additional information for data entry since they can see the information originally hidden behind the dialog box. In addition, in the translucent state, users will be able to perform actions in the background window directly as if the dialog box doesn't exist as it is not blocking user action. The following screen captures illustrate the task flow of the proposed design works:

Users are working in the workbench as shown:


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Users launch an action that brings up a modal dialog box for data entry as shown:


[This page contains 15 pictures or other non-text objects]

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    In this example the data entry dialog box requires some information which users can get from the workbench. Instead of forcing users to quit the dialog box to find the required information, users can change (e.g. by pushing a keyboard short-cut such as F3) the dialog box into its translucent state and browse the background artifacts:


[This page contains 24 pictures or other non-text objects]

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    Now, users can see the information previously hidden by the dialog box. In addition, users can browse the workbench to find other information. For example, in this case, users need...