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UI For Displaying and Editing Instant Messages Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028493D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 27K

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When receiving instant messages, the user is interrupted with popup windows which obscure and interrupt the task he/she is currently performing. In Windows XP, Microsoft has recognized this problem, and has suppressed window popup for some programs, and alternatively calls attention to the window by visually highlighting it in the task bar. However, if your taskbar is set to auto-hide, then you have almost exactly the same problem, because now the taskbar flies out and obscures the users screen. Furthermore, the user most likely has to bring the window to the foreground in order to read the entire message. The invention is a messaging client which solves the problem of reading (and optionally responding to) an instant message without obscuring or interrupting the user's current task

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UI For Displaying and Editing Instant Messages

The invention is an additional UI and system which augments the behavior and existing UI of a messaging client. The UI actually reuses the existing UI already found on modern windowing systems. Systems like Microsoft Windows contain title bars on each window labelling the application and possibly the document being shown or edited. However, there is plenty of unused space on the titlebar. The UI reuses the title area of a window to display and respond to insant messages.

Upon receipt of an IM, the messaging client presents the message by using the title area of the active window. The title area may be reused by taking its current text, shortening it if necessary, and appending a separator followed by the text from the instant message. Additional information such as sender, timestamp, and position in queue (explained below) could also be appended. An audio prompt is typical, which will alert the user to glance at the title area. If the user switches to another window, the messaging client might restore the old window's text, and display the message on the new focused window.

Additionally, the user may respond to the IM by invoking an accelerator which puts the system into a REPLY mode. During this mode, keystrokes would be captured by the messaging client, and would be echoed back again using the title bar area. Alternatively, the reply mode could bring up a more conventional popup window.

Finally, as multiple message...