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Sort-sensitive list navigation Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037385D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jan-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 3 page(s) / 66K

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This article describes a technique of providing a list navigation method in the context of how the list is sorted.

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Sort-sensitive list navigation

Disclosed is a user interface design that allows for first letter navigation in sortable lists displayed on the web.

Current state of the art:

In normal (eg Windows) GUIs, long lists of data are typically displayed in a scrolling list and a user can navigate a list by a technique called first letter navigation. For example, given an alphabetically sorted list of thousands of names, if a user wishes to find a name beginning with "L", he can simple press the "L" key on the keyboard. The list is then automatically scrolled down to the first name beginning with the letter "L".

     On the web, however, in order to improve performance, large lists are often presented in smaller segments or pages (perhaps 20 at a time). Additional functions such as 'next page' and 'previous page' are often introduced to help the user navigate these segments. In some cases, 'index lists' are employed. For example, if there are 20 pages, a list of 20 page links is presented so that the user can click on the link for page 15 to go directly to page 15 without having to page through pages 2 to
14. Some alphabetically sorted lists on the web will employ an alphabetic 'index list'. For example, a list of names sorted alphabetically would have a list of links (a through z) that the user could use to navigate directly to the L's for instance. See Fig 1 below.

Figure 1

     A problem with these techniques arises when the lists contain multiple sortable columns where the colu...