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New Elements for a Graphical User Interface Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115545D
Original Publication Date: 1995-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 117K

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Related People

Seyfried, W: AUTHOR


Disclosed is a set of controls to be implemented in the software of graphical user interfaces on computers.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

New Elements for a Graphical User Interface

      Disclosed is a set of controls to be implemented in the
software of graphical user interfaces on computers.

      Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) are omnipresent in todays
computing but are still not delivering all their promises.  They are
still not obvious, not modeless.  The user has to navigate through
cascaded menus, search for information behind several layers of
windows, rearrange windows for drag operations or repeat recent
actions.  The rise of object orientation and the fall of procedural
concepts leads to the empowerment of the user, but added a lot of
additional elements to the screen and provided lots of functions that
are still cluttered, inconsistent and unorganized.  A graphical user
interface is limited by small screen size and low resolution compared
to print.  It is often less than a sheet of paper and always less
than the often mentioned metaphor desktop.

      The number of objects on a screen is still immense.  Every
character, every corner in a drawing is an object that is subject to
manipulation.  The large number of functions that can be used on one
object leads to vast amounts of menu choices.  The menus and menu
items required are also objects by themselves and therefore subject
to manipulation and so on.  Direct object manipulation is cluttered
behind "notebooks" and cascaded menus.  The objects that can be
manipulated and the available functions are limited by the space
available for the controls.  And only about five functions (selected
by the different ways to use the mouse buttons) are available as true
direct object manipulation.

      An improvement is to reduce the amount of screen space used for
controls by introducing new ways to distinguish between the to an
object on the screen.

      When dragging an object, the initial direction of the move
becomes significant.  After the mouse buttons are held down and the
mouse is moved a small number of pixels the cursor shape changes and
indicates the selected direction and its associated function.  When
the function is selected the object can be dragged in whatever
direction to whatever place on screen.  When dragging an object, the
final direction of the move before releasing the buttons becomes
significant.  This could be used to distinguish between insert and
replace mode.

      By dragging an object virtually beyond the screen borders a
function is selected.  As an example dragging an object beyond the
bottom screen border deletes the object, dragging it beyond the right