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Multiple Peer-Tree Surfaced and Synchronized Multifaceted Information Finder using Breadcrumbs or Tabs Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125339D
Original Publication Date: 2005-May-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-May-27
Document File: 6 page(s) / 160K

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The essence of this invention is to provide multiple information navigation sub-systems (e.g., object and action based), one for each supported information-finding facet, and to make them well integrated, surfaced, and synchronized within the same UI (e.g., with the results, search access, etc.), and by doing this peer/multiple navigation mechanism with either the peer tabs or peer breadcrumbs as the UI method (described below), and combining this with dynamically synchronizing this "Finder" pane with the result area adjacent to it. By keeping the peer navigation trees separate (but also well synchronized and surfaced), it keeps the user interaction more predictable and puts the user in control of the find. It also makes dynamic restructures of the facet trees per each drill down more understandable.

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Multiple Peer-Tree Surfaced and Synchronized Multifaceted Information Finder using Breadcrumbs or Tabs

There is an incredible abundance of information today, and this great wealth of information only continues to grow. This problem is only getting worse as our information sets get ever richer as we integrate access to multiple information sources in our UI frameworks. Although there has been recent progress with information access UIs across the industry (e.g.,, Flamenco, Nasa's sideran, etc.), they typically only provide one navigation tree structure, and sometimes none (e.g., Google).

In the example that follows there are two navigation information-finder facets, one action based (a.k.a "tasks") and one for object based (a.k.a., "resources"). These are two common ways that information structures can be carved up for user access, but there are other possible ways to also do it (e.g., logical and physical, etc.). Facets that rarely change per user, such as user roles, might be more desirable to have user control at a lower-level less fluidly settable setup dialog that is more off to the side. More than two facets could also be supported (e.g., task, resource type, and product).

The navigation facets could be either in the format of two peer breadcrumb navigation strings, or in the format of multiple but synchronized tabbed areas. Tabbed method is shown in Figures 1-3 below that goes through a simple drill-down example.


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Figure 1 - Information Center before navigation or search

If the user first drills down on Troubleshooting by clicking that link in Figure 1 above, then he'd get presented a panel like one below in Figure 2. Note how the multiple navigation trees are simultaneously available with the results shown in an adjacent pane. Also note that if the user wanted to back out of Troubleshooting, he could either hit the "Clear" button, or click on the integrated close button ("X") on the same tab, for which the "Troubleshooting" tab would vanish.


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Figure 2 - Action Navigation Facet Navigated to Troubleshooting

Since the user is troubleshooting his servers, he next clicks "Servers", which is in the Object Facet, to drill down on that peer facet: The listing is thus based on the intersection of hits from...