Browse Prior Art Database

A method to inform users of the interactive elements on mobile UI Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238094D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-01
Document File: 5 page(s) / 95K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This disclosure provides a new way of UI elements affordance. It is a supplement to the existing UI visual experience which is based on flat and two-dimensional elements on both PC clients and mobile clients.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 40% of the total text.

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A method to inform users of the interactive elements on mobile UI

   When using a desktop computer, users can move the mouse and identify interactive UI elements based on the shapes of cursors. The text cursor, which could be an underscore, a solid rectangle, or a vertical line, indicates where text will be placed.

The mouse cursor, which could be an arrow, or a hand, signals the point where actions of the user take place.

However, when using mobile devices, users point at UI elements with finger instead ofmouse. Therefore, there is no text cursor or mouse cursor which might help users recognize the interactive UI elements. Besides, most mobile device users choose not to read instructions before using an application or playing a game. Users might get lost when the interactive UI elements of the application or game are not visibly conspicuous.

Prior arts
I. User Interface Method for Activating Clickable Object and Playback Apparatus for Performing the Method (EP 1698966 A2 )

· This patent provides a method of highlighting the clickable objects by adding a button on the object, especially in the multimedia file.

· As the user interface of mobile phone is relatively small but the number of interactive objects is big, it decreases usability and even confuses mobile phone users by adding buttons or any other elements containing prompt message to each interactive object.

II. 3D special effect user interface system for mobile phone (CN 201286127 Y)

· This patent provides a method of displaying 3D effect for UI elements on mobile phones.

· This patent only focuses on the 3D effect of the UI elements when users perform actions on them and after the actions, rather than the affordance of the elements to tell users which element can be operated in what way.

III. Method for realizing 3D (three-dimensional) function menu of mobile phone (CN 102646021 B)

· This patent provides a method of displaying 3D function menu on a mobile phone.

· This patent only focuses on using 3D icons to display function menu items on a mobile phone. With the rapid development of smart phone technology, affordance of UI elements is required for not only function menu items, but also large number of other elements on the interface.

This disclosure introduces a method to improve the affordance of interactive UI elements on mobile devices. The shapes and heights of UI elements vary,

when users view the screen from different angles, to enable users to know which elements are interactive beforehand. Besides, the shape and height of an element indicate the type and priority of the UI element.


The method takes the following steps to enable UI elements affordance:

• Dynamically detects how many interactive elements are there on the screen (either PC clients or mobile clients).
• Gives UI elements a three-dimensional quality (without glasses) to present elements.

• Three-dimensional elements are then presented on UI via the new method of UI elements...