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Method for Improving Ease of Identification for Frequently Used Items in a Graphical Interface Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241764D
Publication Date: 2015-May-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method to leverage the way humans use physical characteristics of wear to make associations and recognize an object to enable a user to make similar associations based on graphic characteristics that show wear and recognize an object in the graphical user interface (GUI) environment.

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Method for Improving Ease of Identification for Frequently Used Items in a Graphical Interface

Users must often make a selection from a group of the same types of objects through a graphical user interface (GUI). Users can provide names associated with each instance of the object type, which generally are displayed along with the icon indicating the type of object. Users can also select a customized icon (different from the default for that type of object ). These facilities are in place to allow a user to more easily select the particular instance from a group of icons, but both have significant drawbacks. Having to identify the instance by looking at the accompanying text requires more time and attention. Setting a customized icon requires time and attention as well, but it also removes the user's ability to identify the type of the object solely from the icon (i.e.

without relying on memorizing the type of object associated with the customized icon).

This same problem can exist for physical objects (e.g., selecting a specific file folder from a pile of file folders on a desk ), but the strategy that people leverage in that situation is to become aware of the natural differences that exist between the file folders (e.g., creases, dirt, etc.). The human brain seems well suited to identifying individual instances from a set of generally similar things . This strategy becomes increasingly useful as a given instance is referenced (i.e. handled) because become more distinct through continuous use (e.g., creases are deeper, cover is dirtier, etc.).

The novel solution is a method to leverage these physical characteristics and associations in the GUI environment .

Currently, when a new instance of an object is created, it has an associated icon representing the type of the object. This icon is pristine, representing the icon exactly as designed. The novel approach suggests that, as a user interacts with that object, the icon can be altered in random ways, essentially showing wear as it would in the physical dimension. Different actions can produce different likelihoods of causing damage, or even different types of damage. For example, moving the icon around the screen might tend to damage pixels along the edge, whereas opening the file might more likely cause damage to the interior pixels.

The ideal user experience has this icon alteration (i.e. damage) actually occur during the action. A user does not want the damage to become so severe as to make it difficult to identify the type of object ; therefor...