Experiments in refining graphical interface widgets

Candidate: Hecker,Yaron Chanoch

Abstract

This thesis investigates GUIs and their shortcomings. We demonstrate that there is room for refinement of existing graphical user interfaces, including those interfaces with which we are most familiar. A foundation for our designs is first established. It consists of known human capabilities, especially concerning hand-eye coordination, short term and long term memory, and visual perception. Accumulated experience in static and animated visual design provides additional guides for our work. On the basis of this foundation we analyze existing widgets. A series of new widgets are then proposed to address observed deficiencies in existing designs for scrolling, multiple copy and paste in text environments, text insertion and selection, and window management. Lessons learned from analyzing our new designs and observations of existing widgets are generalized into principles of widget design.