New UI introductions

12 Sep 2004 - 4:44pm
9 years ago
16 replies
630 reads
Listera
2004

This came up at lunch today: What significant UI widget/method/approach has
been successfully introduced for wide adoption by an entity other than Apple
or Microsoft?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

Comments

12 Sep 2004 - 6:15pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 12, 2004, at 2:44 PM, Listera wrote:

> This came up at lunch today: What significant UI
> widget/method/approach has
> been successfully introduced for wide adoption by an entity other than
> Apple
> or Microsoft?

Tab palettes, Adobe.

Letters (sans modifier key) for tool shortcuts. (Adobe made this
popular, but I don't recall where it came form)

Graffiti input method from Palm

Score timeline method (a variety of sources, one was Specular, my old
company, along with CoSA and a variety of high-end 3D software.) Score
as a keyframing method came from Macromedia in Director and later in
Flash.

Using the mouse as the "eyes" to fly a camera in 3D space became
popular from id software as used in Quake, now used in a host of
entertainment and high-end 3D software. Although I would assume this
started from flight simulation software. I just remember Quake making
it popular.

Will probably think of others soon enough.

Andrei

12 Sep 2004 - 7:48pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 12, 2004, at 4:15 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> Using the mouse as the "eyes" to fly a camera in 3D space became
> popular from id software as used in Quake, now used in a host of
> entertainment and high-end 3D software. Although I would assume this
> started from flight simulation software. I just remember Quake making
> it popular.

To clarify... this is the WASD key combo used in conjunction with the
mouse as the camera pivot.

Andrei

12 Sep 2004 - 8:08pm
Listera
2004

Would it be fair to say that the Back button as a fundamental navigation
item came from the web browser?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

12 Sep 2004 - 9:37pm
Dave Malouf
2005

<< Would it be fair to say that the Back button as a fundamental navigation
item came from the web browser? >>

Very fair ... And the single-click to engage.

I would say that more important than the "tabbed" palette, is actually the
palette itself. I don't remember that metaphor coming from MS/Apple either.

Skinning

Tabbed canvases; I think the first tool that I used this with was pre-MS
Visio, but I also used it with Homesite and it is now one of myfavorite
features of most macromedia tools.

I'll stop there, but surprising very few. ;)

-- dave

12 Sep 2004 - 9:57pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 12, 2004, at 7:37 PM, David Heller wrote:

> Very fair ... And the single-click to engage.

Actually, there were examples of Hypercard stacks and CD-ROMs made in
Director that exhibited the navigational style of the browser before
the browsers came along. Especially the single click notion.

> I would say that more important than the "tabbed" palette, is actually
> the
> palette itself. I don't remember that metaphor coming from MS/Apple
> either.

It actually did come from Apple in the original MacPaint or some
version of it later. If my memory serves me correctly. In fact, it
might have even been HyperCard that introduced the palette notion.

> Skinning

Ugh... I agree it's there, but can we just pretend you didn't bring
this up? 8^)

> Tabbed canvases; I think the first tool that I used this with was
> pre-MS
> Visio, but I also used it with Homesite and it is now one of myfavorite
> features of most macromedia tools.

Isn't this just a variation on tabbed palettes?

Andrei

12 Sep 2004 - 10:07pm
Dave Malouf
2005

> > Tabbed canvases; I think the first tool that I used this with was
> > pre-MS
> > Visio, but I also used it with Homesite and it is now one
> of myfavorite
> > features of most macromedia tools.
>
> Isn't this just a variation on tabbed palettes?

By definition a canvas and a palette are complements of each other and not
in the same taxonomy, like a motor and pesel. That's why I consider these
different.

But I can see these being the same, but then you could just say "tabs"
regardless of location/context. Did Adobe really come up w/ tabs?

Oh! And it just occurred to me that tabs in the canvas sense I think were
first used to separate spreadsheets in Lotus123, no?

Ziya, what was the "point" of the lunch time discussion? That only Apple &
MS have done any sort of sustainable innovation over the last period?

-- dave

12 Sep 2004 - 10:38pm
Listera
2004

David Heller:

> Ziya, what was the "point" of the lunch time discussion? That only Apple &
> MS have done any sort of sustainable innovation over the last period?

Well, at lunch, a ceviche dish was served and a kid at the table used to
eating ceviche in South America refused to touch it because "yikes, it's not
the same." Yes, the "nouveau" presentation was quite elaborate and looked
different. You can imagine how that would naturally lead to a discussion on
the difficulty of introducing new UI paradigms and getting them accepted
widely, without the active cooperation of the gatekeepers Apple and MS. :-)

It's infinitely easier, of course, for, say, Apple to introduce sheets or
drawers as new UI items and get wide traction in a relatively short period
than a third party. Dockable palettes, timelines, circular menus, etc are
great but they don't come as OS frameworks you can plug into. (Indeed, you'd
probably get sued by Adobe.:-) You may think rollover-triggered scrollbars
in your Flash app is the coolest thing since sliced bread but getting
widespread traction for it without Apple or MS adopting it OS-wide is not
realistic.

OK, I'll pretend Jef's not here. :-)

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

13 Sep 2004 - 1:29am
Jef Raskin
2004

>
> OK, I'll pretend Jef's not here. :-)

I'm not here.

>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba
>
>

13 Sep 2004 - 6:30am
Elizabeth Buie
2004

Ziya writes:

>Would it be fair to say that the Back button as a fundamental navigation
>item came from the web browser?

I would say not.

HyperCard had it several years before any graphical browsers existed.

Elizabeth
--
Elizabeth Buie
Computer Sciences Corporation
Rockville, Maryland, USA
+1.301.921.3326

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13 Sep 2004 - 6:32am
Elizabeth Buie
2004

Dave Heller writes:

>I would say that more important than the "tabbed" palette, is actually
the
>palette itself. I don't remember that metaphor coming from MS/Apple
either.

I would consider MacDraw's tearoff toolbar to be a palette. I can't
recall right now whether it had more than one. I've got MacDraw Pro at
home, though, and can check later.

Elizabeth
--
Elizabeth Buie
Computer Sciences Corporation
Rockville, Maryland, USA
+1.301.921.3326

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This is a PRIVATE message. If you are not the intended recipient, please
delete without copying and kindly advise us by e-mail of the mistake in
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13 Sep 2004 - 8:27am
whitneyq
2010

At 07:30 AM 9/13/2004 -0400, Elizabeth Buie wrote:
> >Would it be fair to say that the Back button as a fundamental navigation
> >item came from the web browser?
>
>I would say not.
>
>HyperCard had it several years before any graphical browsers existed.

It was also used extensively in Hyperties interfaces. The button/script was
a fundamental navigation element in the Hyperties language.

Whitney Quesenbery
Whitney Interactive Design, LLC
w. www.WQusability.com
e. whitneyq at wqusability.com
p. 908-638-5467

UPA - www.usabilityprofessionals.org
STC Usability SIG: www.stcsig.org/usability

13 Sep 2004 - 11:18am
Jim Hoekema
2004

When was the first appearance of "mouseover" or "cursor-over" behavior,
whereby the target changes visual state as confirmation that the user is
pointing at it?

For me it came with the CD-I platform -- Philips' TV-based system introduced
in 1989 (and abandoned in 1996). My hunch is that it came from gaming before
that.

- Jim Hoekema

13 Sep 2004 - 11:33am
whitneyq
2010

Hyperties had a mouse-over highlight (it also worked with keyboard
navigation) in 1988/9.

I don't think we were the first to do it, however.

Whitney

At 12:18 PM 9/13/2004 -0400, Jim Hoekema wrote:
>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
>When was the first appearance of "mouseover" or "cursor-over" behavior,
>whereby the target changes visual state as confirmation that the user is
>pointing at it?
>
>For me it came with the CD-I platform -- Philips' TV-based system introduced
>in 1989 (and abandoned in 1996). My hunch is that it came from gaming before
>that.
>
>- Jim Hoekema
>
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Whitney Quesenbery
Whitney Interactive Design, LLC
w. www.WQusability.com
e. whitneyq at wqusability.com
p. 908-638-5467

UPA - www.usabilityprofessionals.org
STC Usability SIG: www.stcsig.org/usability

13 Sep 2004 - 5:50pm
Listera
2004

Elizabeth Buie:

> HyperCard had it several years before any graphical browsers existed.

That brings up an interesting point. HC may have been the first to use the
Back button, but I don't think it was the primary influencer for Mac/Win
desktops in adopting it as a significant navigational focus. (Remember, the
first time MS showed this style of navigation, a lot of people bemoaned the
webification of the desktop and the inherent/perceived issues therein.)
While HC had a lot of influence in subsequent screen/card/scripting based
lightweight authoring tools, I think, the back button at the desktop OS
level was a direct result of the browser paradigm seeping in.

This also underlines the discrepancy between first introducing a UI item and
getting it adopted widely. (In some cases like Adobe, the company may not
want any adoption beyond its own platform at all for competitive reasons.)

In the end, should individual UI items be patentable?

And where would the web be today if Bill Atkinson had patented the back
button in HC?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

13 Sep 2004 - 11:59pm
Listera
2004

> In the end, should individual UI items be patentable?

Incidentally:

Microsoft Wins 'Tabbed Browsing' Patent
<http://internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3406551>

Microsoft has been granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office on a process known as tabbing through a Web page in order to find
links.

The patent (number 6,785,865) is officially titled "Discoverability and
navigation of hyperlinks via tabs."

Microsoft filed for the patent in March of 1997. It covers the process of
shifting between links on a Web page using the computer's tab button.

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

14 Sep 2004 - 8:08am
Jim McCusker
2004

Listera wrote:

> Incidentally:
>
>Microsoft Wins 'Tabbed Browsing' Patent
><http://internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3406551>
>
>Microsoft filed for the patent in March of 1997. It covers the process of
>shifting between links on a Web page using the computer's tab button.
>
>
Interesting... I remember using lynx (text-based web browser for unix)
to tab between links on the page in 1995. I doubt this one will stand up
from a legal standpoint.

But speaking of tabbed browsing (the one that everyone thinks of, with
tabs across the top of the browser for multiple pages), Opera introduced
that, I think. Yes, tabs were used in the past for dialogs and such, but
they weren't dynamic, and weren't under the control of the user. It's
become a more palatable version of MDI. In fact, some UI frameworks
(like SWT for Java) allow you to alternate between MDI and tabbed browsing.

Jim

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