Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Designing optimal menus with no effort

10.10.2013
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Saarland University have constructed a menu optimizer for a GUI builder.

Based on a model of user performance, MenuOptimizer evaluates the efficiency of the current menu and suggests improvements, hence enabling the design of better menu systems with significantly less effort.

The last time you searched for a menu entry in your word processor, you probably thought "Why is this not there, where I expect it?" And then you mused, ¡°Why did the designers not put a bit more emphasis into the logic structure.¡±

But given that a mere 6 menu entries can offer more than 479,000,000 different menu systems, you might want to reconsider that complexity. A hierarchy with only 50 commands, less than most word processors, creates a large search space of 100! ¡Ö 10^158 possible menu systems ¨C which is beyond any managea-ble limit.

Designing user interfaces is a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process. To support the software developers, computer scientists from Saarbr¨¹cken, Germany, have built an integrated interactive optimization tool. The proof-of-concept has been integrated in Qt Designer, a widely used design tool, to design complex menu systems.

For designers, the system aims at accelerating the design process and facilitates decision-making in the team. For users, the system aims at producing more efficient graphical user interfaces. The de-signer can edit the menu normally while the optimization method explores a large number of designs in the background in order to find ones superior to those used now.

The lead researcher, Gilles Bailly, states: "The challenge was to combine the designers' abilities to design interfaces with the power of the computer to explore large search space to guide the design process."

This novel approach can radically change how designers work. First, the system will inform the designer about the impact of their choices on performance. Designers can thus decide to revisit the current design. Second, the system will provide suggestions of menu design in order to accelerate the design process. To let designers interact with the optimizer, re-searchers have integrated a large number of interactions to define the optimization prob-lem, the objectives, and the constraints. The result is that designers, even novice designers, can design good menus with 38% less effort.

The work is being presented at the UIST 2013 conference in St Andrew on October 10. UIST is the premier forum on User Interface Software and Technology. MenuOptimizer will be made available on the project page: http://www.gillesbailly.fr/menuoptimizer/

Contact:

Dr. Antti Oulasvirta
Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Tel.: +49.681.302-71927
E-Mail: antti.oulasvirta@mpii.de
Computer Science on the Saarland University Campus
The Max Planck Institute for Informatics is just one of several institutes on Saarland University's campus devoted to research in computer science. In the direct vicinity are also located: the De-partment of Computer Science of Saarland University, the Max Planck Institute for Software Sys-tems, the Center for Bioinformatics, the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability, the recently renewed Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction", the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and the Intel Visual Computing Institute.
Press contact:
Bertram Somieski (somieski@mpi-klsb.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
Joint Administration
¨C public relations ¨C
Tel +49.681.9325-5710

Bertram Somieski | Max-Planck-Institut
Further information:
http://www.mpii.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate
17.01.2019 | Purdue University

nachricht Next generation photonic memory devices are light-written, ultrafast and energy efficient
15.01.2019 | Eindhoven University of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>