Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Designing optimal menus with no effort

Date:
October 11, 2013
Source:
University Saarland
Summary:
Researchers 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.

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.

Related Articles


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 to be?" 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! ≈ 10158 possible menu systems -- which is beyond any manageable limit.

Designing user interfaces is a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process. To support the software developers, computer scientists from Saarbrόcken, 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 designer 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, researchers have integrated a large number of interactions to define the optimization problem, 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/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Saarland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Saarland. "Designing optimal menus with no effort." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011135242.htm>.
University Saarland. (2013, October 11). Designing optimal menus with no effort. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011135242.htm
University Saarland. "Designing optimal menus with no effort." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011135242.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins