Chapter 16. The way of screen space saving

Nikolay (unDEFER) Krivchenkov


According to article "Is there a lot of space on the screen?" there is a little of screen space and it should be saved when it's possible. In this article we will tell about one small cunning which will allow us to do it.

In MacOS, this method is used for the application menu. There it is located at the top, on the edge of the screen. Thanks to it the mouse pointer cannot overshot the menu when mouse moves up, it just rests against screen edge. According to Jef Raskin's experiments to achieve the same speed of reaching of the purpose menu, if it lays in the middle of the screen, it is required to expand in 10 times. Without menu increase, allocated in the middle of the screen, the choice of a menu item demands in 2,5 times more time.

Extended screen

On the illustration at the left there is the menu to which will easily aim even it lays in the middle of the screen. On the right - similar to its usability properties the menu allocated on the screen top. As you can see, its most part (cyan colour) is hidden behind screen edge, but despite this it saves the effective properties.

Besides the menu in a figure the square button also is represented. At its allocation in a screen corner it is possible to reduce its square in 10x10=100 times, nevertheless to it also will easily aim, as well as to big, simply "sinking" the cursor in a screen corner.

Let's make some calculations. The applications menu has height about 16 pixels. The effective height of such menu is 160 pixels. If to add in a similar way 144 pixels of effective area of the screen to each of 4 sides for screen resolution 1024x768 its effective area will make 1312x1056 pixels. Thus we can easily increase effective area of the screen by (1312x1056 - 1024x768)/(1024x768)*100% = 75 %!

In unDE on each side of the screen will be located menus, switches, buttons and tabs purposely reduced by height for the upper and lower edges and by width -- for the left and right edges. It will allow to save considerably the screen space, and at the same time to increase speed of reaching of similar interface units. Logo