Personal Object Space

Examples: Bad Examples: Context:  There are many things that the user needs ready access to, such as working surfaces, documents, objects, or tools.   This is often useful in Sovereign Posture applications, especially those that are WYSIWYG Editors or integrated development environments; also, Pile of Working Surfaces is really a specialized example of this pattern.

Problem:  How should the items in question be organized?


Solution:  Allow users to place things where they want, at least in one dimension but preferably in two.  Start out with a reasonable default layout, however.  Permit stacking, moving, grouping, aligning, "neatness" adjustments, sorting, and other layout operations. Do not capriciously rearrange the user's space -- only do automatic layout if the user specifically requests it!

Resulting Context:  The artifact should maintain the user's layout between uses, so Remembered State is a natural next step; User Preferences and User's Annotations, other customization patterns, go hand-in-hand with this one.  Good Defaults lets you design the initial layout well.  Actions for Multiple Objects give the user greater efficiency as they manipulate items within the Personal Object Space.

Notes:  -

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Last modified May 17, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999 by Jenifer Tidwell.  All rights reserved.