Friday, September 24, 2004

Icons That Indicate Their Content by Their Visualization

Recently, I read a paper called "Automatic Distinctive Icons for Desktop Interfaces". The paper describes the use of morphable icons that give some indication of its content. Currently, GUIs use fairly plain and sometimes similar looking icons to represent just about everything. The paper argues that a more detailed representation would make it easier to distinguish the differences between various files, folders, and programs.

As I read the paper, I thought this may be useful to apply to LabVIEW. The icons in a G-program could be used to indicate more about the functioning of each element of the application. Files could be indicated in one manner, while analysis routines could be drawn quite differently to highlight visually the content or functioning of that icon.

You can read more about this technique at the following site:
http://www.idiom.com/~zilla/Work/VisualIDs/visualids.pdf

As usual, if you are interested in discussing this topic, please email me at hall.martin@ni.com

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