Clip, connect, clone: combining application elements to build custom interfaces for information access

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Many applications provide a form-like interface for requesting information: the user fills in some
fields, submits the form, and the application presents corresponding results.
Such a procedure becomes burdensome if (1) the user must submit many different requests, for
example in pursuing a trial-and-error search; (2) results from one application are to be used as inputs
for another, requiring the user to transfer them by hand; or (3) the user wants to compare results,
but only the results from one request can be seen at a time. We describe how users can reduce
this burden by creating custom interfaces using three mechanisms: clipping of input and result elements
from existing applications to form cells on a spreadsheet; connecting these cells using formulas,
thus enabling result transfer between applications; and cloning cells so that multiple requests can
be handled side by side. We demonstrate a prototype of these mechanisms, initially specialized for
handling Web applications, and show how it lets users build new interfaces to suit their individual
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNo code required : giving users tools to transform the web
EditorsAllen Cypher, Mira Dontcheva, Tessa Lau, Jeffrey Nichols
Number of pages20
PublisherMorgan Kaufmann
Publication date2010
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-381541-5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 32431743