Typical user interfaces offer no way to discover why a feature or option may be disabled, nor what to do to restore the feature.
One of the innovations I evaluated for the driver was a special method of constraint handling. If a feature or option is grayed out, a small button will appear next to the control. Clicking the button displays a message explaining the reason for the constraint and how to enable the feature.
The original design used icons to indicate constraint conditions. But during usability testing, few users clicked on the icons. When we changed them to 3D button shapes, most users clicked on them and they improved usability of those constrained features.
Soon after the drivers were released, a competitor introduced a suspiciously similar feature for their drivers. However, the competitor's version used icons and not buttons.
This patent plays a significant role in ongoing IP negotiations.
As part of a design for a security feature to erase by overwiting any trace of a copy or print on a multi-function device, this invention is a novel way to handle a software failure of automatic overwrite.
The innovation is an ability to display the notification of failure at the source of the job. For print jobs, this would display at the PC submitting the job. For a copy or fax, this would appear at the device. Both methods would offer an alternate method of erasure to be attempted.
This invention solves the problem caused by certain applications which set a print count which is also sometimes set by the print driver, resulting in a multiplication of the number of prints requested and improper collation of output. The invention allows the user to transfer the control of the print count exclusively to the driver.
It has always been difficult to get resellers interested in carrying desktop printers because of small margins and no guarantee of future sales of lucrative supplies. I went beyond the original scope of the project and proposed an end-to-end system that not only notifies the user when supplies are low, but also directs the purchase to the original vendor.
Build Job is a feature on copiers and multi-function devices where the user can create a single document by combining various segments consisting of documents of different size or settings into one output document.
Competitive versions of this feature can be very hit-and-miss with the final document being the first indication of improper settings or quality.
This invention allows the user to sample-print, delete, rescan or reorder any individual segment at any time in the workflow, resulting in significant increases in productivity and quality of final output.
The proliferation of email marketing is prevalent because the cost of sending one email is about the same as sending 10,000 emails.
This invention is a way of preventing marketers from contacting an email address unless they pay the email recipient a predefined amount. This would be popular with email users as they could generate income and email marketers would be able to know their emails are being opened. Email senders that are already known by the recipient would not have to pay. A periodic review of blocked emails would also allow the recipient to grant free access.
The output of a workshop on how to handle space constraints for multiple tabs, this was one novel idea (at the time).