patrick baudisch
video 9mb mwv
publication OZCHI'03
download groupBar
sequence of cursor images, some of which are translucent In the shown state, the user has grouped seven windows into projects of two and four windows plus a single window. Clicking the green tab of a project now allows the user to switch to that project, i.e. to restore all its windows and to bring them to the top.

The two figures show the vertical and the horizontal form factor of
group bar
sequence of cursor images, some of which are translucent

The fact that a user has twenty open windows does not imply that this user is working on twenty different tasks. Often tasks, such as ‘write a conference paper’, consist of multiple application windows, such as windows of a word processor, an illustration tool, a statistics program, and an image editor. If users multitask between such multi-application tasks, task switching becomes cumbersome, as it requires iconifying and restoring multiple windows. GroupBar is an enhancement to the Microsoft Windows taskbar that allows users to group running applications into high-level tasks called ‘projects’. This is done by dragging a window tile onto another window tile or group. It then allows users to iconify and restore entire projects with a single mouse click. Unlike existing virtual desktop managers, the group bar does not have a strict separation between desktops/projects, but allows users to simultaneously work with windows belonging to different projects.

Project in collaboration with Greg Smith (principal investigator) and VIBE

More information at the MSR groupBar page. Download groupBar