WO2009156009A1 - User interface for a mobile device - Google Patents

User interface for a mobile device

Info

Publication number
WO2009156009A1
WO2009156009A1 PCT/EP2008/067712 EP2008067712W WO2009156009A1 WO 2009156009 A1 WO2009156009 A1 WO 2009156009A1 EP 2008067712 W EP2008067712 W EP 2008067712W WO 2009156009 A1 WO2009156009 A1 WO 2009156009A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
selectable area
items
server
mobile device
list
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2008/067712
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Balazs Bakos
Szabolcs Fodor
Original Assignee
Nokia Siemens Networks Oy
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/274Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc
    • H04M1/2745Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc using static electronic memories, i.e. memories whose operation does not require relative movement between storage means and a transducer, e.g. chips
    • H04M1/274583Sorted according to a specific criteria, e.g. history or frequency of use
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/274Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc
    • H04M1/2745Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc using static electronic memories, i.e. memories whose operation does not require relative movement between storage means and a transducer, e.g. chips
    • H04M1/27455Retrieving by interactive graphical means or pictorial representation

Abstract

The invention relates to a method of arranging contacts in a user interface of a mobile terminal. The user interface has a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of contacts, and the second selectable area being capable of being activated to apply a filter criterion to the list of contacts in the first selectable area in order that some of the contacts having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the contacts not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area. The attribute can indicate presence status of the contacts. The attribute is changeable as a result of an update sent by a presence/IM server and received by the mobile terminal.

Description

USER INTERFACE FOR A MOBILE DEVICE

This invention relates to a user interface for a mobile device. It is particularly, but not exclusively, related to a user interface in a mobile terminal and may relate to the phonebook or contacts list in a mobile terminal.

Mobile devices by their very nature tend to be small and portable. This naturally puts a constraint on the size of the user interface that such devices may have and so many tend to be equipped with a small and limited screen and input capabilities .

In the field of mobile terminal devices, known user inter- faces were originally developed for traditional services such as enabling phone calls to be made and short messaging to be performed. Since then, mobile terminal devices have developed to include additional functionalities including, among others, audio and video capabilities. Furthermore, mobile termi- nal devices are becoming more and more capable of interacting with the Internet, including receiving user input and displaying web content to users, and their user interfaces have been improved to provide this capability. Even so, if mobile terminal devices are to remain relatively portable, there is a limit to the size and capabilities of their user interfaces .

In addition, many different kinds of mobile devices are being developed and they face similar constraints.

Therefore, there is a problem in how to get the most out of a relatively small display of a mobile device, that is, being able to deliver a reasonable amount of information to users in a user friendly way. If the amount of information which is required to be presented in a display does not fit into the display, it is usual to provide a special view menu item in a menu structure of a user interface to customise the views that are presented. This has the disadvantage of requiring a user to make a number of individual menu selections to navigate through the menu structure in order to reach a required view .

According to a first aspect of the invention there is pro- vided a method of arranging items in a user interface of a mobile device, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the method comprising: presenting a list of items in the first selectable area, and activating the second selectable area to apply a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.

Preferably, the attribute is changeable as a result of an update received by the mobile device.

Preferably, the update is sent to the mobile device from a server. Preferably, the update is sent as part of a service to which a user of the mobile device subscribes. Preferably, a number of updates are sent. Updates may be sent periodi- cally. The update may be part of a synchronisation activity between a client in the mobile device and a server. Preferably, the first and second selectable areas are capable of being presented to a user of the mobile device at the same time .

The display may be divided into a third selectable area in addition to the first selectable area and the second selectable area. The first and third selectable areas may be divided or separated from one another by the second selectable area. Content presented in the third selectable area remains unaltered by activation of the second selectable area. The third selectable area may represent a home area via which a user can find information which relates to himself.

In addition to the display, the user interface may have a user input element. The user input element may be useable to enable a user to select the selectable areas in turn. This may occur by a selectable area which has been selected being highlighted. A selected/highlighted selectable area may be activated by providing a suitable input to the user input element.

An advantage of having a second selectable area which can be activated is that it can be used to filter the items in the first selectable area with a direct command rather than by having to use a sub-menu.

Preferably, activating the second selectable area causes the first selectable area to present different views. Repeated activations may cause a sequence of views to be presented. If the second selectable area is activated enough times, the views may cycle through to one presented previously and the sequence may then subsequently be repeated. Preferably, the items are contacts in a contacts list. Some of the contacts may have subscribed to a service and are members of the service. Some of the contacts might not have so subscribed. In this case, only the members' contacts may have the attribute.

Preferably, the mobile device is a mobile terminal. It may be a terminal having wireless connectivity. It may have wireless cellular connectivity. It may be a mobile telephone having data transfer capabilities.

Preferably, the attribute is associated with a contact in a list of contacts. The attribute may be status information. It may be status information relating to the present or most re- cently recorded status of other mobile devices. It may be presence information. The attribute may be derived from status information, for example a combination of status information and activity related information. There may be a number of different potential attributes which may be associ- ated. At least one of the different potential attributes may be related to status or presence information and at least one of the different potential attributes may be unrelated to status information but is related to activity related information. The status may be independent of an action or actions carried out by a mobile device or its user. This may be so in the case of presence information, particularly presence information indicating whether a user/mobile device is "online", "away", "busy", or "offline". Alternatively, the status may be determined by an action or actions carried out by the mobile device or its user. In one embodiment, the attribute indicates whether the contact has added new content into a server which has not yet been viewed by a user of the mobile device. In this case, it is possible that the status of the contact indicated by the mobile device of the user can be different to the status of the contact indicated by another mobile device of another user if the users of the mobile devices have carried out different actions, for example one user has viewed the new content and the other user has not .

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a system comprising a server and a mobile device, the mobile device having a display divided into a first select- able area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.

Preferably, the server is capable of sending an update to the mobile device in order to change the attribute.

Preferably the system comprises a first server and a second server. The first server may be a content server. The second server may be a server for providing presence status information to mobile devices, for example in the form of updates indicating that the statuses of other mobile devices related to the mobile device have changed. It may be a server for managing an instant messaging service between mobile terminals. It may be both.

Preferably the first server is able to store user content. This may be user content which is uploaded to the first server by the user or one his behalf. The user content may be been uploaded from the mobile device or it may have been uploaded from a fixed terminal.

Preferably at least one of the first server and the second server comprises a relationship table which indicates, for a particular item, the mobile devices having item lists which include the particular item. Preferably, both the first server and the second server have a relationship table. The relationship table or tables may be used to determine contacts which are to be notified when an event is received in respect of a particular user/mobile device. The event may be new content having been uploaded, a change the particular user/mobile device's profile, and/or a change in presence status.

Preferably, the second server may provide updates concerning presence status information directly to mobile devices. The first server may provide updates concerning content change to mobile devices via the second server. The first server may send a request or requests to the second server to provide identified mobile devices with indications of content change. The second server may then send respective updates to the identified mobile devices indicating content changes which have been made in respect of the identified mobile devices.

Preferably, when a mobile device receives a content change update, it requests the first server to carry out a synchronisation operation with it so that certain data stored in the first server and the mobile device are synchronised. This data may include at least one of profile information of the contacts in the contacts list of the mobile device and indications of content which is stored in the first server for contacts in the contacts list of the mobile device. According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a server which is capable of sending an update to a mobile device in order to change an attribute, the mobile device having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them the at- tribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a mobile terminal having a user interface, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second select- able area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention there is provided a computer program product comprising software code that when executed on a computing system performs a method of arranging items in a user interface of a mobile device, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area; the computer program product comprising: executable code configured to present a list of items in the first selectable area; and executable code configured to activate the second selectable area to apply a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.

Preferably, the computer program product comprises executable code configured to change the attribute as a result of an update received by the mobile device.

Preferably, the computer program product is stored on a computer-readable medium.

According to a sixth aspect of the invention there is pro- vided a user interface for a mobile device, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.

In one embodiment, the invention provides an intelligent separator for mobile devices having a limited user interface. According to a seventh aspect of the invention there is provided a content management system comprising a notification server, a content server, and a mobile device, in which in order to notify the mobile device of new content, the content server sends a notification about the new content to the notification server and the notification server sends a notification about the new content to the mobile device.

The notification server may be an IM server, a presence server, or a combined presence and IM server. In one embodiment the system comprises a notification server is a server which is capable of sending notifications of updates to mobile devices.

Preferably, the mobile device has a display which is capable of providing information regarding new content. It may also be capable of providing contact information. The display may be divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of pre- senting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first select- able area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area. The display may be capable of providing status information.

Preferably, the content server uses a relationship table to determine which ones of a plurality of mobile devices to which updates are sent. The content server may send a notification to the notification server indicating the nature of the new content and the mobile devices which have to be noti- fied. The notification server may then send individual updates concerning the new content to the identified mobile devices .

In one embodiment of the invention, when a mobile device receives an update, a client application of that mobile device then contacts the content server and requests a full synchronization in respect of at least one of:

(i) profile information of all contacts in the contacts list of that mobile devices, which is then sent to the mobile device; and

(ii) new content of all the mobile device in the contacts list of that mobile device.

According to an eighth aspect of the invention there is provided a method of managing content comprising: adding new content to a content server; a content server sending a notification about new content to a notification server; the notification server sending a notification about the new content to a mobile device in order to notify the mobile device of new content.

According to a ninth aspect of the invention there is pro- vided a method of managing content comprising: a notification server receiving a notification from a content server about new content added to the content server; the notification server sending a notification about the new content to a mobile device in order to notify the mobile de- vice of new content.

According further aspects of the invention, there is provided a notification server, a content server, a mobile terminal, and a computer program product which correspond to the seventh, eighth, and/or ninth aspects of the invention.

An embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a system according to the invention;

Figure 2 shows a part of a user interface according to the invention; Figure 3 shows another view of the part of the user interface shown in Figure 2;

Figure 4 shows another view of the part of the user interface shown in Figure 2;

Figure 5 shows another view of the part of the user interface shown in Figure 2; and

Figure 6 shows more detail of the part of the user interface shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1 shows a presence and contacts management system 100 which is capable of providing a presence and contacts service according to the invention. The system 100 has a network part 102 capable of communicating with a mobile terminal 104 over a wireless link 106, a content server 108, a presence/IM server 110 (for example an XMPP server) , and a fixed terminal 112. Although only one mobile terminal 104 is shown, it is understood that in a functioning system, there would be a number of such mobile terminals. The servers 108 and 110 are connected to the network part 102 via a suitable gateway 114. The servers 108 and 110 are also capable of communicating with each other via a link 116. In another embodiment of this invention, the functionalities of the servers 108 and 110 could be incorporated into a single server. In this embodiment, the network part 102 is a GSM network although it can be any suitable network which is capable of providing wire- less data communication, for example a WCDMA network. The terminal 112 does not need to be a fixed terminal although it is in this embodiment.

The fixed terminal 112 is a personal computer capable of running a web-based or desktop widget based client application for the purposes of profile update and content upload as will be described in the following.

The mobile terminal 104 has a user interface comprising a screen 118 on which a visual part of a user interface can be displayed, and an input part 120, the input part 120 enabling a user of the mobile terminal 104 to input data, commands, and other user-desired input into the mobile terminal 104.

The mobile terminal 104 is capable of carrying out various functionalities, including those commonly found in mobile phones, email sending, receiving, and processing devices, and the like. One feature of the mobile terminal 104 is that it contains a contacts list which includes a phonebook. This is typically a list of entries of individuals who are contact- able by use of the mobile terminal 104 and usually includes the users of other mobile terminals. For each entry, the contact details may include a name, a telephone number or num- bers (such as fixed and mobile telephone numbers), and an address. It should be understood that although the term "phonebook" is used, this is being used in a general sense since the entries contained within it do not necessarily have to include a data component representing a telephone number, whether mobile or otherwise. An individual entry could contain identification information (such as a name) and address information (such as a real world or email address) without any telephone number. Individual users having their own mobile terminals who have subscribed to the presence and contacts service provided by the system 100 are called members. The service will be described in the following. In respect of each member, the con- tent server 108 stores a personal profile containing various details like name, telephone number, address, etc (that is the kind of details which could reasonably be expected to be present on a contact card, for example a business card) which they can define, manage and update,. A member's contacts list in the member's mobile terminal can be virtually divided into two parts:

(i) contacts who have subscribed to the service; and (ii) contacts who have not subscribed to the service.

As far as the service is concerned, type (ii) contacts are static, or private contacts. A member needs to update private contacts manually in their mobile terminal's contacts list, while contacts in the contacts list relating to members can be manually updated by the member but also can be automati- cally updated whenever those members update their profiles so that updated profile information is retained in the system and can be provided to the mobile terminal 104.

The operation of the service will now be described with ref- erence to the various parts of the system 100. The mobile terminal 104 operates as a client towards the servers 108 and 110 and is able to synchronise various data with them. For example, it can synchronise contact information and presence information .

The content server 108 has a store which contains members' profiles as mentioned in the foregoing, contact lists, and content. A particular member's contacts list includes private contacts with their details/fields and member's contacts known by the member and included in the contacts list, multimedia content (for example pictures and video) uploaded by the member, and blogs and fora to which the member contributes. The data stored may also include time stamps of when content was created or viewed by others . The content server 108 is able to synchronise data between itself and the mobile terminal 104 as will be described in the following.

The content server 108 contains a relationship table which indicates, say for member A, the other members (say X, Y, and

Z) who have included member A in their contacts lists. If the status of member A changes in any way, for example he changes his profile in the content server 108, then the members X, Y, and Z in the table will be sent an update in respect of mem- ber A.

The content stored in the content server 108 for a particular member can be created in, and uploaded from, three client applications : 1) an application on the mobile terminal itself;

2) a web user interface on a personal computer; and

3) a desktop widget on a personal computer.

The client application in the mobile terminal 104 is itself able to access the contacts list of the mobile terminal. It can be used to create and edit contacts information to enable a member to maintain their own profile which means both in the mobile terminal 104 and in the content server 108. In addition, it can also identify changes which have been made to the contacts list from time to time, and upload those changes to the content server 108. The client application is able to operate as a client in arranging the synchronisation of the contacts list on the mobile terminal 104 and a database in the content server 108 which contains the server-side con- tacts list. Synchronisation between the client/mobile terminal and the content server 108 for updates relates, for example, to notifications about new content added to the content server 108, managing presence information from the cli- ent/mobile terminal 104 side, managing IM chat and social networking features from the client side, and interaction with the user interface of the mobile terminal 104 so that it can be used to present relevant information related to the service to the user of the mobile terminal 104. The content server 108 communicates with the mobile terminal 104 in a client-initiated manner.

The client application on the mobile terminal handling the service is implemented as a Java client, in particular based on the J2ME platform and as a result is vendor independent. This means that the Java client can run on different types of mobile terminal.

Another way for the user of the mobile terminal 104 is to create the web user interface (such as the one operating on the fixed terminal 112) . This involves an appropriate registration to access the service and any necessary log-in steps which are required. Once the new contact is created, it is first sent to the content server 108 where it is included in the contact lists stored therein. It is also sent to the mobile terminal 104 so it can be added to its contacts list. This provides synchronisation between contacts information held in the contacts list of the mobile terminal and the content server 108. Alternatively, other fixed terminals 112 may have access to the service which are provided with suitable clients, for example desktop widgets and/or web user interfaces, which enable similar content creation and modification . This means that a member of the service is able to alter a contacts list by adding new contacts, changing existing contacts, or deleting contacts, by using the mobile terminal or, via a personal computer, the web-based client application or the desktop widget-based client application. Irrespective of the means used to alter the contacts list, the altered list is subsequently synchronised with the content server 108 so that the contacts list in the content server 108 is altered to reflect the new contacts list in the mobile terminal 104. This provides an advantage of the invention - since the contacts list in the content server 108 is synchronised so that it is up-to-date, allowing access to this up-to-date contacts list by a service member means that the service member has access to his contacts even when he does not have his mobile terminal 104 with him. For example, he can look at the contacts list by logging-on to the service using a personal computer or even by using a different mobile terminal, so long as it is equipped with a suitable client application that is able to interact with the service, and access the contacts list from the content server 108 for example by downloading it into that different mobile terminal.

The presence/IM server 110 has a store which contains a list of the members who have subscribed to the service and, in re- spect of those members, an indication of presence status, for example whether a member is indicated as being "online", "away", "busy", or "offline". An example of the status being "online" is if a member is actively engaged in an IM (Instant Messaging) session.

The presence/IM server 110 sends standard presence updates to the mobile terminal 104 in the form of XMPP messages. The presence/IM server 110 automatically sends presence updates in respect of other mobile terminals which have subscribed to the service that the mobile terminal 104 is known to have in its contact list. The presence/IM server 110 contains a relationship table which indicates, say for member A, the other members (say X, Y, and Z) who have included member A in their contacts lists. This information is similar to the relationship table contained in the contacts server 108 and is derived from it. When a new contact is created in the content server 108, or there is a change in the various relationships, the contacts server 108 contacts the presence/IM server 110 in order for its relationship table to be changed correspondingly. It could be said that the relationship table of the presence/IM server mirrors that of the relationship table contained in the content server 108.

The presence/IM server 110 is able to determine a change in the presence status of a mobile terminal, for example when the mobile terminal engages in an activity which causes a change in its presence status or if it specifically requests such a change. This may occur, for example, by the user of the mobile terminal 104 launching an IM session and thus changing the user's (or member's) status from "offline" to "online", or by the user setting a "busy" status. The presence/IM server 110 then can use its relationship table to determine which other members of the service need to be updated regarding the change in the presence status of the mobile terminal .

In addition to changes in the presence/IM server 110 about the presence statuses of members of the service, as time passes, the information stored in the content server 108 changes by members uploading new content into it, for example multimedia content and/or profile changes made by one of the other members. In order for members of the service to receive updates that new content has been uploaded to the content server 108 by other members of the service, the content server 108 cooperates with the presence/IM server 110. When new content has been uploaded by a particular member, the content server 108 uses its relationship table to determine the members to which updates have to be sent, that is, the members which have contacts lists containing the particular member. The content server then sends a message to the presence/IM server 110 indicating the nature of the new content and the members which have to be notified. The presence/IM server 110 then sends individual updates concerning the new content to the identified members.

When a mobile terminal receives an update, the client application of that mobile terminal then contacts the content server 108 and requests a full synchronization in respect of: (i) profile information of all contacts in the contacts list of that mobile terminal, which is then sent to the mobile terminal; and (ii) new content of all the members in the contacts list of that mobile terminal.

It should be noted that only indications of the new content are sent to the mobile terminal rather than the content itself. The new content can be requested from the content server at the request of the user of the mobile terminal.

Furthermore, since presence status not saved in the content server 108, it is not necessary for the synchronisation to include such information.

In one embodiment of the invention, the service uses HTTP, and XML-RPC with HTTP for messaging and data transfer between the mobile terminal 104 and the content server 108, XMPP with TCP for presence information, IM chat and content notifica- tion between the mobile terminal 104 and the presence/IM server, and XMPP with TCP for messaging and data transfer between the content server 108 and the presence server 110.

Accordingly, a particular mobile terminal 104 of a member receives updates which reflect the changes of status which have occurred to member which are contained in the contacts list of the particular mobile terminal 104. The information contained in the updates is used to update the contacts list of the mobile terminal 104 so that it can present to the user the most up-to-date information, for example presence status and/or whether there is new content, in the contacts list in respect of the contacts it contains. (It should be noted that in this context "up-to-date" means as recent as the most re- cently received update and so the contacts list might not reflect the situation at any particular moment if this has changed since the most recently received update.) As a result, the user of the particular mobile terminal 104 is able to open the contacts list and review it in order to check on the statuses of other members.

However, as the ownership of mobile terminals becomes more common, it is increasingly the case that a user of a mobile device will have over a hundred or more entries in the con- tacts list of his mobile terminal. In the case of mobile terminals which operate in a corporate environment, these might contain a corporate contacts list of even thousands of entries. As a result, although the invention provides a way for a contacts list to have up-to-date status information pro- vided in respect of entries which subscribe to the service, this can be somewhat "lost" (or at least not readily accessible) in a large number of contacts list entries. According to the invention, mobile terminals are provided with a user interface which enables the status information to be useable in a way which provides the user of a mobile terminal with useful information.

Figure 2 shows a visual part 200 of a user interface which is displayed a mobile terminal 104 according to the invention. This shows presentation of part of "My contacts" or a phonebook part of the mobile terminal 104. Below a header part of the visual part 200 indicated as being "My contacts" so the user knows which part of the user interface of the mobile terminal 104 is currently displayed, there are four main parts of the contacts list displayed - a "home" part 202, a "filtered" part 204, a separator part 206 which separates the "home" part 202 from the "filtered" part 204, and "unfil- tered" part 208. In this Figure, if the "home" part 202, the separator part 206, and the "filtered" part 204, and are fully viewable, and only the top part of the "unfiltered" part 208 can be seen. In order for the "unfiltered" part 208 to be presented, a user needs to use a scroll bar 209 at the side of the visual part 200 of the user interface to scroll through it. In this case, the "home" part 202, the separator part 206, and the "filtered" part 204 would scroll upwards and no longer be viewable. In Figures 4, 5, and 6, the display is occupied by the "home" part 202, the separator part 206, and the "filtered" part 204, and the unfiltered" part 208 is not viewable and would need to be scrolled down to in order to be seen.

In Figure 2, it can be seen that the separator part 206 contains the word "active". The word "active" is indicating the present mode of the separator part 206, that is showing members having an "active" status. In this case, the word "active" indicates that in the part below the separator, that is in the "filtered" part 204, this provides a view which only contains those members identified as being "active". Members indicated by the system as being non-active are not included in the "filtered" part 204. In the present case, since there are only two members having an "active" status, these two members are shown and the end of the "filtered" part 204 is indicated with a line 210. Below the line can be seen the "unfiltered" part 208 containing entries for which the system indicates that all of the contacts irrespective of their presence status or whether or not they are identified by the service as being "active". Therefore, it contains both mem- bers of the service and non-member contacts. The contacts in the "unfiltered" part 208 which are not members of the service do not have any icons associated with them since no content is stored or storable and so information about content is available.

It may be the case that there is a sufficient number of "active" members present in the "filtered" part 204 that only a certain number can be presented to a user of the mobile terminal 104 and the others which are not shown can be scrolled down to/and or through by appropriate use of the input part 118 of the user interface of the mobile terminal 104. In this case, there is not sufficient room to display the "unfiltered" part 208 and these contacts can be scrolled down to as described in the foregoing.

Other information is provided in respect of individual contacts presented in the "home" part 202 and the "filtered" part 204. Referring to particular contacts in Figure 2, it can be seen that all of the contacts 212, 214, and 216 have a status indicated as "online" this indicates that they are members of the service. In addition, in respect of these contacts, there are various icons providing additional information. For example, in contact 210, at the right side of the screen, there is an icon of motion picture film stock 218 representing video content stored in the content server 108, an icon of a picture 220 representing still picture content stored in the content server 108, and a coloured circle 222. This is colour coded as follows: a green circle indicates that the contact is "online", a yellow/orange circle indicates that the contact is "away", a red circle indicates that the contact is "busy", and a grey circle indicates that the contact is "offline". It should be noted that contact 212 in the "home" part is the user of the mobile terminal 104 ac- cording to the invention. Additional tags can be applied to the contacts such as an emoticon to indicate the preferred public state of the user (a smiling emoticon can indicate the user is happy or generally content) and textual information.

Contacts 212 and 214 have a similar set of icons but with some additions. Both of the icons represent a text document 226 representing textual content stored in the content server 108, for example blog content. Contact 214 has an additional icon - the icon of a picture 220 is highlighted with a star icon 228. This indicates that contact 216 has some new picture content which has not yet been viewed by the user of the mobile terminal 104.

All of the content represented by the icons in the visual part 200 of the user interface is accessible to the user of the mobile terminal 104. The content can be accessed by the user clicking on any of the contacts 212 to 216 in order to reveal additional icons which themselves can be clicked in order to download the relevant content to the mobile terminal or to provide it be streaming, for example in the case of video content. The additional icons identify individual items of content, for example showing identifiers of individual pictures or videos and these are marked with a star if they represent a new item of content. A contact is identified as being "active" if one or both of the following conditions are met:

(i) the contact is a member and is "online", for example is involved in an IM session; and (ii) the contact has recently created some relevant content (for example in a blog, added a picture, added an album, added a video, or a new IM chat message) .

The identification of being "active" is not a status like the statuses tracked in the presence/IM server 110. Instead, it is a determined on the client side in the mobile terminal 104, being generated typically be checking whether one of both of the conditions (i) and (ii) above are met. In one embodiment of the invention, this is determined when the mobile terminal is switched from one viewing mode to another, and in respect of the contacts which will be presented as a consequence, "active" or not is determined. Accordingly, both members and non-members, that is private contacts, can be identified as being "active".

In one embodiment of the invention, an additional third condition to the conditions (i) and (ii) above can be applied so that if either one or more of conditions (i) , (ii) , or (iii) are met, the contact is indicated as being "active". This condition can be if, according to the date recorded in the mobile terminal, today is the birthday of the relevant contact. This would be indicated by the contact being marked with an appropriate icon, such as a package wrapped with a bow. This condition can be met both by members and non- members, that is private contacts.

The identification of being "active" can be removed if a member has created content which is viewed by another member. However, it should be noted that the identification of being "active" is only extinguished in respect of the viewing mem- ber and is not extinguished in respect of other members who are yet to view the content. In this way, it is possible for different contacts lists in the mobile terminals 104 of different members can present different information in respect of the contacts in the contact lists depending on how the viewing, or potentially viewing members, have interacted with the information maintained by in respect of the member by the service. Another way in which the "active" identification can be extinguished is for a sufficient pre-defined period of time to have elapsed following the creation of content (which would have triggered an "active" identification) . For example, assuming that content has been created but not viewed by a member, then in respect of that member, the creating member will be identified as "active" until a period (which is set at the server) of 30 days has elapsed.

The separator part 206 is capable of being activated by a user. Activation requires the user to select the separator part 206, for example by pressing a navigation key (a dedi- cated key provided in the input part 118 of the user interface for moving a cursor or other indicator in, typically, four directions about the display of the user interface) a number of times so that highlighting or some other visual indicator is applied in turn to the various parts of the dis- play until the separator part 206 is highlighted or otherwise indicated. This is shown in Figure 3. Once so selected, the separator part 206 can be activated, typically by pressing an appropriate key or button, for example the navigation key. On activation, the mode of the separator part 206 is changed from "active" to the mode "most connected". The "most connected" mode means those contacts with whom a member has interacted with most. This may be a sum of the number of chat sessions with, viewings of content of, telephone calls with, SMSs sent to a particular contact. A more complicated ranking of interactions could be used in which different types of interaction, such as telephone calls is given a higher weighting than other types, for example viewings of content. This ranking could also take into account duration spent in vari- ous interactions. It should be noted that the "most connected" view can contain both members and non-members .

The "most connected" viewing mode is shown in Figure 4. A further selection and activation of the separator part 206 would lead to the mode of the separator part 206 being changed from "most connected" to the mode "members" (shown in Figure 5) and a yet further selection and activation of the separator part 206 would lead to the mode of the separator part 206 being changed from "members" to the mode "active" (that is cycling back to Figure 3) . The modes which can be activated in turn do not necessarily have to follow this sequence and there can be additional modes. Activation of the separator part 206 into each mode in turn affects the view provided by the "filtered" part 204. In the case of Figure 4, activating the separator part 206 to change the mode from "active" to "most connected" causes the "filtered" part 204 to provide a view which only contains those contacts which have the status of "most connected". In the case of Figure 5, activating the separator part 206 from "most connected" to "members" causes the "filtered" part 204 to provide a view which contains all of the contacts who are members. In the case of Figure 6, activating the separator part 206 from "members" back to "active" causes the "filtered" part 204 to provide a view which contains those members having a status as being "active".

It should be understood that if a user cycles through the views in the way described in the preceding paragraph, this does not necessarily mean that the "active" view seen on a first pass through the views will show the same members as a presented by the "active" view seen on a second pass through the views. If there has been an updating event between subsequent viewings of the "active" view, this means that certain members may be present when they were not present before because they have become "active" and certain members may not be present when they were present before because they have ceased to be "active". This means that the "filtered" part 204 is context sensitive. Content presented in this part can dynamically change based on the context of the other users, that is based on information aggregated in the client and/or in the backend server system. In other words, the updating provides dynamic views so that a contacts list is able to reflect changes occurring as a result of the activities and ac- tions of the individuals present in the contact list.

In the foregoing, switching between views was discussed, and how this was achieved by pressing the appropriate key when the separator part 206 is highlighted or otherwise indicated. This can be referred to "clicking" the part or relevant area. In an alternative embodiment, shown in Figure 6, rather than clicking the separator part 206, it can be selected in order to provide a number of options, for example presented in a sub-menu. The desired view can be chosen by pressing a key to go through the sub-menu until it is highlighted and then chosen to activate the desired view by pressing a key associated with the word "select" in the lower left hand corner of the screen (for example a so-called "soft key") . One advantage of this approach is that a desired view can be directly selected rather than cycling through until the desired view of reached. This does mean however, that using the user interface is slightly more cumbersome involving more manipulation than a series of clicks on the same part or relevant area. In a further embodiment of the invention, the user interface is configured so that desired view can be chosen both by pressing the appropriate key when the separator part 206 is highlighted or otherwise indicated and also by pressing a key to go through a sub-menu until it is highlighted and then cho- sen. In this way, a user can exercise a personal preference of how to get to a desired view.

Having described the interaction between the "filtered" part 204, and the separator part 206, the "home" part 202 will now be described. In common with the other contacts, it can be individually selected and activated in order to showing underlying information specific to that contact. On activation, the "home" part 204 can reveal a user's profile, photo galleries, uploaded media including videos, social networking features, recommended contacts which may have been identified by the service of being of potential interest to the user. The profile and content presented by the visual part of the user interface is can be modified by the user by carrying out appropriate actions, for example highlighting content items and deleting them, adding new content items, etc.

Therefore, it can be seen that the visual part of the user interface 200 is able to present a number of views or modes, for example "active", "most connected", and "members". Within each view, contacts are presented and a status tag is associated with each contact, so long as it subscribes to the service. Therefore, in this embodiment, status is not used to generate views directly (although it is indirectly in the case of the "active" view) . However, in another embodiment of the invention, other views can be configured to be presented for example status based views, such as a view showing contacts which are "online". In the foregoing, the mobile terminal 104 is described as having a user interface comprising a screen 118 on which a visual part of a user interface 200 can be displayed and an input part 120, which could, for example be a keypad. How- ever, in another embodiment of the invention, the input part 120 is a touch screen which means that there is no need for a keypad or similar input means to be provided.

In another embodiment of the invention, there may be two or more separator parts 206 which divide the visual part 200 of a user interface into three or more parts. This can operate in two ways . A second or further separator part may carry out a more narrowing filter operation on the already filtered results of a first separator part. For example, if the first separator part filters so that only those contacts which are active are shown underneath, and the second separator part filters for most connected, then underneath the second separator part will be shown only those contacts which are active in the order the extent to which communications have been made with them using the mobile terminal 104.. Alternatively, a second or further separator part may carry out a filter operation which is independent of that carried out by a first separator part. This would result in two filtered lists for example the first separator part showing only those contacts which are active, and the second separator part showing only those contacts which are "most connected".

In this embodiment of the invention, the service provider operating the service is a network operator. Accordingly, this updating/tracking system is integrated into the network. However, it does not necessarily have to be the case and the presence and contacts management system 100 can be a separate system which cooperates with a network but is run by a service provider which is separate from the network operator. While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be understood that such embodiments are described by way of example only. Numerous variations, changes and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the following claims cover all such variations or equivalents as fall within the spirit and the scope of the invention.

Claims

Claims
1. A method of arranging items in a user interface of a mo- bile device, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the method comprising: presenting a list of items in the first selectable area, and activating the second selectable area to apply a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first se- lectable area.
2. A method according to claim 1 in which the attribute is changeable as a result of an update received by the mobile device .
3. A method according to claim 1 or claim 2 in which the update is sent to the mobile device from a server.
4. A method according to any preceding claim in which the first and second selectable areas are capable of being presented to a user of the mobile device at the same time.
5. A method according to any one of claims in which the display is divided into a third selectable area in addition to the first selectable area and the second selectable area.
6. A method according to claim 7 in which the first and third selectable areas are divided or separated from one another by the second selectable area.
7. A method according to any preceding claim in which the third selectable area represents a home area via which a user can find information which relates to himself.
8. A method according to any preceding claim in which activating the second selectable area causes the first selectable area to present different views.
9. A method according to any preceding claim in which the items are contacts in a contacts list.
10. A method according to claim 9 in which there are a number of different potential attributes and at least one of the different potential attributes is related to presence information and at least one of the different potential attributes is unrelated to status information and is related to activity related information.
11. A method according to any preceding claim in which the mobile device receives updates concerning content change to mobile devices from a first server via a second server and receives updates concerning presence status information directly from the second server.
12. A method according to claim 11 in which the first server sends a request or requests to the second server to provide identified mobile devices with indications of content change.
13. A method according to claim 12 in which the second server then sends respective updates to the identified mobile devices indicating content changes which have been made in respect of the identified mobile devices.
14. A method according to any of claims 11 to 13 in which, when a mobile device receives a content change update, it requests the first server to carry out a synchronisation operation with it so that certain data stored in the first server and the mobile device are synchronised.
15. A method according to any preceding claim in which the mobile device is a mobile terminal.
16. A method according to any preceding claim in which the mobile device has wireless connectivity.
17. A system comprising a server and a mobile device, the mobile device having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area .
18. A server which is capable of sending an update to a mobile device in order to change an attribute, the mobile device having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.
19. A mobile terminal having a user interface, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area, the first selectable area being capable of presenting a list of items, and the second selectable area, when activated, being capable of applying a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.
20. A computer program product comprising software code that when executed on a computing system performs a method of arranging items in a user interface of a mobile device, the user interface having a display divided into a first selectable area and a second selectable area; the computer program product comprising: executable code configured to present a list of items in the first selectable area; and executable code configured to activate the second selectable area to apply a filter criterion to the list of items in the first selectable area so that ones of the items having associated with them an attribute which meets the filter criterion are viewable in the first selectable area and other ones of the items not having associated with them the attribute which meets the filter criterion are not viewable in the first selectable area.
PCT/EP2008/067712 2008-06-24 2008-12-17 User interface for a mobile device WO2009156009A1 (en)

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