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Communications of the ACM

Controlling the complexity of menu networks


A common approach to the design of user interfaces for computer systems is the menu selection technique. Each menu frame can be considered a node in an information/action network. The set of nodes and the permissible transitions between them (menu selections) form a directed graph which, in a system of substantial size, can be large and enormously complex. The solution to this problem of unmanageable complexity is the same for menu networks as for programs: the disciplined use of a set of well-defined one-in-one-out structures. This paper defines a set of such structures and offers some guidelines for their use.

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