Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group

Engineering Human-Computer Interaction
Research Group

Visual Menu Techniques

In ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 49(4). pages 1-41. 2017.

Gilles Bailly, Éric Lecolinet, Laurence Nigay


Menus are used for exploring and selecting commands in interactive applications. They are widespread in current systems and used by a large variety of users. As a consequence, they have motivated many studies in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Facing the large variety of menus, it is difficult to have a clear understanding of the design possibilities and to ascertain their similarities and differences. In this article, we address a main challenge of menu design: the need to characterize the design space of menus. To do this, we propose a taxonomy of menu properties that structures existing work on visual menus. As properties have an impact on the performance of the menu, we start by refining performance through a list of quality criteria and by reviewing existing analytical and empirical methods for quality evaluation. This taxonomy of menu properties is a step toward the elaboration of advanced predictive models of menu performance and the optimization of menus. A key point of this work is to focus both on menus and on the properties of menus, to then enable a fine-grained analysis in terms of performance.