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Chessboard Layout Pattern (01 Jun 1999)
A multi-screen GUI has become a favourite amongst designers aiming at a wider and less experienced user community. It is widely held that multiple overlapping windows can be confusing and visually cluttered for the novice user.

Another common motivation is that a predominantly data intensive business application must provide simple, fast and by implication "a-modal" navigation across large sections of the problem domain. This is a common requirement when user task analysis and interviews indicate that the user is often interrupted or must frequently switch between incomplete tasks. It is also common to prefer an a-modal design when it is impossible to predict in advance what the user will prefer to view and when. Particularly true of applications for the World Wide Web where the user community can be unknown or undefined and prior research into their needs and preferences has not been done.
Article URL: http://www.uidesign.net/1999/papers/Chessboard.html

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