Modal(Lightbox/thickbox) displays are great to focus users' attention on to a particular task. There are some places where the user needs to be focussed on a particular portion of a web page without losing the context of the surrounding user interface elements. Inplace modal displays a overlay around the user interface element that needs focus.
Unfortunately, I don't have the application where I am using this idea published yet. But here is a demo of the concept with the jQuery script:18 votes
periodically refresh a page; update displayed data dynamically.12 votes
I hadn’t recognized this as a pattern before you suggested it, thanks. Now when I identified it I see this pattern in use all the time: Gmail, Twitter search, Google Docs etc. But, is this a UI design pattern, or AJAX/coding pattern instead? Or, is this a pattern at all, or rather just part of other patterns? Those are few things I need to consider before turning this idea into a pattern.
One more thing: I’m going to focus now more on patterns people need when they make early sketches of the UI, and this pattern is a bit out of the scope. But, after I have finished that theme, I’ll consider this pattern again.
Edit: Just found a good screencast example of periodic refresh on Flickr from Designing Web Interfaces: http://flickr.com/photos/designingwebinterfaces/3259238059/
Services like Geni and Tripit have already made sign-up almost invisible. Also single sign-on systems like OpenID are steps towards better.4 votes
Draw user's attention by showing a modal window in the middle of the screen and dimming other content.3 votes
Added to my to-do list.
How buttons are to be styled, emphasized, and positioned on web1 vote
A language selector is different - as it poses the additional challenge to be displayed in your language versus my language versus all languages available!1 vote
Thanks for the suggestion and screenshots.
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