Typically, people organize papers on their desk as piles, and move all of them simultaneously. It is very likely that providing multi-window operations on groups of windows will decrease the cognitive load on users by decreasing the number of window operations, thus reducing window house-keeping activities. Multi-window operations in Elastic Windows achieve operational scalability by allowing users to operate on multiple windows at once.
In Elastic Windows, multi-window operations are achieved in a number of ways. One way is to apply the operation on a group window at any location in the hierarchy. The result of the operation is propagated down to lower-level windows inside that group recursively, where grouping determines the extent of the operation. This way multiple windows can be packed, resized or closed with only a single operation. Another way to do multi-window operations is to select multiple pieces of information and apply the operation on all of them at once. This way multiple pieces of information can be opened and arranged on the screen with a single operation.
Operations like multi-window open, close, resize and pack enable users to change the window organization quickly to compare, filter and apply the information. Operations like save, load and reorganize layout work on multiple windows allowing users to quickly setup their previous work environments as well as try alternative layouts for different subtasks within the same context.