Pie Menus

I was browsing through Wikipedia today and came across Pie menus which seem quite interesting. It’s an alternative to the current type of menu where everything is displayed in a list.

Pie Menus


A pie menu (sometimes called radial menu), is a circular popup menu where selection depends on direction. A pie menu is made of several "pie slices" around an inactive center and works best with stylus input, and well with a mouse. Pie menus work well with keyboard acceleration, particularly four and eight item menus, on the cursor keys and the number pad.

A slice can lead to another pie menu; selecting this may center the mouse cursor in the new menu.

Pie menus are often context-sensitive, showing different options depending on what the mouse cursor was pointing at when the menu was requested.

Pie menus are said to be faster and more accurate to use as users can use muscle memory and can select an option without looking at the screen. With pie menus, the option depends on the direction of the mouse movement rather than the direction and distance (as in linear menus).

Sims Pie Menus 

The Sims probably has one of the most famous uses of pie menus which I really like. There are also Firefox extensions which change your context menu to pie menus.

Some people are also speculating that Windows Vienna might use pie menus. 

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