Pie menus: a 30 year retrospective

Today (May 15, 2018) is the 30 year anniversary of CHI’88 (May 15-19, 1988), where Jack Callahan, Ben Shneiderman, Mark Weiser and I (Don Hopkins) presented our paper “An Empirical Comparison of Pie vs. Linear Menus”. We found pie menus to be about 15% faster and with a significantly lower error rate than linear menus!

This article will discuss the history of what’s happened with pie menus over the last 30 years (and more), present both good and bad examples, including ideas half baked, experiments performed, problems discovered, solutions attempted, alternatives explored, progress made, software freed, products shipped, as well as setbacks and impediments to their widespread adoption.

Fantastic read with fantastic examples. Set some time aside for this one – you won’t regret it.


  1. 2018-05-20 7:45 am
    • 2018-05-21 6:43 am
  2. 2018-05-21 3:36 am
  3. 2018-05-22 8:14 pm