The goal is to provide a smooth, efficient and automatic display for interpretation of medical images by using a new generation of hanging protocols (HPs). HPs refer to a set of rules defining the way images are arranged on the computer screen immediately after opening a case. HPs usually include information regarding placement of the sequences, viewing mode, layout, window width and level (W/L) settings, zoom and pan. We present the results of a survey of 8 radiologists on (1) the necessity of using HPs, (2) the applicability of a hierarchical organization of HPs and (3) the number of HPs required for interpretation. We discuss some limitations and challenges associated with the HP including automatic placement of the series on the screen despite non-standard series labeling, generation of pseudo-series, creation of the 'study context' and identification of relevant priors, and image display standardization with automatic orientation and shuttering. The paper also addresses the HP selection based on the workstation's hardware such as number and type of monitors, size of the study, and presence of image processing routines tailored to the information needs and level of expertise of particular users. Our 'heads-up' approach is meant to free the user's conscious processing for reasoning such as detection of patterns so allowing for the execution of the tasks in an efficient, yet highly adaptive manner, sensitive to shifting concepts. Automation of routine tasks is maximized through the creation of shortcuts and macros embedded in features like multi-stage HP.