Re: GEP-2 Theme Sets (aka Metathemer)

Seth said:
> Calum said:

> > Ah yes... FWIW I heard Bill saying on Friday that he thought thumbnails
> > were far too small and he'd prefer the dropdown list/one big preview
> > model.  I kind of agree, it's hard to see imagine how you can get much
> > of an impression of the theme in something that size, especially if
> > you're drawing the elements actual size.  Even in the screenshot above,
> > where the thumbnails only show the metacity theme, you can't really see
> > some key visual elements of the theme :/
> The information is much more useful when it can be scanned quickly
> before selection is made. Having to click on each item in the list to
> get an idea of what it looks like is tedious and particularly unhelpful
> once the user already has a basic knowledge of the themes and only needs
> little reminders what some random theme is. What I would recommend is
> having small thumbnails (about 50% of full size, and displaying very
> small windows, say something like
> and then a larger version
> showing more controls when you actually select an item (it will also be
> instant applied, so the controls are just so you see more than what
> already happens to be on the screen).

I still think this suffers from "worst of both worlds" in that the
thumbnails are too small to be any more than memory aids, but they make
the list much longer so you have to scroll to see the choices.  Once a
user has seen the themes once, I don't see that the 'names' are an
insufficient mnemonic in themselves.

Clicking on each item is still, in Seth's mockup, the only way to get a
reasonably complete/accurate preview, the thumbnails are tiny, so it's
only a mnemonic and I think the cost in real estate and readability
outweighs the benefit.  As Seth points out, we would still want a
full-size preview pane, especially for accessibility (no point in
showing a reduced-size version of a low-vision theme ;-).

If scrolling through the list with the arrow keys is too slow, then we
might revisit the question of instant-apply; full-size previews could be
scrolled very quickly indeed.  Remember you don't have to "click" at all
to view the previews, just use the keyboard ;-)

Spacebar could "apply" (through its usual meaning of "activate item), 
so you would not have to navigate to/click on an 
"Apply" button either, though we might include one to make the 
non-instant-apply nature of the list visually explicit.


> -Seth

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