Re: [Usability]Re: Notification Area guidelines

On Wed, 2003-03-12 at 12:19, Olivier Crete wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm one of the core GnomeICU developers and as such a user of the notif 
> area.. From our development and testing, I have a few comments on the 
> whole thing. Also some personal comments.
> First, on the single/double click, we had lots of discussion on our 
> mailing list and we tried both and I came to the conclusion that one or 
> two click is not really important as long as all applets behave the same.. 
> and behave the same a KDE too. We currently use double-click because 
> that's how our gnome1 applet worked, but if the standard if one click, we 
> have no problems with that.
> Second, on hiding the window. I noticed that Windows MSN and AIM have the 
> behavior of the "X" button as a pref. I really really dislike the idea of 
> "closing the main window doesnt close the application", but some people 
> are getting used to it. But I agree that many users feel the need for some 
> way to hide the main window. The way we currently to this (taken from our 
> gnome1 applet too) is that if users double-click on the icon when there is 
> no new message, it will show/hide the main window. I agree that this is 
> not perfect ui-wise, and it would be good if we had a better way to do 
> this.
> I think having a "remove" on notication area icons is bad. If it is used 
> properly (ie not used for stuff which is not really required), users will 
> see no reason to hide icons. And I dont think specific prefs should be 
> made from there, but we could still have a prefs item that would open the 
> main prefs dialog for the application, if that's logical in the apps case.

I that the notification area should be used for temporary notices for
the user, not for continuous status. Hence, by default all messages
would be removed once the user dealt with them.

> Balloon messages are absolutely needed. The should indeed timeout and a 
> max timeout should probably be enforced (even if its not in the spec). 
> Messages should also be clickable by the user to get more information, 
> this is something that msft has right. So the spec should probably be 
> enhanced to send back the "click" message to the application....

Yeah, this is a good idea. Applications should be informed when the user
deals with the message.

>  I know 
> Kopete on KDE already has balloons, so this is really something needed.
> We want to be able to show new messages in balloons if there is no 
> conversation with a user (just like windows MSN again).
> Overuse of the notif area should be prohibited, daemons should NOT show up 
> there and normal applications should also not show up. If this is allowed 
> everyone and there mother will start putting icons there like has happened 
> on windows and we will need a function to hide part of the icons. So this 
> has to be done cleanly from the beginning and only applications that 
> actually notify the user of somethign should be there. I dont want a 
> RealPlayer icon there or a xmms icon. On that topic, monitors probably do 
> not belong there and should have their own applet.. Since they are 
> self-contained anyways. Stuff like control shortcuts probably do not 
> belong there either.. The RandR thing on windows is nice, but it should 
> probably be its own applet. 
> Also, it should probably be limited to icons. If we can icons and text, 
> more stuff will need to be added (to know panel orientation/size, etc). So 
> the implementation should probably enforce that.
> The current implementation really sucks... 
> I also need a way to find out if there is a currently visible tray icon 
> and if messages are implemented because if there are no balloons 
> displayed, there are cases when the app will need to pop a real window 
> instead. The systray widget should also take care of surviving a crash of 
> the panel (the application has to do that for now) and should probably 
> have a build-in gtkimage to enforce consistency. Btw balloon messages 
> might need to be shared with other applets that might want to communicate 
> with the user, like ressource monitors. 
> The balloon should go away after a while, but we should be able to 
> continue blinking until a user action is taken when required. Everyone 
> else does that and it seems to only reasonable way to go.

I think that messages should not continue blinking, because they
shouldn't even be there if user action has been taken. And if they are
so important that a user must deal with them soon, they should be an
interupting dialog box, not a notification message.

> The notification area should probably a "non-removable" applet, so
> that its always there, but maybe not show up if there is no icon in it.

The notification server should probably always be present, but the
applet should be able to be removed. Then, if the user choses to remove
the notification applet, the server can send dialog boxes that look like
they come from the client application instead.

> For user testing, I think the gnomeicu team of developers dans 
> testers/early users will be very happy to help out with that.
Wesley Leggette <wleggette gate net>

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