Re: Nautilus 2.6 - We're going all spatial

On Mon, 2003-09-15 at 10:28, Dave Camp wrote:
> For the 2.6 cycle, the nautilus crew is trying out a new UI that
> should give us the best of both worlds.  The idea is present an object
> oriented UI from the desktop, but to allow users to open navigation
> windows if they prefer them.  This means that opening a folder from
> the desktop will give you an object window.  Opening folders from
> object windows will give you new object windows.  You can right click
> on a folder from an object window and select "Navigate Folder"[1], and
> get a normal nautilus window.

Is this really a step forward?

      * It is not at all clear to me that the spatial model is more
        usable than the browser model.  (Sure, it makes a lot of sense
        and is more real-world-like, but as it's being pointed out
        before it does have drawbacks.)

      * You are actually making the Nautilus model more complicated (not
        simpler) by exposing the user to two completely different kinds
        of windows, for "object" and "navigation" purposes.  This seems
        to defeat the basic premise of making the model easier to learn.

      * If "navigation mode" is only available from the menu bar or a
        right click menu and everything on the desktop opens in "object"
        mode by default, then users who prefer the navigation mode
        (which might even be the majority of them :-)) are going to
        suffer a lot, since they won't be able to just double-click
        desktop icons anymore.

> This interface is partially inspired by the interface described in
> .  Interested
> parties should read that before getting involved in the discussion.

I find most of the arguments in that article to be very subjective, and
not very well-founded.

Before making such a big paradigm shift it would probably be better to
do a thorough research on how the model actually affects users. 
(Research which you might have done already -- in which case it would be
nice to know the results of that.  ;-))

> Our general opinion coming out of that thread was that the Object
> Oriented metaphor was probably easier to learn, and built a stronger
> conceptual model for users, but that the convenience benefits of a
> navigation window outweighed those.

So why are you making the object oriented metaphor the default?  I doubt
there is really a learnability problem at all -- if the browser model
were so difficult to understand people wouldn't even be able to browse
the web (or use a file selector dialog).

-- Ettore

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