Re: UnAnswered questions about spatial switch

On 9/16/03 10:42 AM, John McCutchan wrote:
> There are two important questions that people have been mentioning that
> haven't been answered.
> 1) MacOS used to use the spatial model, now they don't why did they
> switch?

The obvious answer: Ask Apple.

What they will probably tell you: "Because it is better."

Possible explanations:

* Steve Jobs abhors visual clutter.

* Apple's recent UI trend as been "simplification", specifically a reduction
in (you guessed it) visual clutter.  This has manifested itself in the
proliferation of "single-window" UIs like iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, etc.
These UIs are indeed simpler and have proved easier to use than previous UIs
in the same application domain.

* The most obvious way to reduce visual clutter and get a "single-window" UI
in a file manager is to switch to a browser-style paradigm.

> 2) How will the deep navigation inefficiency be handled? We can't have
> spring loaded folders. So how are we going to solve this?
> Example: I browsed to a file and after opening the file I had to close 5
> nautilus windows.

The obvious answer: Ask a Mac user who remembers the days before
spring-loaded folders (or who doesn't use them now).

Possible answers:

Pragmatic: Use a modifier key or other mode-change indicator when opening a
folder that causes the parent folder to "close behind you."  In Mac OS (X or
otherwise), the option key does this: option-double-click, cmd-option-o,
etc.  AFAIK, modifiers are not patented...yet ;)

Paradigmatic: Assuming a consistent spatial interface that encourages
"nesting" (as in birds, not hierarchy), commonly used folders are probably
already open or available quickly via aliases, pop-up folders,
shortcut/recent-items menus, and so on.  This problem is therefore really
about getting to uncommonly used or new folders with a minimum of
intermediate visual clutter.  Browser-style navigation is one option (think
of it as "driving to your destination" instead of grabbing something on the
corner of your desk), but so is spatial navigation relative to a familiar
(and quickly available) location.


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