Re: [Usability] Re: Suggestion for the actual UI of GTK+'s New FileSelector
- From: Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org>
- To: Eugenia Loli-Queru <eloli hotmail com>
- Cc: desktop-devel-list gnome org, gtk-devel-list gnome org, usability gnome org
- Subject: Re: [Usability] Re: Suggestion for the actual UI of GTK+'s New FileSelector
- Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 22:04:56 -0600
On Tue, 2004-01-06 at 21:02, Eugenia Loli-Queru wrote:
> >They don't resemble standard buttons, afterall.
> Additional work (like highlighting a border when onmouseovering to them) can
> be done to them to show that these are buttons.
> >Second, this view doesn't leave much room to put user-specified favorite
> Sure it does. It is the same as in the original or Erick's mockups. You just
> drag something there and the system places it alphabetically (or not) to
> the list. If there are too many, a scrollbar will be shown, and the user can
> always resize that view. Fundamendally, the shortcut view is the exact same
> and has the same features as the vertical one. Maybe it is just not as
> apparent in my mockup as I filled up the currently viewable area with
> >I really like the button navigation scheme used to quickly jump to paths.
> Indeed this is a must-have... :)
> >The part I have trouble getting used to is the aspect ratio of the window.
> You are not alone. :D
> However, I believe that it is mostly a "getting used to" thing because
> currently users have experience with 4:3 file selectors on other OSes.
I'm no UI expert, but I do know what makes a pleasing document layout,
and many of the same principles apply. Any window with a list will
often benefit from more vertical space. Since you can't necessarily
anticipate how long the list will be, your designs should accomodate
some amount of vertical resizing.
I expect a lot of users will often resize vertically to see more files.
However, the locations list in your mockup might also benefit from more
vertical space for some users. While horizontal space will also give
more items, the payoff is bigger with vertical space, since you'll get
more items with fewer pixels.
One obvious problem is that if a user expands the window vertically,
it's not clear which area will get the extra space. Either way isn't
going to be what the user wants all the time, so people will end up
resizing the window and then having to drag the separator, which is
My more fundamental problem with the layout is the ratio of the window
size. With this design, window ratios of 2:1 or even 3:1 aren't very
difficult to imagine, since vertical resizing will be more common than
horizontal. With a more horizontally-oriented window (such as Erick's)
you have much more room to resize vertically while staying inside of
reasonable window proportions.
These ratios aren't just something we've gotten used to on other OSes.
The golden ratio (~1.6:1) has been used for centuries in all types of
design. We find it aesthetically pleasing, and always have. Not every
rectangle in every design uses this ratio, but it's very rare to use
proportions that are very much more unbalanced. I doubt you have very
many books that have a ratio of more than about 1.5:1.
This design all but forces a tall verical column, which is aesthetically
unpleasing and difficult to scan visually.
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