Re: [Usability] [RFC] Announcing: Control-Center-GUI 0.1

On Mon, 2005-07-02 at 20:02 +0100, Christian Neumair wrote:
> Am Montag, den 07.02.2005, 17:22 +0000 schrieb Calum Benson:
> > On Mon, 2005-02-07 at 16:33, Christian Neumair wrote:
> > 
> > >
> > 
> > FWIW, because there's a comparatively large amount of text in the list,
> > I think this style of dialog works best where the icon is the main
> > factor in deciding which item to choose-- which means it works great for
> > the background and theme capplets, but perhaps not so well in this
> > case.
> In the hardware tab, it works marvellous: screen resolution, printer,
> mouse, keyboard, keyboard shortcuts and removable storage can all be
> distinguished in a very nice fashion.
> I'd be very glad to hear what your proposal is on resolving this issue,
> though. As I wrote in another mail in this thread, I consider it a
> horrible to lay out icons in a grid, because it forces the user to look
> in two dimensions what he is looking for. So the current cc shell is in
> my opinion awful.

IIRC the Mac panel works by placing the "Category" (Hardware, UI, etc)
in the Y dimension, and the applet icons in the X dimension. I also
recall there not being any text descriptions, so when I tried to use the
Mac panel, I was constantly trial-and-error clicking various applets
with nice looking icons to find the preference I was looking for.

To me, this destroys the benefits of a "flat" 2 dimensional layout.
Christian's design has the extra "Text description" dimension, which
makes it easier to figure out what a given applet does. Therefore he
needs to fold the "Category" dimension up somehow (he has used tabs). 

So for me this boils down to "do we need to have the text descriptions
available for each applet?" I think we do.

Therefore, I like Christian's design *better* than the Mac panel in that
respect, but we need to improve those tabs so they have icons which are
at least as large as the icons in the list below them.

However there is another problem I noticed. The way that that same list
UI is used in other places (ie Theme Manager), the purpose of the list
is to CHOOSE a item among many, then activate that item with a button
(such as "Apply"). 

Christian, how would your design "activate" an applet? By double-
clicking? What about single click users? If we add an "Edit Preference"
button, then that adds to the mouse movement, and number of clicks that
the user must go through.

> > (Nor, to a lesser extent, in the new Add to Panel dialog, where
> > the downside is balanced out by being able to use typeahead because all
> > the applets are in the same list).
> On that, I think the Add to Panel dialog list is way to big - a
> discussion in #gnome-de revealed agreement; in my opinion it would only
> be useful if entering terms filtered instead of selecting, plus it had
> to match all items containing the search term, not beginning with it.

The new "Add to Panel" list is just too long. When I was using it for
the first time, I was searching for applets I already knew I wanted, but
had to scan the list multiple times because I kept missing the ones I
was looking for. Long story short, there is too much info there in a big
unfriendly list.


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