[Epiphany] Re: [Usability]Epiphany default toolbar layout

To the Epiphany Team:

Nice to see a project that values usability so highly, hope I can provide
some useful comments.  (this is in reponse to a thread on the usability
list, I only cross post because the oringal sender did, hope no one minds)

I really like having the location bar as a seperate toolbar.
I also quite like using the toolbar with selective text on the right, as
it provides both a compact layout and generously sized button targets
(for the most important buttons like Back).

> > - Is the Home button used/useful ? I have not seen many person to use

> Definitely. I find that my non-technical friends and family use it as a kind
> of panic button. When they're lost or restarting their thought processes
> (sitting down to browse), they hit the home button to 'start afresh'. Often
> they have it set to a major news site, portal, or Google.

I used to have Google set as my home page, but not anymore as I use (in
Mozilla) the search function built into the location bar.
For a while I set my bookmarks.html as my Homepage, my own mini-portal.
Mostly I use about:mozilla or about:blank as my homepage because it feels
faster (i know it reality it is not any more efficient).

The bug report mentions the print button.  Print in the file menu really
should be enough besides Printing web pages is fundamentally wrong, a
habit not to be encouraged, save the rainforests!

> > - Is the Spinner necessary ? I tried to browse without it for some weeks
> > now, the page loading feedback in the statusbar would appear to be
> > enough.

I can honestly say I have never used the spinner (except for that easter
egg where Netscape logo turns into Mozilla) the progress bar in the status
bar is what I use (and yes, I still suffer 56k dialup on a regular basis,
I am even using the "no images" toolbar button when I have to suffer
Netscrape 4x).  Unfortunately all it does is move to indicate activity
which is far less useful than a progress bar that actually indicates what
proportion of the task is done.  Progress and status are synonymous, so I
think the placing of the progress bar should be obvious, even though I
will admit that the progress bar in Safari is quite nice.

>> useful - If you have tabs that are off screen, then the spinner lets you
>> know that something, somewhere is doing something, but I don't think

Mozilla indicates if a tab is loading by spinning the little tab, I really
dont think you need the spinner.  From reading Mozilla bugzilla I know
that some users do find the spinner a useful quick link to
Mozilla/Netscape, but primarily it is an exercise in branding.

[I did try and check to see if epiphany tabs have a similar little icon
but there are not screenshots here
but I realise you are getting around to it (google is great)

> One opportunity for removing stuff from the toolbars is the stop button.
> Safari has combined the Stop and Refresh buttons very nicely -> when would

[As I write, I notice Dave replied to this point much better than I was
able to, hopefully my user perspective will be of some use]
To me this seems a lot like combining Play and Pause.  I am
not entirely sure why (I'll have to think about it) but I am uncomfortable
about buttons that change state like that.
To be honest I dont think I use the stop button.
Usually when a page i dont like comes up, rather than trying to aim and
hit the stop button on the toolbar I reach to the top left of my keyboard
and start banging the 'Esc' key like crazy (although in think in Mozilla
this is much lower down the event priority list than it was in Netscape,
it doesnt ~feel~ as responsive).

> you want to refresh a page whilst downloading it? Approximately never. :-) I
Never say never, I can come up with a fairly contrived answer (involving
slashdot and first post).

> think this would be a good suggestion for our browsers, Nautilus and then
> the toolbar section of the HIG for future reference.

Toolbar editing
>> Perhaps a toolbar context menu? I tried context-clicking when

It would be brilliant if moving stuff around the toolbar was as easy and
consistant as moving stuff around the panel and done the same way.  I know
that in "The Browser formerly known as Phoenix" it is that easy, but you
have to go to the preferences dialog to make the changes, which might
actually be an advatage preventing accidental and unwanted changes.

[I know it is my owned damned fault for not writing this up and getting it
included in the HIG but I have serious issues about small monitors, and
low resolutions, so you will have to bear with me for a minute because
this is something Redmond do properly.]
Microsoft obviously makes deliberate efforts to work with small displays,
the toolbars in Microsoft office by default are roughly 600/640 pixels
wide.  This means they just fit on small screens, and two toolbars fit
end to end rather nicely on much larger displays.
None of the applications I have seem to be able to have two differnt
toolbars overlapping/side-by-side, but I dont think I have advanced
software that uses libegg on this machine.
Fitting two toolbars end to end would at least on large screens give
you both toolbars while maintaining a fairly compact layout.

I have some thoughts on trying to mangage large quantities of bookmarks
(and I mean large) but I'll save them for another day.

Hope some of that helps.  (You've piqued my interest, off to join the
epiphany mailing list).

Alan Horkan

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