Re: [Evolution-hackers] Appointment and Meeting Editors -- 2.0 Thoughts

Hi Dan.

Thanks for writing.

> Hm... I don't have a strong opinion on What and Where, but "Why" seems
> wrong. It's really more about "What, except in more detail". Also, in my
> experience, "Why" on party invites seems to induce people to put silly
> cutesy things. :) I'd suggest "Details" or "More Details"

You say that like cutesy is a bad thing. :) But yeah, I know what you
mean. First round of UI tests, we'll try "Details". 

> "Repeats: Never" sort of sounds like the event never happens... Maybe
> "Repeats: No" ?

Thanks -- this is a good suggestion. I refined my prototype to this end
(link follows).

> In your unzoomed version, you only show two blocks of time per day... I
> assume this is to some degree just that you didn't want to spend all day
> re-gimping the text, but could you explain how you did intend to have it
> work in the non-zoomed case? How many days would fit into the display at
> once, and how many marked subdivisions of each day would there be?

Ah, sorry, I created some unnecessary confusion here. 

I don't intend to make any ui changes to the free/busy widget (regarding
blocks of time per day, or capability of displaying multiple days at

What I was thinking of doing is packing the list of attendees, and the
free/busy widget, into horizontal panes, to facilitate the user resizing
them at whim, to display as much or little information associated with
them as possible. I'd have to be clever about this so that the list of
attendees still lines up with the free/busy widget properly, but I think
it is possible.

As for the two blocks of time per day thing, I did not invent that
granularity. The current UI uses it. :-/ We probably need a few concrete
usage scenarios to figure out what the optimal scale is. 

> Also, the current meeting editor lets you specify whether to show only
> working hours, or the whole day. Are you removing that functionality? If

No, I didn't intend to remove it; I just lack data to decide where to
put it. How often do people change this? I believe that some of the
scheduling options would be well-placed in the menus. 

> You should put back the little recurrence preview calendar. It seems
> insignificant, but IMHO it really does make Evo's recurrence editor
> nicer to use than Outlook's. (And it's especially useful for
> "complex"/"imported" recurrences that can't be explained via the other
> widgets.)

So, have imported recurrences ever worked, then? (My understanding is
that they have always been broken.) It would help me to know how
imported recurrences are set, if indeed they can be. 

> If you change "forever" to "until January 27, 2005" or something, the
> dialog would get very wide. Especially if you then translate it into
> German. Might want to move the recurrence info to its own row?

I knew this would come up.

1) As you saw yesterday in #evo, Guenther translated recurrence strings
for us into German, and they were barely any longer than the English

2) If we were clever with alignments (namely, if we make the "Repeat"
label align at y=0), then we can wrap the recurrence string in a
completely fine-looking way.

3) That said, I have no problem at all with moving the recurrence stuff
down to the bottom of the dialog, eg

> Not related to recurrences, but in that screenshot, the time selectors
> should probably not be visible at all if "all-day event" is checked? It
> seems confusing to have the times visible but not actually meaning
> anything.

Hmm. Well, I agree with you that I should have removed the "11:00" and
"12:00" from those combo boxes. But, I submit that the common meaning of
insensitive widgets is "These options exist but aren't relevant to you
right now", not "These widgets have no meaning". 

My thought with including them was that it made it clearer to the user
that it is *possible* to set start and end hours for an appointment. (If
you can't see them, then it is harder to know for certain whether or not
they exist.. no?) That said, we have to test this on humans anyway, so
I'll take care to measure reactions to this. 

Do you think that I am missing (or misunderstanding) your objection to
their presence? 

> The main dialog says "Alarms" with an "s", and you refer to "alarms"
> elsewhere in your mail, but it only seems possible to create a single
> alarm in this dialog... bug or feature? 

I'll tell you, Dan, this one is a can of worms which I'm not eager to
open. This feels to me like we're going to have find a balance between
absolute adherence to the ical spec, and creating a simple and usable

My sense so far (informed by engaging in dialogue with the people who
report using them) is that most of the people who use multiple alarms
use them "count down" style. They seem to repeat one type of alarm a few
times to ensure that they are prepared for an appointment (or a task) ..
but not to use different kinds of alarms. So what I'm wondering is if we
can get away with allowing a nice suite of repeating options for alarms,
instead of allowing truly "distinct" alarms. 

What do you think?

Thanks as always for your constructive, and thorough, feedback. Don't
know what I'd do without it. 



Anna Marie Dirks <anna ximian com>

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