Re: [Evolution-hackers] evolution's editors

I like your changes! The design looks more orderly than the
helter-scelter Outlook-style field layout.

Despite the compliments I have a few potential improvements for the
contact dialog tabs. In general I'm not sold on the fixed number of
fields design. I would like it more if the front-end could adapt to the
proper layer. For instance, would it work to only show a single
telephone field by default with a dropdown of [None]. If this is changed
to anything other than [None] than another dropdown appears with [None]
(or [New]?), up to the limit of 4? [Ed. this becomes less important with
further changes I describe below].

A fixed number of fields appears to be most restricting under the web
addresses section since some common categories are missing. An
additional source of confusion is "Web Addresses" seems to be used too
broadly here.

The fact that "Web Addresses" is missing Homepage: is a particularly
noticeable omission. Homepage has the problem, however, that it could be
the company's homepage as well... Calendar and Free/Busy seem like they
should both be under their own heading "Calendar". "Webcam" was
initially confusing too. Up until the point I typed the previous
sentence I was thinking it meant a web page where a webcam feed was
displayed and I was going to ask if that a common field for people to
put in their address book. It suddenly dawned on me that it could me a
callto:// style thing (I don't have a webcam). I strongly associate
http:// with "Web Addresses" so any other protocol descriptor seems out
of place. Another common type of web address which would be nice to have
is "Photo Album:".

Finally, there is the confusion and lack of consistency with
personal/work entries. The 2nd tab is "Personal Information" but it has
in it Job related categories. Additionally, the tab title suggests that
the calendar fields are therefore personal information but that means
there is no place to put work calendar information.

These problems could be alleviated if you made a strong separation
between "Personal" and "Work". This could be done by moving the
information above the horizontal bar on tab 1 outside and above the
tabs. The tabs could then be "Personal" and "Work". The two tabs would
mirror each other in details:

Instant Messaging
Mail Address
Web phone (VoIP?)

Two more tabs could be added: "Dates" and "Relationships". The dates
could be used to hold a list of dates for birthdays, anniversaries, etc
... and have a Notes field. The "Relationships" tab could have
relationships to other people including the limited work related ones
such as "Manager" and "Assistant" on the current tab 2. The
relationships tab would also make it easier to facilitate jumping to
other people related to this contact.

Finally - and this is getting longer than I expected it to - I have 2
more comments/questions which I just though of. What is the "File
under:" field for on tab 1? I have never entirely understood its purpose
in a digital addressbook. If I'm looking for someone I expect to be able
to search for a partial name, by firstname or by lastname so the file
under concept is just an implementation detail that I don't really care
about. Perhaps it has some use I'm not aware of but I would like to see
it go.

The 2nd and last comment of my "finally" is that the "Categories" field
is really suboptimal for both access and display as a text field. I'm
not sure what to do with it though. It could go on the relationships tab
in some altered form but might be too hidden there. Otherwise it would
be neat if it was a disclosure area button (probably the wrong term).
When clicked it would indicate that it is showing its contents and
replace the tabs with category checkboxes kind of when you associated
emblems with files under one of the Nautilus dialogs (but cleaner
looking). Pressing the button would hide these details again.

Sorry for the length. Hopefully you can glean something useful from it.
If I find some time I may try to make a mockup of it since this is all 
stream-of-consciousness design and it may suck when implemented.


On Wed, 2004-03-31 at 08:24, Anna M Dirks wrote:
> Greetings.
> The purpose of this mail is to propose a new design for the contact,
> appointment, meeting and task editors, as used in Evolution 2.0. 
> Why do these editors need to be redesigned? 
> 1. They are not currently compliant with the gnome HIG. 
> 2. They were not designed from a task-based perspective.
> 3. They are not consistent with one another.
> Appointment Editor and Meeting Editor
> The following screenshots demonstrate my proposal for the appointment
> editor (also the meeting editor.) Note that these screenshots are
> specifically for a meeting; if one were creating an appointment, the
> notebook would not have the attendees tab. 
> NB: I am obviously missing accelerators and using inappropriate icons
> in some places. I am aware of this. Please try not to concentrate on
> the icons/accelerators -- they are easily fixed. 
> Explanation:
> For now, please do not worry about the reminders page. I'll send a
> separate mail out later today which details the working of that page. 
> On the recurrence page, the "select dates" button should pop down a
> minicalendar, a la the current "Add" button in the current exceptions
> frame. 
> On the attendees page, the "Show schedules" button open the scheduling
> widget (currently the "Scheduling" tab in its own window. The
> advantage of doing this is that people who want to use that tool can
> now do it *and* also view the list of attendees in full at the same
> time. (Currently, since both pages are packed into a notebook, one can
> only see one page at a time.) Further, the "Contacts" button on this
> page should open the select names dialog. A better label for this
> button may well be needed.             
> Contact Editor
> Explanation:
> Yes, I know, it is a big dialog. It is much, much more task based than
> it used to be, though; most of the time when you add a new contact,
> the only (or primary) information that you care about is his or her
> email/phone/im data. This design makes adding that info simple. It
> isn't actually very much bigger than the previous contact editor was
> (in terms of total area). 
> Task Editor
> Explanation: 
> Not a lot to say about this one. The "assign to" button should pop up
> the select names dialog, allowing one to pick contacts from her
> addressbook. 
> Thoughts? 
> Anna
Patrick <pabos glypsube org>

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