Re: [Usability] Close buttons on instant-apply dialogs

Hello Christian,

On 3 Jan 2002, Christian Rose wrote:

> > "Mere humans" are unlikely to install a wm that doesn't provide an obvious
> > way to close a window.
> You should have read further in my response. Most distributions will

I always read responses to my posts thoroughly.

> (, which is only a
> technical spec and doesn't say anything about the user interface.

Well then, if we can't rely on anything the wm provides, shouldn't we also
recommend providing window resizing controls within the app?

> Even back in 1994 it was entirely possible to use a Windows 3.1 system
> without ever using the window title bar buttons, or having to use them.

I can't check that right now, but somehow I doubt this always is true.

> The window manager spec doesn't say anything about user interface. I
> guess there could be a "GNOME window manager and theme user interface
> specification", but it is only hypothetical until it is a) written and
> will be only academical until it is b) followed.

How about Daniels' suggestion to let GNOME ask the wm whether it supports
this or that function? (i.e. a Close titlebar button)

> Accessibility will be a key part of GNOME2, and we should try to help
> reaching the goal of making GNOME accessible. According to the responses
> from the GAP list, a dialog close button is beneficial to accessibility.

As I see it there should be an accessible way to dismiss a window.
IIRC Bill Haneman said that no Close button is no ironclad
accessibility stopper. What about using Esc?

> want to debug why a simple theme change reordered the buttons, or that
> you want to empirically figure out which one of the reordered buttons
> with cryptic symbols happens to be the close button.

An 'X' also is just an arbitrary symbol. OS/2 Warp 4 has a button that
looks like this [/] and MacOS X has a red drop. Whatever it is, the user
will have to figure it out sooner or later.

> > I wouldn't, it's large enough already. Each pixel more is less visible
> > document text on my screen.
> So you do prioritize screen space over usability and accessibility?

Of course not. It's just that a bigger style palette reduces the usability
of my word processor because it causes less text to be visible at one

> closing the window with keyboard navigation. Shortcuts that are likely
> to differ with every different window manager used, and I might not even
> be able to change the wm (think school computer). Having to start the

Hmm, an idea just occured to me. What if an instant-apply window would
close whenever the user presses Enter when the window has focus (with the
possible exception of typing in a multiline textfield)? Or would that only
confuse people?

> Probably. Which makes the StarOffice example even more irrelevant as the
> instant-apply preference windows surely have to be usable and accessible
> by all users.

Nope. Having an extra convience for mouse users doesn't preclude the app
from being perfectly usable for other people.


Reinout van Schouwen
e-mail    : reinout cs vu nl
mob/voice : +31-6-44360778 / 084-8750706

VU/W&I studiereis naar Ierland! - maart 2002 -

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]