Re: Justification for the button order change - the long version

I know this is already a done deal, and I'm not going to change the
Gnome2 development team's minds. But I do think there are problems with
this on a few levels.

First: I do not believe that it is correct to say "with left-right,
top-bottom readers, your eye is left resting on the lower right corner
of a window when you are done reading text". Because of the way we read,
when we finish one line (whether it is the last line of text or not) it
is our natural tendency to bring our eyes back to the left side. What
Gnome2 will be doing is actually going against this. A previous post in
this thread linked to Sun's "Dialog Box Design" pages - on the second
image on that page, Sun pretty much explicitly diagrams this process.

Second: Where in all this (and I include in this the archived
discussions we were pointed to earlier) is the actual human testing?
When Sun did its HIG work on Gnome, they actually plopped people
(non-hacker types) in front of computers and got their feedback. If that
has been done in this case, it certainly isn't obvious - and I'd have
thought it would've been brought up by now since that would be the
killer argument in support of making this sort of change.

Third: It is not a case of "doing what Windows does" or "not doing what
Windows does"; or at least it shouldn't be. It should be a matter of
things working the way people expect them to work, whether or not that
just happens to be how Windows does it. The bottom line is that most
people expect the default apply/yes/okay button to be on the left. BTW
the "previous/next" button discussion has very little to do with this;
if you think about how people organize sequential events you'll realize
why the traditional ordering of this particular button pair makes
perfect sense.

Interaction with dialog boxes should require as little thought as
possible, because they basically are an interruption to what you are
trying to actually accomplish. Simplifying them by dropping unneeded
clutter (i.e. instant apply, removing extra buttons) is good. Making
people stop and think about how the dialog box works is very bad. I
doubt that most people use Gnome programs and nothing else - most of us
work with a more heterogeneous set of applications. If 70% of them use
one type of layout scheme, and 30% use another, it will be an ongoing
distraction to which people will not really be able to adjust (ever use
the trial version of WinZip?).

Of course the beauty of Open Source is that any of us can produce
alternative packages that will actually work the way we want them to;
but it will be rather annoying to have to do that. I sincerely hope that
the post which suggested this is configurable is correct.

Travis Saling
Webmaster, UW Electrical Engineering
trav u washington edu / webmaster ee washington edu
(206) 543-8984

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