Re: Dropping the "Interface" tab from appearance capplet

On 29 Jul 2009, at 14:11, Thomas Wood wrote:

Again, "icons only" cannot possibly be an expert option. Toolbars are
supposed to be for commonly used commands, which you learn by looking at tooltips (I think there are studies available to prove this, but I don't
remember where right now).

Jared Spool, amongst many others, has studied the efficiency of icon +text vs icon-alone vs text-alone over the years, and this post nicely summarises his findings (which ties in with other studies I've read, but this was the first that came to hand):


Note: 'text+image' in this context means 'an icon with a label', not 'an icon with a tooltip' -- I don't recall where icon+tooltip falls on the scale, but it's not at the top due to the greater interaction effort required to reveal tooltips.

Such research, indeed, was the basis on which our current default was chosen :)


CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson sun com            OpenSolaris Desktop Team             +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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