Re: Dropping the "Interface" tab from appearance capplet

2009/7/29 Calum Benson <Calum Benson sun com>:
> 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.

Well, besides the tooltip issue. I do find something remarkable, it
says that obvious icons means obvious actions and vice-versa. I wonder
if the rule of thum here is non-obvious actions shouldn't be in the
toolbar in the first place, they probably belong to the menu, and if
they don't, well, is-important to the rescue!

Now, the study on the other hand, doesn't measure the impact of
wasting useful space against the impact of not maximizing the useful
area of the app. One could argue that making first timers experience a
little harder, to improve the long term use of the app (using those
pixels for content and not for chrome) is worth it, specially having
into account today's screen sizes (widscreen laptops, netbooks...)

Overall, even with that study into account, I think we are doing the
right thing here, and I couldn't be more happy that Thomas has taken
this bullet in the right direction!

> Such research, indeed, was the basis on which our current default was chosen
> :)
> Cheeri,
> Calum.
> --
> 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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Un saludo,
Alberto Ruiz

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