Re: [GnomeMeeting-list] I want my users advice

fre 2002-02-01 klockan 11.12 skrev Damien Sandras:
> > Yeah, and there's nothing wrong wide applications if the space is needed
> > to make it more easily understandable and easy to use.
> OK, now start to think about it 2 minutes and imagine how it would be if
> you there were 3 additionnal buttons in the main toolbar. Wide
> application, plenty of empty space around the video display window....

You could start by removing the Preferences button. The toolbar should
only be for the most important functions of the application:

"Careful and consistent toolbar design speeds up the user's task by
giving direct access to functions that would otherwise be hidden on a
menu. Use them only for the most important functions, however."


"Place only the most commonly-used application functions on your
toolbars. Don't just add buttons for every menu item."

(quoted from

The preferences panel is not one of the most important functions of
GnomeMeeting. For the Preferences panel of an application to be one of
the most important functions of the application is quite a
self-fulfilling situation... ;-)

Then you only have two additional buttons to care about.

> No need to think a lot, it would be awful. GM is not a browser or a mail
> application, and is not well suited to be wide.

I understand that, but the additional two buttons will not make it
significantly wider.

> > > > > But all toolbar will be able to be hidden or moved.
> > > > 
> > > > Ok, but in that case, only the most necessary one should be displayed by
> > > > default. And it still doesn't solve the orientation issue.
> > > 
> > > What is wrong with the orientation ?
> > 
> > What is wrong is that you use two different toolbar orientations at the
> > same time, with seemingly no logic behind it.
> There is no logic for you but there is one for me or are you trying to
> tell me that I'm doing things without thinking about them ? ;-)

I'm talking from a user's perspective. A user would not necessarily know
why the one toolbar is different from the other, and why the difference
in orientation is significant. Consider these words (quoted from the
above page):

"The effectiveness of toolbars is increased by maintaining a level of
consistency between different applications. The toolbar is one of the
first parts of your application that a user will see the first time they
run it, so by providing a toolbar that looks familiar to them, you can
immediately make them feel comfortable about using your application."

Vertical toolbars are not standard nor consistent with other GNOME
applications. The vertical thing you like to point out exists in
Evolution is a shortcut pane that switches between different views; it
is not a toolbar and does not act as such (it is not draggable, it has a
title, and it only switches between views).

> Here is the logic :
> - Horizontal toolbar is the "Connection toolbar", you put the URL, and
> you have a button to connect/disconnect.

I understand that you wanted to have it that way, and the intention is
certainly good,, but you can just as easily group buttons in the toolbar
by adding a separator where appropriate.

> - Vertical toolbar is the "Additionnal features toolbar" with shortcuts 
> like for evolution to popup the chat window, or the preferences window
> or the LDAP browser. That toolbar has nothing to do with connections and
> only popups windows for other features.

Yes, but that doesn't mean that these buttons cannot be on the main
toolbar. If you want to group the buttons, use appropriate separators.

> > > Evolution also has a vertical toolbar (shortcut bar on the left).
> > 
> > No, the vertical thing in Evolution is not a toolbar. It switches views
> > only.
> Why could they use a vertical thing to switch views,

Don't ask me. Probably because they mimic Outlook's design in this
aspect. There is no vertical view pane in any other GNOME application.

> and why would it be
> forbidden for me to use a vertical thing to popup things ? It is the
> same kind of things for me...

It is not forbidden, but you break consistency, which is a very bad
thing to do with regards to usability.
The Evolution designers took great steps to make sure that their
shortcut pane was very much distinguishable from a toolbar:

 * It has a background with a solid, fixed color, clearly different
   from most gtk themes
 * It has a prominent "Shortcuts" label -- no toolbar has visible labels
 * It uses much larger than default icons
 * It only switches between views (shortcuts in the navigational tree)

The Evolution designers (or the Outlook ones) thus cared to make the
shortcut pane distinguishable from a toolbar, not only by making it
vertical, but also by making these other changes, so as to not confuse
the concept of a toolbar. There is no need for you to do that either.

> > > No, I will do it another way, be patient and you will see ;)
> > 
> > Ok, please tell me about it.
> A unique button whose pixmap changes following you are connected or not.

That's an excellent solution. Please do that.


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