Re: GEP 6: Toolbar

On Thu, 2002-09-26 at 03:36, Seth Nickell wrote:

> 3) Priority text - Maciej has largely convinced me that priority text is
> not a good idea.

My reservations probably aren't quite as strong as Seth's and Maciej's,
but having attempted to write a few guidelines about priority text
(hereafter called 'PT'!) for the HIG, I can certainly think of a few
usability problems they could introduce:

- Every button with PT potentially takes up space that a more useful
toolbar button could occupy instead.  This would deprive the user of
these extra buttons even if they never use PT.

- It's pretty hard to come up with guidelines about which buttons should
have PT and which shouldn't; we'd be guranteed to end up with
inconsistencies between apps.  Example: PT generally works best (IMHO)
when only the first few leftmost buttons have text, but to achieve this
you usually have to break the general 'toolbar ordering follows menu
ordering' rule.

- Unless you put a separator between every toolbar button with PT, it
can be hard to tell which icon applies to which text at first glance.

- PT isn't really useful for vertically-docked toolbars, if we're going
to allow the user to have those.

> I agree with Maciej that a better solution is to keep the
> number of items down and have labels on them all (and then have a per
> application preference to disable labels that people can trigger when
> they are familiar with the application).

Right; the HIG basically already recommends the "global preference
that's overridable per-app" mechanism anyway.


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

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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