Re: GEP 6: Toolbar

On Fri, 2002-09-27 at 05:41, Calum Benson wrote:
> 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:

I don't have really strong reservations here, but I think we shouldn't
be mixing and matching. That is, I don't think that PT is terrible,
actually it seems OK and it has some benefits, but I think that in
general vertical toolbar w/ text by default and only a small number of
items is a better system. Using different things different places
(unless we can come up with really good and obvious guidelines when to
use one or the other) seems undesirable to me.

> - 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.

I don't think we should have lots of buttons anyway, so this doesn't
concern me. And I like that important buttons take up more space making
them an easier mouse target.

> - 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.

Yes, this one concerns me. Perhaps users would become accustomed to it
quickly if we used in universally? I dunno. The raise on highlight would
quickly reinforce the idea of the text being associated with the icon to
its left.

> - 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.
> Cheeri,
> Calum.
> -- 
> 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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