[HIG] Re: Instant apply (and an HIG change)

On Thu, 2002-01-24 at 03:06, Seth Nickell wrote:
> Just to clarify... There are cases where instant apply is not
> appropriate. Non instant apply dialogs should also be spec'd in the HIG.
> > 1) Instant apply works very poorly when the apply operation is
> > especially expensive, such as with metatheme.
> The number of operations where this is true is fairly small though.
> Especially because most operations on the computer should really be kept
> within the 1.0 second range as it is. See:
> http://usability.gnome.org/hig/draft_hig/acceptable-response-times.html
> Some operations like changing the methatheme are still too expensive.
> But wherever possible we should work toward making them cheap enough to
> handle this way...whether instant apply were used or not. In the case of
> metatheme I would recommend using a non-instant-apply dialog.
> > 2) Certain controls on the mouse capplet don't work too well with
> > instant apply, such as the left-handed check box and the acceleration
> > feature (e.g. consider what happens if a user accidentally drags the
> > acceleration bar all the way to the right).
> I don't think it causes user problems here. Neither extreme of the mouse
> acceleration should be so much that the computer is not usable. I played
> with a neighbor's Mac to see how this plays out, and it seems to work
> fine on the Mac. If I drag the slider all the way to the left and drop
> it "by accident", its slow enough that its a little bit annoying to
> change back again. But certainely not a big problem.
> > 3) Instant apply can be disasterous with system tools, such as the
> > Ximian Setup Tools.
> Yes, but many system tools *can* be instant apply. Most MacOS/X system
> settings are instant apply, for example. For the few that could be more
> dangerous they put "Apply" style buttons near them. This seems pretty
> reasonable overall.
> > 4) To be effective, it should be applied consistently to all capplets.
> > If some capplets are of the instant apply variety and others are not, I
> > forsee much confusion on the part of the user.
> This is probably where we mostly disagree. I think having two "styles"
> is fine as long as there are only two and they are consistent and well
> followed. The dialog style should be slowly phased out as it becomes
> more feasible to implement things as instant apply.

You raise some good points here. I would ultimately like to see user
testing to back up this last point, though. For now my underlying
concern and resulting request still stand.

> Unfortunately property editors don't work for a number of the elements
> of the background properties page where more detailed interaction is
> required. They're really nice for the elements they can support though!

I would like to know more specifically what the problem is in this case.
It might turn out to be easier to extend the property editors to support
what is needed than to use a different solution.

> -Seth
Bradford Hovinen                                                  Hacker
http://www.cis.udel.edu/~hovinen/                    Ximian Desktop team
hovinen ximian com                                          Ximian, Inc.

Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of
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discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that's why
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                                      - Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

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