Re: [HIG] prefs dialog recommendation

Regards Havoc,  

On Fri, 2002-09-27 at 11:56, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> Hi,
> We really need to get this in the HIG - I hear Evolution 1.2 has Yet
> Another sort of prefs dialog, using outlook shortcut bar on the left
> and multiple tabs on the right. There's too much innovation in this
> area. ;-)

Since I am the one responsible for this dialog, I think that I should
speak up here and let you know why we choose such a design.

First off, you are incorrect about this being an "innovation" for the
Gnome desktop-- both galeon and mozilla already use basicly this style
of preferences dialog. The only difference between theirs and ours is
that we have few enough categories on the left that we don't need a
grouping mechanism (Mozilla has a tree, Galeon has tabs). 

Now to let you know why we picked that design: 

To be a successful application, Evolution must operate in the contexts
of the other PIM clients that our users (particularly those migrating
from Windows) are familiar with. We are trying very hard to make it as
easy as possible for users to switch from Windows to Linux, and this
sometimes results in us adopting design paradigms that are reminiscent
of Windows apps. In my mind, this is good because it results in the
Windows users being able to transfer their previous experiences to their
new OS--which is surely comforting.

For this reason we choose a design for the preferences dialog which is
similar to Eudora's design-- in my rounds of testing on it, this was
proven to be easy to use and intuitive for users from a variety of
backgrounds. It is important to note here that we at Ximian do a *lot*
of usability testing an analysis on our apps before we settle on a

Anyway, in closing, I think that your implication (let me know if I am
misinterpreting you) that this is some kind of new paradigm being
recklessly introduced into gnome is, I think, unfounded. I worked very
hard to make sure that it fit well both with Evo, and with GNOME, and
with the experiences of people brand new to Linux.


PS. By the way, I have a screenshot of this dialog online at:

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Anna Marie Dirks <anna ximian com>

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