[Nautilus-list] Permissions icons
- From: COFFMAN Steven <SCoffman CBSINC com>
- To: "'nautilus-list lists eazel com'" <nautilus-list lists eazel com>
- Subject: [Nautilus-list] Permissions icons
- Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 13:48:04 -0400
I was looking at the screenshots of the latest Nautilus, and I
noticed the permissions icons. I thought the broken pencil icon was a clever
way to represent the lack of read permission, but I found the glasses and
"X" were rather unobvious and inconsistant.
As I understand it, a folder you have full permissions on shows you no
A folder you have no permissions to (/root) shows you an X, glasses, and a
broken pencil, meaning no execute permission, no read permission, and no
write permission, respectively.
A pair of glasses tell me that I lack read access? That's not intuitive. A
pair of *broken* glasses (frame and/or lenses) would be more consistant with
the pencil and more inutitive.
To represent the lack of execute permissions, "X" is associated with the
English word execute, but not for "Run", "Launch", "Go", or any of the words
other OS users are familiar with. Let alone non-english localization for a
moment. In addition, the symbol associated with execute isn't appropriate,
rather a symbol associated with non-executable is what is called for.
Possible alternatives are not limited to the following:
1. A broken arrow (with fletching) would mean "no launch". (bow and arrow
type of arrow)
2. A broken symbolic arrow as in "no go". (not the bow and arrow type of
3. A traffic light with the red light on.
4. A broken rocket (with flare).
5. The "No smoking" symbol's circle-with-a-slash-through-it with a whole
6. As #5 but with a rocket inside.
7. As #5 but with a person jogging
Ok, if I'm contemplating what a broken jogger would look like, I've run out
of useful suggestions. I know you'll probably do usability testing to change
this stuff (and more besides) later, but as a usability engineer, the
counter-intuitiveness of the glasses to represent a *lack* of read
permissions forced me to say something now, so that you have a better
starting point for your tests.
I think you are doing a great job, and moreover, that it is a good cause. I
only wish I had the time to contribute more meaningfully than this paltry
suggestion. Maybe I'll get some of our usability test groups to give
feedback when you do your first preview. Let me know if you'd like me to
make some sample symbols similar in style to the broken pencil. (no broken
joggers though :)
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