Re: Logout interface, Halt checkbox
- From: "Paul Joseph Thompson" <captbunzo squirrelmail org>
- To: <usability gnome org>
- Subject: Re: Logout interface, Halt checkbox
- Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 16:57:34 -0500 (CDT)
Hello. I am new to the list, but have been reading through the
archives (good, clean fun... :) and had some thoughts to throw out
there, as far as the whole logoff, shutdown, etc, process is
While I know the usability report has some beef with the Windows 2000
shutdown dialog, I think it is very nice and does an excellent job of
presenting the necessary option to users.
I cropped screenshots from my installation of Windows 2000
Professional so that people can see what it looks like when you
choose the different choices. They can be found at this site:
[Sorry about the tripod popup window. Corporate firewall prevents me
putting these up anywhere better for the time being...]
Before I say anything further, I want to comment that the reason I am
talking about 'the way Microsoft does things' here is that I think
they did a decent job with this issue and (in the spirit of "Let's
make UNIX not suck") I think we should have no problem copying and
stealing good ideas. Anyways...
Shutdown Choice Control
First of all, I think a drop down list style control for the
different shutdown options is a good choice, as it allows for options
to be easily added and taken away (for various reasons) without
changing the basic UI in the slightest. I think this is good because
it provides the ultimate in UI consistancy, which is very important.
Some reasons that options may appear or disappear on this list are as
1. Different Hardware Setups:
Linux on a laptop or ATX based desktop system might have a "Stand by"
option (to actually put the machine into "Stand by" mode. However,
this isn't going to make any sense for an old AT machine.
If such capabilities become available, some setups may need
a "Hibernate" option to put the machine into Hibernation.
2. Different User Permissions:
Some users may not have permission to Shutdown or Restart the
machine. These users would only have the option to "Logoff".
For these different cases, like noted above, the basic user interface
can remain the same. I think this is a good thing.
Shutdown Choice Description
The second good thing I want to mention about Windows 2000's shutdown
dialog is the way it presents shutdown choice descriptions.
There is a chunk of test located directly below the shutdown choice
list that shows a description for whatever shutdown choice is
currently selected. The images at the above URL are particularly good
for seeing how this works.
I think that this particular style of presenting this information is
extremely effective and intuitive for the average user.
Shutdown Choice Wording
Let's just use the standard windows terms. They are pretty decent and
everyone understands them. Here are the terms and their accompanying
descriptions. Just for fun, I adapted them to suit Linux.
Log off username:
Ends your session, leaving the computer running on full power.
Ends your session and shuts down Linux so that you can safely
turn off power.
Ends your session, shuts down Linux, and starts Linux again.
Maintains your session, keeping the computer running on low
power with data still in memory.
Saves your session safely to disk so that you can safely turn
off power. Your session is restored
Paul Joseph Thompson
captbunzo squirrelmail org
] [Thread Prev