[Usability]Re: [Galeon-devel] Galeon 2 usability

Ricardo Fernández Pascual <ric users sourceforge net> writes:

>     I'm witting this mail on behalf of the galeon team. There has been a
> lot of discussions in the galeon-devel mailing list about several items
> related with usability. We want to know the opinion of the members of
> this list in order to take good decisions about the future of galeon.

Yeah, makes me wonder if I should ever have penned that original email -
sorry guys!

But since I did, I feel obliged to reply to this here ...

>         - menu layout: Many old galeon users like the old menu layout of
>         galeon 1 more than the new layout of galeon 2, which is more
>         simple and tries to follow the HIG. Many options are missing in
>         the new menu.

The galeon2 menu layout for me is right in the overall sense, it just
takes some getting used after having used galeon1 with its quirks for so
long ... [Actually I have two "problems" - but we'll get to them later]

>         Specifically, there is no "Settings" menu in galeon 2 (the
>         "Preferences" menu item is in the "Edit" menu). In galeon 1
>         there was a "Settings" menu with that menu item and some often
>         toggled options (like javascript, java...). It made those
>         options more easily reachable. The question is if they should be
>         so easily available or it is better to keep the UI simpler.

Keep the UI simple, just build a lightweight standalone app
"galeon-power-tools" or similar that advanced users can run to get
"Extra things", ie toggles for js/java etc. This can be pretty much a
copy 'n' paste of the options that used to be in the settings menu to
start with. Make it dockable in the GNOME panel and I think you'd
satisfy the requirements of the 80% [Of your current user base] that
would miss this, without impinging on the simple UI that you want
(Rightly) to acheive.

Plus you can then expand that app with whatever crack features "power
users" want without polluting galeon proper. As someone said it's real
hard to build one app that pleases two camps of people, it's easier to
build two apps - this way let's us not fork galeon, just appreciate
there are two sets of users ...

This would satisfy my one "problem" - I love those toggles ;)

>         Galeon already has configurable toolbars. I has been proposed to
>         allow several different menu layouts.

That would suck (IMHO) and undo all the pain you've been through with
the re-org up until now. 

>         - preferences: there are many missing preferences in galeon 1
>         when compared with galeon 2. This annoys many users. It has been
>         suggested to provide two different "Preferences" dialog, one
>         simple default and another for "Advanced" users.

Again, my sentiment would be to just add "extras" into the "power" app,
after all "Tweak UI" for Windows has a similar philosophy. Those you
don't need (OR want) any of that extra functionality just never find out
about it, those who do install it and are happy ;)

>         Examples of removed prefs are: mouse button bindings, mouse
>         wheel settings, autocompletion behaviour, default stylesheet...

None of these bother me since you seem to have chosen the right defaults.

>         - gestures: galeon 1 supported gestures. This added some
>         preferences to the already crowded dialog. Gestures were not
>         enabled by default because they conflicted with the standard
>         context menu. Should gestures be kept in galeon 2? Should they
>         be enabled  by default?

Keep them in, but not on by default - they impinge on a novice user too
much "Hey where's my webpage gone, I was just playing with the mouse in
time to my music ....". You can turn them on from the power-tool app
right ;)

>         - mime handling: galeon has a small separate mime database which
>         is easier to edit and works well for galeon.
>         It remembers previous user choices and fallbacks to gnome-vfs
>         when possible.
>         Also, some people think that users should be able to choose the
>         helper used by galeon without affecting the gnome-vfs mime
>         database.

Keep what we have now, until gnome-vfs gives you all you need, but don't
be under any illusions that it'll get there without your input, we need
to make sure we know what it's missing, and that the gnome-vfs guys also
know, and can put it right ...

>         1) Global effect of changing a default helper

It's almost always going to be right anyway - why would you want to use
a different application to open Excel files in nautilus than you do in

>         2) Fact that you have to go out the gnome-vfs control panel to
>         change them.

That's merely an issue of making sure the "User journey" is right, if we
make everything hang together right, they won't know or care (Besides
the defaults will be so good that few people will need to do this

>         This would be implemented using a dialog with "Save", "Cancel"
>         and "Open". "Open" will use gnome vfs to choose the helper

Yep, as long as we always:

- Don't allow M$-style "Blindly open random virus downloaded from Internet"
  functionality, and force the user to choose between Open/Save/Cancel
- Suggest the "default" application (ie Gnumeric)
- Give the user a list of (Configured) alternative applications
  (Openoffice/Kspread etc.)
- Let the user choose an application (by browsing menus, or entering path)

The only other thing I miss - and that I feel strongly about is having
the ability to properly manage tabs and windows. No other app currently
allows (AFAIK) multiple windows/tabs so we can set the standard for
managing them. In my opinion galeon 1 had just the right tools for the
job (Since we're using the girlfriend example a lot recently - this is
one feature my gf now loves, and it bugs even her that it's gone in the
latest releases)

My 2 cents ...

| Lee Willis                                  Unmetered & ADSL solutions 
| Products and Services Development Co-ordinator     for Home & Business 
| PlusNet Technologies Ltd.                        @ http://www.plus.net 
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