Re: [Usability]prefs dialog recommendations

On Tue, 2002-09-17 at 10:09, Anna Dirks wrote:
> > 1) Users tend to not read large blocks of text.
> >
> > 2) These explanations disconnected from the functionality they describe,
> > making it unlikely users would find and use them at all.
> I honestly have no idea what you mean here. Can you provide any
> concrete examples for your assertions?

The first statement is a maxim from the book 'User Interface Design for
Programmers.'  There's a good example of this on the author's site.[1]
In my experience users don't read dialogs like a book--they skim them,
searching for key terms that match their goal.  Thus long explanatory
paragraphs are often simply overlooked.

The second point is that when faced with the following window:

   Prefences                           _ = x
   + Appearance |   Fonts
     - Fonts    |
     - Colors   |   Serif      [ Times      ]
   + Advanced   |   Sans-serif [ Verdana    ]
     - Network  |
     - Filtering|   [ ] Defibrillate fonts
     - Cache    |

A user wouldn't think to click 'Appearance' to find out what
'Defibrillate fonts' means.  There's nothing to suggest to them that
information would be there.



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