[Usability] Mac-style menus?
- From: David Feldman <mailing-lists interfacethis com>
- To: Usability List <usability gnome org>
- Subject: [Usability] Mac-style menus?
- Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 09:36:48 -0400
Has anyone attempted to implement Mac-style menus - that is, a global
menu bar (in a panel) that contains the menus for the frontmost app or
There are several usability advantages (some well-described in an
asktog.com article I can't seem to find):
- Fitts' Law states that the time to acquire a target is a function of
the distance to it and its size. By putting menus along one edge of the
screen we effectively increase their size in one dimension to infinity.
In more mundane terms, we eliminate a lot of mousing around necessary
when someone overshoots the menus - only the direction to them has to
be right, not the distance.
- Once one is accustomed to the Mac menu bar, it provides some nice
context for the current app regardless of what windows are open. In the
case of something like Firefox this doesn't matter all that much. But
for a multi-window app like the GIMP it could be nice: Users won't have
to guess which window's menus to go to, or which window to close to
close the app (in essence, which is the "master" window). The master
window's menus would be in the panel, including a global Quit function.
I imagine this couldn't be done perfectly, but that a window manager
could pull the menus out of their windows and dump them in a panel. Has
anyone tried this?
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