[Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME (Summit mockups)

Alex Graveley wrote:

Carl Worth wrote:
 > PS. These side threads are entertaining, but I do hope we also get
 > back to Till's original list and we can all work together on designing
 > a good print dialog.

To this effect, here are the mockups I made at the Boston GNOME Summit to point out some of the directions I/we were hoping to go with a GTK print dialog.

Thanks for posting the screenshot!

This looks like a good start; some (hopefully constructive) comments:

    1. "Copies" should have the "collate" check box next to it
       to do collated copies. Putting the collate check box in a
       separate window far away from the control it modifies is
       inconsistent and confusing...

    2. "Pages per sheet" option:

       a. The "Pages per sheet" terminology is usually called "N-up"
          among printing professionals, but I personally have no
          preference and understand both terms equally well...

       b. Most programs show an graphical representation (icon,
          whatever) when they support N-up printing.

       c. CUPS supports 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 16-up printing.  Both CUPS
          and PAPI expose this as the number-up-supported attribute,
          so you can easily customize this based on the printing system
          in use...

    3. "Orientation" is usually shown graphically...

    4. The "Settings" button opens a dialog titled "Print Settings".
       I don't recall if the GNOME HIG requires them to match, but
       it is nice if they do... :)

    5. Print settings tabs:

       a. What we've done in the past is to show a tab for
          each UI group in the PPD file; see the attached image
          from the current ESP Print Pro settings dialog.
          However, some vendors choose to abuse UI groups and
          put each option in its own group, which makes the
          UI look bad... :(

       b. As an alternative, I'd (optionally) add "finishing" and
          "quality" tabs to the settings dialog.  That is, if the
          printer supports stapling, then a finishing tab is shown
          which allows the user to select finishing features for
          the printer.  Similarly, if the printer supports quality
          type options (resolution, color model, etc.), then those
          options can be shown on the quality tab.  Everything not
          shown on the other tabs is listed under the advanced tab.
          (manufacturers could set the UI group to Quality and
           Finishing, respectively, to get specific options listed
           in those tabs)

You can also get ideas from the Apple print dialog, but I'm not
100% in love with their design...

I don't think anything here precludes more advanced PPD settings, but I think grouping the most common settings in a simpler, logical layout makes sense.


Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Document Software          http://www.easysw.com

PNG image

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