Re: [Usability] Search/filtering modes need to be visually distinct

On Sun, 6 Mar 2005, Lex Hider wrote:

> Date: Sun, 06 Mar 2005 08:20:37 +1100
> From: Lex Hider <alexeijh westnet com au>
> To: usability gnome org
> Subject: [Usability] Search/filtering modes need to be visually distinct
> I will illustrate my point with evolution and rhythmbox as examples, but
> I see this as general issue that needs a consistent gnome wide approach.

Have you brought this to the attention of the Evolution developers?
(A bugzilla report perhaps)

If they were to propose a viable solution that made it clearer and
disambiguated search results from a standard view we would probably
evaluate their valuable hands on knowledge when trying to set a workable

> I will give two examples of problems I have experienced and leave it to
> better heads for solutions because I'm not particularly familiar with
> the HIG.

The HIG doesn't make for great bedtime reading but if you can dip into it
regularly and try and perhaps learn some of the principles and the
trade-offs that were behind the decisions you can get to know it quite
quickly if you want to (but then they go and change it!  Which is the
my excuse for not knowing all the details in there :)

I'm not a Usability proffessional but I know what I like, and I have used
a wide variety of different software.
That may not always be enough but it is a good starting point and I try
to help out where I can.

If you have seen a program that you think has implemented a good solution
to the problem by all means suggest that approach.

Generally if you can identify explain the root problem that is bothering
you (rather than just skipping straight to your favourite implementation
and dictating to the developers as some people try to do) and suggest a
possible way to implement a fix then developers will often be quite

> Basically, the problem is that when you have a search active or some
> sort of filtering, it isn't immediately obvious that this is the case
> and this can confuse the user.

I'm wondering if these programs have any sort of indicators at all, or
perhaps status bar messages that indicate there is something different.
These may be too subtle but are you sure there is no indication at all?

The Ximian/Novell people put quite a lot of effort into usability, if you
dont get a response here it might be worthwhile asking the Evolution
developers.  Sorry for giving you the runaround and suggesting yet
another list but often the best solutions come not from some expert with a
broad understanding of usability but from a someone like a user or
developers who understands the problem application intimately.

Good luck and thanks for making the effort to try and provide feedback and
help to improve Gnome.


Alan Horkan

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