Re: [Usability] Possible UI Freeze Break in Clearlooks
- From: Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt myrealbox com>
- To: Andrea Cimitan <andrea cimitan gmail com>
- Cc: Thomas Wood <thos gnome org>, GNOME Usability List <usability gnome org>
- Subject: Re: [Usability] Possible UI Freeze Break in Clearlooks
- Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 12:43:48 +1300
Moved to usability@, as we're not discussing documentation any more. :-)
On Feb 17, 2007, at 12:04 PM, Andrea Cimitan wrote:
Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt myrealbox com> ha scritto:
On Feb 15, 2007, at 1:04 PM, Andrea Cimitan wrote:
I have personally had difficulties in reading previous checkboxes,
while these new one are cleaner and much more visible. (So why not the
"More visible" is a simple objective measure -- people can calculate it
themselves, by number of pixels and amount of contrast.
There are other things that you can calculate only by surveys or
usability tests, though you can sometimes *predict* them yourself.
These include "quicker", "more elegant", "less confusing", and so on.
"Cleaner" is not a useful term, because it has many different meanings,
even when you're talking only about graphical interfaces. For example,
it can mean using fewer controls, using fewer words, having more
elements line up with each other, having less obvious anti-aliasing, or
using more consistent colors -- all quite different things. The word
"clean" is often used by non-designers describing a design, because it
means they don't need to work out exactly what they like about it.
"Better" is a fair term only if you are confident that all the effects
are positive. With these checkboxes you had improved one measure ("more
visible"), but probably worsened another ("more confusing").
In what way, precisely, is a cross better than a tick? If the concern
is with the number of different pixels between checked and unchecked
state, there are less confusing ways to increase that -- such as
extending the checkmark beyond the box, and/or changing the
background color of checked checkboxes. (Yes, I know, Aqua does both
of those, but there are only so many ways to draw a checkbox.)
We can simply take the tick back with the new color. I agree that
people may confusing between cross and ticks.
Every single improvements is a cool stuff.
Even if a particular change is an improvement, it may have other
effects: requiring retraining of corporate users, requiring new
screenshots in manuals and help pages (how this thread began), and even
increasing support calls. (I can quite easily imagine calls of the form
"When I click the XYZ box it doesn't tick any more, it gets a cross in
it, how do I get it to tick?")
Remember that a theme is composed by a lot of single little stuff, so
an improvements in checkboxes is as good as an improvement on buttons
or other widgets.
That depends on how frequently the control is used (a change to sliders
is less important than a change to buttons, for example), and on how
big the change is.
(At the theme level, "new cool stuff" would be things like a rounded
button option so that media players could be both theme-compliant and
non-ugly while making Play larger than Rewind;
mmm this is a tweak of the mediaplayer code, they have to change
propreties of glade GUI, for example tweaking padness of the play
They can't do that until there is an option for circular buttons in the
It's my understanding that GTK+ buttons have a "Half" relief option,
which is currently unused because no theme distinguishes it from
"Normal". Would it be possible to redefine "Half" as "Circular", to
draw it like that in Clearlooks, and then to invite media player
developers to start using it? Or should it be supported officially in
sliders that looked like sliders instead of like sticking plasters;
please specify i haven't understand what you mean and i would
very glad to implement those improvements you have n mind.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhesive_bandage> The current shape,
outlines, and texture of Clearlooks sliders make them look like
sticking plasters. The outlines also make the three sections look like
they have different functions, when they don't.
In other OSes, sliders have a single outline and are much more compact
in the sliding direction (so that the visible position is more
precise). In Windows, a slider without tick marks is a rectangle; in
Mac OS X, it is a circle. (Sliders that point to tick marks are shaped
differently, but as far as I can tell GTK+ doesn't have such sliders
animated feedback on which item had been selected from a menu; and
subtler control outlines that made the theme in general look less
like a cartoon.)
specify too... my english is not very good I haven't understand your
Okay. Animated feedback for menu selections means that when you choose
a menu item, there is some visual confirmation of which item you
selected. In all versions of Mac OS, the selected item flashes once or
twice before the menu disappears (this takes about 0.25 seconds
overall). In Windows 2000, the menu fades away, but the selected item
fades away more slowly than the rest of the menu (this takes about 0.5
Looking less like a cartoon would mean that controls look like real
objects (made of metal, glass, plastic, wood, fabric, paper, etc),
rather than like drawings. Active controls should still have sharp
outlines, but the outlines should look accidental -- a fortunate lineup
of the object's edge with the pixel grid -- rather than like they have
been drawn with a pen.
Matthew Paul Thomas
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