Re: [Usability] Usability Digest, Vol 33, Issue 23

On Jan 19, 2007, at 8:32 AM, Ethan Anderson wrote:

What we need is a feature that lets the user set a desktop mode or property such that all windows are maximised by default, and whenever focus is put on one window, the other windows are minimized.  A feature.  That simple.  All too often, I have to do that myself.  And then, transparency looks ugly.  It could be quite elgant with that simple set of preferences.

 Please do this.  You can never regret giving the user an option.

You must be new here. ;-)

Defaults, however, can vary by distro.  We should make "orange", where everything is layed out for elegance and speed.  To counter apple's macs, of course. Maybe that's just ubuntu.

Ironically since you mention Apple, Mac OS X betas had this: a "single-window mode" button in the title bar, that when turned on made only one window appear on-screen at a time. It was pulled before 10.0.

Still, can anyone deny that this feature is a good idea?  Looks like this:
 Settings preset one: "Workstation mode"
 <X> enable single-window mode
 <X> maximise all frames by default

Any time a control's label starts with "Enable", there's something not quite right. (It's the interface design equivalent of what programmers call a "code smell".) Sometimes the label can be reworded to express something users might actually be interested in doing. Sometimes it can't, which is a good sign that the option shouldn't exist.

Then, the user could switch between settings sets as well.  Like, settings themes.  Imagine that.  Enable Windows settings theme, or enable Mac settings theme.  A good platform is chameleon.
 That is flexibility and power.

Them: "I just made a DVD of my photos and movies. Can your PC do that?"
You: "No, but I can auto-maximize my windows. Ha!"

Matthew Paul Thomas

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