Re: [Usability] default titlebar button layout

On May 23, 2007, at 12:57 PM, Elijah Newren wrote:

On 5/22/07, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt myrealbox com> wrote:

(I've rearranged them for myself, because having the close button right next to the others is stupid. But I think that's an argument for having a better default arrangement, not for making the customization easier.)

I imagine this is the kind of thing that would annoy users simply
because it is change, but which is probably beneficial enough to
change at some point anyway.  I *hate* accidentally clicking maximize
when I want a window closed.  ;-)  Anyway, I wonder if we should make
a tracker bug about little things like this to change and then do them
all at once.  Anyone know of a relevant case for whether users tend to
be happier about lots of changes once or lots of little interface
changes over time?

I don't know whether people are happier if such small changes are grouped with other changes, but it seems likely, because it's more of a helpful visual reminder. (Especially if, for a while, you have to switch between the old and new versions on different machines).

And it's certainly the historic pattern. Consider the two most relevant examples:

*   Windows 3.x    (menu, title, minimize, maximize/restore) ->
    Windows 95     (menu, title, minimize, maximize/restore, close)
    -   Accompanied by many GUI changes, including a new 3-D theme.
    -   Sudden change, except for people who used Encarta 95 (which used
        Windows-95-lookalike title bars even on Windows 3).
    -   Microsoft have deprecated the menu button, but can't kill it.

*   Mac OS 8~9     (close, title, zoom, collapse) ->
    Mac OS X Beta  (close, minimize, zoom, title, single-window mode) ->
    Mac OS X       (close, minimize, zoom, title, show/hide toolbars)
    -   Accompanied by many other GUI changes, including a new theme.
    -   Sudden change.
    -   The Classic environment for running old apps on OS X uses
        old-style window frames (and old-style everything else).

And even less well-known examples:

*   Mac System 1~3 (close, title) ->
    Mac System 4~7 (close, title, zoom) ->
    Mac OS 8~9     (close, title, zoom, shade)
    -   The Mac OS 8 change was accompanied by a new 3-D theme.
        (That wouldn't have been feasible for the 1-bit System 4.)
    -   Small change in each case.
    -   Consistency of button position within Mac OS 8 was regarded as
        more important than consistency of zoom button between 7 and 8.

*   AmigaDOS 1.3   (close, title, back, front) ->
    AmigaDOS 2.0   (close, title, maximize/restore, front/back)
    -   Accompanied by a new 3-D theme.
    -   Medium-sized change.

*   OS/2 Warp 3    (menu, title, minimize, maximize) ->
    OS/2 Warp 4    (menu, title, close, minimize, maximize)
    -   Accompanied by a different title bar button appearance.
    -   Small change.

So ... Anyone want to make a Clearlooks-NG to accompany a title bar rearrangement? ;-)

Matthew Paul Thomas

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