Re: [Usability] Project Hamster - question on wording

Toms wrote:
Hi there!

We are currently implementing a reminder notification thing in
hamster, here is how it looks:

So, basically, after user configurable amount of time, user is
reminded that hamster thinks that he or she is working on the current
User has option to switch to other task, stop tracking current task,
or just ignore the notification.

I was wondering if the actions and wording sound right - any suggestions?

My first reaction (as a potential user) was 'oh, neat! i'd like that...' (re the app in general). Looking at the screenshot, I feel an immediate sense of frustration: the computer is asking me a yes/no question, but gives no way to directly answer it.

In the screenshot I see...

	Q: 'Are you still working on Hamster?'
	obvious actions: [Switch task], [Stop tracking] and [x]

versus something like [I stopped], [I switched tasks], [Quit watching me!], ie. actions that relate more directly to the question asked. I'm not proposing those exact words, just noting that there's no way at the moment to give a "No!" or "yes" response. "Switch task" is an implicit "no".

It would be interesting to know whether these notifications often serve as the *trigger* for users to switch tasks, rather than as a passive enquiry to see what the user is currently doing. If this is the case, the dialog is something like:

computer: Are you still working on Xyz?
me: erm, well I was, until you remind me right now that maybe I ought to be doing something else.

At this point, a yes-no question is a little meaningless if it asks what the user is doing right now, since the user is contemplating whether to switch tasks. I have no idea what better wording would be, but if the reminder asks a question, it should be clear whether it is about the past or the future. I think that aspect is at the heart of my discomfort with the current wording...

Does that make any sense?




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