March 8th, 2005


userinfo senji
2005/03/08 15:27:00 - UI design gone mad?
Is this (particularly note right-hand edge of image) actually useful for anyone (I quite like it, but it's hardly useful), or is it just UI gone mad?

Hmm?

Useful
2(3.2%)
Mad
18(28.6%)
Tickybox!
9(14.3%)

Current Mood: [mood icon] curious
Entry Tags: geeky, poll, ui

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userinfo damerell
2005/03/08 15:30:12
thread )
userinfo senji
2005/03/08 15:31:03
That's approximately my reasoning for liking it.
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userinfo ewx
[userpic]
2005/03/08 15:33:43
Useful for contexts where vertical space is more important than horizontal. Though I'm not so sure about the rotated text - it's harder to read. Failing to rotate the text might take up too much horizontal space. Perhaps a case where icons might help?
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userinfo mewo2
[userpic]
2005/03/08 15:35:54
Ooh. Nice. Could something similar be done with a taskbar?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/03/08 15:37:29
Taskbar?
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userinfo mewo2
[userpic]
2005/03/08 16:28:42
The thing (normally) at the bottom of the screen, which lists all your open windows.
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/03/08 16:32:01
Oh, the Startbar :) It'd be nice if you could make that turn sideways (rather than just sitting on the side). Of course, I usually hide it (but this interacts badly with Citrix).
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userinfo adrasteah
2005/03/08 17:45:39
Actually it is the taskbar, but that's fairly unimportant :-)

I'm not sure I like menus along the side, specifically the right as we tend to read top down, although I guess it could be useful for saving vertical spaces although I can't think of an example where I'd personally use it. Also the writing sideways is a bit of a pain. Would the menus drop down have the writing at an angle too?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/03/08 18:30:17
Yeah, I'm sure that it does have a proper name, but not being a real Windows user I've not encountered it before :-).

The menus appear normally, including stupidly having the arrows for submenus on the right-hand side (next to the edge of the screen almost).
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userinfo gailg
[userpic]
2005/03/08 20:40:30
You can make it turn sideways. Just drag it from the bottom to the side of the screen.
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userinfo mewo2
[userpic]
2005/03/09 00:05:42
Yeah, but I thought the useful bit was having the text on its side (saving horizontal space).
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userinfo dua
[userpic]
2005/03/08 18:37:03
Yep. Drag and drop. (Though the text stays horizontal, but you can squish the taskbar so it's just icons...)
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userinfo cartesiandaemon
[userpic]
2005/03/08 16:01:23
If you wanted to use your monitor in portrait orientation?

I think it's really a case of over-generalization. Geeks, being a generalization of mathmos :) don't like arbitrary constraints, so feel if you can put a toolbar there, and move a menu bar, you should be able to put a menu there. Or maybe it's a case of overenthusiastic designers, or bored programmers with nothing better to do.
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userinfo mooism
2005/03/08 16:07:55
Sideways text. Euw.
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userinfo mhw
[userpic]
2005/03/08 16:35:42
Yep. I could try to dig out the citations for you if you need, but what I remember from a bunch of papers is that rotated English text takes between 2 and 5 times as long to read as unrotated — that's isolated words, as in a menu, not continuous text.

If you had purely iconic menus it would work better. As it is, you'll be slowing people down by a considerable factor if they work by reading the text, or rather less if they use iconic recognition and/or visuospatial memory to process the position and graphic content of the text (but in that case you're effectively using icons anyway).
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userinfo megamole
[userpic]
2005/03/08 17:10:37
Me: mad.
PFY: someone might find it useful, therefore it's useful.
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userinfo dua
[userpic]
2005/03/08 18:37:41
Hmmm, it makes me feel ill. So not a fan. Though if it was icons, I might be OK with it :-)
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userinfo mair_aw
[userpic]
2005/03/08 19:30:51
would using flwm as my window manager disqualify me from commenting on this?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/03/08 20:14:25
Shouldn't think so, since I use fvwm with sideways titlebars (don't often read the titles :))
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userinfo andrewwyld
[userpic]
2005/03/08 19:37:07
I use them, occasionally.  NT has a module that lets you do some terribly clever geometric transformations on graphics automagically, although I can no longer recall how it worked, but my guess is someone spotted it and said "hey, we can make sideways toolbars with no effort!" which, of course, is entirely true -- it's no harder to render something vertically than horizontally.  And, of course, if your first language renders vertically, I would imagine it's a tremendous boon to have that option.
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UI design gone mad? - Squaring the circle...

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