February 23rd, 2006


userinfo senji
2006/02/23 17:26:00 - When What You See Isn't What You've Got
I always feel that the following dialogue box message indicates something that so isn't what you wanted at all, but I'm having difficulty deciding what I object to about it that is a general UI principle, and what is just pure revulsion...

MS Word Reading Mode Dialogue Box

Current Mood: [mood icon] unsure
Entry Tags: images, ui

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userinfo marnanel
[userpic]
2006/02/23 17:37:07
Blimey, is that a dialogue box or a website?
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userinfo aldabra
[userpic]
2006/02/23 18:27:51
What I object to is that when you click the OK button it flips straight back into the normal default view and doesn't let you look at it in Reading Layout at all after telling you all that self-important palaver about how much you want it.
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userinfo senji
2006/02/23 22:00:51
Oh, it doesn't do that to me...
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userinfo hairyears
[userpic]
2006/02/23 18:55:15 - Don't these guys read their own published human interface guidelines?


all that self-important palaver about how much you want it.

...Which is, of course, the crux of senji's objection. Dialog boxes are for brief messages and the whole point is that the message was so important that you have to stop the flow of your work RIGHT NOW, even if the next step is a simple 'OK' and resume.

I don't see that reading a page of marketing crap is all that important. I can see that an windows-standard OK|CANCEL|HELP messagebox with the blue 'information' icon might read:

You are viewing your document in Reading Layout.

Click 'Help' to find out more about the new features available in Reading Layout

Click OK to work with your document in Reading Layout.
Click CANCEL to revert to the standard layout used in earlier versions of Microsoft Office Word.

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userinfo fanf
[userpic]
2006/02/23 19:18:02 - Re: Don't these guys read their own published human interface guidelines?
OK and CANCEL buttons should be abolished. Buttons should be labelled with the actions they cause.
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userinfo womble2
[userpic]
2006/02/24 00:24:18 - Re: Don't these guys read their own published human interface guidelines?
Oh, absolutely. I think Microsoft is finally learning this and doing the right thing in their applications, but for the average Windows programmer the MessageBox function is obvious and easy to use whereas writing an alternative that shows arbitrary button labels is quite hard.
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userinfo senji
2006/02/23 22:01:57 - Re: Don't these guys read their own published human interface guidelines?
I have a copy of the RISC OS Style Guide on my desk to answer all these UI questions... :)

Now there's a company who didn't read their own guidelines.
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When What You See Isn't What You've Got - Squaring the circle...

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