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Graham Perrin

Diigo toolbar button/menu inconsistencies - three different behaviours for a single UI widget - 106 views

resolved Firefox toolbar 3.1.6.5 GUI inconsistency

started by Graham Perrin on 08 Nov 08
  • Graham Perrin
     
    Predictable, correct:

    * Recent
    * Unread

    - both of which benefit from a rollover effect that reinforces the integrity of the word with its neighbouring triangle.

    Contrary:

    * Diigo

    - no rollover effect

    - in the absence of that effect, we expect a click on the word 'Diigo' to produce a button-like response, typically a dialogue in a pop-up window

    - unexpectedly, a menu appears

    - a click on the triangle is presumably (through experimentation) no different from a click on the word.

    Least predictable:

    * Bookmark
    * triangle
    * Highlight
    * triangle
    * Comment
    * triangle
    * Send
    * triangle

    - for all of these, a click on the word is different from a click on the neighbouring triangle; they're (related but) disintegrated.
  • Graham Perrin
     
    Worst:

    * Web

    - the triangle presents a pull down menu

    - the button behaves differently from all other buttons, _replaces_ the contents of the current tab, possibly losing any un-submitted form entries (e.g. a reply such as this) that preceded the click

    (clicking on the other buttons that are separated from their menus tends to present content in a new tab.)

    = Environment =

    Diigo 3.1.6.4, Firefox 3.0.3, Mac OS X 10.5.5
  • Joel Liu
     
    >
    > Least predictable:
    >
    > * Bookmark
    > * triangle
    > * Highlight
    > * triangle
    > * Comment
    > * triangle
    > * Send
    > * triangle
    >
    or all of these, a click on the word is different from a click on the neighbouring triangle; they're (related but) disintegrated.

    ===>That's true. We realized this problem but didn't come up a good idea to solve it. Do you know how to make it more easy to understand?
    Thanks.
  • Joel Liu
     
    > (clicking on the other buttons that are separated from their menus tends to present content in a new tab.)

    All navigation buttons in diigo are rendered in the current tab. The bookmark links are opened in new tab by default, however, you can set it to open in the current tab here https://secure.diigo.com/setting.
  • Graham Perrin
     
    > https://secure.diigo.com/setting

    I do prefer to

    >> Open the link in a new window

    A click on all of the following 3.1.6.5 toolbar words is non-disruptive:

    * Diigo
    * Bookmark
    * Highlight
    * Comment
    * Send
    * Message
    * Options

    * Recent
    * Unread

    A click on the word 'Web' disrupts the current window.
  • Graham Perrin
     
    Joel Liu wrote:

    >> a click on the word is different from a click on the
    >> neighbouring triangle; they're (related but) disintegrated.
    >
    > === >That's true. We realized this problem but didn't come up a
    > good idea to solve it. Do you know how to make it more easy to
    > understand? Thanks.

    Hi Joel

    In 3.1.6.5 for Firefox: both 'Recent' and 'Unread' menus feel good. Fluid is a fair description.

    In these menus, I find what I want quickly - without the need to aim carefully.

    Of equal importance: an accidental click on 'Recent' or 'Unread' doesn't feel like wasted time; I can throw my mouse around then click elsewhere.

    Now: compare that fluidity, that happy mouse-carelessness in menus of reasonable length, with the _narrow_ (triangles) and _very short_ menus that relate to 'Bookmark', 'Highlight', 'Comment' and 'Send'.

    For the _three_ classes of annotation - comment, highlight, sticky note - the menus are an odd mixture:

    * there are _two_ spaces comprising four elements ((two buttons) + (two menus))

    * beneath the Comment triangle there's an option relating to a different class of annotation (sticky note)

    * beneath the Highlight triangle there's an option relating to a different class of annotation (comment)

    Critically: the requirement for a fine aim on most small triangles presents a menu that is remarkably short.

    =============================
    First thoughts on improvement
    =============================

    Toolbar *might* be (re)structured along these lines:

    Sidebar | Diigo… | Bookmark… | Recent… | Unread… | Annotate… | Share… | View…

    - Sidebar (icon) is a button, a toggle

    - all others are menus, of reasonable size, and within each menu a logical set of items.

    Informing the left-to-right order of items within the toolbar: workflow.

    'Send', 'Message' and 'Options' fall easily under appropriate menu items.

    I don't wish to monopolise this discussion; other readers, please, argue :)

    The first argument might be: "Where's the one-click bookmark button gone?".

    An answer might be: "The first item in the Bookmark… menu".

    Second argument: "A menu is not a one-click!"

    Second answer: "A lazy click on the larger improved Bookmark… menu and the small lazy step down to the first menu item is, surprisingly, easier than aiming more precisely for a single small nameless icon".

    And so on; let the discussion continue …

    Kind regards
    Graham
  • Sean Brady
     
    I don't use the toolbar in a very traditional sense. I don't keep it displayed at all. I have moved two of the Diigo buttons to my active toolbar. I tend to use keystrokes whenever possible, and that is working well for me.

    That said, I agree that changing the primary buttons to be structured by function would be a good idea. I like the Bookmark | Annotate | Share options quite a lot as I can certainly visualize what I would find under each.

    I like the idea of the filters and such, but I don't use them much myself.
  • anonymous
     
    > Graham Perrin wrote:

    > > Second argument: "A menu is not a one-click!"
    > >
    > > Second answer: "A lazy click on the larger improved Bookmark… menu and the small lazy step down to the first menu item is, surprisingly, easier than aiming more precisely for a single small nameless icon".
    > >

    Graham, I very much like the idea of removing the small triangle access to those buttons and having the menu appear when the button is clicked. The original button action would be predominantly displayed as the first item on the drop down list menu.

    I like this for a number of reasons.
    - New and/or less savvy computer users don't necessarily and intuitively know that there are in fact additional menu commands under these triangle buttons.
    - Also merging the items will go a long way to de-cluttering and simplifying the top menu bar.
    - It will make all of the actions consistent and predictable.
    - If Diigo REALLY wishes to retain the one click button for a common action, such as placing a bookmark, then there is a button on the toolbar already called "One click save to Diigo". Frankly, that button should be changed to pop the "Add bookmark to Diigo" dialog box. The whole click button again to add tags violates the principal that adding tags should be a reinforced habit whenever possible.

    As an aside, many proficient, power users like to use right click or Ctrl-click actions for context menus. I hardly use these buttons at the top on the toolbar. So, these menus should be as simple and easy to figure out as possible to embrace the newer users. I have lots of ideas about the order and placement of some of the menu commands, but that is another discussion altogether.

    Great input everyone and happy innovating!!!
  • Sean Brady
     
    I believe strongly that all of my bookmarks should be tagged, but on occasion I want to get something captured, and I want to move on. I use that button to get the link into my system (with the to.tag tag) and I swing back around in the future to do a more complete job of saving it.

    Changing the one click save button to pop up the dialog would make this a a bit difficult. I disagree that Diigo has or shoud have a "principal" that bookmarks should be tagged. In fact, most of the interviews with Wade and Maggie seem to indicate that Diigo was/is created to be as open and flexible as a user wants it to be. The social features are optional, and tagging is (at least in part) a social feature. I hope they never adopt a plan that tagging should be required.

    Please don't change the one click button, it would violate the principle of being one click.

    > - If Diigo REALLY wishes to retain the one click button for a common action, such as placing a bookmark, then there is a button on the toolbar already called "One click save to Diigo". Frankly, that button should be changed to pop the "Add bookmark to Diigo" dialog box. The whole click button again to add tags violates the principal that adding tags should be a reinforced habit whenever possible.
    >
  • anonymous
     
    > I hope they never adopt a plan that tagging should be required.
    >
    Sean,
    Please do not take my previous comment as a plan that tags should be "required". Nothing could be further from the truth. Truth be known, I despise tags, but that is a discussion for another day.

    The "Add a bookmark to Diigo" dialog box does not require you to insert tags, lists or any other Diigo convention, nor should it ever require you to do so. Simply pop the box and click "Save" or the "Enter" key to accept. I would wager that most users are not even aware that one-click button is even exists and if they clicked it on accident would be confused as to what happened to their bookmark.

    If that is incorrect and it is a common button that user's are aware of then it wouldn't hurt to leave the button as is, with the other suggested UI changes.
  • Graham Perrin
     
    > right click or Ctrl-click actions for context menus.… these menus
    > should be as simple and easy to figure out as possible to embrace
    > the newer users. I have lots of ideas about the order and placement
    > of some of the menu commands, but that is another discussion
    > altogether.

    Interesting!

    Amongst the points at http://groups.diigo.com/Diigo_HQ/forum/topic/next-phase-diigo-the-future-7336 'contextual menus' was the only one against which I placed a question mark.

    (I don't doubt the power of contextual menu approach, but I did wonder whether contextual menus might be universally acceptable.)

    Highlights at http://www.diigo.com/annotated/d81629500f5ec8c516e8a14a562fd8a5 include an observation that some users choose to explicity disable features such as contextual menus.
  • anonymous
     
    > (I don't doubt the power of contextual menu approach, but I did wonder whether contextual menus might be universally acceptable.)
    >
    Well I can't vouch for how universally acceptable they are, but I do know that proficient users adopt short cuts, yours being keyboard shortcuts, as previously mentioned. Some might argue that keyboard shortcuts are not exactly universally acceptable either, although there are a fair share that I use of those as well. I had a friend ask me once, while he was watching me work in Photoshop if I ever touched the mouse :-)

    As in all the UI problems we are faced with... contextual menus are NOT a solution or replacement for a cleanly designed traditional interface with menus and buttons. They are tools of convenience for the user. So my point that I use contextual menus and not the buttons should not be taken as an implication that I feel the traditional interface is not important.
  • Graham Perrin
     
    > yours being keyboard shortcuts, as previously mentioned.

    I'm as happy with contextual menus (hierarchical cuts) as I am with shortcuts; I make increasing use of gestures; and so on. I shan't attempt to define how I work within Diigo … much of it currently requires leaping back and forth between different browsers, so (although I record nearly all issues/bug/suggestions in this forum) paradoxically I'm not paying the required attention to Diigo capabilities and to (my own) user behaviours.

    Whilst we see many proficient users in Diigo communities, I believe there's value in stepping away from proficiency - to consider what should achievable with novice actions and/or dragging of knuckles. (Nothing derogatory there - I love things that respond well to careless, rough, primitive behaviours!)

    Re-focusing myself on the subject:

    >> three different behaviours for a single UI widget

    I favour:

    * retaining and refining/simplifying one (only one) one-click action.
  • anonymous
     
    Graham said:
    > I believe there's value in stepping away from proficiency - to consider what should achievable with novice actions and/or dragging of knuckles.

    I completely concur on all your points. The general UI should appeal to the novice user with plenty of intuitive opportunities for proficient users to step out of this mold (both with more powerful features and shortcuts) while not complicating the interface. No easy task to design!!

    In my opinion, that is the greatest paradox of interfaces. The more powerful features you build into it, the more complicated and unwieldy the system becomes to learn and use. A system that is both powerful AND simple to use is something we would call well "designed" or "engineered". Great discussion here, by the way.

    I believe we are also in agreement with the solution to the problem. The top tool bar needs to be more consistent, streamlined and simplified.
  • Graham Perrin
     
    I have paid little attention to UI of installed versions of Diigo but I'm sure that 4.x add-ons for Firefox are greatly improved :)

    Tag: resolved

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