Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th May 2007 18:54 UTC
Gnome In the GNOME bugzilla, there is an ongoing discussion about whether or not to include a patch into the default GNOME installation which would enable GNOME to (optionally) have a global application menubar, similar to that of the Mac OS and KDE (in the latter it is optional and off by default). Installation instructions and .deb packages, as well as a 60-page (and counting) discussion of the patch, are available on the UbuntuForums. Read on for a poll on this issue.
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RE[3]: Why?
by sbergman27 on Thu 17th May 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Then I actually tried timing my response and others to a request to find and click on a menu item under Mac OS X and Windows. My experiment found
"""

Your empirical approach is refreshing. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why?
by rayiner on Thu 17th May 2007 22:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Uh, the word your looking for is "anecdotal".

Anecdote is what you use when you don't have a good empirical rule. Empirical rules are, in turn, what you use when you don't have a good theory.

Since we have a good empirical rule in this case, excuse me if I'm not readily willing to abandon it in favor of anecdote...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Why?
by subterrific on Fri 18th May 2007 00:16 in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
subterrific Member since:
2005-07-10

It sounds like you missed my point. I am not disputing that putting the menubar at the top of the screen makes it a faster target to acquire than a window menubar. This is, as you said, a well studied and an established rule.

I am arguing that when you take it a step further and ask a user to perform a full action, which requires them to recall the location of a menu item or search for it, that the time saved by having the menubar at the top becomes so small it is meaningless. At the time I was interested in this, I couldn't find any studies of the top menubar that went beyond target acquisition and focused on the user's time to perform tasks in actual applications, which is why I did it myself and was surprised by the results.

Not to completely derail the thread, but why not offer circular menus? How about a patch to bisect the display of contextual menus at the mouse cursor so menu items are closer to the cursor?

(credit to Victor Zambrano for this idea)
http://www.asktog.com/images/fittsCascadingMenus.gif

These features can be enabled by default and potentially help more users so they arguably make more sense than an off-by-default top menubar.

Reply Parent Score: 1