Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Nov 2007 15:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the sixth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VI, we focus on the dock.
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RE[3]: @google_ninja
by Pixie on Wed 21st Nov 2007 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: @google_ninja "
Pixie
Member since:
2005-09-30

Where it reads:

the window itself isn't the window

should instead be read:
the window itself isn't the app.

With the menu-bar attached to the window, menus don't have to be repeated in multi-windowed applications -- look at how multi-windowed Photoshop is handled in Windows, look at how multi-windowed Gimp is handled in *nix. And even if a menu is repeated, there is no usability conflict, nor will the computer explode.

Of course, it emulates the behavior of Mac...
BTW GIMP and usability even if at the same paragraph doesn't mix...

Often, users interact with the content, window buttons and window borders more than the application menu. Application toolbars and palette buttons can get even more interaction. So, if you really want to take advantage of the "infinitely large" targets on the screen edge, put the toolbars and pallet buttons there (some *nix WMs/desktops allow this configuration with certain apps).


You know, Menu happens to be there already...


[/q]By the way, a target isn't easy to hit just because you put it on the edge of the screen -- try hitting on the edge of the screen an "infinitely large" target that is one pixel wide. [/q]

How do you know, you obviously doesn't use it.


Please stop. The last thing that a forum such as OSNews needs is one more Mac fanboy incessantly barking the term "Fitts' Law" like a flipping, hyperactive Jack Russell Terrier.

No Mac fan boy, altough I've been using the menu system system since the dawn of the times (ie- Amiga) I know what feels better and Fitt's law just happen to show I'm right.

[p] So, with the Mac menu-bar always at the top of the screen, the targets are always the furthest distance away from the work -- an OSX detriment. [/q]

Although far it is reached faster, and it's not even me saying it, usability tests are...


Unlike OSX, some OSs/desktops/window-managers are actually designed to take advantage of the screen edge/corners, such as SymphonyOS's Mezzo desktop (note the corner and edge widgets in this screenshot): http://www.symphonyos.com/ss/sos-2007b.jpg

My corners are working fine thank you very much, it only seems that you haven't work with all MacOSX has to offer...

cheers

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: @google_ninja
by tupp on Wed 21st Nov 2007 20:19 in reply to "RE[3]: @google_ninja "
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

No Mac fan boy

Sure you aren't. Nobody is a Mac fanboy.


Of course, it emulates the behavior of Mac...

Perhaps you would care to be specific on exactly how the window configurations of Windows Photoshop and the Gimp emulate the Mac.


BTW GIMP and usability even if at the same paragraph doesn't mix...

Not really. The Gimp just gets a bad rap because a lot of people who try it are already conditioned to Photoshop, and, perhaps, because it lacks a few features. Often, one assumes that a new application has inferior usability, because that application doesn't work like the one with which they are familiar.


So, if you really want to take advantage of the "infinitely large" targets on the screen edge, put the toolbars and pallet buttons there (some *nix WMs/desktops allow this configuration with certain apps).
You know, Menu happens to be there already...


In OSX, you are correct -- almost everything has already been decided for you and you cannot change it. However, with *nix and Windows, one has many more choices.


I've been using the menu system system since the dawn of the times (ie- Amiga) I know what feels better and Fitt's law just happen to show I'm right.

What are you right about? You never seem to make any specific claims.

By the way, GUI menus appeared in the Xerox Alto over a decade before the Amiga. I am not going to bother linking another screenshot -- look at the ones posted earlier in this thread.


So, with the Mac menu-bar always at the top of the screen, the targets are always the furthest distance away from the work -- an OSX detriment.
Although far it is reached faster, and it's not even me saying it, usability tests are...


Perhaps you could reference these tests. Did they test varying distances between the starting position and the targets on the screen edge?


By the way, a target isn't easy to hit just because you put it on the edge of the screen -- try hitting on the edge of the screen an "infinitely large" target that is one pixel wide.
How do you know, you obviously doesn't use it.


Well, how about if I put it another way:

I will bet you US$1000.00 that nine out of ten random people cannot, in a single attempt, click on a white, 1-pixel target centered on the top edge of a black, 1024x768 screen, given a standard pointer positioned on the bottom edge of the screen and two seconds (a usability eternity) to accomplish the task.

Care to put your money where your mouth is?

Edited 2007-11-21 20:22

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: @google_ninja
by Pixie on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 20:15 in reply to "RE[4]: @google_ninja "
Pixie Member since:
2005-09-30

"Sure you aren't. Nobody is a Mac fanboy. "
I have a bachelor in webdesign it's quite different. I had to learn about usability issues... as for using a Mac, only have one since January, don't have the time needed for being a fanboy.

"Perhaps you would care to be specific on exactly how the window configurations of Windows Photoshop and the Gimp emulate the Mac."
Who cares about Gimp, photoshop has a menu in top of the window of which when magnified has its menu on top, as mac does.

"In OSX, you are correct -- almost everything has already been decided for you and you cannot change it. However, with *nix and Windows, one has many more choices. "
OSX is *unix if you do not know. As for having more choices, do you know... consistency is a good thing, thinks shouldn't run amok, you don't have to learn different tools for the same job, you can have choice as long as it keeps being the same. If you open a file requester you should be able to choose what kind of file requester is, but it should be transversal along the system, that's what explorer and finder are...

"By the way, GUI menus appeared in the Xerox Alto over a decade before the Amiga. I am not going to bother linking another screenshot -- look at the ones posted earlier in this thread."
Joe User wise? Who cares if some special cult had used/developed it before, they came up with a concept, Amiga (and Apple) actually had apps that used that concept, there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path...

"Perhaps you could reference these tests. Did they test varying distances between the starting position and the targets on the screen edge? "
You know that mouse pointer has acceleration or can be made to... as for the tests, please find them yourself, they will enlighten you.

"I will bet you US$1000.00 that nine out of ten random people cannot, in a single attempt, click on a white, 1-pixel target centered on the top edge of a black, 1024x768 screen, given a standard pointer positioned on the bottom edge of the screen and two seconds (a usability eternity) to accomplish the task. "
I don't giva a damn with fairy 'use cases' tales, I care with real world real use cases, if you came up with one which belongs to it be my guest otherwise you're talking to the wrong guy and failing to make a point altogether...

Reply Parent Score: 1