UI and UIG related discussion

Forum thread started by Leaflord on Thu, 2005-12-29 13:49

Basically; all the threads here are generally of how pretty the OS should look; and a couple of threads are tossed apart actually talking about the user interface and features to add to it; i think a thread that deals with all UI related discussions should be started.

This will also link to any usability related threads; but i will only start updating it if people provide some feedback :oops:

The priority here; will be usability but not appeal. If necessary; we can generate mock up screenshots once a part of UI is chosen to stay. Discussions will deal with things such as consistency; colours; sounds and notification of the interface; how it complies with hick's law and fitt's law; and addons and changes to tracker; deskbar and a regular window

So wat say pipolz?

Listing all UI related (not the looks; but usability and features) links:

  1. The data in the post below; about dock and shelf
    >It can help make a complete UI which will reduce overall time taken to complete an operation
    >It may make the OS cluttered and thus may ruin the look and feel of BeOS

  2. http://ge.blubinc.com/index.php/R2_Ideas[various stuff; some about UI and Tracker]
    >Suggestion to ditch menu bars/option to disable them [neutral opinion]
    >Im against animated icons personally; they're more of distraction cept at some occassions to indicate system activity
    >If XUL is implemented; it would be nice cuz i think i'll learn it too XD!
    >As for the xcv; it should be implemented; but i prefer my shelf concept
    >About the "preview image" thing; why not also add collumn view of the mac finder? Though if im not mistaken it was said to be limited in functionality..

  3. http://ge.blubinc.com/index.php/Fusing_Tabs[the ability of movable tabs extended to great level]
    >I dont like the idea of the menu being located over the corners; cuz the usability drops a bit. Same goes for fusing tabs; cuz the ability to close two apps together is not advantageous; and is a tad complex
    >Sticking is nice; it can help curb the prob with deskbar managing multiple windows of same application
    Though i think most coherent is only the sticking tabs; not the others.

  4. http://haiku-os.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=569 [extensions based UI]
    >The concept of "customisability leads to unusability"; we may curb using this concept. Also can be used to address the complaints of people that more features should be added and all..

  5. http://haiku-os.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=393 [discussion about taskbar buttons]
    >I dunno... im not fond of windowsish looks

  6. http://ge.blubinc.com/index.php/Drag_And_Drop_Save [eliminate the Save dialog]
    >I like this concept... proper implementation needed
    >If made to work with the shelf concept i posted below; how about an extra button should be added only for document related applications which will rename the document directly in the title bar; and on pressing enter the application will be saved on to the desktop; or into a shelf

Comments

UI and UIG related discussion

....okay;; it seems no one is really interested in replyin so i'll start off with a double post...

Keeping current technologies being hyped for a GUI; it should most likely feature these:

  1. Launch Menu
  2. Task Bar(+notification area/system tray)
  3. Search Engine
  4. Dock/Quicklaunch

Other things i feel that the GUI should feature is:

  1. Shelf (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelf_%28computing%29 )
  2. Clipboard management

Clipboard management; cuz its tiresome when i have to copy some text or press 'print screen'; but i still have to launch the respective program just to save it. Instead; whenever i copy text or print screen; two reserved icons will light up; and i can drag em onto desktop or into the shelf to save em.

What im thinking is; almost like apple's dock; we should have a bar that features all these three (dock; shelf; clipboard) but not taskbar; like the apple dock does due to the defects it inherits (see asktog.com/columns/044top10docksucks.html)

Now; for a good GUI; they should primarily be compatible to a law called the Fitt's Law (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitt%27s_Law )

Keeping it in mind...

  1. Screen corners should be used
  2. big buttons = good buttons
  3. things located at edges are nice
  1. As for this; i'd suggest:
    top right: deskbar (default)
    top left: search bar
    bottom left: Multiple desktops (?)
    bottom right: Trash Can
    >The ideal position for the deskbar has to be decided whether its top left or top right (i dont want it to look like the windows taskbar to retain Be flavour)
    >The search bar might look odd dangling alone there; so maybe something should accompany it.
    >Bottom left can be multiple desktops
    >Trash can is obvious

    Keeping these in mind; placing of the shelf+dock+clipboard would be

    1. On the top;; but it will make it too far away from the trash can which is not too ideal
    2. At the bottom; but we have multiple desktop switcher here so it might look too cluttered
    3. Push the deskbar to the top left and keep the dock at the right; providing it access to trash can
  2. If we choose option C; labels will be kinda tuff
  3. All things are already obeying this one..

Any replies?

UI and UIG related discussion

I thought about replying before Leaflord. The problem for me is that what we'd get out of here wouid be pretty close to a specification, and I figured that there'd already be one, aside from R5 itself. :)

To the people who know: Is there one already in place for the project that we can have a look at?

Cheers,
togs

UI and UIG related discussion

well; i think we SHOULD develop a specification cuz R5 is incomplete in being a complete GUI; so this discussion is required...

the only thing i stumbled across so far; is gonx; but its not too usable (round corners)
http://cotito.free.fr/projects/gonx+index.html [french]

Scrap it all

Maybe we should scrap it all and do the archy interface.

http://rchi.raskincenter.org/

Just have to remember all the different commands.
Hmm.. on second thought I rather stick with WIMP.

Any comments on this, Darkwyrm?

UI and UIG related discussion

Leaflord wrote:
[*]Clipboard management
Clipboard management; cuz its tiresome when i have to copy some text or press 'print screen'; but i still have to launch the respective program just to save it. Instead; whenever i copy text or print screen; two reserved icons will light up; and i can drag em onto desktop or into the shelf to save em.

Not sure what you mean here; you seem to be describing Windows when you complain of having to launch a program to save a 'print screen'. In Beos it automatically saves a .tga file to yr home directory.

And have you tried Werner Freytag's ClipUp? It lives as an icon in the Deskbar, remembers yr last 5, 10...up to 50 clips (configurable), doesn't seem to mind what data format the clip is in (picture crops etc) and remembers it all through reboots. Every home should have one.

(although I'm using the 1.1 version. Bebits currently has V2.0.3 but I find it a bit over-featured)

But as long as Haiku R1 maintains BeOS' Print Screen functionailty and binary compatibility what else needs to be done?

UI and UIG related discussion

@katisu: is that an alternative to WIMP interface o.O Anyways better first stick to native interfaces than to make a complete makeover..
Making a non-WIMP counter-intuitive interface (with the commands); i feel such a thing shouldnt be made a default shell. So better stick to a wimp interface; and as this is to revive BeOS; better just modify the minimalistic and simplistic Be UI

@malthus: to be frank; its been aeons since i used BeOS again cuz i had to remove it as it dint detect my modem <.<

What i meant was this -- those buttons will be in the so-called-dock; and they will be disabled or grayed out. But if a screenie or copy is taken; the thing will light up; and dragging that icon into a folder will save it in that directory. And clicking the icon will open up the folder with the screenies.

Saving it default into a not-so-accessible folder will make the task more time consuming.

But im not talking just about screenshots; i mean cut or copied text as well (but it wont be saved into a directory..)

Anyways -- that application you said; wouldnt it be better if such functionality would be integrated into the system? It will be native to the deskbar thus will make things better.

Re: Scrap it all

Katisu wrote:
Maybe we should scrap it all and do the archy interface.

http://rchi.raskincenter.org/

Just have to remember all the different commands.
Hmm.. on second thought I rather stick with WIMP.

Any comments on this, Darkwyrm?

I agree with you on this one. The problem with something that is significantly unfamiliar is that people will have a higher learning curve. I am continually reminded of the situation of the average user because my boss and her secretary both fit that title. WIMP is outdated by many people's opinions, but the paradigm has become a standard IMO. That's a _lot_ of momentum for any new desktop model to overcome. Joe User doesn't like change - he just wants to get his work done with a minimum of fuss. If it requires too much learning to use, it's hard to get traction in the regular consumer market.

UI and UIG related discussion

IMO The prob is; even though WIMP has been dismissed to be obsolete; there has been no complete alternative interface developed; and it generally has higher learning curve

Though im not really fond of scrapping the interface; maybe as an alternative interface along with the DeskBar; but replacing i think is not too nice a thing to do /swt

EDIT: Lol...this is funny.. first we work all things on text i.e., CLI; ML based text processing (?); and then we call it an "advancement" and go ahead for graphical alternatives i.e., GUI; word processing and again come back to old standards in a better manner i.e., humane interface; TeX and family

UI and UIG related discussion

Leaflord wrote:
IMO The prob is; even though WIMP has been dismissed to be obsolete; there has been no complete alternative interface developed; and it generally has higher learning curve

Jef Raskin's argument is about how automated it is after gone through the learning curve. My experience tells me there will always be commands that don't get used often but can slow me down if I don't remember them. As a result, it will take more time to figure it out then if I just navigate some menus. I tend to remember things visually.

In this case, it's not a matter of the initial learning curve. It's the process of recalling what was learned that seems to be a potential obstacle. I guess I'll have to read his book to see if he addresses this issue. His arguments seem sound, I just don't get his idea of execution. But then again, maybe this was the problem with him at Apple.

UI and UIG related discussion

Dloaded archy and its played its tutorials; i love the concept (so this is what emacs feels like..) and i think the concept is extremely capable of replacing WIMP though there are some things im too bothered about in making it a default UI:

~The thing is way too automated; the only thing non automated is scrolling
~Usage of keys such as caps lock; alt and depressing em while typing may not exactly be *fast* nuff...
~Selections may still be done faster using the conventional selecting style
~Some default logic is needed in the process; which are already demonstrated (typing random letters to get back to original state during leaping; getting to a commonly used letter in alternative ways)
~Its NOT for accident prone people (like me :P ) who'd spend his time pressing [Caps Lock] + "UNDO" all the time

Also; the demo is too limited in proving itself versus the standard WIMP interface IMO...

As he already said...its better for developers and the disabled i guess

Made a screenie....

by modifying and combining some different screenies involving dockbert; gobe and some other screenie i found in Haiku gallery; this is what i think should be made; and what should be


http://static.flickr.com/42/80165567_b195482c17_o.png [full size]

  1. Trash is located at bottom to satisfy fitts
  2. The modified dockbert is not what i had in mind completely; anyways the three sections are:
    >Shelf concept; where the files are temporar