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 Post subject: GUI Behaviour Proposals
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 8:29 pm 
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<edit by Chris>
If anyone has additional comments on this please post a reply, however only constructive comments, all others will be deleted.
</edit>


<b>Before anyone goes mental-- Chris (Centimetre) *asked* me to do this. So no one freak out, please</b>

Chris, here is the email I tried to send you.

Image

Thom's email wrote:
Chris,

You asked my to make my proposals in an email. Well, here it is!

Instead of using only words, I decided to make a small, very ugly,
mockup. Don't let the looks fool you-- this is about behaviour and not
looks :).

Anyway, I'll try to explain the mockup from top to bottom. Let's start
off with the window title bar. As I have said many times, it would be
great if they could be symmetrical. This has to do with the fact that
people prefer symmetry; in objects, faces, and even, no kidding,
breasts.

As you can see, the "close" button is on the left, and the maximize
button on the right. Apple has put a lot of r&d into whether people
prefer buttons to be on the left, or on the right. They concluded that
all buttons should be on the left (probably because us westerners read
from left to right). Therefore, I placed the most important button,
close, on the left, and the less important one on the right. You might
be missing the "minimize to taskbar"-button here. Well, it is no secret
that I'm extremely fond of the "double-clicking-titlebar = minimizing"
thing. In BeOS it's standard, in OSX it's an option. I strongly suggest
you to try it out-- it's the best GUI behavioral idea I've ever seen.
Obviously, the window title is centered (well, it should be, I used only
my eyes to center the text ;) ).

Next up: the menu bar. As you can see, I see no need for cluttering up
the top section by separating the menubar from the actual titlebar.

I think it is important that it is crystal clear to which menubutton the
actual menu belongs. As you can see, I used the same idea that
Microsoft's .Net theme (used in Office) uses: the menu kind of "hovers"
over the button. In the .Net theme (too bad Windows doesn't use it
throughout) it is very clear as to which menubutton a menu belongs.

However, there is one more extremely important thing in the menu, taken
from BeOS and OSX: list the keyboard shortcuts after the option!! This
is probably one of the most important things in this whole design: keyb.
shortcuts are barely used because they are not known; by listing them
behind every option, people will learn them, and start to use them. And
keyb. shortcuts are extremely handy. You can see my idea behind the
"quit" option (another important behavioral idea is that I prefer "alt"
instead of "control"-- coming from a BeOS/OSX world and all. Maybe it's
a good idea to have the user select whether he wants alt or control,
BeOS let's the user decide too).

Leaves me with a few more notes:
- you should be able to move the window using either side of the
border/titlebar;
- resizing is done via the little triangle at the bottom right;
- you can use the wider border at the bottom for displaying ie. how many
files selected, Cribbage score, etc-- a statusbar, so to speak.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Thom Holwerda

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 9:13 pm 
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right now I can't stand the X on the left.
hmm maybe on the left and right.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 9:34 pm 
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Hm ...

as a theme this would be fine to test out. As long as the close button delivers the correct event to the applications, I really don't care whether it looks like an x or what so ever nor where it is located.

The Idea with the small triangle in the lower right border as a location to drag for resizing the window isn't that bad at all. I'm doing it in a similar way in my own os(in the gui actually) I have several special location on a window which permit to perform all day operations with it: title bar for dragging (it is large enough not to be missed), iconify button, close button and a portion of the lower right corner of the window is coloured different: that's the location to grab in case of resizing.

The mentioning of shortcuts in the menu items is ok. I agree with thoms point here.

What I find argueable is the sense of that send_back button, but that's "need to get used to" rather than anything else. Thom: how to iconify a window in your scheme?

Just my opinion: Give one location in the task bar to click on if I want to clean up the screen (and at work I need that often because I seldom have less than twelve windows open at a time (LogTE emulation, file system browser, Cobol compiler,UPIC configuration, Source control configuration, Change management config usw...) JUst gimme a possibility to iconify all the visible windows with one click and I'm happy. :-)

regarding the argument about the symmetry: I agree, but please could we leave them] out of the play? Honestly, this is not the place to discuss about sex. *winkwink*

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 9:43 pm 
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Quote:
Thom: how to iconify a window in your scheme?


Minimize = iconofy (minimize to taskbar). Double-click the titlebar :).

Quote:
What I find argueable is the sense of that send_back button,


Send-back button?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 10:01 pm 
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Still not thinking it's better over 'Title, minimize, reset(whatever), close' arrangement. If you think closely your argument over reading left to right fights against you. In your scenario you think it is more important for user first to 'see' the close button and only after that the title of the window. In my opinion the title should be first one, since that's the thing I'll be looking for when using the OS.

If you want to SkyOS taken seriously you have to have something familiar from the convert's previous OS. Little things like 'start-button' like menu and familiar button actions (specially those which are used most, the buttons on the status bar) help new users to get familiar with the new OS and start using it immediately without having to go through dozen manuals. And since Windows has more than enough percentages of the market there should not even be a debate for such a trivial matter.

Also the separation between title bar and menu bar does not clutter the UI, it makes it easier to comprehend. Specially colors. I.e. Windows XP: Title bar is has blue background and the title itself is white whereas menu is grey. If you really study psychology you should know that color recoginition is way faster than any text based solution.

Can't really say about the double-click minimize, haven't tried, doesn't sound impossible though. Why not make maximize double-click too? Like duoble-click with right button. Besides, you simply have to have the minimize button since "every other" OS uses 'em. Now you are forcing people to learn new things just for starters, which again is not a good thing.
Again, if you really study psychology you must know that in new situations the first minutes are the cruicial ones, after that it is _very_ difficult to change one's opinion about certain matter. And again, this is a fact.
Like it's said in the gaming industry: First minutes make or brake the game.

Now, to make things clear, I am not saying you should do windows clone but the basic functionality should be Windows-like. Why? Well, first of all, there is simply nothing wrong with it. Secondly, it is the mainstream OS, like it or not. Making your OS so that Windows-users could familiar with it within minutes is definately not going to decrease the popularity of the OS.

"Apple has put a lot of r&d into whether people prefer buttons to be on the left, or on the right. They concluded that all buttons should be on the left (probably because us westerners read from left to right)."
Yet people did put lots of r&d, in the middle ages, to conclude wheter or not the earth is flat. They concluded that it is flat. (well, not exactly like this but I hope you get the idea) FBI did put immense amount of money to Virtual Case File and decided that it is the right way to go and was it an good thing after all? They scrapped it.
The point is that even though some instance has put R&D into something doesn't mean it's the all powerfull way.
Besides, do you think Microsoft just threw the buttons on the right hand side? "That's seems alright"

I really don't see why SkyOS should alienate possible windows users by replacing already working windows management by something that is completely different.
I dare to say that if OS X would basically behave like Windows it would have much larger userbase and wider scale of software.


Dang. Other things require my attention so I have to post already.. :( (Might have some errors and such since I didn't have the time to recheck my rant)


-crappish :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 10:16 pm 
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I think you are immensily over-estimating the role of predisposition here. And, besides that, underestimating people's intelligence as well.

If someone is willing to move away from Windows, he clearly isn't satisfied wiht it. This means that he is willing to put effort into getting SkyOS, installing it, etc. Do you then really think he'll stop and walk right back to Windows because the buttons are arranged in a different matter? I don't think so. The arrangements in the mockup aren't purely functional; they're also easthetical.

I can give you numerous examples of where differences with what one is used to does not affect the actual usage at all:

- In the Netherlands, basically all driving schools use diesel cars, because they are cheaper on fuel, and because they're easier to handle. However, when a person is done with his lessons, he almost certainly will start driving a normal petrol car-- which is a different ballgame. Does that stop them from using the petrol car? No, it most certainly won't.

- A few months ago, a friend of mine sought my advice on buying a new laptop. I told him, "it might be a good idea to look into Apple's iBook, you know, that thing I have (he barely knew there was anything else than MS, he had ben using Windows for over a decade)". Before he bought one, he came over and he played with my iBook all evening. Was he scared? Set back? Appaled? Did he run away looking for Windows laptops? Not at all. A few days later he welcomed his own iBook.

crappish wrote:
Still not thinking it's better over 'Title, minimize, reset(whatever), close' arrangement. If you think closely your argument over reading left to right fights against you.


Already told you on irc, there's a reason why I list "symmetry" (sorry distantvoices) before the left-to-right thing. I consider the symmetry argument superior to the left-to-right argument.

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Last edited by Thom Holwerda on March 23rd, 2005, 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 10:20 pm 
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cant have true symetry as there arent enough titlebar buttons to gain this

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 10:21 pm 
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Youlle wrote:
cant have true symetry as there arent enough titlebar buttons to gain this


I count 2.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 11:28 pm 
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there are 3 in fact in skyOS Minimise, maximise, Close, you will never get the acceptance of double clickin the title bar to minimize the app, as its no obvious to users also users from windows will be used to double clicking the title bar as an additional way to maximise an app

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 11:38 pm 
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Youlle: an easy "Introduction" will do the trick. Read my previous posts on over-estimating the power of predisposition.

---

Good, I figured: why don't I provide y'all with an easy howto to actually <i>try out</i> my ideas/settings/arrangments yourself?

You need the following things to use this guide:

- KDE;
- Plastik (or any other decent window border theme);
- .Net style.

All three come standard with ie. MandrakeLinux.

It's actually quite easy.

1) Go the KDE Control Center. Go to Style. Select ".Net style" from the drop down menu;
2) Go to Window Decorations, select your favourite Decor;
3) Still in Window Decorations, select the "Buttons" tab. Now, use the example titlebar to place the buttons as said in my setup. Meaning: close on the left, maximize on the right. Remove all other buttons;
4) Close the Control Center. Then, open any window, right click on its titlebar and select "Configure Window Behaviour". Go to "Actions", and from the top drop-down menu, select "Minimize".

There, done, enjoy, try it out for a while. You'll love it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 11:43 pm 
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I do like the titlebar in the middle, but I think the action buttons (min maximize, close) should be on the right side and the program's icon should be on the left, as used in Windows and most Linux window managers. I also prefer double-click to maximize and perhaps middle-click (used in Gnome) to minimize. Another rather important item as far as I'm concerned: whena window is maximized you should not be able to drag it. It should be locked in place.

Something else to think about is that SkyOS' taskbar doesn't fill the entire top of the screen. Maybe options should be added to make it fill the top or auto-hide?

Oh, thought I should mention that I like Thom's idea for menu styles.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 24th, 2005, 12:00 am 
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Dear Thom

Fine. Have it your way. I just can't understand why you keep whining that "I don't stop complaining about windows buttons" if your reasons are next to nothing for it. It seems you just dislike windows and you must make the SkyOS not like windows. Do you honestly think this scenario would be true: "Oh, I don't like my Windows. I'll just buy SkyOS even though I can't use it.". For gods sake.

Seems to me that you don't have the answers even to the simplest questions.
Start from this: When people search something from UI it's seldom subconscious act. 95-99% it's reason. Conclusions. You are talking about human-to-human interaction which does not work on reason but on feelings. (95-99% of human-to-human decisions are based on feelings)
Also consider this. Why should people be unsatisfied to something if they change to another product?
Hint: They are' is not the right answer.

The more I read your babblings the more you strike to me as just another teenager who just wants his name on something. "I want this and I want it now!" -mentality. Sorry but this is how I see it.

I'm trying really hard not to say what I'm thinking of right now 'cos it's bloody frustrating to argue with bullheaded people who just don't listen. Trying to respect the community and not to hurt anyone's feelings.

Well, as you can't reason with me then I leave this matter and this forum at peace, as I don't have the patience nor the time to argue on such trivial issues. Like I said, this should not even be an issue. At least not an issue of this magnitude.

Good luck with SkyOS. I strongly urge you to consider the UI as it's the make-or-brake point of the OS. Take it from me. You might want to ask yourself what is more important for the OS. The cold fact is, after all, that completely alien UI is going to alienate new users, and only the ones who really want to change to SkyOS are going to use it and this seems like marginal market-value. (SkyOS could have the potential to have at least some percentage of the markets even though Windows is overpowering at the moment, and specially when Longhorn comes. The way I see it, you have about an year to make your name.)
Keep in mind that new users are the force which keeps the project going hence they should feel as comfortable as possible. Without growing userbase there is nothing.

If you want to have a conversation about UI I'm glad to participate. You can still find me from #skyos channel, and generally at QNet. But be warned, getting into argument with no facts nor straight arguments only gets me annoyed and klickety klick goes the ignore.

Over and out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 24th, 2005, 12:11 am 
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Thanks for the enlightening number of insults there Crappish. Thank you for calling me a"teenager who wants his name on something". You come in here as if you know the world; you don't bring in any other reason than "But I'm used to it.", against my arguments and logic that you are, seemingly, unable to counter. You did not at any point in your posts try to counter my arguments.

Here is a screenshot of the guide I provided above.

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 24th, 2005, 12:16 am 
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I know we are all better than bickering at each other, sometimes we just forget. As always, when discussing interface design, no matter how you do things, someone else will say you are wrong. Ultimately, the way Robert and I settle is the way it is going to be. Some people are going to love the decision that we make, some people are going to hate the decision that we make, and the majority of the people won't notice either way.

Thank you for the feedback, as with all things SkyOS, we will take it into consideration as time and the design goes on.


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