Re: Killing Views Part 2 - The return of the Usabilty study

> There are many opinions on this. Some people like it, some don't. I
> personally like viewers for filetypes that are predominantly consumed,
> as opposed to created/edited. This means things like html, images, text,
> pdf documents, etc. However, some people like to open an editor to read
> READMEs. That should of course be possible for the user to configure,
> and it is (although the UI for this sucks ass).

Agreed - it would nice to be able to change between internal and
external viewers with a single preference instead of LOADS of
mine-types. But at the same time we should aim for a reasonable default
that will not cause usability problems.

> The comments you mention from the report can have any number of causes
> other than views being inherently hard to understand:
> * Gnome didn't behave exactly like what they used before (windows)

Not all the testees were from a windows background. Plus you could say
that to invalidate practicaly every usability study every done.

> * We haven't spent enough time polishing the views to make them easy to
> use and understand
> * We're not internally consistant within gnome, so the user had other
> expectations on what was gonna happen.

> * The UI for our mime preferences and mime handling is a nightmare
We shouldn't have to unbreak this with the mime prefs...

> My personal goal for gnome is to continue to work towards a polishes
> system based on the navigation methaphor + universal viewer (for some
> types files) idea. I think we still haven't seen the fruits of this idea
> in its finished polished state, and I think its stupid to drop it when
> we've gotten halfway there. Especially when there is no proof that any
> other way is better.

We instead of suggesting solutions, I think I'll look at the problem for
a second. What about internal viewers causes problems and confusion:

* When you use an internal viewer your file view is replaced. This means
that you have to go back to the file view to get to another file. Very
unforgiving/iritating if you want to keep that file open and keep
browsing files. To me this fits into the "unexpected behavior" catagory.
People are much more at home with different things being shown in
different apps. Would possibly be less iritating if files were opened in
a new window by default.

* It is not immediately obvious that files are read only and that to
edit them they need to be opened in an editor. Especailly the case with
text files. I see very little benefit to using the text view instead of
gedit. As for images and pdf, I think a universal previewer is better...

" "Every application should do one thing and do it well" - we already
have file viewers for a lot of different file types. Would it not be a
lot better to have the "universal preview" app that functions really
well as a file previewer and and a file manager that functions really
well as a file manager? I think that there are a lot of features that we
could have in a universal viewer app that we will never have in
nautilus. UI that is specific to it's task makes a lot more sense to me.
It would allow us to 

* To do internal viewers properly you need to change the menus and
toolbar of nautilus for each viewer. UI changing within the same window
is really confusing to the user and makes it really hard learn to use
the app. 2 sepporate apps with 2 unique uis is a lot easier to learn
than a single ui with a ui that changes.

Mark Finlay <sisob eircom net>

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