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

On Mon, 2003-06-02 at 13:01, Mark Finlay wrote:
> > 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.

But a change of default behaviour will instead cause "usability
problems" for the people who like the current setup. The sun test shows
only that some people can be confused by the current way, not that
nobody will be confused or work more efficiently with another way.
Replies in this thread confirm that there are also people more
comfortable with the current design.

> > 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.

Sure, and its a common reason to have a suboptimal UI too.

> > * 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.

The other way always pops up new windows for each item, placing them
semingly randomly on screen having you micro-managing their position and
size, etc. That could also be seen as irritating and unexpected.

> * 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...

I don't see how you can be for a universal previewer when Nautilus is
designed to be that and you want to remove it. It would have all the
issues you bring up in yor mail. I do also think we can design the text
view so that its more obvious that it is a view. 

> " "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.

Normally not that much changes when viewing the types of file I'm
talking about, so most of the UI is shared. But sure, we shouldn't be
totally rearranging everything.

Actually we should probably try to make application UIs similar anyway,
to make them easier to learn, so the apps would have unique but similar
UIs already.

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl redhat com    alla lysator liu se 
He's a genetically engineered soccer-playing ex-con from the Mississippi 
delta. She's a manipulative belly-dancing widow looking for love in all the 
wrong places. They fight crime! 

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