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Need Interface Feedback: Pop-up buttons


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#1 David Lang

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:44 PM

The icon buttons for adding new panes to a Search window and the ones on the Resource palette serve a kind of double function. When you merely click them, they act as buttons: opening a new window or pane containing the first resource in the menu or the last one selected. When you click and hold, you get the pop-up menu and can select any resource you want.

I'm starting to wonder if this interface confuses people. We've had this interface since before the days of sticky menus, but now that people are used to clicking on a pop-up menu button and immediately seeing the menu appear and stick, I wonder if some people are never discovering that these buttons have associated menus.

This especially seems to be the case with the Add Pane buttons. Many people just click these buttons, add a pane containing their top Bible, and then change the display text in the pane. That's a cumbersome two-step process instead of simply clicking and holding to bring up the menu and then choosing the Bible you want.

So here are my questions for all of you:

1. How many of you have struggled with this interface and found it confusing? Have any of you not realized until now that these buttons have associated pop-up menus?

2. How many of you like the ability simply to click a button and add the top resource in the list? Would it frustrate you if this were changed so that clicking always presented you with a menu and you would then have to select the first item?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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#2 Martin Shields

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 05:34 PM

Hi David,

This especially seems to be the case with the Add Pane buttons. Many people just click these buttons, add a pane containing their top Bible, and then change the display text in the pane. That's a cumbersome two-step process instead of simply clicking and holding to bring up the menu and then choosing the Bible you want.


Actually, I find the "cumbersome two-step process" is often quicker than clicking and holding. I find the current behaviour to be unhelpful because a new workspace opens with the default text and I rarely want a second copy of that, so I invariably want open a new pane with a different default text. The way I work it would be an improvement if the menu popped up immediately or if I could at least set a different default text to open when I click on the icon itself.

#3 Joe Weaks

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:14 PM

David,
I have always found the functionality of the buttons clear.
I would not welcome changing the button to a strict popup menu. In fact, it'd be a pain.
I often find the two-step process quicker than clicking and holding. If I'm wanting to create a new 4-pane window, for instance. I always just punch the new pane button 3 times and then I can visualize which pane I want to set to what. One reason is, I'm starting with my default text already, but I'm gonna want it over in the middle eventually, not the left-most pane where it is, so I have to do some text-module-change menu work anyway.
If I changed anything, it would be that each successive pane opened a different module in turn, going down the list of appropriate modules.
Joe Weaks
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#4 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:44 PM

I know the add pane buttons can be held to show a list, but I often forget and just click the icon, and then I have to change the setting of the pane.
For my own work flow, it would probably be smoother if clicking on the icon brought up the list immediately. But it's not that big a deal to me.
I don't suppose this is the kind of thing that could be determined by a preferences setting?

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#5 Diggertoo

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:31 PM

David,

For me having to hold down the mouse button and then continue to hold it down to keep the menu open was kind of a pain. Here's what works for me.

1) A right-click or Ctrl-click pulls up a menu of resources (and leaves it open).
2) A left-click opens up a new window or pane using the top resource in the menu.

It seems to me that Question 2 is already doable with a couple clicks of a mouse or a Ctrl-click on a Macmouse.

#6 Brett K.

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:24 AM

I have considered this issue many times--mainly when I didn't get the timing just right and didn't get the action I wanted from clicking a button on the resource palette. Very frustrating.

1. How many of you have struggled with this interface and found it confusing? Have any of you not realized until now that these buttons have associated pop-up menus?

Personally, I have never found it confusing. I read manuals so I knew what they were.

But I can tell you that a few other people I know didn't/don't know about the pop-up feature. Whether they were testing out my copy of Accordance or using their own, they didn't know the feature existed. I think the average user does not read manuals (at first) and tries everything out on their own. Besides the down arrow, there's no indication of the extra functionality or what you are supposed to do to get it. Since they don't even know it exists, they may never look it up or come across it in the manual.

2. How many of you like the ability simply to click a button and add the top resource in the list? Would it frustrate you if this were changed so that clicking always presented you with a menu and you would then have to select the first item?

The current implementation is very frustrating to me. A significant portion of the time I don't get the timing just right to make the resource palette button "sticky" so I can release the mouse button while navigating the pop-up menu. Another frustration is that I don't hold the mouse button down quite long enough to get the menu and I end up opening a module I didn't want.

I don't use the button-only functionality of the resource palette to get the first item in the list or the last item I have used. When I'm in a long session, I don't remember which module I selected last from a given resource palette button. Or, I think I do but end up with something else. If you've been working in Accordance for a couple of hours and you've opened lots of modules, it is not a trivial task to remember which resource palette buttons will open the top item and which will open the last item used--and remember which items were last used. The current implementation may not be the most user friendly.

I am 110% in favor of changing these buttons to standard pop-up menus. It would relieve lots of frustration and make it more intuitive for new users. Accordance is awesome and this would take it up another notch.

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Brett

Edited by Brett K., 17 August 2009 - 12:27 AM.


#7 jackcav

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:19 AM

So here are my questions for all of you:

1. How many of you have struggled with this interface and found it confusing? Have any of you not realized until now that these buttons have associated pop-up menus?

2. How many of you like the ability simply to click a button and add the top resource in the list? Would it frustrate you if this were changed so that clicking always presented you with a menu and you would then have to select the first item?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


David

1. I don't find this behavior confusing as much as I forget and open the wrong resource. However, I did have a little trouble with this behavior in the past. New users might find it confusing.

2. No it would not frustrate me if the behavior were changed. In fact, I would prefer the change.

Jack

#8 Sean R.

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:06 AM

I strongly prefer the current behavior of the buttons. I have my Bible texts, commentaries, and notes modules arranged so my preference is the top item in each list. Thus generally when I simply click the button, my preferred text, commentary, or note module opens. I would find it inconvenient to always have a menu pop up.

I think the current behavior is consistent with the Accordance interface of providing the user multiple options for workflow.

I like what Lorinda mentioned earlier: could the user have a preference setting to determine the default behavior when clicking the buttons? I'd hate to see the current functionality be completely lost.
Sean Reed

#9 mikes

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:38 AM

I have become very adapted to the current button functionality on the search window and would definitely be frustrated to see it go. That said, it took me almost a year to get used to it. Frankly, I must admit that two left clicks are more intuitive then click and hold.

I will throw in another vote for preference setting. In fact, I would say that a separate pref setting for search windows vs the resource window would be great. If you're set on reaching the new user (and I understand that growing the install base of accordance is a benefit to ALL accordance users, new and old) and pref setting is too painful, what about using the double click event to replace the current click?

#10 Brett K.

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 03:44 PM

Just another thought on implementation. I believe others have alluded to this, but rather than eliminating the button functionality (auto-opening a module), change it so it requires a modifier. By default, a left-click should activate a standard pop-up menu--that is what the average user expects to happen. Then add a modifier(s) key for the auto-open function.

Just my two-cents.

--
Brett

#11 sobertruth

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:33 PM

I would like to see this as an option in the preferences. I've gotten use to it now, but it took awhile.
Chris
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