1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply: May 23, 2007 5:55 AM by Thomas Heute Go to original post RSS
  • 15. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Chris DeLashmutt Newbie

    Am I an authority in usability? By no means. Can I quote leading usability experts as to the validity of my suggestions? Nope.

    I'm simply approaching this from the perspective of a user trying to understand and use the portal, which is all that I really can do. ;)

    In reference to the icons suggestion, I have a couple of reasons for suggesting them. First off, the text links seem to run together even with the pipe separators. One has to stop/think/interpret the text to understand which action they may want to take. People respond better to icons, or even text that looks more like an icon (buttons with adequate padding, etc). We could consider having icons with text next to them, similar to toolbar buttons, or for consistency's sake we could use a dropdown list and a "Go" button similar to the way CMS does it's functions if no one likes the icon idea.

  • 16. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Chris Laprun Master

     

    "cdelashmutt" wrote:
    Am I an authority in usability? By no means. Can I quote leading usability experts as to the validity of my suggestions? Nope.

    I'm simply approaching this from the perspective of a user trying to understand and use the portal, which is all that I really can do. ;)


    I am not trying to belittle your work. This is much appreciated in particular with respect to finding out all the different inconsistencies in the GUI. However, our usability problems are not going to go away with just that. People have started to work on the issues you've identified and some of their fixes result in new inconsistency. I'm trying to make sure we get the proper help from someone who really knows about this stuff to provide solutions to the problems you identified so that we don't end up in an lengthy loop of modifications that could very well end up in not improving the GUI that much.

    "cdelashmutt" wrote:
    In reference to the icons suggestion, I have a couple of reasons for suggesting them. First off, the text links seem to run together even with the pipe separators. One has to stop/think/interpret the text to understand which action they may want to take. People respond better to icons, or even text that looks more like an icon (buttons with adequate padding, etc). We could consider having icons with text next to them, similar to toolbar buttons, or for consistency's sake we could use a dropdown list and a "Go" button similar to the way CMS does it's functions if no one likes the icon idea.


    People might respond better to icons, I don't know. What I know is that if they do, they will probably if the icons are well designed and meaningful and this is something that is extremely hard to do. Plus, icons are not an end in themselves. In particular, even if we do end up using icons/colors/whatever, we need to make sure that whatever information we convey degrades properly and that's another hard task that we, developers, are not fit for. Not that we're not interested about it (I know I am) or that we couldn't learn about it. We simply don't have time considering that we're also supposed to add features, improve performance and fix bugs...

  • 17. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Chris DeLashmutt Newbie

     

    I am not trying to belittle your work. This is much appreciated in particular with respect to finding out all the different inconsistencies in the GUI.


    Thank you. Without your personal dedication, and the dedication of the entire team, we wouldn't even have a Portal 2.6 UI to improve! :)

    However, our usability problems are not going to go away with just that.


    I agree completely. I think the issue is that there are things that need to be done for Portal 2.6 to release with a UI that is consistent and understandable.

    I believe there is a much larger body of work that needs to be done to revamp the UI in a fundamental way, as you seem to agree with as well. This larger set of work is something that should probably happen in a post 2.6 release or we will be holding back some important features. This may mean re-work and possibly duplication of effort. But I would argue that refinement and alternate implementations are good things.

    ...icons are not an end in themselves...


    Absolutely true! The end is that a person should be able to implicitly understand what the UI is offering for them to do. This can be done with icons, text, or any number of UI tools. :) I think we agree on this point as well.

    Which do we think would be better in terms of usabilty? The icons or a drop down list similar to the CMS actions?

    I'm personally beginning to lean more towards the CMS-like drop downs for actions with a "Go" button...

  • 18. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Viet Master

    It's better to have no icons rather than inapropriate icons.

    Meaningful and appropriate icons are a luxury that the portal team cannot afford so far.

  • 19. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Chris DeLashmutt Newbie

    Ok. So lets make it a drop down for actions, like CMS does. That will kill two birds with one stone. Consistent, and more usable.

  • 20. Re: First pass UI improvements
    James Cobb Newbie

     

    "julien@jboss.com" wrote:
    It's better to have no icons rather than inapropriate icons.

    Meaningful and appropriate icons are a luxury that the portal team cannot afford so far.


    When I was first exposed to Portal, the main usability block was the use of icons only. They were often inappropriate and had no text to help guide the user. I literally had to click around to find out what the links did. We also had a limited amount of time and alot of designs to address so the decision was made to go with text links so we wouldn't spend all the time on icon development (which is an art itself). The text only links were the baseline for future design work.

    I am whole-heartedly against icon only links as I find that no icon is universal. An icon/text link system would be great if time could be dedicated to create a meaningful icon set.



  • 21. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Chris Laprun Master

     

    "james.cobb@jboss.com" wrote:

    I am whole-heartedly against icon only links as I find that no icon is universal. An icon/text link system would be great if time could be dedicated to create a meaningful icon set.


    +1000

  • 22. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Viet Master

    When the first pass is finished, James will review the existing application and will propose changes that the portal team will achieve.

    I am expecting the completion of the first pass to be done by end of this week.

  • 23. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Thomas Heute Master

    Here is my status, all my tasks are grouped here:
    http://jira.jboss.org/jira/browse/JBPORTAL-1402

    I fixed 19, the less costly in terms of development
    1 has been deferrred (icons instead of text links)
    16 are still open

    Few notes about the opened ones:
    Some of them are very development costly (time consuming tasks) and would delay 2.6 Final.
    This one in particular:
    http://jira.jboss.org/jira/browse/JBPORTAL-1426 that i don't plan to implement since it's very time consuming for the value it provides.

  • 24. Re: First pass UI improvements
    Thomas Heute Master

    I also disagree with some:
    http://jira.jboss.org/jira/browse/JBPORTAL-1445
    http://jira.jboss.org/jira/browse/JBPORTAL-1446

    I think the object that will be deleted must be mentionned after the Warning message.

    I didn't put the links on top on purpose, it's like a popup you need to choose between confirm or cancel.

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