Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-ux (41 mails)
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Re: [opensuse-ux] Re: syntax versus semantics in UI
- From: Johannes Meixner <jsmeix@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 16:18:01 +0200 (CEST)
- Message-id: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0706061551220.13663@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Jun 6 15:21 Lukas Ocilka wrote (shortened):
> Imagine that fire alarm buttons looked the same as light switches but
> had a red frame around.
To avoid misunderstanding:
Of course I didn't mean that a red frame is the one and only item
which makes fire alarm buttons different from light switches.
> The only possible consistency is to have all light switches the same and
> then all fire alarm buttons also the same type but a completely
> different to light switches. Then, neither light switches nor fire alarm
> buttons need to be explained... consistency is self-explanatory ;)
Nevertheless a note:
I don't think that consistency alone is self-explanatory.
In this case there are cultural conventions (i.e. knowledge in the
head of the users) which makes the user understand what a fire alarm
button is and what a light switch.
Watch children who don't know yet about the cultural conventions
what they try to do with a fire alarm button (that's one reason
why there is additionally a glass).
Note that fire alarm buttons and emergency stop buttons look similar
(but not identical) but very different from light switches.
Somehow fire alarm buttons and emergency stop buttons manage very
well to show a clear message about their semantics (i.e. about
their meaning behind the plain "I am a button" syntax).
Do already solutions or proposals exist how to show semantics
for buttons (or whatever else stuff) in GUIs?
What about using differnt colors depending on the button semantics?
E.g. an [Abort] button may have a red background color because the
meaning of Abort is "quit immediately without saving anything"?
Another good example how to show semantics/meaning is the mouse
cursor of the "xkill" command.
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