Martin Schmidkunz wrote:
I think there is a little misunderstanding. I am not referring to the partitioning phase during the installation but to the YaST module in the already installed system.
Anyway, the partitioner during installation is even more important than on a running system. Some people might want to repartition their disk on a running system (whatever they call it), some could buy a new disk and want to use it without reinstalling the system (of course), but *everyone* needs to install that system (yes, I know, if it is not already pre-installed, ...).
In my opinion, the very first dialogs should a selection of use cases, defined by what partitioner finds on the current disk e.g.:
(x) I want to shrink Windows installation and use the free space for openSUSE installation ( ) I want to use all disks for openSUSE system ... ( ) I want to run an expert partitioner
Yes, something like this is useful during installation. I would definitly like to have it there!
Maybe even in a running system... The fact, you want to run partitioner on already installed system needn't actually mean that you are an expert :) I'd rather have such options with wizards (but obviously different to installation-related ones) in the running system as well. Experts could select the (x) "Expert partitioner" option.
Some tasks can't be predicted, another minor ones can't fit into one dialog because they are either really minor or there are a lot of them. I'd suggest defining the most common use-cases first (as already mentioned at http://en.opensuse.org/UX/Partitioner page):
* Starting partitioner * Identifying available information (hdd, partitions) * Identifying new available hard disc * Select new available hard disc ...
If we have a set of use cases, we could create some wizards (adding and using new disk in five simple steps). When using intelligent wizards, users don't even need to know what a partition is. After they learn enough later, they could just use expert partitioner next time.
Maybe a check-box [ ] "Skip This Dialog Next Time (Use Directly Expert Partitioner)" could appear just after user selects the "Expert Partitioner" choice (not selected by default). That could even work for an IT administrator.
People want to use our system, they don't want to install it more than once and not all of them "want to learn more" ;)
This might be true for users with some experience who are also doing some developing/system administration stuff, but the Newbie just wants to perform some basic tasks (Internet, Office) and not "waste" time in exploring the system.
Yes, that's what I tried to write (in rough shape). Why to bother users with partitioning? We could just tell them that (example):
--- example --- There is not enough space (no space) for the openSUSE installation. Windows installation takes all the disk (almost all the disk). Would you like to
(x) Shrink Windows installation and propose openSUSE disk layout for a Dual-Boot computer? ( ) Remove Windows installation and use the entire disk for openSUSE? ( ) Sit Down and Listen to Hooverphonic? ( ) Run Expert Disk-Partitioning Tool?
--- example ---
When doing such a complicated task as creating new partition or resizing some old one definitely is, it's better to provide enough additional information that wouldn't fit into one dialog (for all such cases together). We really need to provide textual help for such tasks to make users understand what they do and why...
True. But on the other hand if you look at the Ubuntu pop-ups there is not really that much the user can input there (not speaking of the missing additional information). So maybe we can put up some partitioning tutorial in the help or much better: on opensuse and then link to that? The other point is, that besides the Newbie-user there are also the highly experienced users who know very well what to do and are pretty annoyed by too much text (at least thats what I have been always told about them). The partitioner targets mainly people who know about partitioning, so the additional challenge would be to provide some additional newbie information somewhere.
Yes, Ubuntu partitioner is also sometimes a bit confusing and it doesn't use the dialog space very efficiently in some cases.
About linking some openSUSE tutorial on web: I've already read some reply in the Installation thread that users just wouldn't read it and I have to agree on that statement. Moreover (installation case), imagine that you have only one computer and you want to install openSUSE on it. How would you like to read that article? Partitioning needs to be self-explanatory.
Pop-up windows do the job very well, just as Partition Magic or Ubuntu already do.
But wouldn't it be better to save the user the action of clicking on a button when we can display the necessary information in one dialog?
I don't see this as a solution for every case :( There are so many things you can do with a partition that a single dialog just can't hold all the needed UI widgets. And also the more widgets you add into one dialog, the more it is confusing and unreadable.
I'd be interested in a study that tries to prove or disclaim or just defines how many UI widgets in one dialog can be easily understood to a user that sees it for the very fist time, than a second time (after some time). Also a layout of widgets makes the difference I guess.
Pop-up can be actually a small one or a big one with help. Pop-ups are often used to attract user's attention. Once users read the pop-up contained in it, they remember it for a while and in a base dialog, we can provide just a small part of the information described before.
As an example, a base dialog with table of disks could be used, [Add], [Edit], [Delete] (standard buttons connected to table, just for an example) are connected with another pop-up windows. Some pieces of information fit into the table but another, less-important, just don't fit there and they are displayed just on a user's request - pressing a button.
I wouldn't be so strict about not-displaying the graphical overview. Sure, IT administrators wouldn't probably need it, but a common use with, let's say, maximally three disks would love it.
Maybe. But how to distinguish between an environment with 500 hard discs and 3 hard discs?
Common user will love it, IT administrators might hate it. Why we just don't hide it under a [x] "Show Graphical Overview" check-box that would be unselected in an Expert Partitioner and selected in a Newbie Mode :) (yes, they are only default values).
One picture can tell more than a thousand words...
Drawing use-cases helps a lot to the designer :) I know that ;) believe me. (And yes, I saw something similar written in one of your mails after I had written this one :) )
I also am very curious about other feedback :-)
Let's see :)