Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (128 mails)

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Re: [yast-devel] redesign of repo module UI
  • From: Ricardo Cruz <rpmcruz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 15:09:40 +0000
  • Message-id: <1266937780.3131.32.camel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Bullseye! Katarina is absolutely on target. Traditional yast help
consists of texts like "Press the Apply button to perform the changes."
No kidding, such UI descriptions are absolutely unnecessary.

A big reason for why in the GTK plugin I chose to get rid of the side
help-bar (remember that?) and "hide" the help text into its own button
(which now all the UIs do) was the unhelpfulness of the help texts.

A help button that pops up the appropriate manual section however,
detailing the use cases and explaining some technical details about the
FTP server that opensuse ships with, and others is absolutely welcome.

Tooltips might be useful here and there too (like in the users tool to
say that only alphanumeric characters may be used for the user name),
but I would try not to over-do those and implement it another way when
possible (they're annoying because you feel you must press them in order
to avoid any mis-step).

Cheers,
Ricardo

Ter, 2010-02-23 às 15:05 +0100, Katarina Machalkova escreveu:
Concerning help:
Currently there is no explicit "help" concept in webYaST.
One reason is that usability studies

Which usability studies? [citation needed]

showed that users often find "Help" quite unhelpful

But that's not the fault of the users! Why should the users be punished for
the fact that hackers are unable to write proper help by being given no help
at all?

and the other reason is that it is our aim to
create an UI which is so simple and self-explanatory that "Help"
becomes superflous.

There is nothing wrong with the effort to create UI that is simple and self-
explanatory. But - there are concepts you can't do away with and yet you
can't
make them self-explanatory no matter how hard you try.

Taking the recent 'wontfix-ed' example - what if I don't know what a DNS
server is? Do I have to open a separate tab in browser and google for it?
Shouldn't the application/website I'm using provide me with all the
information I need instead?

If you want to give the user detailled information about a setting use
either prefilled input fields or a short explanatory text below the
settings label.

"detailed information" and "short explanatory text" contradict each other.
You either have detailed info and your text is no longer short, or the text
is
short and the info is not detailed anymore.

LiveJournal (a popular blogging site) uses '?' icons adjacent to the form
fields which are not self-explanatory. Our very own SLMS web frontend does
the
same (LJ icons link to FAQ which then open in separate window, SLMS shows the
explanation in icon tooltip).

Not only those two concepts show the help when the user wants to be helped,
but it looks somehow pretty as well.

But obviously, my concept of "pretty", "cool" and "helpful" is entirely
different from those of the rest of the (normal) world

sB.


--
Cheers,
Ricardo

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