an interface vocabulary

15 Jun 2004 - 10:09am
9 years ago
6 replies
880 reads
Cwodtke
2004

I'm developing a taxonomy with several vocabularies for a client. One
vocabulary is interface objects/GUI for web and software, so it crosses web
content, web application and client application terms. I was wondering if
folks would mind commenting. It's quite rough (and perhaps you might enjoy
it...)

I'd love:

new terms I don't yet have
comments on relationships (I.e. that's not a control, it's a X)
and anything else you have to say.

the notation is traditional LIS..

BT = Broader Term (I.e. parent)
NT = Narrower Term (I.e. child)
RT = Related Term ("See also")
SN = Scope Note (Definitions and scope)
UF = Used For (Synanyms)

Navigation

SN: Retrieval tool composed of collected hyperlinks and/or form elements
presenting easy access to pages of data and/or triggering queries.

NT: Global Navigation, Universal navigation, Local navigation, Contextual
navigation, Site Maps

RT: Information Architecture, Site Organization, Filtering

Tabs

SN: Visual display of navigation resembling file folder tabs.

Left-nav

SN: Visual display of navigation on the left of the page,
typically holding local navigaiton.

Directory-Style Layout

SN: Visual display of navigation made famous by the Yahoo front
page

Global navigation

SN: Set of navigational tools considered important enough to be present on
every page of a property.

Universal header

SN: Set of navigational tools considered important enough to be present on
every page of the yahoo network.

Toolbar

SN: A row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when clicked,
activate certain functions of the program or weblication. Also used to refer
to Companion.

RT: Companion

Menus

SN: A list of choices (menu items) logically grouped and displayed by an
application/weblication so that a user need not memorize all available
commands or options.

NT: Fly-out Menus, Pull-down menus, Cascading menus, Pop-up menus, Tear-off
menus

Controls

SN: An object that enables user interaction or input, often to initiate an
action, display information, or set values. Common controls are radio
buttons, pull-down menus, check boxes, etc.

NT: Close control, Command/submit button, Maximize/minimize, Multimedia
controls, Restore button, Scroll Bar, Size Control, Slider, Children windows

Form Elements:

BT: Controls:

NT: Check boxes, Combination box, Dropdown, List box, Radio button, Spin
Box, Split Box, Text entry, Multi-select, Drop down menu, list boxes

Dialog boxes

SN: A small window which appears on the computer screen that either requires
that you perform an action, select an option, or provides you with
information. For example, dialog boxes ask you questions like, "Do you want
to save this document?" or "Are you sure that you want to exit this
program?"

BT: Feedback

Feedback

SN: System response to an action taken by the user to allow user to know if
their action was received.

NT: Visual, Textual, Auditory, Status bars

Interaction model

SN: Type of interaction that the designer has selected for maximum usability
of system considering technological and business constraints, consisting of
a set of widgets and system behaviors.

NT: Object-action model, Drag & Drop, Modes

Page Display Elements

SN: All elements of a page used for sense making. Typically not interactive.

NT: Title, headings, captions, horizontal rule

Application Elements

SN: Elements of a page providing access to interaction, or collecting
widgets into a set of related tools

NT: button bars, palettes, Settings, Children windows, Pop-ups,
Roll-up menus

Comments

15 Jun 2004 - 4:01pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 15, 2004, at 8:09 AM, Christina Wodtke wrote:

> Navigation
> SN: Retrieval tool composed of collected hyperlinks and/or form
> elements
> presenting easy access to pages of data and/or triggering queries.

"Retrieval tool?" Seems awkward to me.

My take: A system of hyperlinks and/or interface elements presenting
access to screens of data, forms, or query results.

Also, I tend to avoid words like "easy" in these things. The are tar
babies waiting to pounce in meetings, usually only creating religious
style debates on what constitutes "easy." I always advise designers to
avoid that kind of language. Easy is always an assumed goal, but
everyone's definition of it is different, and discussing what is "easy"
tends to distract from getting things done. In my experience.

> NT: Global Navigation, Universal navigation, Local navigation,
> Contextual
> navigation, Site Maps
>
> RT: Information Architecture, Site Organization, Filtering

Also: Breadcrumbs, Panels

> Left-nav
> SN: Visual display of navigation on the left of the page,
> typically holding local navigaiton.

Side-Nav seems more accurate, as it covers either left or right side.

> Directory-Style Layout
> SN: Visual display of navigation made famous by the Yahoo front
> page

Also? RT: Portal

> Global navigation
> SN: Set of navigational tools considered important enough to be
> present on
> every page of a property.

I would just say: "Navigation considered important enough to be present
on ever screen of a property."

Navigation is not a tool in the application design sense of the word.
It's simply a means of organization of content, data and interactive
controls. A tool is something used to act or directly manipulate data,
like a paintbrush on pixels in Photoshop, or a spelling checker to fix
typos in Word.

I would also avoid the use of "pages." I've always thought the term in
the web world created the problem of overly constricting the design of
most stuff web related. For example, the use of the word screen can
work both in terms of content delivered in a browser, and that same
content delivered in a custom app like RealPlayer. The use of "page" in
the RealPlayer context is awkward, as it may be one element coexisting
with music controls, visualizations, etc.

> Universal header
> SN: Set of navigational tools considered important enough to be
> present on
> every page of the yahoo network.

How is this different from Global nav? Seems confusing. I would of
global nav as working across all of Yahoo, not Universal.

> Toolbar
> SN: A row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when
> clicked,
> activate certain functions of the program or weblication. Also used to
> refer
> to Companion.

I would say: A collection of buttons, iconic or textual, that activate
specific functions.

(Buttons are to be clicked, and to describe them as onscreen seems
redundant.)

Also, note that toolbars do not just have buttons, but also display
values, status info information, window info, and all sorts of other
info. Not sure what "Companion" means here.

> Menus
> SN: A list of choices (menu items) logically grouped and displayed by
> an
> application/weblication so that a user need not memorize all available
> commands or options.

I would say: A list of choices and commands (menu items) grouped and
displayed for access by the user.

Menus are not created so user do not have to memorize commands. They
are simply a listing of the commands possible. In fact, usually *all*
of the commands possible. (Traditionally speaking from an application
design pov.)

> NT: Fly-out Menus, Pull-down menus, Cascading menus, Pop-up menus,
> Tear-off
> menus

Also: Combo Boxes

> Controls
> SN: An object that enables user interaction or input, often to
> initiate an
> action, display information, or set values. Common controls are radio
> buttons, pull-down menus, check boxes, etc.

There are really only a set of common controls: radio buttons,
checkboxes, menus, text edit fields, buttons, and lists. There are
custom controls like dials, sliders, etc. Not sure if you wanted to
create a sub-cat of Common Controls and be explicit.

> NT: Close control, Command/submit button, Maximize/minimize, Multimedia
> controls, Restore button, Scroll Bar, Size Control, Slider, Children
> windows

A button is a button. Therefore, close control, submit button,
maximize/min, restore button, etc... Are all the same thing. Also, how
is Children windows a control by definition?

> Form Elements:
> BT: Controls:
> NT: Check boxes, Combination box, Dropdown, List box, Radio button,
> Spin
> Box, Split Box, Text entry, Multi-select, Drop down menu, list boxes

The list here should be: Checkboxes, radio buttons, menus, lists, text
edit fields, buttons. That's all there is. The distinctions listed here
seem redundant.

> Dialog boxes
> SN: A small window which appears on the computer screen that either
> requires
> that you perform an action, select an option, or provides you with
> information. For example, dialog boxes ask you questions like, "Do you
> want
> to save this document?" or "Are you sure that you want to exit this
> program?"

There are three classes of dialog boxes: Modal, Non-modal and Alert.
The last example of text is an example of an alert. Modal dialog boxes
require you to click an explicit OK or Cancel button to dismiss the
dialog before continuing. Non-modal does not, and sometimes people
confuse a non-modal dialog with a palette. (They are close but not te
same.)

This SN needs a lot of clarification I think. (and the size of the
window is not part of its definition. It can be any size, it doesn't
have to be small.)

> Feedback
> SN: System response to an action taken by the user to allow user to
> know if
> their action was received.
> NT: Visual, Textual, Auditory, Status bars

Also: Transitional animation, Progress bars (never heard of "status"
bars before),

> Interaction model
> SN: Type of interaction that the designer has selected for maximum
> usability
> of system considering technological and business constraints,
> consisting of
> a set of widgets and system behaviors.

I wouldn't agree with this SN. Interaction models are just that.
Whatever reason a designer justifies to pick one over another is not
part of the definition of an interaction model itself.

> NT: Object-action model, Drag & Drop, Modes

What is an "object-action" model? Do you mean "Direct Manipulation?"
Also, what kind of modes are you referring to?

> Page Display Elements
> SN: All elements of a page used for sense making. Typically not
> interactive.

Sense making? Sorry, that doesn't make sense. (I couldn't resist.)
Maybe something a bit less arcane?

> NT: Title, headings, captions, horizontal rule

Just: Rules (they can be vertical as well)

> Application Elements
> SN: Elements of a page providing access to interaction, or collecting
> widgets into a set of related tools

How is this different than controls? Sounds like you are referring to a
collection or cluster, so the name of the thing should imply that.

MIA stuff:
Pagination, Footers, Contextual help, Errors (display and handling of),
Branding rules and some others I'll remember after I hit the send
button.

Good luck with it! A big task, glad I'm not doing it. 8^)

Andrei

15 Jun 2004 - 5:19pm
Dave Collins
2004

Christina:
>> Feedback
...
>> NT: Visual, Textual, Auditory, Status bars

Andrei:
> Progress bars (never heard of "status" bars before),

The status bar at the bottom of this email window I'm typing in has 11
distinct pieces of information about the status of my email, none of
which are progress.

15 Jun 2004 - 8:42pm
Bob Doyle
2004

Hi Christina,

There are lots of interesting terms in your list needing good definitions.

Some of us in the Content Management community are using a wiki to build
a controlled vocabulary for CM (and IA). Many of your terms would be
valuable additions. We too follow the thesaurus notation, except our
Scope Note is limited, and an up-front definition dominates.

We have 585 proposed terms, with about 230 draft definitions.

Andrei Herasimchuk did a terrific job criticizing your list. I hope he
will join our CMS Wiki editing group and correct some of ours as well.

Our collaborative authoring is at
http://www.cmswiki.com/tiki-index.php?page=CmsGlossary. Please feel
free to register.

The glossary has a web services connector that feeds syndicated versions
of the glossary to CMS-related sites. You can see it at
http://www.cmsreview.com and http://www.cmsglossary.com, where
definitions go into an iframe. You can also have a drop-down menu that
opens a new window. Definitions are then recursive, offering hyperlinks
to other terms.

If you would like to make the glossary a widget on widgetopia, I'd be
glad to help you style it to match the site.

This script might work fine for you...

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"
src="http://www.cmsreview.com/timeLines/skyFeed.html?FeedURL=http://www.cmscalendar.com/cms-glossfeed.html">
</script>

(watch for line wraps in your mail reader)

See http://www.cmsreview.com/GlossaryFeeds.html for more info.

Cheers,

Bob

Christina Wodtke wrote:

>I'm developing a taxonomy with several vocabularies for a client. One
>vocabulary is interface objects/GUI for web and software, so it crosses web
>content, web application and client application terms. I was wondering if
>folks would mind commenting. It's quite rough (and perhaps you might enjoy
>it...)
>
>I'd love:
>
>new terms I don't yet have
>comments on relationships (I.e. that's not a control, it's a X)
>and anything else you have to say.
>
>the notation is traditional LIS..
>
> BT = Broader Term (I.e. parent)
> NT = Narrower Term (I.e. child)
> RT = Related Term ("See also")
> SN = Scope Note (Definitions and scope)
> UF = Used For (Synanyms)
>
>
>

--
Bob Doyle, Editor In Chief
CMS Review
http://www.cmsreview.com
http://www.cms-forum.org
http://www.cmswiki.com
http://www.skybuilders.com
77 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-876-5678

22 Jun 2004 - 1:14pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Andrei Herasimchuk <andrei at adobe.com> writes:

>>Feedback
>>SN: System response to an action taken by the user to allow user to know if
>>their action was received.
>>NT: Visual, Textual, Auditory, Status bars
>
>Also: Transitional animation, Progress bars (never heard of "status"
>bars before),

Never? From the Photoshop CS Help:

Displaying status information (Photoshop)

The status bar at the bottom of the window displays useful
information--such as the current magnification and file size of the
active image, and brief instructions for using the active tool.
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA jdrew at adobe.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 06/21)
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22 Jun 2004 - 1:34pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

Just to clarify a point and correct the record... Consider my comment
as a context problem... I was thinking of "feedback" in a different
context (more of an active situation which is what the SN for the
Feedback term implied. I had meant that never heard of status bars in
the context it was presented, as I consider traditional status bars
passive in nature. I should have stated: "Never heard of status bars in
this context before."

Anyway, I stand correct. I must be getting old. I even found seven gray
hairs in my beard yesterday. (Yes, I counted them.) Yikes.

Andrei

On Jun 22, 2004, at 11:14 AM, Jim Drew wrote:

> Andrei Herasimchuk <andrei at adobe.com> writes:
>
> Feedback
> SN: System response to an action taken by the user to allow user to
> know if
> their action was received.
> NT: Visual, Textual, Auditory, Status bars
>
> Also: Transitional animation, Progress bars (never heard of "status"
> bars before),
>
> Never?  From the Photoshop CS Help:
>
> Displaying status information (Photoshop)
>
> The status bar at the bottom of the window displays useful
> information--such as the current magnification and file size of the
> active image, and brief instructions for using the active tool.

29 Jun 2004 - 12:57pm
cfmdesigns
2004

At 11:34 AM -0700 6/22/04, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>Just to clarify a point and correct the record... Consider my
>comment as a context problem... I was thinking of "feedback" in a
>different context (more of an active situation which is what the SN
>for the Feedback term implied. I had meant that never heard of
>status bars in the context it was presented, as I consider
>traditional status bars passive in nature. I should have stated:
>"Never heard of status bars in this context before."

I guess I was thinking midway between the two. I know I've seen some
progress indicators in the status bar -- I think in Windows versions
of some Adobe apps. Well, and many a web browser.
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA jdrew at adobe.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 06/21)

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