Re: Menu caption design (Sandeep Jain)

29 Jan 2004 - 12:11pm
406 reads
a h andrew
2004

Another option is to have a history window similar to
Photoshop's. Keep the menu name short (Either "Undo"
or "Undo Move"), but in the history window have a
longer description "Undo Move Zone A", using the
guidelines Jim outline below for the best terminology.

To "argue this with your engineering manager", you
might try to pointing to existing applications. Remind
them of how they don't like to see non-standard menu
names, or how unwieldy (or helpful!) a particular name
might be. Try to point to specific resources that back
you up. I frequently use Alan Cooper's "About Face" as
a "it's not ME, that's what the expert's say!",
because it's written in such a way that the engineers
can relate to it. Or, for example, the Windows XP
design guidelines (we want it to look like a
professional XP application, right? well, they tell us
how!).

aha

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> ATTACHMENT part 3.1 message/rfc822
> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Menu caption design
> Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 07:01:41 -0800 (PST)
> To: Jim Drew <jdrew at adobe.com>,
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> CC:
> From: Sandeep Jain <sandeepblues at yahoo.com>
>
> Great. Now, I need to figure out how to argue this
> with my engineering manager. I am an interaction
> designer with no authority. Maybe, you can give
> some
> advice as to what make good reasons for sticking
> with
> the shorted version: "Undo Zone Move" and "Undo
> Zones
> Move".
>
> Addressing some of your questions:
> - There are other actions that are undoable
> - Only zones are moveable
> - It is not vital to know which zone(s) will be
> unmoved, esp. since one can view the effect and
> redo.
>
>
> Here are the reasons that I can think of for
> sticking
> closer to a short menu:
>
> (a) Unnecessary visual clutter.
> (b) Excessively large menu is visually unappealing
> (c) Harder to read
> (d) Somewhat unconventional
>
> The engineers will fight bacK, saying that these are
> minor reasons compared to the advantage of seeing
> more
> relevant information.
>
> Sandeep
>
> --- Jim Drew <jdrew at adobe.com> wrote:
> > Sandeep Jain <sandeepblues at yahoo.com> writes:
> >
> > >I have a map application, where a user can
> > >add/modify/delete geometric zones. Zones have
> names
> > >(A, B, C etc).
> > >
> > >I am adding the Undo functionality, and need to
> > decide
> > >the right design for the Undo menu item, under
> > Edit.
> > >
> > >If I delete a zone, should the Edit->undo menu
> say:
> > >"Undo Move Zone A" or just "Undo Move"
> > >
> > >If I delete multiple zones, should the Undo menu
> > say:
> > >"Undo Move Zone A, Zone B, Zone C", or just "Undo
> > >Move"?
> >
> > Consider the various classes of actions and what
> > they might produce:
> >
> > * Are other actions undoable? If not, "Undo"
> alone
> > is probably sufficient.
> >
> > * Are things other than Zones movable? If not,
> > "Undo Move" is
> > probably sufficient. If things other than Zones
> are
> > also movable,
> > but the state, action, and result are highly
> > similar, again "Undo
> > Move" is probably sufficient.
> >
> > * Is it going to be vital that they know what zone
> > is being unmoved?
> > Maybe use "Undo Zone Move" to indicate what sort
> of
> > Move is being
> > undone without specifying to extreme detail.
> >
> > * What is the worst case? If the multiple
> selection
> > involved 20
> > zones, listing them all in the menu item makes for
> a
> > very wide menu.
> > And it probably doesn't give much useful info.
> > ("Hmm, this Undo will
> > unmove A B C F G I K N and Z. I could have sworn
> I
> > had E and Y in
> > there, but not C." No one will need that level of
> > info.) If you
> > need to differentiate, maybe "Undo Zone Move" and
> > "Undo Multiple Zone
> > Move"
> >
> >
> > Jim Drew
> > Seattle, WA

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