Publishing tool design - "live content" flag?

8 Feb 2006 - 8:20pm
8 years ago
7 replies
411 reads
Billie Mandel
2005

Hi all -

I'm just finishing up designing a custom publishing tool for MSFT
Sharepoint. There's a dropdown for the content publisher to choose
which story from his/her library will be published in a particular
area. I need a visual designation for which of the stories is
currently published live. The current story does start off highlighted
in the dropdown, but I need a middle state designation, for when the
user selects another story but has not yet "applied" the change (new
one is highlighted at the top of the list, but the name of the live
one is still in the list).

The engineer wanted to put a "P" next to the live/published story, but
who's going to know what "P" means? We could just go with an
asterisk, but that has the same essential problem. I'm leaning
towards the word "LIVE" in red, in small font next to the story name
-- though it would, of course, be better to come up with something
shorter that has sufficient 'scent'. Any thoughts, O Wise Peers?

Thanks,
- Billie

Comments

8 Feb 2006 - 8:28pm
Terrence Wood
2006

Billie Mandel:
> who's going to know what "P" means?
1. You could provide a key somewhere.

2. So long as it's meaning is documented somewhere, the purpose of this
indicator could be learned very quickly.

kind regards
Terrence Wood.

8 Feb 2006 - 8:41pm
Billie Mandel
2005

True - we did discuss that one. However, in the context of the wider
app (Sharepoint's a mess), I can't rely on users seeing a key for this
one widget when there's so much else that's confusing and not called
out, and when there's so many extraneous bits of functionality. I
decided I'd rather have a longer label that requires no explanation.
So back to the proverbial drawing board...

Thanks, Terrence.

- Billie

On 2/8/06, Terrence Wood <tdw at funkive.com> wrote:
> Billie Mandel:
> > who's going to know what "P" means?
> 1. You could provide a key somewhere.
>
> 2. So long as it's meaning is documented somewhere, the purpose of this
> indicator could be learned very quickly.
>
> kind regards
> Terrence Wood.
>
>

8 Feb 2006 - 9:13pm
Terrence Wood
2006

Billie Mandel said:
> I can't rely on users seeing a key for this one widget
Use the title attribute so that it's purpose is revealed on hover perhaps?
It only needs to be expored once, but depends on how curious you audience
is, and if they will explore the interface with a mouse... won't work for
keyboard only users, but neither do most web apps.

Have you considered a tick, or an electrical bolt type icon (c.f DWMX UI)?

kind regards
Terrence Wood.

8 Feb 2006 - 9:49pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

"I need a visual designation for which of the stories is
currently published live. The current story does start off highlighted
in the dropdown, but I need a middle state designation, for when the
user selects another story but has not yet "applied" the change."

I think you have just described draft document. Hence I would
designate it with the word "draft" in small letters (red if do not
have draft autosave, green if you do (you should of course)). You are
right about P.

"Sharepoint's a mess"

No kidding...

--
Oleh Kovalchuke

On 2/8/06, Billie Mandel <billieslists at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> True - we did discuss that one. However, in the context of the wider
> app (Sharepoint's a mess), I can't rely on users seeing a key for this
> one widget when there's so much else that's confusing and not called
> out, and when there's so many extraneous bits of functionality. I
> decided I'd rather have a longer label that requires no explanation.
> So back to the proverbial drawing board...
>
> Thanks, Terrence.
>
> - Billie
>
> On 2/8/06, Terrence Wood <tdw at funkive.com> wrote:
> > Billie Mandel:
> > > who's going to know what "P" means?
> > 1. You could provide a key somewhere.
> >
> > 2. So long as it's meaning is documented somewhere, the purpose of this
> > indicator could be learned very quickly.
> >
> > kind regards
> > Terrence Wood.
> >
> >
> ________________________________________________________________

9 Feb 2006 - 7:14am
Baldo
2005

> Billie Mandel:
> > who's going to know what "P" means?
> 1. You could provide a key somewhere.
>
> 2. So long as it's meaning is documented somewhere, the purpose of this
> indicator could be learned very quickly.

good design doesn't need to be documented.
this is a simple task: the "live" text solution is good.

9 Feb 2006 - 1:57pm
Billie Mandel
2005

Hi again all -

Oleh said:
> I think you have just described draft document.

Not quite - it could either be a draft/working copy, or, if the draft
has already been published, it could also be the previous version to
which the user might want to revert. (Editing and saving happens
somewhere else in the app - this is bloody Sharepoint, remember? ;-)
This is within the web part, where an already-created story is
selected from a library.)

and Terrence said:
> Have you considered a tick, or an electrical bolt type icon (c.f DWMX UI)?

I have considered tick, asterisk, flag. Electrical bolt is also an
interesting idea. I'm just not convinced that any icon conveys that
the story is published 'live' as well as the label 'live' ("published"
is too long).

So that's really the main question I have for you all. Any votes for
the tick/asterisk over the 'live" tag?

Cheers,
- Billie

9 Feb 2006 - 4:00pm
david gee
2004

Billie Mandel wrote:
> So that's really the main question I have for you all. Any votes for
> the tick/asterisk over the 'live" tag?
>
It really depends on the screen real estate you have available, and
possibly internationalization issues. You may want to create a graphic
with the word "live' in it in a font that is legible at smaller sizes
(ie. silkscreen), but you probably can't do this if you need to account
for internationalization. Personally, I think if you can fit the text
in, and make it look good, go for it. If it clutters the display too
much, use an icon with a title attribute that says something like "This
article is live". The app I'm working on right now requires that we use
icons for such kinds of status indication, as we already have too many
columns in our grids containing other data.

Another tip with icons with rollover text - because tooltips show after
a system-defined delay, sometimes people aren't immediately aware that
I'm there. You can alleviate this by changing the CSS cursor property to
"help", so that when they rollover the icon, the cursor changes to a
question-mark, giving them a clue that there's info "underneath".

--
david gee ::: david at mode3.com ::: http://www.mode3.com/david

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