Prototype

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Prototype

Constantin Bürgi
Dear Sir/Madam,

I followed the evolving of the prototype for the new Interface, and I
think it looks very nice.

Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space, especially if
a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to test a
sidebar interface also. This might use the available space a bit
better, even though this haven't been done in any mainstream office
solution yet, because it is more difficult to do feasible. Moreover,
if done valuable this would give it some visual uniqueness compared to
the main competitor of OpenOffice.

Keep up the good work!

Kind regards,

Constantin Bürgi

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Re: Prototype

Martin Hanzel
I disagree.

Though I don't think that a sidebar interface is for nothing; it can be
really effective if its pulled off correctly, and is quite creative... but
alien to a lot of users.

Space is your friend. More space on the screen generally means a less
cluttered interface, making the UI friendlier and more streamlined. Just
look at how MS office did it (on widescreen, no less). Chances are, the
average user hasn't met too many sidebars in their lives, compared to
toolbars.

Furthermore, some elements already exist in a sidebar, for example styles
and the navigator. Where will those go if we use a sidebar-based UI?

In Writer, for instance, sidebars will eliminate the excess space on the
right and left of the document, but will become a distraction as well as a
space hog for elements like comments.

For these reasons, I recommend using the proven toolbar approach, just like
the main competitor of OpenOffice.

-Martin


On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 7:13 PM, Constantin Bürgi <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear Sir/Madam,
>
> I followed the evolving of the prototype for the new Interface, and I
> think it looks very nice.
>
> Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space, especially if
> a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to test a
> sidebar interface also. This might use the available space a bit
> better, even though this haven't been done in any mainstream office
> solution yet, because it is more difficult to do feasible. Moreover,
> if done valuable this would give it some visual uniqueness compared to
> the main competitor of OpenOffice.
>
> Keep up the good work!
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Constantin Bürgi
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>
>
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Re: Prototype

Jaron Kuppers
Hi Martin and others,

Just a quick opinion.  I don't think you give the user's enough credit.  A
sidebar can be just as intuitive as a "toolbar" and I have a feeling that
most user's would catch on quickly.  Limiting ourselves to what user's have
met in the past means we won't find any new solutions.

Cheers,
Jaron



On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I disagree.
>
> Though I don't think that a sidebar interface is for nothing; it can be
> really effective if its pulled off correctly, and is quite creative... but
> alien to a lot of users.
>
> Space is your friend. More space on the screen generally means a less
> cluttered interface, making the UI friendlier and more streamlined. Just
> look at how MS office did it (on widescreen, no less). Chances are, the
> average user hasn't met too many sidebars in their lives, compared to
> toolbars.
>
> Furthermore, some elements already exist in a sidebar, for example styles
> and the navigator. Where will those go if we use a sidebar-based UI?
>
> In Writer, for instance, sidebars will eliminate the excess space on the
> right and left of the document, but will become a distraction as well as a
> space hog for elements like comments.
>
> For these reasons, I recommend using the proven toolbar approach, just like
> the main competitor of OpenOffice.
>
> -Martin
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 7:13 PM, Constantin Bürgi <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Sir/Madam,
> >
> > I followed the evolving of the prototype for the new Interface, and I
> > think it looks very nice.
> >
> > Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space, especially if
> > a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to test a
> > sidebar interface also. This might use the available space a bit
> > better, even though this haven't been done in any mainstream office
> > solution yet, because it is more difficult to do feasible. Moreover,
> > if done valuable this would give it some visual uniqueness compared to
> > the main competitor of OpenOffice.
> >
> > Keep up the good work!
> >
> > Kind regards,
> >
> > Constantin Bürgi
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> > For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
> >
> >
>
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Re: Prototype

Martin Hanzel
I'm not saying that a sidebar is a bad idea, it's just my opinion that I
would prefer a toolbar, and I believe that it would be a better idea, though
I've seen some great sidebar ideas as well.

-Martin


On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM, Jaron Kuppers <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Martin and others,
>
> Just a quick opinion.  I don't think you give the user's enough credit.  A
> sidebar can be just as intuitive as a "toolbar" and I have a feeling that
> most user's would catch on quickly.  Limiting ourselves to what user's have
> met in the past means we won't find any new solutions.
>
> Cheers,
> Jaron
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I disagree.
> >
> > Though I don't think that a sidebar interface is for nothing; it can be
> > really effective if its pulled off correctly, and is quite creative...
> but
> > alien to a lot of users.
> >
> > Space is your friend. More space on the screen generally means a less
> > cluttered interface, making the UI friendlier and more streamlined. Just
> > look at how MS office did it (on widescreen, no less). Chances are, the
> > average user hasn't met too many sidebars in their lives, compared to
> > toolbars.
> >
> > Furthermore, some elements already exist in a sidebar, for example styles
> > and the navigator. Where will those go if we use a sidebar-based UI?
> >
> > In Writer, for instance, sidebars will eliminate the excess space on the
> > right and left of the document, but will become a distraction as well as
> a
> > space hog for elements like comments.
> >
> > For these reasons, I recommend using the proven toolbar approach, just
> like
> > the main competitor of OpenOffice.
> >
> > -Martin
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 7:13 PM, Constantin Bürgi <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Sir/Madam,
> > >
> > > I followed the evolving of the prototype for the new Interface, and I
> > > think it looks very nice.
> > >
> > > Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space, especially if
> > > a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to test a
> > > sidebar interface also. This might use the available space a bit
> > > better, even though this haven't been done in any mainstream office
> > > solution yet, because it is more difficult to do feasible. Moreover,
> > > if done valuable this would give it some visual uniqueness compared to
> > > the main competitor of OpenOffice.
> > >
> > > Keep up the good work!
> > >
> > > Kind regards,
> > >
> > > Constantin Bürgi
> > >
> > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> > > For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
> > >
> > >
> >
>
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Re: Prototype

Benjamin Horst
iTunes uses a sidebar very effectively, which means a few hundred  
million people are familiar with it by this time.

Ben

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 22, 2009, at 3:37 PM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'm not saying that a sidebar is a bad idea, it's just my opinion  
> that I
> would prefer a toolbar, and I believe that it would be a better  
> idea, though
> I've seen some great sidebar ideas as well.
>
> -Martin
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM, Jaron Kuppers  
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hi Martin and others,
>>
>> Just a quick opinion.  I don't think you give the user's enough  
>> credit.  A
>> sidebar can be just as intuitive as a "toolbar" and I have a  
>> feeling that
>> most user's would catch on quickly.  Limiting ourselves to what  
>> user's have
>> met in the past means we won't find any new solutions.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Jaron
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]>  
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I disagree.
>>>
>>> Though I don't think that a sidebar interface is for nothing; it  
>>> can be
>>> really effective if its pulled off correctly, and is quite  
>>> creative...
>> but
>>> alien to a lot of users.
>>>
>>> Space is your friend. More space on the screen generally means a  
>>> less
>>> cluttered interface, making the UI friendlier and more  
>>> streamlined. Just
>>> look at how MS office did it (on widescreen, no less). Chances  
>>> are, the
>>> average user hasn't met too many sidebars in their lives, compared  
>>> to
>>> toolbars.
>>>
>>> Furthermore, some elements already exist in a sidebar, for example  
>>> styles
>>> and the navigator. Where will those go if we use a sidebar-based UI?
>>>
>>> In Writer, for instance, sidebars will eliminate the excess space  
>>> on the
>>> right and left of the document, but will become a distraction as  
>>> well as
>> a
>>> space hog for elements like comments.
>>>
>>> For these reasons, I recommend using the proven toolbar approach,  
>>> just
>> like
>>> the main competitor of OpenOffice.
>>>
>>> -Martin
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 7:13 PM, Constantin Bürgi <corsbu@gmail.
>>> com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Dear Sir/Madam,
>>>>
>>>> I followed the evolving of the prototype for the new Interface,  
>>>> and I
>>>> think it looks very nice.
>>>>
>>>> Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space,  
>>>> especially if
>>>> a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to  
>>>> test a
>>>> sidebar interface also. This might use the available space a bit
>>>> better, even though this haven't been done in any mainstream office
>>>> solution yet, because it is more difficult to do feasible.  
>>>> Moreover,
>>>> if done valuable this would give it some visual uniqueness  
>>>> compared to
>>>> the main competitor of OpenOffice.
>>>>
>>>> Keep up the good work!
>>>>
>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>
>>>> Constantin Bürgi
>>>>
>>>> ---
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
>>>> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>

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Re: Prototype

Martin Hanzel
Very good point.
Though tree navigation and labels look good in a sidebar, I'm not sure users
would want to reach to the left to reach the Bold button every so often.

My motto is to improve on existing standards, not create new ones,
especially for the users' benefit.

-Martin


On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 11:15 PM, Benjamin Horst <[hidden email]> wrote:

> iTunes uses a sidebar very effectively, which means a few hundred million
> people are familiar with it by this time.
>
> Ben
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>
> On Jul 22, 2009, at 3:37 PM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm not saying that a sidebar is a bad idea, it's just my opinion that I
>> would prefer a toolbar, and I believe that it would be a better idea,
>> though
>> I've seen some great sidebar ideas as well.
>>
>> -Martin
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 9:32 PM, Jaron Kuppers <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Martin and others,
>>>
>>> Just a quick opinion.  I don't think you give the user's enough credit.
>>>  A
>>> sidebar can be just as intuitive as a "toolbar" and I have a feeling that
>>> most user's would catch on quickly.  Limiting ourselves to what user's
>>> have
>>> met in the past means we won't find any new solutions.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Jaron
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> I disagree.
>>>>
>>>> Though I don't think that a sidebar interface is for nothing; it can be
>>>> really effective if its pulled off correctly, and is quite creative...
>>>>
>>> but
>>>
>>>> alien to a lot of users.
>>>>
>>>> Space is your friend. More space on the screen generally means a less
>>>> cluttered interface, making the UI friendlier and more streamlined. Just
>>>> look at how MS office did it (on widescreen, no less). Chances are, the
>>>> average user hasn't met too many sidebars in their lives, compared to
>>>> toolbars.
>>>>
>>>> Furthermore, some elements already exist in a sidebar, for example
>>>> styles
>>>> and the navigator. Where will those go if we use a sidebar-based UI?
>>>>
>>>> In Writer, for instance, sidebars will eliminate the excess space on the
>>>> right and left of the document, but will become a distraction as well as
>>>>
>>> a
>>>
>>>> space hog for elements like comments.
>>>>
>>>> For these reasons, I recommend using the proven toolbar approach, just
>>>>
>>> like
>>>
>>>> the main competitor of OpenOffice.
>>>>
>>>> -Martin
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 7:13 PM, Constantin Bürgi <[hidden email]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Dear Sir/Madam,
>>>>>
>>>>> I followed the evolving of the prototype for the new Interface, and I
>>>>> think it looks very nice.
>>>>>
>>>>> Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space, especially if
>>>>> a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to test a
>>>>> sidebar interface also. This might use the available space a bit
>>>>> better, even though this haven't been done in any mainstream office
>>>>> solution yet, because it is more difficult to do feasible. Moreover,
>>>>> if done valuable this would give it some visual uniqueness compared to
>>>>> the main competitor of OpenOffice.
>>>>>
>>>>> Keep up the good work!
>>>>>
>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>
>>>>> Constantin Bürgi
>>>>>
>>>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
>>>>> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>
>
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Re: Prototype

Philip Ganchev
I think that a side tool bar is better use of space, especially if the
window that is maximized horizontally. This is because the page is
usually portrait, and you want to see as much text as possible. I have
used it this way on my laptop for years, and I like it.

Is there enough horizontal space? Only notes and the styles pane take
up horizontal space by default. They, plus the ruler, plus two
vertical tool bars fit in a maximized window on a non-wide screen[1],
so it should be fine on a wide screen.  It's also OK with side-by-side
pages.[2]

There is no space if both the page is landscape and the notes and
style pane are showing.[3]  But this is a rare configuration, I think.
 Most users rarely use the styles pane or side-by-side view. And most
edit in maximized windows. And most rarely use the ruler, so it should
be hidden by default, as I have said before.

Space use problems would be solved in general in OOo. If the window
becomes too narrow to fit the content, the notes should automatically
become narrower. The page margins should hide. (They should be easy to
hide and show manually too.) And, if the window is too, too narrow,
some tool bars should become horizontal. If there is more horizontal
space, all these changes should reverse. This guarantees good use of
space, and all you need to do to get, say, wider notes is to widen the
window, which is very "intuitive" I think.  Of course, if the user
moves a tool bar manually, it should stay pinned there regardless of
window width.

On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 6:00 AM, Martin Hanzel<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Very good point.
> Though tree navigation and labels look good in a sidebar, I'm not sure users
> would want to reach to the left to reach the Bold button every so often.

I don't see why it would less ergonomical; in fact, moving the mouse
sideways is easier and more accurate than moving it up and down.

A minor annoyance with a vertical *formatting* bar is that the style
and font cannot be set directly in the bar; instead, pressing the
buttons pops up the styles side bar and the font dialog. But the main
tool bar can easily be vertical by default.

> My motto is to improve on existing standards, not create new ones,
> especially for the users' benefit.

You can't be better without being different.

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Re: Prototype

Philip Ganchev
Sorry here are the links from my previous email. And, I remembered
that another solution is to zoom out of the page[4]. So it's not a
problem to put tool bars vertically, at least one tool bar.

[1] http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/File:OOo_vertical_tool_bars.png
[2] http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/File:OOo_vertical_tool_bars_side-by-side.png
[3] http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/File:OOo_vertical_tool_bar_%2B_land_scape.png
[4] http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/File:OOo_vertical_tool_bars_%2B_landscape_%2B_zoom.png


On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 8:28 PM, Philip Ganchev<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think that a side tool bar is better use of space, especially if the
> window that is maximized horizontally. This is because the page is
> usually portrait, and you want to see as much text as possible. I have
> used it this way on my laptop for years, and I like it.
>
> Is there enough horizontal space? Only notes and the styles pane take
> up horizontal space by default. They, plus the ruler, plus two
> vertical tool bars fit in a maximized window on a non-wide screen[1],
> so it should be fine on a wide screen.  It's also OK with side-by-side
> pages.[2]
>
> There is no space if both the page is landscape and the notes and
> style pane are showing.[3]  But this is a rare configuration, I think.
>  Most users rarely use the styles pane or side-by-side view. And most
> edit in maximized windows. And most rarely use the ruler, so it should
> be hidden by default, as I have said before.
>
> Space use problems would be solved in general in OOo. If the window
> becomes too narrow to fit the content, the notes should automatically
> become narrower. The page margins should hide. (They should be easy to
> hide and show manually too.) And, if the window is too, too narrow,
> some tool bars should become horizontal. If there is more horizontal
> space, all these changes should reverse. This guarantees good use of
> space, and all you need to do to get, say, wider notes is to widen the
> window, which is very "intuitive" I think.  Of course, if the user
> moves a tool bar manually, it should stay pinned there regardless of
> window width.
>
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 6:00 AM, Martin Hanzel<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Very good point.
>> Though tree navigation and labels look good in a sidebar, I'm not sure users
>> would want to reach to the left to reach the Bold button every so often.
>
> I don't see why it would less ergonomical; in fact, moving the mouse
> sideways is easier and more accurate than moving it up and down.
>
> A minor annoyance with a vertical *formatting* bar is that the style
> and font cannot be set directly in the bar; instead, pressing the
> buttons pops up the styles side bar and the font dialog. But the main
> tool bar can easily be vertical by default.
>
>> My motto is to improve on existing standards, not create new ones,
>> especially for the users' benefit.
>
> You can't be better without being different.
>

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Re: Prototype

Martin Hanzel
In reply to this post by Philip Ganchev
>
> You can't be better without being different.


There is nothing wrong with being different, just sometimes it doesn't work
out as well as it should. Just look at Gallileo or Jesus.

I'm still worried about...

a) The sidebar being too wide. I'm imagining the sidebar right now about as
wide as MS' Ribbon toolbar.

b) Throwing the document off-center screen. If the sidebar is too wide, it
would shift the document to the right. To fix this, we could put the Styles
or Navigator sidebars (both redesigned) on the other side. This problem
wouldn't be as imporant if the sidebar is thin, though.

c) Cross-application. Sure, word processing is usually up-down, but
spreadsheeting is often left-right, and so is creating slideshows, since the
slide is wider than it is tall, and shrinking the slide to fit the space
does not seem like a viable alternative. This is a great reason to either
get rid of a sidebar or implement a toolbar as *well* as the sidebar, This
wouldn't be a problem if the sidebar is basically the toolbar rotated 90
degrees, but if it uses a completely different layout, we'd have to design
it seperatly.


In your images, you say that "this would be fine on a wide screen", but we
shouldn't forget about people with a standard screen, like me for instance.

-Martin


On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 2:28 AM, Philip Ganchev <[hidden email]>wrote:

> I think that a side tool bar is better use of space, especially if the
> window that is maximized horizontally. This is because the page is
> usually portrait, and you want to see as much text as possible. I have
> used it this way on my laptop for years, and I like it.
>
> Is there enough horizontal space? Only notes and the styles pane take
> up horizontal space by default. They, plus the ruler, plus two
> vertical tool bars fit in a maximized window on a non-wide screen[1],
> so it should be fine on a wide screen.  It's also OK with side-by-side
> pages.[2]
>
> There is no space if both the page is landscape and the notes and
> style pane are showing.[3]  But this is a rare configuration, I think.
>  Most users rarely use the styles pane or side-by-side view. And most
> edit in maximized windows. And most rarely use the ruler, so it should
> be hidden by default, as I have said before.
>
> Space use problems would be solved in general in OOo. If the window
> becomes too narrow to fit the content, the notes should automatically
> become narrower. The page margins should hide. (They should be easy to
> hide and show manually too.) And, if the window is too, too narrow,
> some tool bars should become horizontal. If there is more horizontal
> space, all these changes should reverse. This guarantees good use of
> space, and all you need to do to get, say, wider notes is to widen the
> window, which is very "intuitive" I think.  Of course, if the user
> moves a tool bar manually, it should stay pinned there regardless of
> window width.
>
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 6:00 AM, Martin Hanzel<[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Very good point.
> > Though tree navigation and labels look good in a sidebar, I'm not sure
> users
> > would want to reach to the left to reach the Bold button every so often.
>
> I don't see why it would less ergonomical; in fact, moving the mouse
> sideways is easier and more accurate than moving it up and down.
>
> A minor annoyance with a vertical *formatting* bar is that the style
> and font cannot be set directly in the bar; instead, pressing the
> buttons pops up the styles side bar and the font dialog. But the main
> tool bar can easily be vertical by default.
>
> > My motto is to improve on existing standards, not create new ones,
> > especially for the users' benefit.
>
> You can't be better without being different.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>
>
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Re: Prototype

Andreas Schuderer
In reply to this post by Philip Ganchev
Hi Philip,

I second your thoughts about vertical tool bars.

And, on a personal note...

Am 25. Jul 2009 um 02:28 schrieb Philip Ganchev:
> You can't be better without being different.
[1]

You just gave yourself away there! :-D

I suspected as much in September 2008 when you suggested a "text  
search facility for menu items". By the way, in this discussion, I had  
promised to write something about command ranking. I've described the  
basics in my proposal [2].

Cheers,
Andreas


[1] Google search on the phrase "You can't be better without being  
different" reveals interesting connections:
http://www.google.com/search?q=%22you+can't+be+better+without+being+different%22

[2] Proposal "Habituating Interaction", section "Keyboard Command  
Invocation":
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Andreas_Schuderer#Keyboard_Command_Invocation

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Re: Prototype

Martin Hanzel
In reply to this post by Martin Hanzel
Okay, do we even know what the sidebar will look like? I looked over the
design proposals, and I kind of like
Martinu<http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Johannes_Eva>so
far. The document being off-center doesn't bother me as much as I
thought
it would, and I'm soft-of coming to like this sidebar idea!

I'm still very concerned about 800x600 or similar ratio resolutions
(netbooks, etc), since I'm buying a netbook in August as my primary
computer.

Anyone can clarify this for me?

-Martin


On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 10:42 AM, Martin Hanzel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> You can't be better without being different.
>
>
> There is nothing wrong with being different, just sometimes it doesn't work
> out as well as it should. Just look at Gallileo or Jesus.
>
> I'm still worried about...
>
> a) The sidebar being too wide. I'm imagining the sidebar right now about as
> wide as MS' Ribbon toolbar.
>
> b) Throwing the document off-center screen. If the sidebar is too wide, it
> would shift the document to the right. To fix this, we could put the Styles
> or Navigator sidebars (both redesigned) on the other side. This problem
> wouldn't be as imporant if the sidebar is thin, though.
>
> c) Cross-application. Sure, word processing is usually up-down, but
> spreadsheeting is often left-right, and so is creating slideshows, since the
> slide is wider than it is tall, and shrinking the slide to fit the space
> does not seem like a viable alternative. This is a great reason to either
> get rid of a sidebar or implement a toolbar as *well* as the sidebar, This
> wouldn't be a problem if the sidebar is basically the toolbar rotated 90
> degrees, but if it uses a completely different layout, we'd have to design
> it seperatly.
>
>
> In your images, you say that "this would be fine on a wide screen", but we
> shouldn't forget about people with a standard screen, like me for instance.
>
> -Martin
>
>
> On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 2:28 AM, Philip Ganchev <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> I think that a side tool bar is better use of space, especially if the
>> window that is maximized horizontally. This is because the page is
>> usually portrait, and you want to see as much text as possible. I have
>> used it this way on my laptop for years, and I like it.
>>
>> Is there enough horizontal space? Only notes and the styles pane take
>> up horizontal space by default. They, plus the ruler, plus two
>> vertical tool bars fit in a maximized window on a non-wide screen[1],
>> so it should be fine on a wide screen.  It's also OK with side-by-side
>> pages.[2]
>>
>> There is no space if both the page is landscape and the notes and
>> style pane are showing.[3]  But this is a rare configuration, I think.
>>  Most users rarely use the styles pane or side-by-side view. And most
>> edit in maximized windows. And most rarely use the ruler, so it should
>> be hidden by default, as I have said before.
>>
>> Space use problems would be solved in general in OOo. If the window
>> becomes too narrow to fit the content, the notes should automatically
>> become narrower. The page margins should hide. (They should be easy to
>> hide and show manually too.) And, if the window is too, too narrow,
>> some tool bars should become horizontal. If there is more horizontal
>> space, all these changes should reverse. This guarantees good use of
>> space, and all you need to do to get, say, wider notes is to widen the
>> window, which is very "intuitive" I think.  Of course, if the user
>> moves a tool bar manually, it should stay pinned there regardless of
>> window width.
>>
>> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 6:00 AM, Martin Hanzel<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > Very good point.
>> > Though tree navigation and labels look good in a sidebar, I'm not sure
>> users
>> > would want to reach to the left to reach the Bold button every so often.
>>
>> I don't see why it would less ergonomical; in fact, moving the mouse
>> sideways is easier and more accurate than moving it up and down.
>>
>> A minor annoyance with a vertical *formatting* bar is that the style
>> and font cannot be set directly in the bar; instead, pressing the
>> buttons pops up the styles side bar and the font dialog. But the main
>> tool bar can easily be vertical by default.
>>
>> > My motto is to improve on existing standards, not create new ones,
>> > especially for the users' benefit.
>>
>> You can't be better without being different.
>>
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>> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
>> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>>
>>
>
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Prototype

Johannes Eva
In reply to this post by Martin Hanzel
Hello everybody,

I have been busy in the last weeks, and today I read all the 120
messages on the list, tested the last prototype 0.14, etc.

First of all I'm really, really, really impressed with the prototype,
and the speed with which it was implemented, its level of interaction,
and the great job done by the prototyping team.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that I'm a little bit bitter about one
thing: no prototype of vertical UI was implemented.

If I would have the impression of being the only fool here around to be
convinced about the advantages of a vertical UI for OOo, I would NOT
write this mail. After all, my opinion is only one opinion.

But look, only in the messages from the past 10 days:

Andreas Schuderer: (22/07)
> When really pretending to work with the prototype, screen real estate
>  becomes a problem pretty soon. I find that, to be able to do fine
> positioning, I have to zoom in earlier than strictly necessary. Try a
>  vertical toolbar.

Constantin Bürgi: (22/07)
> Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about the lost space, especially
> if a wide screen (16:9) is used. Hence I want to encourage you to
> test a sidebar interface also.

Miroslav Mazel: (22/07)
> What I'd like to see, though, is a vertical interface. That's what
> I'm most curious about,
> since no competitor has a good representation of the vertical
> interface proposals or a good vertical interface implementation.

Posted by Ande on July 24, 2009
> Please listen to the comments re: 16:9 monitors. I hate the Ribbon on
> Widescreens. A sidebar would be a nice start ...
http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/prototype_of_new_ui_test

Posted by Regina Henschel on July 22, 2009
> I need a screen with higher dpi and therefore there is not so much
> room. Same problem is on netbooks with 600 pixel height. The area of
> the buttons is much to high. I would like to have them in the small,
> one line way as the bars are now. I miss a proposal which uses a side
>  bar It seems, that it is already decided to use 'ribbons' without
> testing alternatives?
http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/prototype_of_new_ui_test


Jaron Kuppers: (22/07)
> I don't think you give the user's enough credit. A sidebar can be
> just as intuitive as a "toolbar" and I have a feeling that most
> user's would catch on quickly. Limiting ourselves to what user's have
>  met in the past means we won't find any new solutions.

Philip Ganchev: (25/07)
> I think that a side tool bar is better use of space, especially if
> the window that is maximized horizontally. This is because the page
> is usually portrait, and you want to see as much text as possible.

Ajay: (26/07)
> # Please provide option to shift to a vertical toolbar for
> widescreen. UI team should consider shipping with different presets
> for 4:3 and 16:9 ratios,and allow users to switch between the two in
> preferences.


And as Miroslav Mazel says:
« what disappoints me, is that there's little taken from the Renaissance
idea brainstorm. I'm especially sad that there's no vertical UI [in the
prototypes] , something that I was really looking forward to. »
http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/prototype_of_new_ui_test

I also wonder how the result comes being so near of Office 2007 ribbon,
in so many aspects. (Which I like a lot, by the way.)


***


Here I would like to post some more arguments for a vertical UI.
A little bit adapted from here:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Johannes_Eva

Q. Why design a vertical UI in times where the market leader has a
successful horizontal UI? Don't you think that the guys at Microsoft had
good reasons for it?

A. Remember than at the time Microsoft was designing Office 2007, back
in 2003 – 2004, the 16:10 and 16:9 screen ratio was NO standard. The
16:10 ratio was not even a strong tendency, and nobody was thinking that
16:9 would ever be adopted on fixed computer monitors.

One more reason: at the time Office 2007 was developed, something else
that would have taken space on the sides of the screen was going on: the
Windows Vista Sidebar. Having the Windows Sidebar was already limiting
horizontal space, so that it was clear that the Office 2007 UI could not
be vertical.

More, maybe Microsoft was already imagining that it would be possible to
use the vertical space for displaying... advertising! And that may have
been one good reason for making the UI horizontal: leaving a lot of
space for vertical advertising.


***


Don't blame me for screens getting wider, personally I don't like it!
But these are facts, we can't ignore them. By the time Renaissance will
be implemented, 16:9 will be more probably a standard, maybe we will
have some 16:10 screens. And 4:3 monitors will probably be hard to find.


***

To conclude, I REALLY wonder why these opinions (see up there) and
logical arguments are not being seriously considered.
Sorry for the rant!

All the best,
Johannes





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Sun must be hiring a lot of developers!

Johannes Eva
In reply to this post by Martin Hanzel
A little addendum...

By the time I was working on my proposal, I was thinking about the
transition from the current branches to a "Renaissance Branch".
And also thinking about the work load to implement Renaissance.

My proposal was considering the fact that there are not hundreds of
full-time developers on the project. And despite having no deep
knowledge of the OOo insides, I think it could be possible to implement
"softly", with relatively small resources:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Johannes_Eva
(NB. Maybe I'm totally wrong, and it would not! Sorry for referring to
my proposal, again...)


I don't really see realistic concerns in the prototypes about
feasability, neither concrete visions of any release. Is there any
release year? Did I miss it?

I'm asking myself: realistically, how many new full time devs and staff
would be needed to implement, say,  this:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/a/aa/Prototype2.jpg

Sincerely,
Johannes

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Re: Prototype

Brian Fleeger
In reply to this post by Johannes Eva
Johannes Eva wrote:

<First of all I'm really, really, really impressed with the prototype,
<and the speed with which it was implemented, its level of
<interaction, and the great job done by the prototyping team.
<Nevertheless, I have to admit that I'm a little bit bitter about
<one thing: no prototype of vertical UI was implemented.

Hello all, this is my first time writing to this list, so my apologies if this is an awkward or sudden introduction.  I was actually planning to write the list on this very topic (the lack of any vertical UI prototypes), but others beat me to it.  I have been following the Renaissance Project since its inception, and have also been amazed at your group's speed, efficiency and insight.  However, I am also dismayed at this design choice, which I assumed was so natural a fit for vertical.  I submitted my own modified version of Johannes' mockup to the comments section of the wiki, viewable here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/File:File.png 

In looking at the most recent prototypes, the top three animated options with the scrollbar (apologies for not remembering their names) actually only used a fraction of the space at the top of the screen for the relevant selected menu zone which is encircled in a black outline.  The result is that when one menu label is chosen, the clickable buttons at the top of the screen would also show a lot of space outside the selected zone from adjacent menu labels, which I feel is inefficient.  The tools for each menu item are not numerous enough to fill up the entirety of the top area, and instead use the area to show options which are not related to the selected menu items.  The bottom prototypes, which used both tabs and movable arrows, used blank space in place of showing the other menu tools, but that is also sub-optimal because it is still a dead-loss for space. I would wager that same area could be relocated to the side and have no leftover space, i.e. be
 100% utilized, leaving more room for document content. I certainly don't want to come off as sounding negative, and I am still very impressed all the same -- congratulations to all involved!

I would also like to comment on the prototypes as they are and give my feedback all the same.  Though I would prefer a side menu, I do enjoy using the top mounted versions as they are.  I like the scrolling animations on the upper-most three prototypes, but do not see much difference betweeen them other than stylistic difference between the scrollbar.  I actually prefer the stylistic look of the bottom most prototypes, which use an arrow like pointer that moves over the selected menu label, but would like it if you could combine that with the scrolling motion of the top-most prototypes.  What I disliked most about the scrolling prototypes, other than what I mention above, is that they attempt to be totally linear in the way they transition between menu clicks.  That is, suppose I click on "start", then "insert," it takes like 0.5 seconds to slide over.  But if I jump from "start" to "format," it takes quite a bit longer.  This is because the menu attempt
 to behave like one continuous band, which also explains why I can see menu options from adjacent menu zones even though I didn't what to use them.  I would prefer it if a sliding animation were present, but the menu used some slight-of-hand magic effect to hyperspace jump between places on the ribbon.  In other words, jumping from "start" to "format" wouldn't show all the stuff in-between -- "format" buttons would just slide in from off-camera from the side of the screen, and vice versa.  To make that possible, I advise adjacent menu zones are not made visible, more like in the bottom prototypes.  Also, it would be nice if the animation of the indicator arrow speeded up automatically to cover greater distances in the same amount of time as shorter distances.  

Regarding that grapefruit on the upper right hand corner of the selected slide, I am really confused by it and think there must be more intuitive ways to get people to learn about zooming out (such as a +/- zoom toggle in some corner).  The function of the "M" side tab also eludes me.  Finally, though the presence of the traditional text menus is advertised as a bonus, I am confused as to whether the final ribbon design will ultimately attempt to reproduce 100% of their functionality, or if there will still be some functions only accessible via the drop-downs.  If not, then can the drop-downs be turned off?  I think having both is too repetitive, personally.

Thank you for your efforts, and for providing users with a great free (libre and gratis) choice for office productivity!

Regards,
Brian Fleeger



     
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Re: Prototype

Frank Loehmann
In reply to this post by Johannes Eva
Hi Johannes,

Thank you for aggregating the things posted on this list within the last
weeks. It is a good way for me to show more presence on this list again
after prototyping phase has ended last week. The people on the
prototyping team were all very busy during that time to make best use to
of the given resources for prototyping. Now it is time to step back and
take a deep breath as Andreas said before we start testing and refining UIs.

Please always think about that the prototype is a mid fidelity one and
that groups, functions and their representation are subject to change.
Furthermore we are working on a new UI for the entire OOo, so it is not
just Impress we have to think about. We choose Impress for testing
because most people know it and it is way smaller than Writer.

Johannes Eva wrote:

> Hello everybody,
>
> I have been busy in the last weeks, and today I read all the 120
> messages on the list, tested the last prototype 0.14, etc.
>
> First of all I'm really, really, really impressed with the prototype,
> and the speed with which it was implemented, its level of interaction,
> and the great job done by the prototyping team.
>
> Nevertheless, I have to admit that I'm a little bit bitter about one
> thing: no prototype of vertical UI was implemented.
When we started prototyping, we though about what should be the first
design to be implemented. We choose the 'Scrolling Toolbars' because it
was very hard to test this with paper or static prototypes in Impress.
Furthermore it had potential and was kind of different than other common
solutions using tabs.
>
> If I would have the impression of being the only fool here around to
> be convinced about the advantages of a vertical UI for OOo, I would
> NOT write this mail. After all, my opinion is only one opinion.
We (the prototyping team) also had discussion were the main UI element
should be placed and if we should keep the classical main menu system.
We wanted to minimize clutter with the new UI, so it was no option to
place elements all around the slide. We decided to centralized the UI on
top and put only the view things into the status bar. On top because it
is more natural to search for elements there than on the side or bottom.

Furthermore Lotus Symphony could be used to compare a kind of vertical
UI with the horizontal ones used in our prototypes. This was the reason
why we focused on a horizontal UI on top.
>
> But look, only in the messages from the past 10 days:
[...]

Thanks for citing all the sources on a vertical UI. See below for my
comments.

>
> ***
>
> Here I would like to post some more arguments for a vertical UI.
> A little bit adapted from here:
> http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Johannes_Eva
>
> Q. Why design a vertical UI in times where the market leader has a
> successful horizontal UI? Don't you think that the guys at Microsoft
> had good reasons for it?
>
> A. Remember than at the time Microsoft was designing Office 2007, back
> in 2003 – 2004, the 16:10 and 16:9 screen ratio was NO standard. The
> 16:10 ratio was not even a strong tendency, and nobody was thinking
> that 16:9 would ever be adopted on fixed computer monitors.
Yes, that was also my assumption when we started to think about the new
UI back in 2008, but Microsoft did a lot of vertical UI prototypes!
Tests just showed them that they were not as well excepted as UI on top
of the application. The users are used to find the controls above the
application.

Furthermore you have to think about that real estate on the side is also
limited to 600, 768, 800 or 1024 pixel in heights. Especially the new
16:9 monitors using the HD TV resolution provide less space that 4:3 and
16:10 ones in heights. This is not much to get all the functionality in
place you need for OOo so you have to do scrolling on the side to
increase the space you need for you UI. Also a vertical  UI does not
work well in all applications. More visible columns in Calc are more
important than more rows.

>
> One more reason: at the time Office 2007 was developed, something else
> that would have taken space on the sides of the screen was going on:
> the Windows Vista Sidebar. Having the Windows Sidebar was already
> limiting horizontal space, so that it was clear that the Office 2007
> UI could not be vertical.
>
> More, maybe Microsoft was already imagining that it would be possible
> to use the vertical space for displaying... advertising! And that may
> have been one good reason for making the UI horizontal: leaving a lot
> of space for vertical advertising.
Hmmh. What I have heard about adds from Andreas Bartel was that people
do not recognize those adds :-) Maybe this is why some (bad) web page
occupy the complete screen for adds when hovering above them, i.e. to
scroll down the web page.

>
> ***
>
> Don't blame me for screens getting wider, personally I don't like it!
> But these are facts, we can't ignore them. By the time Renaissance
> will be implemented, 16:9 will be more probably a standard, maybe we
> will have some 16:10 screens. And 4:3 monitors will probably be hard
> to find.
>
> ***
Personally I use a 24" running 1980*1200 (16:10) pixel here @ work and I
own the same model at home. When I think about having a 30" model or
larger in the future, the controls on the side would be far away from my
content I am working on. In a horizontal UI you could easily center the
UI controls for that reason.

The other extreme are small devices where both types of UIs have their
problems. We have to think about a cool way to minimize the main UI
control on those devices to optimize the UI for those devices.
>
> To conclude, I REALLY wonder why these opinions (see up there) and
> logical arguments are not being seriously considered.
> Sorry for the rant!
Thanks for bringing this up again!

Our monthly project update will take place today. I will blog about it
tomorrow. The presentation will available by then.
>
> All the best,
> Johannes

Best regards,

Frank

--
Sun Microsystems GmbH                Frank Loehmann
Nagelsweg 55                         User Experience StarOffice
20097 Hamburg                        Phone: (+49 40)23646 882
Germany                              Fax:   (+49 40)23646 550
http://www.sun.de                    mailto:[hidden email]

OpenOffice.org User Experience Team
http://ux.openoffice.org

Sitz der Gesellschaft:
Sun Microsystems GmbH,Sonnenallee 1, D-85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten
Amtsgericht Muenchen: HRB 161028
Geschaeftsfuehrer: Thomas Schröder, Wolfgang Engels, Wolf Frenkel
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Martin Haering


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Re: Prototype

Regina Henschel
Hi Frank,

Frank Loehmann schrieb:
> We (the prototyping team) also had discussion were the main UI element
> should be placed and if we should keep the classical main menu system.
> We wanted to minimize clutter with the new UI, so it was no option to
> place elements all around the slide. We decided to centralized the UI on
> top and put only the view things into the status bar. On top because it
> is more natural to search for elements there than on the side or bottom.
>

Why always think of "either or"? Why not make the toolbars drag able and
dock able as they are now, but with the additional feature, that the
controls will also work as controls (not open dialogs) in vertical
direction? (issues 57094, 74787) So people, who need the full height of
the screen for their documents, can drag the toolbars to the side?

Do you have comments from Asian users, who write top-down? What do they
like?

kind regards
Regina




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Re: Prototype

Zhi Yu Yue
In reply to this post by Frank Loehmann
Since Symphony is mentioned, and I'm personally very interested in this topic, I'm willing to say something here. To me, horizontal UI is not the only choice although MS does it. Let's step back to why they design this UI -- the basic purpose to my understanding is to expose more complex functionality/commands while the traditional menu/toolbar does not have this capability. Ribbon did a good try for us, but also showed some good reason that we do not follow it. Ribbon's UI is a little too "noisy" for users; people are not used to it because it is quite different from traditional; apparently take too much working space; and also does not take the side space efficiently given the context of wider screen; ...

Formatting is what users care most about in editor; that's why we have the property sidebar designed to simplify formatting work. Currently we are working on a "new" sidebar mechanism to make it easier to manage all the docking dialogs. I would be more than happy to share the idea here; en, we will try to publish some draft design early next week. Hope we can help on this discussion.

Best Regards,
Helen Yue

_________________________________________________________

Yue Zhi Yu  |
 Manager of User Experience & Applications, Lotus Symphony |  yuezhiyu@...



From:        Frank Loehmann <[hidden email]>
To:        [hidden email]
Date:        07/30/2009 05:59 PM
Subject:        Re: [ux-user interface] Prototype
Sent by:        [hidden email]




Hi Johannes,

Thank you for aggregating the things posted on this list within the last
weeks. It is a good way for me to show more presence on this list again
after prototyping phase has ended last week. The people on the
prototyping team were all very busy during that time to make best use to
of the given resources for prototyping. Now it is time to step back and
take a deep breath as Andreas said before we start testing and refining UIs.

Please always think about that the prototype is a mid fidelity one and
that groups, functions and their representation are subject to change.
Furthermore we are working on a new UI for the entire OOo, so it is not
just Impress we have to think about. We choose Impress for testing
because most people know it and it is way smaller than Writer.

Johannes Eva wrote:
> Hello everybody,
>
> I have been busy in the last weeks, and today I read all the 120
> messages on the list, tested the last prototype 0.14, etc.
>
> First of all I'm really, really, really impressed with the prototype,
> and the speed with which it was implemented, its level of interaction,
> and the great job done by the prototyping team.
>
> Nevertheless, I have to admit that I'm a little bit bitter about one
> thing: no prototype of vertical UI was implemented.
When we started prototyping, we though about what should be the first
design to be implemented. We choose the 'Scrolling Toolbars' because it
was very hard to test this with paper or static prototypes in Impress.
Furthermore it had potential and was kind of different than other common
solutions using tabs.
>
> If I would have the impression of being the only fool here around to
> be convinced about the advantages of a vertical UI for OOo, I would
> NOT write this mail. After all, my opinion is only one opinion.
We (the prototyping team) also had discussion were the main UI element
should be placed and if we should keep the classical main menu system.
We wanted to minimize clutter with the new UI, so it was no option to
place elements all around the slide. We decided to centralized the UI on
top and put only the view things into the status bar. On top because it
is more natural to search for elements there than on the side or bottom.

Furthermore Lotus Symphony could be used to compare a kind of vertical
UI with the horizontal ones used in our prototypes. This was the reason
why we focused on a horizontal UI on top.
>
> But look, only in the messages from the past 10 days:
[...]

Thanks for citing all the sources on a vertical UI. See below for my
comments.
>
> ***
>
> Here I would like to post some more arguments for a vertical UI.
> A little bit adapted from here:
>
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Johannes_Eva
>
> Q. Why design a vertical UI in times where the market leader has a
> successful horizontal UI? Don't you think that the guys at Microsoft
> had good reasons for it?
>
> A. Remember than at the time Microsoft was designing Office 2007, back
> in 2003 – 2004, the 16:10 and 16:9 screen ratio was NO standard. The
> 16:10 ratio was not even a strong tendency, and nobody was thinking
> that 16:9 would ever be adopted on fixed computer monitors.
Yes, that was also my assumption when we started to think about the new
UI back in 2008, but Microsoft did a lot of vertical UI prototypes!
Tests just showed them that they were not as well excepted as UI on top
of the application. The users are used to find the controls above the
application.

Furthermore you have to think about that real estate on the side is also
limited to 600, 768, 800 or 1024 pixel in heights. Especially the new
16:9 monitors using the HD TV resolution provide less space that 4:3 and
16:10 ones in heights. This is not much to get all the functionality in
place you need for OOo so you have to do scrolling on the side to
increase the space you need for you UI. Also a vertical  UI does not
work well in all applications. More visible columns in Calc are more
important than more rows.
>
> One more reason: at the time Office 2007 was developed, something else
> that would have taken space on the sides of the screen was going on:
> the Windows Vista Sidebar. Having the Windows Sidebar was already
> limiting horizontal space, so that it was clear that the Office 2007
> UI could not be vertical.
>
> More, maybe Microsoft was already imagining that it would be possible
> to use the vertical space for displaying... advertising! And that may
> have been one good reason for making the UI horizontal: leaving a lot
> of space for vertical advertising.
Hmmh. What I have heard about adds from Andreas Bartel was that people
do not recognize those adds :-) Maybe this is why some (bad) web page
occupy the complete screen for adds when hovering above them, i.e. to
scroll down the web page.
>
> ***
>
> Don't blame me for screens getting wider, personally I don't like it!
> But these are facts, we can't ignore them. By the time Renaissance
> will be implemented, 16:9 will be more probably a standard, maybe we
> will have some 16:10 screens. And 4:3 monitors will probably be hard
> to find.
>
> ***
Personally I use a 24" running 1980*1200 (16:10) pixel here @ work and I
own the same model at home. When I think about having a 30" model or
larger in the future, the controls on the side would be far away from my
content I am working on. In a horizontal UI you could easily center the
UI controls for that reason.

The other extreme are small devices where both types of UIs have their
problems. We have to think about a cool way to minimize the main UI
control on those devices to optimize the UI for those devices.
>
> To conclude, I REALLY wonder why these opinions (see up there) and
> logical arguments are not being seriously considered.
> Sorry for the rant!
Thanks for bringing this up again!

Our monthly project update will take place today. I will blog about it
tomorrow. The presentation will available by then.
>
> All the best,
> Johannes

Best regards,

Frank

--
Sun Microsystems GmbH                Frank Loehmann
Nagelsweg 55                         User Experience StarOffice
20097 Hamburg                        Phone: (+49 40)23646 882
Germany                              Fax:   (+49 40)23646 550
http://www.sun.de                    mailto:frank.loehmann@...

OpenOffice.org User Experience Team
http://ux.openoffice.org

Sitz der Gesellschaft:
Sun Microsystems GmbH,Sonnenallee 1, D-85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten
Amtsgericht Muenchen: HRB 161028
Geschaeftsfuehrer: Thomas Schröder, Wolfgang Engels, Wolf Frenkel
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Martin Haering


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Re: Prototype

Frank Loehmann
In reply to this post by Regina Henschel
Hi Regina,

Regina Henschel wrote:

> Hi Frank,
>
> Frank Loehmann schrieb:
>> We (the prototyping team) also had discussion were the main UI
>> element should be placed and if we should keep the classical main
>> menu system. We wanted to minimize clutter with the new UI, so it was
>> no option to place elements all around the slide. We decided to
>> centralized the UI on top and put only the view things into the
>> status bar. On top because it is more natural to search for elements
>> there than on the side or bottom.
>>
>
> Why always think of "either or"? Why not make the toolbars drag able
> and dock able as they are now, but with the additional feature, that
> the controls will also work as controls (not open dialogs) in vertical
> direction? (issues 57094, 74787) So people, who need the full height
> of the screen for their documents, can drag the toolbars to the side?
You are right, this should be designed/tested too, maybe in a second
step. But as always, we need to focus on a suitable solution for the
average user. Most people use software (and not only software) as it
comes right out of the box.
>
> Do you have comments from Asian users, who write top-down? What do
> they like?
This needs clarification. Any CJK experts around here?
>
> kind regards
> Regina
Best regards,

Frank

--
Sun Microsystems GmbH                Frank Loehmann
Nagelsweg 55                         User Experience StarOffice
20097 Hamburg                        Phone: (+49 40)23646 882
Germany                              Fax:   (+49 40)23646 550
http://www.sun.de                    mailto:[hidden email]

OpenOffice.org User Experience Team
http://ux.openoffice.org

Sitz der Gesellschaft:
Sun Microsystems GmbH,Sonnenallee 1, D-85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten
Amtsgericht Muenchen: HRB 161028
Geschaeftsfuehrer: Thomas Schröder, Wolfgang Engels, Wolf Frenkel
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Martin Haering


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Re: Prototype

Benjamin Horst
In reply to this post by Zhi Yu Yue
Helen,

I agree with your reasoning on the vertical sidebar, and look forward  
to the designs for its next generation.

It has been very helpful to me to see UI design possibilities by  
observing Symphony, RedOffice, and others. Project cross-pollination  
of ideas is a good thing!

Ben

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 30, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Zhi Yu Yue <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Since Symphony is mentioned, and I'm personally very interested in  
> this topic, I'm willing to say something here. To me, horizontal UI  
> is not the only choice although MS does it. Let's step back to why  
> they design this UI -- the basic purpose to my understanding is to  
> expose more complex functionality/commands while the traditional  
> menu/toolbar does not have this capability. Ribbon did a good try  
> for us, but also showed some good reason that we do not follow it.  
> Ribbon's UI is a little too "noisy" for users; people are not used  
> to it because it is quite different from traditional; apparently  
> take too much working space; and also does not take the side space  
> efficiently given the context of wider screen; ...
>
> Formatting is what users care most about in editor; that's why we  
> have the property sidebar designed to simplify formatting work.  
> Currently we are working on a "new" sidebar mechanism to make it  
> easier to manage all the docking dialogs. I would be more than happy  
> to share the idea here; en, we will try to publish some draft design  
> early next week. Hope we can help on this discussion.
>
> Best Regards,
> Helen Yue
> _________________________________________________________
> Yue Zhi Yu  |  Manager of User Experience & Applications, Lotus  
> Symphony |  [hidden email]
>
>
>
> From:        Frank Loehmann <[hidden email]>
> To:        [hidden email]
> Date:        07/30/2009 05:59 PM
> Subject:        Re: [ux-user interface] Prototype
> Sent by:        [hidden email]
>
>
>
> Hi Johannes,
>
> Thank you for aggregating the things posted on this list within the  
> last
> weeks. It is a good way for me to show more presence on this list  
> again
> after prototyping phase has ended last week. The people on the
> prototyping team were all very busy during that time to make best  
> use to
> of the given resources for prototyping. Now it is time to step back  
> and
> take a deep breath as Andreas said before we start testing and  
> refining UIs.
>
> Please always think about that the prototype is a mid fidelity one and
> that groups, functions and their representation are subject to change.
> Furthermore we are working on a new UI for the entire OOo, so it is  
> not
> just Impress we have to think about. We choose Impress for testing
> because most people know it and it is way smaller than Writer.
>
> Johannes Eva wrote:
> > Hello everybody,
> >
> > I have been busy in the last weeks, and today I read all the 120
> > messages on the list, tested the last prototype 0.14, etc.
> >
> > First of all I'm really, really, really impressed with the  
> prototype,
> > and the speed with which it was implemented, its level of  
> interaction,
> > and the great job done by the prototyping team.
> >
> > Nevertheless, I have to admit that I'm a little bit bitter about one
> > thing: no prototype of vertical UI was implemented.
> When we started prototyping, we though about what should be the first
> design to be implemented. We choose the 'Scrolling Toolbars' because  
> it
> was very hard to test this with paper or static prototypes in Impress.
> Furthermore it had potential and was kind of different than other  
> common
> solutions using tabs.
> >
> > If I would have the impression of being the only fool here around to
> > be convinced about the advantages of a vertical UI for OOo, I would
> > NOT write this mail. After all, my opinion is only one opinion.
> We (the prototyping team) also had discussion were the main UI element
> should be placed and if we should keep the classical main menu system.
> We wanted to minimize clutter with the new UI, so it was no option to
> place elements all around the slide. We decided to centralized the  
> UI on
> top and put only the view things into the status bar. On top because  
> it
> is more natural to search for elements there than on the side or  
> bottom.
>
> Furthermore Lotus Symphony could be used to compare a kind of vertical
> UI with the horizontal ones used in our prototypes. This was the  
> reason
> why we focused on a horizontal UI on top.
> >
> > But look, only in the messages from the past 10 days:
> [...]
>
> Thanks for citing all the sources on a vertical UI. See below for my
> comments.
> >
> > ***
> >
> > Here I would like to post some more arguments for a vertical UI.
> > A little bit adapted from here:
> > http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Proposal_by_Johannes_Eva
> >
> > Q. Why design a vertical UI in times where the market leader has a
> > successful horizontal UI? Don't you think that the guys at Microsoft
> > had good reasons for it?
> >
> > A. Remember than at the time Microsoft was designing Office 2007,  
> back
> > in 2003 – 2004, the 16:10 and 16:9 screen ratio was NO standard. T
> he
> > 16:10 ratio was not even a strong tendency, and nobody was thinking
> > that 16:9 would ever be adopted on fixed computer monitors.
> Yes, that was also my assumption when we started to think about the  
> new
> UI back in 2008, but Microsoft did a lot of vertical UI prototypes!
> Tests just showed them that they were not as well excepted as UI on  
> top
> of the application. The users are used to find the controls above the
> application.
>
> Furthermore you have to think about that real estate on the side is  
> also
> limited to 600, 768, 800 or 1024 pixel in heights. Especially the new
> 16:9 monitors using the HD TV resolution provide less space that 4:3  
> and
> 16:10 ones in heights. This is not much to get all the functionality  
> in
> place you need for OOo so you have to do scrolling on the side to
> increase the space you need for you UI. Also a vertical  UI does not
> work well in all applications. More visible columns in Calc are more
> important than more rows.
> >
> > One more reason: at the time Office 2007 was developed, something  
> else
> > that would have taken space on the sides of the screen was going on:
> > the Windows Vista Sidebar. Having the Windows Sidebar was already
> > limiting horizontal space, so that it was clear that the Office 2007
> > UI could not be vertical.
> >
> > More, maybe Microsoft was already imagining that it would be  
> possible
> > to use the vertical space for displaying... advertising! And that  
> may
> > have been one good reason for making the UI horizontal: leaving a  
> lot
> > of space for vertical advertising.
> Hmmh. What I have heard about adds from Andreas Bartel was that people
> do not recognize those adds :-) Maybe this is why some (bad) web page
> occupy the complete screen for adds when hovering above them, i.e. to
> scroll down the web page.
> >
> > ***
> >
> > Don't blame me for screens getting wider, personally I don't like  
> it!
> > But these are facts, we can't ignore them. By the time Renaissance
> > will be implemented, 16:9 will be more probably a standard, maybe we
> > will have some 16:10 screens. And 4:3 monitors will probably be hard
> > to find.
> >
> > ***
> Personally I use a 24" running 1980*1200 (16:10) pixel here @ work  
> and I
> own the same model at home. When I think about having a 30" model or
> larger in the future, the controls on the side would be far away  
> from my
> content I am working on. In a horizontal UI you could easily center  
> the
> UI controls for that reason.
>
> The other extreme are small devices where both types of UIs have their
> problems. We have to think about a cool way to minimize the main UI
> control on those devices to optimize the UI for those devices.
> >
> > To conclude, I REALLY wonder why these opinions (see up there) and
> > logical arguments are not being seriously considered.
> > Sorry for the rant!
> Thanks for bringing this up again!
>
> Our monthly project update will take place today. I will blog about it
> tomorrow. The presentation will available by then.
> >
> > All the best,
> > Johannes
>
> Best regards,
>
> Frank
>
> --
> Sun Microsystems GmbH                Frank Loehmann
> Nagelsweg 55                         User Experience StarOffice
> 20097 Hamburg                        Phone: (+49 40)23646 882
> Germany                              Fax:   (+49 40)23646 550
> http://www.sun.de                    mailto:[hidden email]
>
> OpenOffice.org User Experience Team
> http://ux.openoffice.org
>
> Sitz der Gesellschaft:
> Sun Microsystems GmbH,Sonnenallee 1, D-85551 Kirchheim-Heimstetten
> Amtsgericht Muenchen: HRB 161028
> Geschaeftsfuehrer: Thomas Schröder, Wolfgang Engels, Wolf Frenkel
> Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Martin Haering
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
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Re: Prototype

Johannes Eva
In reply to this post by Frank Loehmann
Hi Frank,

and thank you very much for your detailed answer!
Here are some more arguments.


> just Impress we have to think about. We choose Impress for testing
> because most people know it and it is way smaller than Writer.
Choosing impress had indeed positive aspects, but also its drawbacks.
Some drawbacks would be:
- The vast majority of people will use Writer, only a fraction of them
Calc or Impress.
- The most used paper orientation in Writer is "portrait", thus working
mainly on designing a UI with "landscape" pages, as in Impress, is
biasing the result, for the majority of users using Writer.
- Impress makes more use of vertical elements (sidebars/panes) by
default than Writer, which is used more. Again designing mostly on
Impress induces a bias that will affect negatively the majority of users
which use mostly Writer, and mostly in "portrait" mode.

To conclude this paragraph: I thought it would be important to take as a
base for the UI design the most used part of OOo: Writer.
Even if working with Impress has some important points, too - are these
overwhelming?

By the way, maybe the design team had the same thought when they
designed Office 2007, because they made their UI drafts with Writer, and
also Calc. It's worth thinking about.


> We wanted to minimize clutter with the new UI, so it was no option to
> place elements all around the slide. We decided to centralized the UI on
> top and put only the view things into the status bar.
Well, I'm not sure if clutter can be reduced most effectively by not
putting things on the side! I think this prototype:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/a/aa/Prototype2.jpg
is quite cluttered, because everything is on the top.

And it seems to ignore two things:
1. What with the rulers? I'm a strong advocate of hiding them by default
[1], but they have to be considered anyway!

2. People are speaking a lot about Tabbed Documents in OOo. I'm really
indifferent to it, but shouldn't it be considered in the design phase,
in case of a future implementation?

→ Could you take a minute to imagine the design of "Prototype2.jpg" (I
know, it's only a draft, etc.) with a horizontal ruler and a horizontal
tab selector added?


That's for the clutter on the top. To be honest, we have to add a
horizontal scroll bar on the bottom - in Writer it's even always there,
see issue 42100:
http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=42100

I have made a fast mockup, and wow, it's a HUGE block up there!
And it leaves barely space for working on the most important, actually,
the document!
http://www.johannes-eva.net/images/2009%2002%20-%20OOo%20GUI%20design%20proposal%20renaissance/Prototype2%20with%20Rulers%20and%20Tab%20selector.jpg

With the same height of screen, I would tend (being partial ;-) that
this kind of UI organisation would be more usable:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/2/24/Martinu_-_General_Mockup_10_-_Writer_in_1366x768_-_With_Styles%2C_ruler_button%2C_zoom.png

(To be fair, I should have added tab selector & rulers, too. Sorry.)



> On top because it
> is more natural to search for elements there than on the side or bottom.
I don't know if there are real studies about this.
I think that on the fine motor skills point of view, it is easier for
people to move the mouse precisely on the sides that up and down.

It is nothing new that people will memorize more easily things if they
are related to geographic positions on the screen.
For example, Zoom options in the bottom right corner.
Start menu in Windows bottom left, close window top right.

Well, why ignore this, and throw the whole UI on the top (except the
view line at the bottom, good)? Many lines on the top are more difficult
to "understand", take a look at the "Prototype2 with Rulers and Tab
selector.jpg" mockup I've made up there, it's crazy!

In the same direction, we had this:
http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/ms_word_2008_on_a


>>
>> A. Remember than at the time Microsoft was designing Office 2007, back
>> in 2003 – 2004, the 16:10 and 16:9 screen ratio was NO standard. The
>> 16:10 ratio was not even a strong tendency, and nobody was thinking
>> that 16:9 would ever be adopted on fixed computer monitors.
> Yes, that was also my assumption when we started to think about the new
> UI back in 2008, but Microsoft did a lot of vertical UI prototypes!
> Tests just showed them that they were not as well excepted as UI on top
> of the application. The users are used to find the controls above the
> application.
Exactly, the vertical prototypes were not good - but it was on 4:3
monitors in 2003/04, and with some thoughts about Vista sidebar and
maybe ads. With these conditions, the vertical prototypes were not as well.

 > The users are used to find the controls above the
 > application.
Except in sidebars of Firefox, IE, Opera, sidebars in Outlook &
Thunderbirds, iTunes, and a LOT of other software. I don't know of any
reliable, publicly available user study that shows that users are not
able to find controls on the sides.

To cite Jaron: « I don't think you give the user's enough credit.  A
sidebar can be just as intuitive as a "toolbar" and I have a feeling
that most user's would catch on quickly. »

I approve Jaron totally, despite spending A LOT of time with computer
newbies.



> Furthermore you have to think about that real estate on the side is also
> limited to 600, 768, 800 or 1024 pixel in heights. Especially the new
> 16:9 monitors using the HD TV resolution provide less space that 4:3 and
> 16:10 ones in heights. This is not much to get all the functionality in
> place you need for OOo so you have to do scrolling on the side to
> increase the space you need for you UI. Also a vertical  UI does not
> work well in all applications. More visible columns in Calc are more
> important than more rows.
The thing with Calc needing columns is really true. But 16:9 is *really*
wide, and would have space for both many columns and the UI.
It's writer, but look how wide!
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/2/24/Martinu_-_General_Mockup_10_-_Writer_in_1366x768_-_With_Styles%2C_ruler_button%2C_zoom.png

To go back to Office 2007, the UI studies of Excel were in 1280x1024,
and at this resolution, I agree, it is a problem having not enough
columns if the UI is vertical.
If you take the equivalent nowadays, 1920x1080, this "problem" of not
having enough columns really is not anymore a problem.


I don't think that 768 pixels in height would not be enough for
displaying the whole UI - without even scrolling.
How would we know without giving it a _serious_ try?
Indeed there is a lot of space, see the same mockup as an example.


> Personally I use a 24" running 1980*1200 (16:10) pixel here @ work and I
> own the same model at home. When I think about having a 30" model or
> larger in the future, the controls on the side would be far away from my
> content I am working on. In a horizontal UI you could easily center the
> UI controls for that reason.
In 2560 x 1600, almost everything is far... I couldn't really imagine
that size, so I tried it in "virtual resolution", here it is!
http://www.johannes-eva.net/images/2009%2002%20-%20OOo%20GUI%20design%20proposal%20renaissance/OOo%203.1%20Writer%20-%202560x1600.png
Note that even with 2 full pages at 125%, there is more space on the
sides than on top-and-bottom, which would still be an argument for a
vertical UI at this resolutions.

Now at this resolution, the open question is: will user still maximize
their windows?

Anyway, the resolution will probably soon be 2560 x 1440 instead of 2560
x 1600, thus reducing again the vertical space. An argument more for a
vertical UI.


***


How to conclude? That I'm not convinced by arguments like:
 > The users are used to find the controls above the application.
or :
 > On top because it is more natural to search for
 > elements there than on the side or bottom.

Having the UI elements on top has historic and material (4:3 screens)
justification. The name and idea of renaissance implies that it tries to
go over the historic reasons, and the material reasons of having 4:3
monitors do not exist anymore.

By the way, I find that keeping the menu bar with the "Prototype2.jpg"
UI does not reflect a "strong choice", neither a "renaissance". It
clutters the new UI, and certainly should be hidden by default.

And despite criticizing the prototypes for being horizontal, I really,
rally admire the job the prototyping team has done! And I'm sorry for
being so critic and partial!
Don't hesitate to criticize me harshly ;-)

Sincerely,
Johannes



[1] http://www.johannes-eva.net/index.php?page=ooo_hidden_ruler



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