avatar tianjara.net | blog icon Andrew Harvey's Blog

Entries tagged "usability".

A small observation regarding usability and Gnome 3
17th September 2011

I've been running Nautilus 3.0.2 for the last few weeks, I noticed the delete key didn't actually delete files so I've been painstakingly deleting files by right click then "Move to Trash" or "Delete" from the menu. I always thought this was a bug and it would get fixed soon, but after getting sick of this workaround I finally did a Google search and found that this is by design. Now you need to use Ctrl+Del to send to trash and Shift+Del to skip the trash.

I think this is a poor choice, my reasoning is because now you have to use modifier+Del for both send to trash and skip trash. It makes sense to have Del as safe delete (send to trash) and a modified+Del for hard delete (no trash) that is logical and it is easy to remember the difference between the two. But now in this new situation a large majority of users (me included) won't be able to remember which modifier does what. Is it Ctrl or Shift and will just pick one at random, giving you a 0.5 chance of doing the actual type of delete you wanted.

Also I don't see any reason to add more safety to the straight delete key, after all it only goes to the trash so you can recover it if you accidentally hit the key. If you want add a sound upon sending something to the trash as an audio cue.

The number one thing I learned in my Human Computer Interaction course at uni was get feedback from the users (this isn't just asking for feedback, but also observing how they use the software). This is my feedback as a user, and if Gnome developers want to improve usability then they should take in the feedback, i.e. read this.

Tags: computing, usability.
Compiz Scale Plugin: A Small Usability Thing
24th September 2009

A feature that I thought was very much lacking from the Compiz Fusion Scale plugin (as shown)...

[caption id="attachment_803" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Compiz Scale Plugin (1)"]Compiz Scale Plugin[/caption]

...was that I could not seem to close windows in this view. After some investigation you can. I had not noticed that the Scale Addons tool in Utility in CCSM (CompizConfig Settings Manager) is related to the Scale tool in Window Management. Now there under bindings in the Scale Addons tool is Close Window. It turns out I had two problems,

  1. I could not grab the mouse button like you can grab the keyboard combination when setting new bindings. As such I didn't know which was Button 1, 2, 3 and so on. Turns out Button 1 is the left mouse, button 2 is the scroll button, and button 3 is the right mouse. But another common model would be button 2 for right mouse and button 3 for middle. After all I could have just used some trial and error, but because of problem 2 I wasn't sure if it was the mouse bindings that were the problem or something else.
  2. Problem 2 was because I had "Key Bindings Toggle Scale Mode" in the Scale plugin turned off (i.e. when I initiated the window picker using Super+Tab I had to keep holding Super to key all the windows up and letting go of super would select the selected window.) As such when in my mind I thought that I wanted right click to close the window, I really needed to set the binding to Super+right click.
[1] http://www.flickr.com/photos/markuz/2923999796/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Tags: ubuntu, usability.

RSS Feed