Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

RE: [agile-usability] follow the leader

Expand Messages
  • Damhuis Anton
    Hi I just tried this *bug*, and had no problem editing the text with the and features, you described as a bug. I am using Excel version 9
    Message 1 of 22 , Nov 3, 2005
      Hi

      I just tried this *bug*, and had no problem editing the text with the <left> and <ctlr><left> features, you described as a bug.
      I am using Excel version 9 SP3, so is it not maybe a setting somewhere in Excel?

      Regards
      Anton


      -----Original Message-----
      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Phlip
      Sent: 04 November 2005 01:07
      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [agile-usability] follow the leader
      ....
      When I type a mistake, I may catch it several words later. The most
      efficient way to move the text caret back to the mistake is either
      <Left> or <Ctrl+Left>. It's not <Backspace>, because I'm proficient.
      I'm smart enough not to need to type all that text again just to edit
      a mistake.

      Confidentiality Warning
      =======================

      The contents of this e-mail and any accompanying documentation
      are confidential and any use thereof, in what ever form, by anyone
      other than the addressee is strictly prohibited.
    • Desilets, Alain
      so its less usable for you, are you implying its less useful for everyone? I personally find it quite useful I can enter text and arrow to the place I want to
      Message 2 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
        Message
        so its less usable for you, are you implying its less useful for everyone?  I personally find it quite useful I can enter text and arrow to the place I want to enter text next.  Which for me is the most common case...the times where I need to correct the text are much less frequent.  Then I usually just go to the edit box at the top and use the left arrow, cntrl arrow navigation system for text, but for cells, the arrow navigation to move around seems more natural to me.
        So, while your flaming Microsoft, do you know that they didn't study this and found which was more usable?
         
        Regards, 
         
        -- Alain:
        I agree. I too rarely write long text inside of cells, but I very often need to write a series of numbers or short strings in adjacent cells. And <Left> and <Right> is the most natural way for me to do this.
         
        I suspect this is a typical "no free lunch" situation. I bet when someone presses <Left> in excel, the same person will somethimes expect it to move to the previous character in the current cell, and sometimes they willl expect it to move to the previous cell. Moreover, I am willing to bet that the only thing that distinguishes these two situations is the intent buried inside the user's mind. In other words, there is nothing at all in the current system state or the history of recent actions by the user, that would allow the system to figure out what the user means.
         
        So you have to choose one or the other. MS decided to go for <Left> = previous cell, and that turns out to be the right choice for me. I don't know about the majority of people, but as Keith points out, it COULD be that MS did some usability studies and found that this was the most common .
        ----
      • Desilets, Alain
        The CUA permits you to feel like your editing functions are a part of your hands, not a part of the current application, or its specific mode. This permits you
        Message 3 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
          The CUA permits you to feel like your editing functions are a part of
          your hands, not a part of the current application, or its specific mode.
          This permits you to safely learn advanced edits (such as
          <Ctrl+Left>) in one application and safely port your learning to
          another.

          -- Alain:
          Standards and rules are made to be broken. Again, I don't know whether
          or not MS did usability testing on this, but it certainly seem to be the
          most usable thing for me, irrespectively of the fact that it is
          non-standard behaviour.

          Surely you are not saying that knowlege encoded in generic UI standards
          should take precedence over application specific knowledge that was
          acuiqired through usability testing for that specific application!
          -----
        • Josh Seiden
          Press F2 for your free lunch! It moves the insertion point from the cell to the formula bar, and standard editing conventions will now apply. JS
          Message 4 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
            Press F2 for your free lunch!

            It moves the insertion point from the cell to the
            formula bar, and standard editing conventions will now
            apply.

            JS



            --- "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...>
            wrote:

            > I suspect this is a typical "no free lunch"
            > situation.
          • Ash Donaldson
            On 5/11/05 12:44 AM, Desilets, Alain ... Actually, standards aren¹t meant to be broken, or they very quickly become
            Message 5 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
              Re: [agile-usability] follow the leader On 5/11/05 12:44 AM, "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
              -- Alain:
              Standards and rules are made to be broken. Again, I don't know whether
              or not MS did usability testing on this, but it certainly seem to be the
              most usable thing for me, irrespectively of the fact that it is
              non-standard behaviour.

              Surely you are not saying that knowlege encoded in generic UI standards
              should take precedence over application specific knowledge that was
              acuiqired through usability testing for that specific application!
              -----

              Actually, standards aren’t meant to be broken, or they very quickly become non-standards.  It must be remembered that a standard is only as powerful as the percentage of the population that follows it.  Take for instance the ISO date format.  It’s the most logical (and therefore, apparently usable for new users) format, both for numeric ordering and consistency.  It’s of the form yyyy-mm-dd.  The majority of the world follows the reverse of this standard with dd-mm-yyyy, while the US somehow cam up with mm-dd-yyyy (?!?).  So how effective is the ISO standard?  It’s completely ineffective, even though it’s the most logical format, because the majority of the world does not follow it.

              Another point to consider is the type of usability testing involved.  As far as I’m aware, Microsoft caters for incomprehensibly large and diverse user populations, using different groups and factions to generate requirements and test functionality (in lab settings) and so tries to squeeze every possible feature in to account for every edge case.  The more popular functions, then, may go in the direction for any of the user populations identified.  Therefore, for a company that creates such highly generic software, standards (be they published or population stereotypes, as long as they carry a critical mass) should be sacrosanct and serve as the basis on which they could build more usable applications (because it’s more usable if it meets the user’s expectations i.e. Follows a standard convention that they are used to).

              Cheers,

              Ash Donaldson
              OZCHI 2005 Conference Chair
              chair@...

              OZCHI 2005
              Citizens Online: Considerations for today & the future
              www.ozchi.org


            • Desilets, Alain
              IMO that s not a free lunch at all because it requires me to switch between modes. Alain ... From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                IMO that's not a free lunch at all because it requires me to switch
                between modes.

                Alain

                -----Original Message-----
                From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Josh Seiden
                Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 9:22 AM
                To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [agile-usability] follow the leader


                Press F2 for your free lunch!

                It moves the insertion point from the cell to the
                formula bar, and standard editing conventions will now
                apply.

                JS



                --- "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...>
                wrote:

                > I suspect this is a typical "no free lunch"
                > situation.





                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • Phlip
                ... Just last night I wrote yyyy-Mmm-dd format on a check. It would have been nicer if I had followed that other standard, and wrote it in the date field
                Message 7 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                  Ash Donaldson wrote:

                  > Actually, standards aren't meant to be broken, or they very quickly become
                  > non-standards. It must be remembered that a standard is only as powerful as
                  > the percentage of the population that follows it. Take for instance the ISO
                  > date format. It's the most logical (and therefore, apparently usable for
                  > new users) format, both for numeric ordering and consistency. It's of the
                  > form yyyy-mm-dd. The majority of the world follows the reverse of this
                  > standard with dd-mm-yyyy, while the US somehow cam up with mm-dd-yyyy (?!?).
                  > So how effective is the ISO standard? It's completely ineffective, even
                  > though it's the most logical format, because the majority of the world does
                  > not follow it.

                  Just last night I wrote yyyy-Mmm-dd format on a check.

                  It would have been nicer if I had followed that other standard, and
                  wrote it in the date field instead of the amount field...

                  In the case of Excel, CUA already has the majority following. So
                  breaking the CUA, in one little mode, is very disruptive.

                  The topic I had hoped to raise is simple: If a market leader enforces
                  a bad usability decision, and the majority of the world follows it,
                  the market upstarts have the odious choice of either following the bad
                  lead, or breaking with tradition and risk looking bad.

                  How was this week's ZeekLand, everyone? ;-)

                  --
                  Phlip
                  http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
                • Josh Seiden
                  I do a talk called Violate Standards! in which I encourage designers to see these kind of de facto design standards as opportunities for innovation. The
                  Message 8 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                    I do a talk called "Violate Standards!" in which I
                    encourage designers to see these kind of de facto
                    "design standards" as opportunities for innovation.
                    The argument is this: where there is a standard answer
                    design answer, there is also likely an opportunity to
                    create a better solution.

                    The canonical example of this kind of critical
                    thinking is the error dialog. Designers should see
                    error dialogs--the standard way to present errors--as
                    an opportunity to design error-prevention systems into
                    the app, thus obviating the need for the standard
                    solution, and improving the user experience.

                    Of course, this works only as a thinking exercise, not
                    as a fundamental design strategy.

                    If anyone is interested in the slides, let me know.

                    JS
                    --- Phlip <phlip2005@...> wrote:


                    > The topic I had hoped to raise is simple: If a
                    > market leader enforces
                    > a bad usability decision, and the majority of the
                    > world follows it,
                    > the market upstarts have the odious choice of either
                    > following the bad
                    > lead, or breaking with tradition and risk looking
                    > bad.
                  • Phlip
                    ... The best editor I ever used was non-CUA. Rick Stiles s UEdit, for AmigaDOS, had a usability envelop architected from scratch, with no underlying GUI to
                    Message 9 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                      Josh Seiden wrote:

                      > Of course, this works only as a thinking exercise, not
                      > as a fundamental design strategy.

                      The best editor I ever used was non-CUA. Rick Stiles's UEdit, for
                      AmigaDOS, had a usability envelop architected from scratch, with no
                      underlying GUI to introduce any systems. Rick simply took over an
                      Amiga screen and blitted text all over it.

                      The usability achieved the minimum keystrokes between any two points I
                      have ever seen. For example, UEdit's scripting language defined
                      BeginningOfWord as before the first character, and EndOfWord as after
                      the last. So the <Left> arrow mapped trivially onto BeginningOfWord,
                      and <Right> onto EndOfWord.

                      Yes, that's right. <Left> did not move the caret left over one
                      character. It would jump a whole word, and put the character right at
                      its beginning. Right would jump to the end of a word, and put the
                      character between it and any punctuation.

                      When you edit, this is where you most likely want to go. If you then
                      fine-tune your position, you use <Shift+Left> to move over one
                      character.

                      Incidentally, UEdit's scripting language built jargon like
                      "<Shift+Left>" directly into its keywords.

                      So on CUA, I would <Ctrl+Left> more often than <Left> even if I
                      weren't a sloppy typist. The wrong action is the default, and the
                      barrier to fixing this is much higher _because_ CUA is a "standard".

                      There are easier places to start. For example, on any CUA editor if
                      you type off the end of a window, the editor will scroll up one line,
                      and leave your caret scrambling against the bottom edge of the window.
                      You must scroll to put the caret at eye level, and to see any text
                      below the caret.

                      On UEdit, when you type off the end of a window, the caret would
                      scroll to the center of the window. This is the correct behavior, and
                      I never saw any editor since use it.

                      It should be really easy to add.

                      --
                      Phlip
                      http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
                    • Desilets, Alain
                      -- Phlip wrote: The best editor I ever used was non-CUA. Rick Stiles s UEdit, for AmigaDOS, had a usability envelop architected from scratch, with no
                      Message 10 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                        -- Phlip wrote:
                        The best editor I ever used was non-CUA. Rick Stiles's UEdit, for
                        AmigaDOS, had a usability envelop architected from scratch, with no
                        underlying GUI to introduce any systems. Rick simply took over an Amiga
                        screen and blitted text all over it.

                        <SNIP>

                        The usability achieved the minimum keystrokes between any two points I
                        have ever seen. For example, UEdit's scripting language defined
                        BeginningOfWord as before the first character, and EndOfWord as after
                        the last. So the <Left> arrow mapped trivially onto BeginningOfWord, and
                        <Right> onto EndOfWord.

                        Yes, that's right. <Left> did not move the caret left over one
                        character. It would jump a whole word, and put the character right at
                        its beginning. Right would jump to the end of a word, and put the
                        character between it and any punctuation.

                        When you edit, this is where you most likely want to go. If you then
                        fine-tune your position, you use <Shift+Left> to move over one
                        character.

                        <SNIP>

                        So on CUA, I would <Ctrl+Left> more often than <Left> even if I weren't
                        a sloppy typist. The wrong action is the default, and the barrier to
                        fixing this is much higher _because_ CUA is a "standard".
                        ----

                        -- Alain:
                        It's interesting that you would write this. What you are describing
                        above is in all respects equivalent to MS Excel defining <Left> as
                        meaning "move to the previous cell". In a spreadsheet context, moving
                        from one cell to an adjacent cell is more frequent than moving from one
                        character to an adjacent one. Yet, while you loved the fact that Uedit
                        assigned word navigation to the <Left> key, you hate the fact that Excel
                        assigns cell navigation to the <Left> key. OK, Excel does not even have
                        a separate key sequences (ex: <Ctr>+<Left>) for moving to the previous
                        character, but I gather that your annoyance was caused by the fact that
                        Excel overrode the standard meaning of <Left>.

                        So there must be something else that bothers you about the way MS Excel
                        supports cell vs character navigation with arrow keys. What is it?
                        ----
                      • Ignacio Facello
                        I haven t used Excel much, but I remember having the opposite problem -- I am editing a cell, and left-right moves the caret in the text. How do I go to the
                        Message 11 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                          I haven't used Excel much, but I remember having the opposite problem -- I am
                          editing a cell, and left-right moves the caret in the text. How do I go to the
                          previous cell?
                          And also, I had the problem the OP described. It all depended on what I was
                          doing, which was frustrating. I think Excel should behave the same no matter
                          what you were doing -- whether left moves the caret or changes cell, I wouldn't
                          care, I would get used to it. What bothers me is the different behaviour with no
                          significant visual cue that you are in a different mode.

                          Quoting "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...>:

                          > -- Alain:
                          > It's interesting that you would write this. What you are describing
                          > above is in all respects equivalent to MS Excel defining <Left> as
                          > meaning "move to the previous cell". In a spreadsheet context, moving
                          > from one cell to an adjacent cell is more frequent than moving from one
                          > character to an adjacent one. Yet, while you loved the fact that Uedit
                          > assigned word navigation to the <Left> key, you hate the fact that Excel
                          > assigns cell navigation to the <Left> key. OK, Excel does not even have
                          > a separate key sequences (ex: <Ctr>+<Left>) for moving to the previous
                          > character, but I gather that your annoyance was caused by the fact that
                          > Excel overrode the standard meaning of <Left>.
                          >
                          > So there must be something else that bothers you about the way MS Excel
                          > supports cell vs character navigation with arrow keys. What is it?
                          > ----



                          Internet Banda Ancha Todo el Dia desde $u 490 por mes!
                          ______________________________________________________
                          http://www.internet.com.uy - En Uruguay somos internet
                        • Jon Kern
                          an upstart *should* offer improvements... including in usability. however, one can also offer up the option: [ ] Behave like the Market leader QuattroPro was
                          Message 12 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                            an upstart *should* offer improvements... including in usability.

                            however, one can also offer up the option:
                                    [ ] "Behave like the Market leader"

                            QuattroPro was a wonderful departure from Lotus 1-2-3
                            Excel did a wonderful copy of QP (i think)

                            -- jon
                            
                            

                            Phlip said the following on 11/4/2005 11:26 AM:
                            Ash Donaldson wrote:

                            <cut>
                            The topic I had hoped to raise is simple: If a market leader enforces
                            a bad usability decision, and the majority of the world follows it,
                            the market upstarts have the odious choice of either following the bad
                            lead, or breaking with tradition and risk looking bad.

                            How was this week's ZeekLand, everyone? ;-)

                            --
                              Phlip
                              http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand  <-- NOT a blog!!
                          • Phlip
                            ... Now there s an example of slick usability that did everything _wrong_ by todays standards. Everyone nowadays does Object- Action. First you select the
                            Message 13 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                              Jon Kern wrote:

                              > Lotus 1-2-3

                              Now there's an example of slick usability that did everything _wrong_
                              by todays standards.

                              Everyone nowadays does Object->Action. First you select the object,
                              then you pick an action. Example: Select some cells, then Copy them.

                              In Lotus 1-2-3, you declare Copy, and get a Cell Selector Mode to pick
                              the cells to copy.

                              So the amazing thing was this got useful and intuitive, after you
                              start using it.

                              --
                              Phlip
                              http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
                            • Phlip
                              ... It s because Microsoft invented it! Snarl! Drool! Drool! (Uh, the principle of least surprise might also apply...) -- Phlip
                              Message 14 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                                Desilets, Alain wrote:

                                > So there must be something else that bothers you about the way MS Excel
                                > supports cell vs character navigation with arrow keys. What is it?

                                It's because Microsoft invented it! Snarl! Drool! Drool!

                                (Uh, the principle of least surprise might also apply...)

                                --
                                Phlip
                                http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
                              • Phlip
                                ... The CUA sez it should be . ... Arrow to a cell and start typing alpha without . You are still in arrow among cells mode , not text edit
                                Message 15 of 22 , Nov 4, 2005
                                  Ignacio Facello wrote:


                                  > I haven't used Excel much, but I remember having the opposite problem
                                  > -- I am
                                  > editing a cell, and left-right moves the caret in the text. How do I go to the
                                  > previous cell?

                                  The CUA sez it should be <Shift+Tab>.

                                  > And also, I had the problem the OP described. It all depended on what I was
                                  > doing, which was frustrating.

                                  Arrow to a cell and start typing alpha without <F2>. You are still in
                                  "arrow among cells mode", not "text edit mode", and the system allows
                                  you to enter text essentially as a "convenience".

                                  > What bothers me is the different behaviour with no
                                  > significant visual cue that you are in a different mode.

                                  Not at all. The frame around the cell goes from a focus-style to an
                                  edit field frame style.

                                  Can't you tell? ;-)

                                  --
                                  Phlip
                                  http://www.greencheese.org/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!
                                • Anthony Williams
                                  ... XEmacs does this, and I presume emacs does too. Anthony -- Anthony Williams Software Developer Just Software Solutions Ltd
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Dec 16, 2005
                                    Phlip <phlip2005@...> writes:

                                    > On UEdit, when you type off the end of a window, the caret would
                                    > scroll to the center of the window. This is the correct behavior, and
                                    > I never saw any editor since use it.

                                    XEmacs does this, and I presume emacs does too.

                                    Anthony
                                    --
                                    Anthony Williams
                                    Software Developer
                                    Just Software Solutions Ltd
                                    http://www.justsoftwaresolutions.co.uk
                                  • Desilets, Alain
                                    ... XEmacs does this, and I presume emacs does too. -- Alain: Yes it does, and I HATE it (eventhough I have been using Emacs for 12 years). Whenever the screen
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Dec 16, 2005
                                      > On UEdit, when you type off the end of a window, the caret would
                                      > scroll to the center of the window. This is the correct behavior, and
                                      > I never saw any editor since use it.

                                      XEmacs does this, and I presume emacs does too.

                                      -- Alain:
                                      Yes it does, and I HATE it (eventhough I have been using Emacs for 12
                                      years). Whenever the screen jumps like that, I completely loose my sense
                                      of where I am within the buffer.
                                      ----
                                    • Anthony Williams
                                      ... Interesting. I never really noticed until I read Phlip s message, despite the fact that I use XEmacs all the time (including writing this email). But then,
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Dec 16, 2005
                                        "Desilets, Alain" <alain.desilets@...> writes:

                                        >> On UEdit, when you type off the end of a window, the caret would
                                        >> scroll to the center of the window. This is the correct behavior, and
                                        >> I never saw any editor since use it.
                                        >
                                        > XEmacs does this, and I presume emacs does too.
                                        >
                                        > -- Alain:
                                        > Yes it does, and I HATE it (eventhough I have been using Emacs for 12
                                        > years). Whenever the screen jumps like that, I completely loose my sense
                                        > of where I am within the buffer.
                                        > ----

                                        Interesting. I never really noticed until I read Phlip's message, despite the
                                        fact that I use XEmacs all the time (including writing this email). But then,
                                        I'm particularly good at keeping my place when the text moves --- I can read
                                        whilst scrolling the buffer at a reasonable pace (e.g. when hunting through
                                        a long list of search results for something relevant).

                                        I can see the benefit of not having the text jump around whilst you're
                                        working, but if it doesn't, then the cursor is almost always at the bottom of
                                        the window, which strikes me as less than ideal.

                                        Anthony
                                        --
                                        Anthony Williams
                                        Software Developer
                                        Just Software Solutions Ltd
                                        http://www.justsoftwaresolutions.co.uk
                                      • Desilets, Alain
                                        Interesting. I never really noticed until I read Phlip s message, despite the fact that I use XEmacs all the time (including writing this email). But then, I m
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Dec 16, 2005
                                          Interesting. I never really noticed until I read Phlip's message,
                                          despite the fact that I use XEmacs all the time (including writing this
                                          email). But then, I'm particularly good at keeping my place when the
                                          text moves --- I can read whilst scrolling the buffer at a reasonable
                                          pace (e.g. when hunting through a long list of search results for
                                          something relevant).

                                          -- Alain:
                                          I'm a very spatially challenged person. I get lost rapidly when my
                                          environment keeps changing dynamically.
                                          ----
                                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.