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RE: [agile-usability] follow the leader

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  • 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.
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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.





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          • 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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?
                      > ----



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                    • 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 of 22 , Dec 16 3:36 AM
                                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 15 of 22 , Dec 16 7:13 AM
                                  > 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 16 of 22 , Dec 16 7:34 AM
                                    "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 17 of 22 , Dec 16 7:49 AM
                                      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.
                                      ----
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