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Re: Modal windows: branched from Test drive the next generation user interface for PCGen

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  • Kent P
    For a solid example of why existing use of modal dialogs is a dangerous play, check out one of the many places where the decision to go modal causes
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2007
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      For a solid example of why existing use of modal dialogs is a dangerous
      play, check out one of the many places where the decision to go modal causes
      inconvenience. In XP, view available wireless networks when there are more
      than half a dozen around. Since the window is modal, you are forced to
      scroll up and down rather than maximizing the window to show several more.
      Among others, Display Properties for selecting the desktop image, which
      forces you to scroll if you have more than a dozen or so choices.

      If you look around there are plenty of examples of popups that were designed
      as modal, then at the last minute, or later, the programmer added some
      informative text. Then they fail to check, or check but fail to notice, that
      the user can't see something because the window is modal and the text box
      wasn't defined as scrollable. The text is cut off, with no way to find out
      what is missing.

      On the user end, the only upside justification for Modal windows is
      aesthetics, which is always a personal choice anyway. On the downside, while
      it works, right now, for many things, it pre-supposes that no one will ever
      find a way to put more information in the window, or that they will never
      have any reason to look at more than a few choices at a time.

      People aren't going to stop using them for everything, but every instance
      represents something else that has to be carefully looked at whenever
      changes are made.

      Kent


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