Conventions for Drawers & Window Shades

9 Aug 2007 - 1:05pm
7 years ago
1 reply
424 reads
andrew_hinton a...
2007

We're looking at using some drawer and window-shade-like patterns for some
applications lately, and realizing that there are a lot of subtle
interaction choices that don't have obvious answers.

Are there any conventions that anyone's aware of? We've tried looking for
them -- but what we find is that this sort of device is used in many
places for so many different things that its behavior/logic is hard to
nail down. Even in some of Apple's applications, this seems to be one of
the less standardized elements.

1. Are there any examples of how this sort of thing works *very well*?

2. Are there conventions in the wild that I'm not realizing exist?

3. In particular, if you're using a drawer or window shade that has a form
in it where you're setting preferences or changing information that will
affect the base view (or page or whatever), do you use "Cancel / Apply"
buttons, or do you just apply the changes immediately in real time or when
the user closes the drawer/shade, without the "cancel / apply" step?

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

"Bill DeRouchey" <bill.derouchey at gmail.com>
Sent by: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
08/09/2007 01:04 PM

To
"visual hokie" <visualhokie at gmail.com>
cc
IxDA-DC at yahoogroups.com, heather.crombie at corp.aol.com, Maxim Leyzerovich
<ml at duqe.com>, ixd-discussion Mailinglist <discuss at ixdg.org>,
austin.govella at gmail.com
Subject
Re: [IxDA Discuss] ixDA get together at Adaptive Path UX Week (and DC
local chapter)

On 8/9/07, visual hokie <visualhokie at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have been to Kelly's Irish Times near there. It is a dark, dank,
> Irish bar. They have Guiness on tap. What more do you need?

Not much! Maybe chips and darts.

I like this idea.
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Comments

9 Aug 2007 - 3:06pm
cfmdesigns
2004

>From: andrew_hinton at vanguard.com
>
>3. In particular, if you're using a drawer or window shade that has a form
>in it where you're setting preferences or changing information that will
>affect the base view (or page or whatever), do you use "Cancel / Apply"
>buttons, or do you just apply the changes immediately in real time or when
>the user closes the drawer/shade, without the "cancel / apply" step?

I think there's a mental separation between a Prefs dialog where "things are set when you click OK and the dialog goes away" and a Prefs object where you slide it closed, where the object is still mentally present (at least until the next task starts); it is hidden, not "gone".

At the root of this is the old design bugaboo that we don't apply Preferences until the user exits the dialog, which is largely rooted in how the app is programmed and lack of systemic undo and the like. For some preference changes, that may be valid, but for 95% of them? Pfft! They could be changed as soon as the user makes the setting if we wanted to.

So for something like this, you can probably avoid the cancel/apply step by just applying as the user changes settings. If you want the extra level of confirmation, have the word "SAVED" appear to the right of the control after changing the setting, fading after a couple seconds. Then when the user slides the object closed, no Apply is needed, no info is lost, and the user has confirmation that such won't be issues.

-- Jim Drew
Seattle, WA

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