Out of curiosity - is there a convention for what to display as the default
item in a drop-down? For example, should it be some instructional text such
as, "Select from the following..." (however, in HTML I think this would need
to be added as an item in the drop-down list, although it wouldn't has any
associated navigation functionality). Alternatively, should it display the
most recently selected option? Does it implementation depend more on it's
purpose (i.e. navigation tool, selection mechanism, others)?
If I understand what you're getting at correctly then the problem is
that it's unclear whether the button shows what the state is now, or
what the state will be after it's clicked. That makes it ambiguous. I
suspect that's what's bugging you - it's a nasty ambiguity to have in
an interface. Eric is absolutely correct to say that is a button is
non-standard solution to this problem, and that's a major contributing
factor since buttons generally do what is shown on the button - not the
opposite (which it would if it were to show it's current state since
then clicking it would cause it to leave that state).
A drop down solves this since their behaviour is consistently
understood - they do show the current state. Other solutions would
require that you can see all the options at once, and have a way of
highlighting the one that's selected - say like the mutually exclusive
button groups that MacOS now uses in the finder to select between
icons, list and column modes. That might be a better solution that more
space consuming radio buttons and labels, and more direct than a drop
down (you get to see all the options without having to click), while
still avoiding the conflict you get with buttons.
Hope that helps.
On 9 Aug 2004, at 20:22, Svoboda, Eric wrote:
> I have to agree with Jim that a pull-down (or similar element) would be > standard here. Of course, if you have just 3-4 selections, a radio > button group would be nice. > > I think you feel uneasy because your current design in non-standard. > Buttons generally don't show status just as status displays generally > aren't controls. Elements like the pull-down and radio button group > offer both status display and control. > > Could you maybe share a screen shot with us? > > -----Original Message----- > From: >discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com > [mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com- >bounces at lists.interactiondesign > ers.com] On Behalf Of Jim McCusker > Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 1:58 PM > Cc: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com > Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Displaying Status on a Button > > Jon-Eric Steinbomer wrote: > >> The reasoning behind showing the distribution on the button is that >> the user can open the properties dialogue and see at a glance the type > >> of distribution the numerical value is being drawn from without >> needing to click on the button and see the distribution settings. I >> have problems with displaying the current status of the value on the >> actual button that is used to change the status but I can't really put > >> my finger on why. Any thoughts? > > You can probably use a pull-down button (like MS Office uses for text > color, etc) to select from a list, if it's a simple choice list. If > there's additional info needed, maybe the choice would bring up the > dialog? Something like: > > [_/\_] (press button)-> [_-_] (selection)-> options > dialog > ------------------- > |_-_ Gaussian... | > |/\ Triangular...| > ------------------- > > Jim > _______________________________________________ > Interaction Design Discussion List >discuss at ixdg.org > -- > to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): >http://discuss.ixdg.org/ > -- > Questions: lists at ixdg.org > -- > Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements > already) http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/ > -- >http://ixdg.org/ > > > Confidentiality Warning: This e-mail contains information intended > only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the > reader of this e-mail is not the intended recipient or the employee or > agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, any > dissemination, publication or copying of this e-mail is strictly > prohibited. The sender does not accept any responsibility for any > loss, disruption or damage to your data or computer system that may > occur while using data contained in, or transmitted with, this e-mail. > If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify > us by return e-mail. Thank you. > > _______________________________________________ > Interaction Design Discussion List >discuss at ixdg.org > -- > to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): >http://discuss.ixdg.org/ > -- > Questions: lists at ixdg.org > -- > Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements > already) >http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/ > -- >http://ixdg.org/ > > ----------------------------------------------------------
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