Pie Menu Spotted on the Web

25 Jun 2008 - 4:19am
6 years ago
20 replies
1474 reads
John Gibbard
2008

I've been trying to shoe-horn a pie/radial menu into just about every
experiential site I've worked on this year so it's nice to see someone
actually get one out [1]. However, this Converse example isn't the greatest
execution (I'm not keen on the dynamic element of the menu) and the context
of the slightly bewildering shopping/filter elements detracts from the
overall experience. How do the IxDA community feel about this site (ignoring
the nauseating soundtrack)?

John.

[1] http://www.converse.com/connectivity/

Comments

25 Jun 2008 - 4:38am
AJ Kock
2007

So here I was still playing with it on the right hand side, when it
jumped to the left hand side. :( What happened to consistency? The
site looks like fun to play with, but when the fun wears off, will it
be functional to shop on? There are so many options, you have to click
too much to see something. It is standing in the way of getting to a
product. I personally would have prefered to get to a product quickly
and then get options on it. But you asked about the menu... In theory
I don't see a problem if you provide a menu in a block, circle or
triangle. It is what follows that will be challenging.

If you are looking for another example of a "pie menu", check out
www.gobanking.co.za/

25 Jun 2008 - 7:01am
Adam Connor
2007

The jump to the left got me too. Even though I read AJKocks response
prior to viewing the site.

Also, the navigation itself seems a little mystery-meatish. I mean,
its not like there are a ton of options in that immediate menu to
explore, just the four, but I'm not sure anyone would get that an
asterisk=limited edition stuff.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30716

25 Jun 2008 - 7:16am
Brooke Baldwin
2008

Is it possible that our reactions are at least partially biased by our
ages? The site appears to be designed for a younger generation than (I'm
guessing!) we all are.

According to Susan Weinschenk (Chief Technical Officer of HFI) in some
research she's currently conducting, the majority of UX practitioners are
Gen-X'ers but the majority of folks using the Web are Gen-Y and Baby
Boomers. Their needs, tolerances, and preferences are pretty different
than ours.

At least this site is trying something different from the regular old top
or left-hand nav.

cheers
brooke

25 Jun 2008 - 7:59am
AJ Kock
2007

Busted! :)

I am also shock to learn that Gen-Y's are more tolerant than Gen-
Xers. :)
Kewlness, fashion and preferences come and go. Intuitive work-flow is
cross-Gen and forever (more than one generation).

I don't see Gen-Yers or any Gens for that matter will have a
preference for inconsistency if they want to complete a task. I have
no problem with different but intuitive navigation. I (my opinion)
don't think we were are critising the menu. We are questioning the IA
and task flow.

25 Jun 2008 - 8:46am
Adam Connor
2007

Hmm, I'm only 27, so in some definitions (Wikipedia puts the
threshold on Gen-y around 1980) I still qualify as Gen-Y.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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25 Jun 2008 - 9:51am
Bob Sampson
2008

Yeah, feels to me like the jump to the left was a bug in their Flash
that was left in.

I do see 4 items in the pie, but for me the one with the pen thing
doesn't do anything on click. Then clicking Limited I noticed the
Limited pie item did nothing. Just seems kind of "off" to me, like
the selected pie item should show in some way "We're already here,
and clicking me does nothing".

Maybe spinning the pie so the selected item points to the right,
maybe with a big triangle arror coming out of it or something.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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25 Jun 2008 - 11:03am
Jerome Ryckborst
2007

www.Chipotle.com had a pie menu for years, made of a circle of taco chips, but on their most recent site iteration the main nav menu's gone drop-down.

25 Jun 2008 - 10:51am
K. Michael Alexander
2008

I've always followed the mantra, Tell > Show. Always. The menu could
be that much more effective if they included the text along with the
icons.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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25 Jun 2008 - 12:16pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 10:51 AM, Michael Alexander <michael at picnik.com>
wrote:

> I've always followed the mantra, Tell > Show. Always. The menu could
> be that much more effective if they included the text along with the
> icons.

"Icons often violate visibility principle: their meaning is not visible" -
Jeff Raskin

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

25 Jun 2008 - 1:18pm
Laura Francis
2008

Oops! When I read the title of this post this is what came to mind...

http://www.simplesimonspies.co.uk/menu_pies.htm

Guess I got the wrong end of the stick!

Laura

PS - I wanted to link to this site, but cos its flash I couldnt link
you to the menu! http://www.pieminister.co.uk/ They are local heroes
round here :)

25 Jun 2008 - 12:37pm
jeff
2008

Am I missing something, or is this not really a pie menu? With a static
location (except for the absurd jump to the left) and items (except for the
size shift), this seems more like a regular menu that just happens to be
round. The real power of pie menus comes when they are implemented as pop
ups like on songza.com.

On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:19 AM, John Gibbard <john at smorgasbord-design.co.uk>
wrote:

> I've been trying to shoe-horn a pie/radial menu into just about every
> experiential site I've worked on this year so it's nice to see someone
> actually get one out [1].

25 Jun 2008 - 2:10pm
Vijay Hanumolu
2008

Guess, the following may be little off topic. But thought I will bring
this up:

Is the advent of Pie menus a cause of increased use of circular
selection dials in our day-to-day electronics? Like iPods,
Cellphones, digital cameras, camcoders, etc.

Is this more trying to get along with the changing mental models of
our users?

I think if this was a 7-8 years ago this design may look like
violating user mental models. But now I dont think it violates any
mental models or design tangent, irrespective of the Gens.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30716

25 Jun 2008 - 11:07pm
John Chin
2008

When I saw "pie menu", I immediately thought of the pie menus designed at the University of Maryland
by Don Hopkins et. al.

https://drum.umd.edu/dspace/handle/1903/442

The website didn't seem to be the same kind of interaction that I had expected.
I guess there are different definitions of what a pie menu really is!

John

> -------Original Message-------
> From: Laura Francis <laura.k.francis at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Pie Menu Spotted on the Web
> Sent: Jun 25 '08 18:18
>
> Oops! When I read the title of this post this is what came to mind...
>
> http://www.simplesimonspies.co.uk/menu_pies.htm
>
> Guess I got the wrong end of the stick!
>
> Laura
>
> PS - I wanted to link to this site, but cos its flash I couldnt link
> you to the menu! http://www.pieminister.co.uk/ They are local heroes
> round here :)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

26 Jun 2008 - 6:42am
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Pie menus appeared on workstations sometime in the mid-1980s and there
was quite a bit of early interest in pie menus since they
theoretically reduce travel time to menu items. There is an earlier
paper that compared pie with linear menus from the U of Maryland:

Callahan, J., Hopkins, D., Weiser, M., and Shneiderman, B. 1988. An
empirical comparison of pie vs. linear menus. In Proceedings of the
SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Washington,
D.C., United States, May 15 - 19, 1988). J. J. O'Hare, Ed. CHI '88.
ACM, New York, NY, 95-100.

The abtract from the article states:

"Menus are largely formatted in a linear fashion listing items from
the top to bottom of the screen or window. Pull down menus are a
common example of this format. Bitmapped computer displays, however,
allow greater freedom in the placement, font, and general presentation
of menus. A pie menu is a format where the items are placed along the
circumference of a circle at equal radial distances from the center.
Pie menus gain over traditional linear menus by reducing target seek
time, lowering error rates by fixing the distance factor and
increasing the target size in Fitts's Law, minimizing the drift
distance after target selection, and are, in general, subjectively
equivalent to the linear style."

In the real-world, pie menus that had sub-menus and a large number of
items at each level (imagine the Word menus piled onto a
multiple-level pie menu) were cumbersome. Pie menus can be effective
for relatively small numbers of functions.

The concept of marking menus that follow a mouse pointer/cursor
(especially for tablet computers) has received a lot of research. If
you look in the ACM literature, there is a lot of use of pie menus in
a marking menu system. The prototyping system DENIM uses pie menus.
You can dig around and install a copy of DENIM and try them out in the
contect of a sketching/prototyping tool.

Chauncey

On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 12:07 AM, John Chin <jpchin at booksonfirst.com> wrote:
> When I saw "pie menu", I immediately thought of the pie menus designed at the University of Maryland
> by Don Hopkins et. al.
>
> https://drum.umd.edu/dspace/handle/1903/442
>
> The website didn't seem to be the same kind of interaction that I had expected.
> I guess there are different definitions of what a pie menu really is!
>
> John
>
>> -------Original Message-------
>> From: Laura Francis <laura.k.francis at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Pie Menu Spotted on the Web
>> Sent: Jun 25 '08 18:18
>>
>> Oops! When I read the title of this post this is what came to mind...
>>
>> http://www.simplesimonspies.co.uk/menu_pies.htm
>>
>> Guess I got the wrong end of the stick!
>>
>> Laura
>>
>> PS - I wanted to link to this site, but cos its flash I couldnt link
>> you to the menu! http://www.pieminister.co.uk/ They are local heroes
>> round here :)
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

26 Jun 2008 - 8:44am
Steven Chalmers
2007

While I see the value in access time for pie menus I wonder about the scanability. Is a radially oriented list slower to scan than a linearly oriented list? And, does it matter?

I didn't find anything insightful on a quick Google search of "eye tracking" and "pie menus".

Also, it seems like a pie menu would be disadvantageous when displaying more verbose menu items. Since menus, as Cooper says, are a pedagogic vector, they benefit from being more verbose than terse. In a radial format the longer menu items would be forced to wrap.

26 Jun 2008 - 6:46am
John Chin
2008

Yes, Chauncey - this exactly the reference.
The idea would be to reduce the travel time using a mouse or pointing device for
menu selection - as one might predict using a GOMS model.
I saw it implemented on a Sun Workstation.

> -------Original Message-------
> From: Chauncey Wilson <chauncey.wilson at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Pie Menu Spotted on the Web
> Sent: Jun 26 '08 11:42
>
> Pie menus appeared on workstations sometime in the mid-1980s and there
> was quite a bit of early interest in pie menus since they
> theoretically reduce travel time to menu items.  There is an earlier
> paper that compared pie with linear menus from the U of Maryland:
>
> Callahan, J., Hopkins, D., Weiser, M., and Shneiderman, B. 1988. An
> empirical comparison of pie vs. linear menus. In Proceedings of the
> SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Washington,
> D.C., United States, May 15 - 19, 1988). J. J. O'Hare, Ed. CHI '88.
> ACM, New York, NY, 95-100.
>
> The abtract from the article states:
>
> "Menus are largely formatted in a linear fashion listing items from
> the top to bottom of the screen or window. Pull down menus are a
> common example of this format. Bitmapped computer displays, however,
> allow greater freedom in the placement, font, and general presentation
> of menus. A pie menu is a format where the items are placed along the
> circumference of a circle at equal radial distances from the center.
> Pie menus gain over traditional linear menus by reducing target seek
> time, lowering error rates by fixing the distance factor and
> increasing the target size in Fitts's Law, minimizing the drift
> distance after target selection, and are, in general, subjectively
> equivalent to the linear style."
>
> In the real-world, pie menus that had sub-menus and a large number of
> items at each level (imagine the Word menus piled onto a
> multiple-level pie menu) were cumbersome. Pie menus can be effective
> for relatively small numbers of functions.
>
> The concept of marking menus that follow a mouse pointer/cursor
> (especially for tablet computers) has received a lot of research. If
> you look in the ACM literature, there is a lot of use of pie menus in
> a marking menu system.  The prototyping system DENIM uses pie menus.
> You can dig around and install a copy of DENIM and try them out in the
> contect of a sketching/prototyping tool.
>
> Chauncey
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 12:07 AM, John Chin <jpchin at booksonfirst.com> wrote:
> > When I saw "pie menu", I immediately thought of the pie menus designed at the University of Maryland
> > by Don Hopkins et. al.
> >
> > https://drum.umd.edu/dspace/handle/1903/442
> >
> > The website didn't seem to be the same kind of interaction that I had expected.
> > I guess there are different definitions of what a pie menu really is!
> >
> > John
> >
> >>  -------Original Message-------
> >>  From: Laura Francis <laura.k.francis at gmail.com>
> >>  Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Pie Menu Spotted on the Web
> >>  Sent: Jun 25 '08 18:18
> >>
> >>  Oops! When I read the title of this post this is what came to mind...
> >>
> >>  http://www.simplesimonspies.co.uk/menu_pies.htm
> >>
> >>  Guess I got the wrong end of the stick!
> >>
> >>  Laura
> >>
> >>  PS - I wanted to link to this site, but cos its flash I couldnt link
> >>  you to the menu! http://www.pieminister.co.uk/ They are local heroes
> >>  round here :)
> >>  ________________________________________________________________
> >>  Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> >>  To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> >>  Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> >>  List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> >>  List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >>
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>

26 Jun 2008 - 8:26pm
Geoffrey Mark
2008

Try this one out... http://www.tazo.com

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30716

28 Jun 2008 - 11:52am
Marilyn Matty
2008

I thought about Sweeney Todd & Mrs. Lovitt's "Worst Pies In London:"

http://www.sondheim.com/shows/sweeney_todd/

http://www.sweeneytoddmovie.com/

Marilyn

PS: I saw two different iterations of the show on Broadway - I could barely
sit through the movie.

On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Laura Francis <laura.k.francis at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Oops! When I read the title of this post this is what came to mind...
>
> http://www.simplesimonspies.co.uk/menu_pies.htm
>
> Guess I got the wrong end of the stick!
>
> Laura
>
> PS - I wanted to link to this site, but cos its flash I couldnt link
> you to the menu! http://www.pieminister.co.uk/ They are local heroes
> round here :)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

28 Jun 2008 - 12:35pm
Nina Walia
2008

Pie menus work really great for young children. I'm obsessed with
their toy like quality when kept simple, and the expanse of space it
allows for little/less motor skilled hands. Here's a simple example
where we've implemented one: http://pbskids.org/hooper

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Jun 2008 - 5:26am
Danny Hope
2008

Another good example is Gmail's experimental 'Mouse gestures' feature.
Unfortunately the way it's been implemented means the browser's
contextual menu can no longer be used – hopefully they'll fix this.

--

Regards,
Danny Hope
http://yandleblog.com/
07951 828 312

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