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Hi Björn!

On 30-01-2011 13:47, Björn Balazs wrote:
First of all: Thank you - great work!
Your mocks point us to the unsolved fundations I wanted to work on today, but
unfortunately won't come to. But I will spend a couple of hours in a train
tomorrow, so I am optimistic I get to some results then.

The fundations we need to understand, before we can actually find a really
good interface solution is a clustering of the different types of fields. You
have done the clustering by "New" and "Existing". I am not 100% convinced this
is the best clustering, because it is too general.
Well, basically I understand there are 2 general actions related to fields from the user point of view: create and use them. It's my first thinking when needing a reference or other "meta" information about the document that I'm working.

When you need to create a field, there are different ways to achieve this depending of the type field. When you need to use a field, you *know* that it already exist, so its an automatic choice to avoid the first option "set a new field". And for any type of field you wanna to insert, it's the same workflow: you must 1. find the field, 2. choose how display the field information.

I would like to find someting between perhaps 5 to 10 (ideal would be 7 -
remember the limitations in the human short term memory) categories, the user
can decide in the first step.
Well, the limitation of 7 rememberable of the human short term memory is a controversial issue... It seems to depend of context and other circumstantial factors. If it is possible to limit the choice to a minor amount of possibilities, keeping it clear, why not do it? :/ Even more if you think in the future additions of new fields... Keeping the first step easy helps to make the next steps clearer.
Each presenting again 5 to 10 fields that in the
next step can be configured (would give us room for up to 100 different types
of fields we can add to LibO, so making this a sustainable solution for
whatever kind of fields will be added in the future).

My main problem here is, that I do not understand all types of fields
available - which would be very helpful if trying to find a decent
Yeah, this is a problem to me too. But I try to think in a field just how an information. The user knows what wants and knows the computer has or can be have this information. The point is how to say to the computer: 1. which information you want, 2. what to do with this information.

1. Which information you want?
- I want a information the computer already knows or I want [can to use] a new information
2. What to do with this information?
- I want to show it in this or other way.

From this point of view ("Which?" & "What?") is possible that the approach of Create/Use ("What?") and then choose the field type ("Which?") seems to be reversed, but if you perceive that some information can't be create in a dialog (like a paragraph per example), reversing them is a most efficient way to present these questions.
Additionally we should introduce some comfort functionallity like a filter
mechanism, recently used or perhaps even favorite fields for quick retrival of
the wanted fields.
For sure its a great idea. Filtering by type or pattern matching, auto-complete the search, recently used shortcuts already in the first step (saving the last inputs for all steps), and grouping references are good ways to go! :D But we will need a big support from the developers and would be great have their help to know all the current possibilities.
Summing it up: Version 2 is much better than version 1, but still leaves room
for further improvement.
I'd like to hear more opinions about it. I still think having a simple choice in the first step is better. :/ But of couse, my thinking is very much based in the *bad* only way I've imagined to display the Step 1 in the version 2. I hope we can find a better way.
Ok, more - including some mocks and a suggestion for a clustering - hopefully
We are doing big steps to the right direction. Its good when the doubts come up in the beginning!

See you, Björn! :)

Paulo José O. Amaro
Computer Science Student
Federal University of São João del-Rei
WebDesigner / Linked Empresa Júnior
Blogger /

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