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Re: [libreoffice-design] LO Writer UI Analysis
- Subject: Re: [libreoffice-design] LO Writer UI Analysis
- From: "Stefan Knorr (Astron)" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 19:51:40 +0100
- To: Thibaut Brandscheid <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Cc: email@example.com
this all looks really, really nice. I haven't read everything yet, but
I wanted to comment on some things at least:
> 1. Needed UI elements
> Image: http://ubuntuone.com/7TZkH1e7vo88B637NEIjEc
Well, the interesting thing is that we actually have data about how
the toolbar elements in Impress are used (from Ooo 3.1). See .
We don't have the equivalent image for Writer – but we do have the
corresponding data that is just waiting to be analysed. It's on the
same page, look for the "Usage Feedback Data" spreadsheet. It would be
phenomenal if you were interested in doing that to prove/disprove your
(Of course, it is entirely another thing to judge which functions of
those not used often to emphasise more, so users can use them more,
and which to simply remove from toolbars.)
> 1a - Remove the area to grab a toolbar. Instead, choose the same toolbar
> arrangement method as Firefox. The user has to right click on the toolbar
> and select 'Customize'. Most users don't change the arrangement of the
> toolbar, therefore there is no need to always display the grab area. My
> suggestion removes clutter and hides an advanced feature without making it
> too hard for a power user to guess where to find the functionality.
There already is the possibility to lock toolbars (from the context
menu) and that hides the grab area. Making this the default setting
seems like a good change.
> 1b - Remove the 'Edit File' button -> useless.
Indeed, LibO is not such a great application to simply read documents in.
> 1c - Remove the 'Page Preview', the user can still find it on a common
> place -> the file drop-down menu.
This is a very complicated area. We currently have two previews: the
page preview from the toolbar, and the preview that is in the Print
dialogue itself. The former does not take into account actual page
sizes that the printer can use, while the latter does. I regard this
as a misfeature but there are people who defend this behaviour. :)
> 1d - Remove the 'Spelling and Grammar' button. Why should there be two such
In this case, I would have opted for removing the other button. Why
wouldn't you want misspelt text to be highlighted (i.e. why would you
want a toggle for that in the toolbar)? Being able to open the
proofing window from the toolbar is imho a more valuable function.
> 1e - Remove 'Table', 'Show draw Functions',
Not sure I agree with these two. I use both rather often.
> 'Navigator', 'Gallery' and the
I use neither very often, the problem here is that neither is very
good at what they do: the gallery currently has almost no contents and
the navigator is pretty clumsy.
> 'LibreOffice Help' buttons
Agree. No need to have that in the toolbar.
> They are all a bit special and not needed by
> average users for most daily tasks. If a user wants to create a table, he
> can do so using the table menu, no need to have it visible all the time.
Sure, but the table button makes creating a tables quite a bit faster
since selecting the number of rows and columns is so much easier.
> 1f - Remove the 'Styles and Formatting' button. Its an advanced feature -
> normal users just ignore it -> no need to have it there - it clutters the
Again, I disagree – our implementation is not ideal, but the
functionality in itself is great, especially when writing e.g. papers,
> 1g - Remove the button labeled 'Default' in the lower left corner. Its
> label is unclear and the button adds no value to the UI (remember average
> user point of view).
This is a quick style switcher. Arguably, either this combo box or the
style button should probably go in the longer run.
> 1h - Remove the 'Standard selection' and the save status button next to it.
> Both don't add anything useful to the UI. If the document has unsaved
> changes it can be viewed by looking at the much bigger save icon in the
> upper left corner.
We had a long discussion about this already, with no real conclusion
and no developer willing to work on this. I completely agree, though,
that we could just show the file status on the Save icon, no need to
show it in the toolbar. About the selection modes: if you know about
them, they can come in handy ... once every three years
> 1i - Remove the small paper icons left from the zoom panel. I don't get
> what it is useful for after trying them several times and guess that normal
> users would struggle here too.
These can be quite useful. They are for enabling book and multiple
pages mode – I assume you tried them with a single page in the window?
We could improve the feedback here, I guess, e.g. by showing one or
multiple "ghost pages" when enabling book/multiple pages mode.
> 1j - Remove the much >>too small<< 'Navigation' and 'Previous/Next page'
> buttons in the lower right corner.
This is a problem. And it is only becoming worse, as scrollbars get
smaller (or go away completely).
> 1k - Move the 'Align Right' and 'Justified' text formatting button into a
> little drop-down menu like done for creating a new presentation file from
> inside Writer (upper left corner). This would clean up the UI a bit without
> making it too hard to access the less used formatting options.
Not sure if that is so useful – while they are undoubtedly used less,
it would create an awkward UI inconsistency, imho.
> 1l - Move the bullet and numbered list icons in one icon with a drop-down
> like in 1k.
Might be a good idea. Not sure.
> 1m - Maybe remove the 'New', 'Open', 'Export directly as PDF' and 'Print
> File Directly' buttons in the upper left corner.
I don't think removing any of these is a good idea – although I would
rather like to replace Print Directly with the regular Print. The PDF
export icon is very important, not just because it is useful, but also
for marketing reasons (Ooo was the first mainstream office suite to
feature native PDF export).
> 2. UI skim through - Icon recognizably
> A lot of icons have a similar shape or are too detailed and therefore hard
> to recognize. The elementary buttons are green - that’s good - but orange
> and red dominate.
The issue here is that it is easy to start a new icon theme for LibO,
but not easy to finish it. There is quite an amount of icons (over
1000) and you'd need to get at least a third of them before a theme
becomes actually usable.
Hence, why we try to update the Tango theme a few icons at a time.
(But of course, they still have to fit the graphical style of the old
ones somewhat, so you can use them together.)
> 2a - Keep the space holders but remove the visual thin line to separate
> buttons. The current thin line is not useful when searching an element -
> in contrary it clutters the UI.
> 3. Lines in the UI
> I visualized the lines that structure the UI but are not part of any button.
> Image: http://ubuntuone.com/75eM3Kex30qhLqshd0oswK
> As you can see, there are a lot of lines.
I don't fully agree here – if you look at current versions of LibO on
Windows, there the lines between toolbars and the menubar have been
removed. I don't think this has improved the look very much, tbh, as
the icons seem to swimming in a sea of grey.
Thibaut, again thanks very much for your work! I hope you can help
realise at least some of what you proposed.
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|Re: [libreoffice-design] LO Writer UI Analysis||Thibaut Brandscheid <email@example.com>|
|Re: [libreoffice-design] LO Writer UI Analysis||Maximi89 <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|[libreoffice-design] LO Writer UI Analysis||Thibaut Brandscheid <email@example.com>|
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