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Subject: RE: Difficulties loading .cfg files
From: wolf_bulkmail_at_comcast.net
Date: 2004-01-21


I've worked with a couple different usability experts and I must say that we must be very careful about applying these UI design rules (i.e. "less than 7 rule" and "no scrolling") without careful consideration of our audience.

You see, one must remember that the person who is smart enough to flash their own Archos player is probably well aware of (and comfortable using) more advanced user-interface concepts like scrolling and >7 menu lengths.

IMO, the new system may be actually less usable than the former (even though time and patience may help me adjust to it over time). To me, it is far more frustrating to drill down a few levels only to find that I have to go back up those 2 levels and try going down a another branch of the menu structure just to try and find the option I want.

I'd like to see the changes rolled-back at least until such time that a broader survey of the user base can be polled. Whether you like the design or or not, the current (now former) menu system is typical of most user-interfaces and there is value in following the de-facto standard (no matter how it adheres to textbook standards). Also, I think our users are advanced enough to handle it and dumbing it down is not necessarily advantageous.

- Eric

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se [mailto:owner-rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se] On Behalf Of ozric01_at_gmx.net
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 6:18 PM
To: rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se
Subject: Re: Difficulties loading .cfg files

You can blame me for that reorganization. I did this patch because the
main menu was totally cluttered before. I'm in to HCI (Human Computer
Interaction) and did work at a usability lab for years. It's a basic
rule in HCI that the number of menu entries should not exceed 7. And
it's bad practise to force users to scroll to see all options. That can
only be achieved by deeper levels, of course. The tricky thing is to
group the entries logically.
In this sense the menu reorganization was NOT poorly thought out. It
just follows widely accepted guidelines. What I might have missed, is
which options are used more frequently. But that's subjective to some
extent. What about making "Manage Settings" the first entry in the
system menu?

- peter

Maybe we should carry out some usability tests...

>>I am not sure what the answer is, but ever
>>Shorted and deeper menu's would not seem to
>>be ideal.

> I completely agree. I think that the latest menu
> reorganization was poorly thought out and based on a
> questionable premise that it is better minimize the
> number of selections at each menu level in order to
> make items at each level visible with minimal or no
> scrolling at the expense of having to burry things at
> deeper levels. I don't find that having to navigate
> down into a larger number of menu levels is any
> improvement over scrolling for them in fewer
> not-so-deep levels.



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