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Subject: Re: NEWKEYS v2


From: c s <>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 18:34:32 -0700 (PDT)

--- CombThins <> wrote:
> >
> > No, we should keep the cancel function, and make
> it consistent.
> For what it's worth I vote for keeping the cancel
> function. To me, it is
> entirely consistent with cancelling out of one menu
> level to go back, and
> pressing play is entirely natural to "OK" the
> setting. Pressing STOP to
> mean "OK" would be daft.

Not at all. As Linus correctly pointed out, on the
player we started out with the big disadvantage of
having only 6 buttons that aren't labeled ideally for
everything that we want to do, so we have designated
PLAY for the button to go forward into a menu and STOP
to go backward a menu level. A lot of functions on the
player are odd if you stop and think about the button
labels, but we made the best out of what we were

The fact is that while in the menu screen STOP is
associated with going back one level, so there is
absolutely nothing strange or "daft" about changing a
setting and then pressing the key that is commonly
known to take you back out of that level. Since you
are through there, you go back up the menu tree. It's
just common sense, since there is nothing there that
says that the setting must be confirmed before you

The way we currently require the user to confirm a
setting without indicating that confirmation is
required is daft (and no I don't think that we should
add that as yet another level that the user would have
to respond to when changing a setting).

The user knows, and more importantly has been
conditioned to think that while in a menu, PLAY and
STOP are forward-menu-level backward-menu-level.
Breaking that association for something as
insignificant and generally unneeded such as the
cancel function is not good design.

The point to remember is that with a limited number of
buttons which may be oddly labeled for what we want to
use them for, it's even more important to use them
consistantly rather than changing a "back one level"
key to a "cancel" key with no indication that you have
done so.

> Just had an idea. When on a multi-choice, lets
> make MENU do the OK thing,
> rather than the CANCEL thing. On normal menu areas
> it already goes back a
> level. That way, users like C.S. can consistently
> use the MENU key to
> back-up accepting changes and the rest of us can use
> STOP to back-up
> cancelling changes. Are there any areas where that
> wouldn't work?

I don't think that would be a good idea at all. If you
navigate further into the menus by pressing the top
edge of the round disk that activates the PLAY button,
to do the opposite action (navigating backwards
through the menu levels), intuition, consistency, and
common sense says that you press the button on the
opposite edge of the disk (STOP). Opposite functions
on opposite sides of the button disk. Common sense and
consistency... the main requirements of a good user
interface design.


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Received on 2003-08-27

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