New Settings are scaleable, and readable: really ?

(See illustration attached.)

Here it is, my whole 1024 * 768 , 15" laptop screen

Look at it, and answer those 2 questions :
Question 1 : do you find that scalable?
Question 2 : do you find that readable/usable?

Answers : 1) No, 2) No







Attachment(s):
ScaleableReally.png
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What this screenshot illustrates is that :

Scalability :
-


even with the new design, if your screen resolution is 1000 * 768 (most
laptops), it won't take long before you run out of screen real estate.
So no, it doesn't really scale, to try and display all the options in 1
screen.


Readability :
-


You need to scan the whole screen, left to right, repeatidly, across
many lines, to find what your looking for.
Reading down a vertical list of words is much easier, and much more
efficient.



Alain

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At least it's more scalable than the old design. I see the most advantage in the property dialogs themselves, which now have their own appropriate size.

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

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Thomas G?lden wrote:

>At least it's more scalable than the old design.
>
Really? what do you do when the screen is full?


>I see the most advantage in the property dialogs themselves, which now have their own appropriate size.

>
I see that as a major eye sore : each dialog has a different size.



>At least it's more scalable than the old design.
>
All it'd take to make the old design more scalable is to use small
icons, as illustrated many times in the other related threads.

The only advantage I see in the new design, is that both settings set
are closer.
All it'd take to bring it to the old design is to enable
in the old design, and have it switch the contents of
the left toolbar (the icons), and refresh.

BTW, you didn't comment on readability.
Do you agree that having to scan the whole surface of the screen, left
to right, line by line, is many times less efficient/comfortable that
reading down a vertical list (column)?

To me, that's the biggest problem, and it's enough to make me hate this
design, because it removes all the pleasure from my using IDEA, in one
screen.





Alain


>

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I'm with you on this one, Alain, it bothers me a lot when I have to move
my eyes all over the screen looking for a piece of information. It
may look nice as a picture, but I don't find it all that usable/scalable,
I think it's a huge waste of space.

I guess they've got the message, let's hope they choose to do something
about it.

Andrei

On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 17:58:55 -0100, Alain Ravet wrote:

(See illustration attached.)

Here it is, my whole 1024 * 768 , 15" laptop screen

Look at it, and answer those 2 questions :
Question 1 : do you find that scalable? Question 2 : do you find that
readable/usable?

Answers : 1) No, 2) No

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>> At least it's more scalable than the old design.


All it'd take to make the old design more scalable is to use small
icons, as illustrated many times in the other related threads.


Or get rid of the icons completely, since they are useless.

Tom

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Andrei Oprea wrote:

>..it bothers me a lot when I have to move
>my eyes all over the screen looking for a piece of information. It
>may look nice as a picture, but I don't find it all that usable/scalable,

>

Exactly. spot on .That's the problem N°1, and the killer reason to scrap
this design :
IT SLOWS US DOWN

JetBrains, isn't that a good enough reason to stop considering our
reactions as emotional, but rather see that this is a real problem.

Alain

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All it'd take to make the old design more scalable

is to use small

icons, as illustrated many times in the other

related threads.

I am 100% for Alain's suggestion!

Or get rid of the icons completely, since they are
useless.

You can make them as high as (text) names of settings. Then you would have visual indication (it is somehow helpful) that does not take a lots of place.

0

On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 06:49:18 -0100, Alain Ravet wrote:

IT SLOWS US DOWN


Just how often are you changing your settings Alain?

Sit back and eat some donuts for a change :P

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Question 1 : Probably.
Question 2 : No. It's an eye-sore to me. I expect to be in the settings panel after clicking on it. Instead, I have to search for that icon. :(

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Mark Derricutt wrote:

>On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 06:49:18 -0100, Alain Ravet wrote:

>
>> IT SLOWS US DOWN
>>
>>
>
>Just how often are you changing your settings Alain?
>

>


Example : with the RearrangerPlugin, I often switch between breadthFirst
and depthFirst, depending on the code I'm rearranging, and the previous
attempt result.


Alain

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Absolutely agree!! The idea of finding a necessary icon somewhere at the screen is quite annoying and less productive.
WBR.
Andrey Dekhtyar

0

Just how often are you changing your settings Alain?


Your argument does NOT justify bad UI design.

Tom

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Thomas Singer <idea@NOregnisSpam.de> wrote:

Your argument does NOT justify bad UI design.


And it does not justify that ongoing debate. I do see that there is a
lot of room for improvement but shouldn't we relax and sit back now to
see what IntelliJ decides to do about our complaints?

For me, I have already switched from complaining to bug-filing mode
again.

Dirk Dittert

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> And it does not justify that ongoing debate. I do see that there is a
> lot of room for improvement but shouldn't we relax and sit back now to
> see what IntelliJ decides to do about our complaints?

I know what they will decide, because IMHO they never changed their
opinion during this EAP (no matter how much people complained about
something). They are running blindly forward even if it is backward. If
you believe, filing bugs makes you happy, do so. I will vacation next
week to avoid a heart attack ("Herzkasperl").

Tom

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Dirk Dittert wrote:

>shouldn't we relax and sit back now to see what IntelliJ decides to do about our complaints?
>

>

From the little feedback they've given us, I fear that if we just sit
back, they'll keep the new design.
A large number of people wouldn't like that, but it would be too late,
as other functional features would logically have a higher priority.
That's why it's so important to react early, and loudly.
That's the whole point behind the "complaints".

Alain

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That's why it's so important to react early, and loudly.


I tend to agree but believe it's a waste of energy.


--
Lars Köhler

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Alain Ravet <alain.ravet.list@wanadoo.be> wrote:

From the little feedback they've given us, I fear that if we just sit
back, they'll keep the new design.


Possible. Would you stop using IDEA because thy kept that settings
dialog? I wouldn't! I didn't stop because they implemented a GUI builder
and won't stop because they are supporting AOP. I don't even consider
that option, even if thy have a link for "configure CVS repositories"...
;)

A large number of people wouldn't like that, but it would be too late, as
other functional features would logically have a higher priority. That's
why it's so important to react early, and loudly. That's the whole point
behind the "complaints".


That's the problem about newsgroups/forums. Those people that have
problems or don't like something complain very load. Many people that do
not have problems simply stay quiet.

I'd really like to hear what people now think about AspectJ integration
and GUI builder (these hot topics some time ago) after these things have
been implemented.

Dirk Dittert

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Thomas Singer <idea@NOregnisSpam.de> wrote:

If you believe, filing bugs makes you happy, do so. I will vacation next
week to avoid a heart attack ("Herzkasperl").


Filing bugs doesn't make me happy. But even if I didn't agree with their
decision, I'd rather see it implemented as good as possible than just
look the other way. I guess there isn't many software companies out
there that get their users that much emotionally involved...

Nachdem man an den Einstellungen nicht jeden Tag rumschraubt, überlebt
man es doch, egal was sie letztendlich machen. Für mich ist hier aber
schön langsam EOT.

Schönen Urlaub!

Dirk Dittert

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Dirk Dittert wrote:

>Would you stop using IDEA because thy kept that settings
>dialog? I wouldn't! I didn't stop because they implemented a GUI builder
>and won't stop because they are supporting AOP.
>

Nobody forces you to use AOP, or the GUI builder. They are optional.
I have no alternative to using the ui settings dialog.


If you were offered a car that beats the competion on all grounds, but
that requires that you sing "Oh Tannenbaum" each time you want to shift
the rear gear,
would you refuse it?
I wouldn't. But it doesn't mean that I would like the singing part of
the deal.

Alain

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I agree completely. And I think this debate is a great example. Countless (the vast majority) of responses decry a MASSIVE new change to their UI with a litany of good, sound reasons and the one response we get from JetBrains is:

"OK guys. I've honestly read all the discussion here and actually failed to extract a single reason why previous UI was better other than emotional ones"

I found this statement offensive, dense, and totally without sympathy for the concerns of their most enthusiastic users.

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Kirk, this is below the belt argument.

one response we get from JetBrains is:
"OK guys. I've honestly read all the discussion here and actually failed to
extract a single reason why previous UI was better other than emotional ones"

If this is the only paragraph you've read in that reply I can't say more.

All I've asked was concrete new UI problems list like that list of
advantages I've provided.

Two was shown up across most of the replies (am I right?):
1. 2D information display is worse than 1D for some people.
2. Hiding dialog with Esc key is much pain for some people.

And I think this debate is a great example.

A great example of what?! It appears like JetBrains doing everything to
spite poor EAP members?

I found this statement offensive, dense, and totally without sympathy for the
concerns of their most enthusiastic users.

Sorry if it sounds like that. I haven't meant to.

I'd like to say once more the things that already have been said a thousand
times before. Early access program is very important for JetBrains and
surely is one of the (the biggest one) part of the IntelliJ IDEA success.
EAP for us is not limited to huge number of volunteer beta testers but
mostly an ability to evolve along with number of brightest people in
software development area and counting on their opinion doing our best
there.

But in order all this work we need discussions to be rational, thoughtful
and careful from both parties, don't we?

And finally,
Kirk, the message I reply to is your first during all this settings UI
discussion, isn't it? I mean you've said all that stuff without even
expressing your personal opinion?

P.S.:
Sorry guys, I'd better left this unanswered. I just couldn't resist.

--
Maxim Shafirov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


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Maxim

>But in order all this work we need discussions to be rational, thoughtful
>and careful

>

Once again, we were very rational, thoughtful, and careful.
We gave a lot of "scientific argument" to explain our gut-reaction, and
confirm our common-sense explanation (eye movements, reading distance,
alignment, etc..)


>>..from both parties, don't we?
>>
>>
>>

What both parties? You barely reacted, and it triggered another wave of
reactions.

BTW, why did you change the settings setting design.
Scalability ? Think again. The dialog is almost full, and the first bug
report has been posted today, requesting you made the ui scrollable
because it's too small on small display..


I don't remember many crowd reactions that important, and that
unemotional, and that uniform, with such an unbalanced Pro/Con ratio.
You shouldn't treat it that lightly.

Silence is the worse answer.

Alain

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Kirk, this is below the belt argument.

I'm sorry if you took offense, but I feel our frustrations are justified. Please believe that I truly respect your organization and more importantly you all for being a presence in your own community. That said...

one response we get from JetBrains is:
"OK guys. I've honestly read all the discussion

here and actually failed to

extract a single reason why previous UI was better

other than emotional ones"
If this is the only paragraph you've read in that
reply I can't say more.


No, but it was your first, and thesis, statement. I read your entire reply and your first statement was a wontonly cavalier dismissal of EVERY single point made by your community as "emotional". The rest of your reply was simply arguments you had for the new design (which I welcome, but were not what I took issue with)

All I've asked was concrete new UI problems list like
that list of
advantages I've provided.

Two was shown up across most of the replies (am I
right?):
1. 2D information display is worse than 1D for some
people.
2. Hiding dialog with Esc key is much pain for some
people.


The sarcasm drips out of you in both these statements, but I think the second point in particular is legitimate. In any case, what bothers me is that I have yet to see a good argument FOR the new change. I believe (and given the responses to Alain's numerous posts on the subject, others agree) that you could have achieved the same scalability by re-orienting the icons (as Alain has thoughtfully provided you with a screen shot conception of). This to me seems like a best of all worlds scenario that you (JetBrains) have never once even acknoledged let alone refuted. So to me it seems that this community has suggested a solution that would make everyone happy. Alas, that suggestion seems to not be reaching any of you for a response.

And I think this debate is a great example.

A great example of what?! It appears like JetBrains
doing everything to
spite poor EAP members?


Tom said "I know what they will decide, because IMHO they never changed their opinion during this EAP (no matter how much people complained about something)." This captured my sentiments exactly and I believe will prove to be an accurate assessment of the ultimate fate of the new settings look.

And finally,
Kirk, the message I reply to is your first during all
this settings UI
discussion, isn't it? I mean you've said all that
stuff without even
expressing your personal opinion?


I have an aversion to "Me too" posts that I suspect I should probably get over in this environment. But yes, the reason I haven't spoken up is because Alain has so eloquently captured my feelings on the matter.

Sorry guys, I'd better left this unanswered. I just
couldn't resist.


Indeed. :) And thanks for your thoughts.

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Are those of you so full of angst about this little design issue so sure you are correct? It appears so, but don't go assuming the other thousands of idea users think the same way.

The settings panel is hard to read, hard to find the right icon, because it is horizontally arranged rather than in a veritcal list? Well, do you have a hard time with editor tabs, which not only are horizontal but randomly placed depending on when you open a file? Or do you have a hard time with either the Mac system settings or even windows control panel? Or any GUI desktop, or file manager icon view?

Point is there are countless other examples of this GUI style. The icons are useless, really? I absolutely disagree. Icons have a purpose, and that purpose is fulfilled here: easy recognition of an oft-used action.

In summary: I agree it takes a bit to get used to, but I maintain that is due to the change from the old way we were used to, and not due to a flaw in the new system.

Finally: I'm a bit tired of the arrogance displayed by some of the posters in the eap forums. I'm not one to over-glorify JetBrains, but implying they don't know what they are doing only reflects poorly on you. Make suggestions, yes, but keep an open mind as well and have some respect.

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+1 on the cool panel. When I showed it to others in the office, first
reaction was... WO COOL! That's really nice!

+1 on the icons. I got used to them and now my eye jumps right to it.
I love the fact that I don't have to remember if a setting is in IDE or
Project, that was worse! Only issue is that I'd like to be able to
right click a module to get to the preferences, but everything else I
could care less that it's horizontal, vertical, or bright lavender, I'd
rather get more important functionality working properly and bug free.
Plus since when are developers Usability Experts?

+1 on the respect, I think things kinda slipped here. We have one
courageous JetBrainer standing up, and we jump him. At least recognize
he stood up and said something, even if it's not what you wanted to
hear, and thank him for acknowledging you, even if it was not what you
wanted to hear.

There are countless other improvements, great improvements, thank them
for that, after all which of us appreciates our customers just bitching,
and not commenting on the good things we're doing, especially at a point
in development where we can see the end of the line, and all we get is
complaints. It can get pretty discouraging.

These guys have spit out 3 eaps in 1 week! Isn't that sweet?

R

P.S. Laptop screen too small? It's Christmas, ask Santa Claus for one
with a higher resolution. :)

Michael Hoefer wrote:

Are those of you so full of angst about this little design issue so sure you are correct? It appears so, but don't go assuming the other thousands of idea users think the same way.

The settings panel is hard to read, hard to find the right icon, because it is horizontally arranged rather than in a veritcal list? Well, do you have a hard time with editor tabs, which not only are horizontal but randomly placed depending on when you open a file? Or do you have a hard time with either the Mac system settings or even windows control panel? Or any GUI desktop, or file manager icon view?

Point is there are countless other examples of this GUI style. The icons are useless, really? I absolutely disagree. Icons have a purpose, and that purpose is fulfilled here: easy recognition of an oft-used action.

In summary: I agree it takes a bit to get used to, but I maintain that is due to the change from the old way we were used to, and not due to a flaw in the new system.

Finally: I'm a bit tired of the arrogance displayed by some of the posters in the eap forums. I'm not one to over-glorify JetBrains, but implying they don't know what they are doing only reflects poorly on you. Make suggestions, yes, but keep an open mind as well and have some respect.

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Michael Hoefer wrote:

Or do you have a hard time with either the Mac system settings
or even windows control panel? Or any GUI desktop, or file
manager icon view?


Yes. IMHO icon views are usable only when the lsit of items to view has
less than a dozen entries. For anything more than this they are
worthless.

I agree that for beginners and for users having lists with few entries
it may be a better way of showing those lists, but as most of the
folders I usually browse have many more than this number of entries I
always turn off the icon view in windows.

I absolutely disagree. Icons have a
purpose, and that purpose is fulfilled here: easy recognition of an
oft-used action.


I defy you to find the right options in the settings dialog only by
looking at the icons and without peeking at the text :)


Non abstract icons like the ones used in the project/package panel are
very useful and there should be more of them.

But, as I said before, abstract icons have no value as visual
identifiers. Their only use is as preety placeholders.

Note that this is not only a jetbrains/idea problem. It's very
difficult designing distinctly recognizable icons for complex
operations and most applications/programs fail miserably in this.




Note that IMO, the icon view discussion/suggestions is a sideshow. The
great retrocess in usability are the opening of dialogs for each
option. A discussable minor usability gain in having the icon view
instead of a list with a scrollbar is more than offset by the great
usability disaster of having dialogs opening for each option.


In summary: I agree it takes a bit to get used to, but I maintain
that is due to the change from the old way we were used to, and not
due to a flaw in the new system.


In summary: I really deplore that the minor problems in the perfectly
usable old settings dialog are resolved replaced with this new system.

I'm not one to over-glorify JetBrains,
but implying they don't know what they are doing only reflects poorly
on you.


Anyone can make mistakes every once in a while. The fact that they
didn't get this right doesn't imply anything more than that (and
implying that they are always correct does reflect poorly on your
critical abilities :-).

Make suggestions, yes, but keep an open mind as well



I hope my skull hasn't become so thick that new ideas are incapable of
entering here. I just hope the same happens with the jetbrains
developers/decision makers.

and have some respect.


Always I hope.


Carlos



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Michael Hoefer wrote:

>The settings panel is hard to read, hard to find the right icon, because it is horizontally arranged rather than in a veritcal list? Well, do you have a hard time with editor tabs, which not only are horizontal but randomly placed depending on when you open a file? Or do you have a hard time with either the Mac system settings or even windows control panel? Or any GUI desktop, or file manager icon view?

>

Exactly.
I set all those to vertical list view display mode.

I agree that the new display looks much much nicer than the old one, and
thats why it breaks my heart I hate to say that I want the old back, and
improved.


>Point is there are countless other examples of this GUI style. The icons are useless, really? I absolutely disagree. Icons have a purpose, and that purpose is fulfilled here: easy recognition of an oft-used action.

>

Don't cheat : what does the Todo icon look like? What is it's dominant
colour? What is its dominant orientation? Is it darker than the one on
the left? etc.. etc..

When looking for "todo" in a text column, even drunk, I will recognize
the word in a snap, before I can read it, because it's only 4 letters,
it ends with an "O", there is an "O" in position 2, etc...
You don't have to memorize words, but you do have to memorize ICONS.

>Finally: I'm a bit tired of the arrogance displayed by some of the posters in the eap forums.
>
It's not arrogance, it's feedback. That's the whole point of the EAP. It
worked for JetBrains in the past, because they listened to their users
requests.

True, some features are more important that others, but that doesn't
mean we should accept inefficient changes, just because they are only
interfaces, and not functions.


Alain


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>> Point is there are countless other examples of this GUI style. The
>> icons are useless, really? I absolutely disagree. Icons have a
>> purpose, and that purpose is fulfilled here: easy recognition of an
>> oft-used action.
>>
>>


Don't cheat : what does the Todo icon look like?


Little dude with glasses. Didn't cheat. I think he's funny looking.
Dominant color? Who gives a crap? He's the dude with glasses, he kind
of looks like me, hence I remember that. Now, look at the icon, and
just think that he looks like RObert. Now close the window, open it
back up, and let your eyes look for the dude with Glasses!

What is it's dominant

colour? What is its dominant orientation?


Dunno, I'm straight, didn't ask him if he was gay.

Is it darker than the one on
the left? etc.. etc..


The icon to his left, since it's a dude, is not a person, so comparing
whether he's darker than an object doesn't work. But for the record, I
THINK it's file types, the one with the big baby letters on it... Geez
man baby letters and file types... where the heck to they come up with
THIS relationship!


When looking for "todo" in a text column, even drunk, I will recognize
the word in a snap, before I can read it, because it's only 4 letters,
it ends with an "O", there is an "O" in position 2, etc...
You don't have to memorize words, but you do have to memorize ICONS.


Maybe you should drink a little more, and the dude with glasses will
speak to you and tell you "I'm the TODO Icon"!

Any other icon I can help you remember?

R

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+Readability :
-


You need to scan the whole screen, left to right, repeatidly, across
many lines, to find what your looking for.
Reading down a vertical list of words is much easier, and much more
efficient.+

That's the real problem. The vertical list was much easier and much quicker, even though you had to scroll.

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Hello all,

Let's delay it for a while. I've implemented switchable UI so everyone
should be happy now. Please wait until build #1009 and I'll be happy to hear
your comments again.

--
Maxim Shafirov
JetBrains, Inc
http://www.jetbrains.com
"Develop with pleasure!"


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