SqueakMap Package Loader UI

Chris Muller chris at funkyobjects.org
Thu Nov 23 01:44:24 UTC 2006

> Comments? Suggestions? Rants?

I like the search bar, although if the search button and filter field were to switch places, the flow from left-to-right would feel more natural.  Besides the input, the entry field should also output the current search term (i.e., don't erase the last-used term).

However, I think the command buttons across the top are a step in the wrong direction.  Right-clicking is as important as left-clicking, not just in Squeak but in mainstream Windows too.  No one will get very far unless they know, "left click select, right click options".  

Squeak should give newbies a simple, consistent interface and just a little training.  By "simple consistent" I mean showing just the objects and then emphatically delineate the concept of "sending a message" by consistently letting the context menus represent a "message sending" mechanism.  Make Squeak "objects all the way up" so the mindset will be consistent when we dive through objects "all the way down".

So many interfaces today are focused on showing every single thing the user can click; for example, laden with long scrolling lists or drop-down lists.  Their usability is not scalable, and poor because they have the user _laboring_ with the computer to find something instead of vice-versa.

With scrolling lists we display every object in the list, now we want to add all possible command buttons for all possible object selections showing too.  Ok, not all commands, just few enough that we only *quadruple* the number of widgets the user is initially confronted with.  So in the end, the user still has to know to right-click, so this change hasn't really solved the original usability issue.

I prefer to present a simple, consistent, usable, well-executed, object-oriented interface.  Do so proudly, not apologetically, so that, along with some friendly, basic documentation right in the start-up image explaining how things work, we build appreciation not resentment for the differences.

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