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GUI Design: More vs. Less

GUI designers have long wanted to spare users from the pain of sifting through extensive, advanced options when only a limited set of basic options were needed. This article takes a look at various methods for handling this situation.   MORE/LESS DIALOG OPTIONS It was not unusual in the 1990s for dialogs with many controls to use “More” and “Less” buttons to hide complexity from most users that would never need some of the available controls. Figure 1 is a screen shot of the MS® Word® 2002 Customize Outline Numbered List dialog with a More button near the upper right. When More is selected, the dialog expands to layout shown in Figure 2. There are extra options at the bottom of the dialog and the More button has changed to Less. It’s a common idea, but … Read entire article »

Filed under: Controls, GUI Design, Mistakes

GUI Review: Google® Navigation

Google® is fast taking over the internet with all the amazing services and apps it provides. When I did a GUI Review of Gmail® (and revisited that review) last November, I deliberately avoided any analysis of the navigation bar across the top, thinking that it deserved a separate treatment. Now I think it’s time. I have lots of questions about the implementation of the Google navigation, so it seemed to make sense to have each section below entitled with a question.   WHAT IS SELECTED? Google is constantly changing the way it displays the current option in its navigation bar. Following are a series of portions of screen shots of the various displays from the last year. Figure 1 is a screen shot of the Google navigation bar with Gmail selected, as it appeared in May 2011. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Controls, GUI Design, Navigation