Re: GUI Rule on Elipses

Subject: Re: GUI Rule on Elipses
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 04:48:09 -0800

"Duerfeldt, Mark" <MarkDuerfeldt -at- interim -dot- com> writes

>It's my understanding that if a menu option takes you to another
dialog box,
>that option must be followed by an elipsis (...). What is the
standard if
>the menu option takes you to a window (as opposed to a dialog)?
No elipsis?

Something that nobody has mentioned yet;

You can worry about conventions and rules all you like, but your
concern is useless if the end-users aren't aware of them.

From the small bit of usability testing that I've done, I suspect
that even some otherwise very competent computer-users don't know
about the ellipsis convention, and don't differentiate between a
window and a dialog. If so, then any attempt to distinguish
between them is a waste of time.

Part of the problem may be that ellipses on menus are simply too
small to be noticed. A larger part of the problem may be that
they simply don't care. If users are focused on getting a job
done, then maybe all they really notice is the menu item. What
happens after they select the menu item is simply what they need
to do to get the job done.

Bruce Byfield, Product Manager, Stormix Technologies
Vancouver, BC, Canada

"Oceania is at war with EastAsia. Oceania has always been at war
with EastAsia."
- George Orwell, "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

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