Re: 40 buttons on one screen?

Subject: Re: 40 buttons on one screen?
From: ashokgopal -at- vsnl -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 7 May 2005 00:38:52 -0600

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. What I propose to do--and I think
it will work--is take a bit of everyone's advice:
1. First I talk to the developers. I tell them their screen is a mess.
Maybe they don't know this.
2. I tell them to divide the screen into 3-4 clear work areas. I tell
them, "Think of a mall. The Lingerie section, the Toys section.." Actually
the screen does have distinct work areas. It's just that there are no
lines or boxes to make this clear.
3. I tell them (i.e. suggest)put a label ("Lingerie") for each work area.
4. I then suggest a "What's this?" for each such label (not each button
under that label).
5. "What's this?" opens up a topic like "Finding your way in the Lingerie
section", or rather "Working in xyz box". Topic has screen shot of xyz
box--parts thereof will be legible.
6. I also have a "finding your way through the mall" topic which explains
that there are distinct work areas in the screen, called xyz, abc and lmn.
I briefly explain each work area and give links to "Working in xyz box",
"Working in abc box", etc.

I am pretty sure the developers will accept this--it doesn't make their
life significantly more difficult and it does make the user's life
significantly easier.

Just one doubt: do I call the boxed work area a "box" (client wants
everything according to "Microsoft style")? My co-writer says "It's too
big to be called a box".

ashokgopal -at- vsnl -dot- net


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