Re: Brainstorm for toolbar button

Subject: Re: Brainstorm for toolbar button
From: Kim Adams <kimadams -at- OZ -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 05:33:00 GMT

About the "Default" button quandry. I agree with PatO', this is a toughie.
Up until now, I only had one idea--and I didn't like it. Part of me
didn't want to propose it for fear of looking dumb, but reading Pat's post
immediately brought two more ideas to mind. Now I have three ideas--none
of which I like--but I'm throwing them out in hope they inspire someone
else to come up with a good one.

| |
| |
| |

This drawing represents a totally blank button--the visual equivalent of
"clear" or of "default."

| |
| [ a ] |
| |

This drawing represents a button with a field on it. The field is
populated with the letter "a." It might give the user the impression that
by pressing the button, the field or fields will be populated.

| // |
| // |
| v |

This drawing is supposed to represent a button with a pencil on it, perhaps
giving the user the idea that a giant electronic pencil will swoop down
from the server and write default information in the field--perhaps even in
a lovely cursive font.

Anyway, like I said, _I_ would never use any of these ideas. They are just
thrown out to sustain interest in the problem.

A professional user interface designer once told me she thought buttons
should have both text and graphics on them. Implementing this theory could
solve the problem. Your default button would, of course, not have a
graphic, but it wouldn't look so out of place among the others.

Just as an aside, the funniest icon I ever saw was on a fatal system error
message. It was a graphic representation of a burning nuclear waste
drum--not just a nuclear waste drum, which is bad enough, no, this one was
on fire.

Kim Adams
kimadams -at- oz -dot- net
kim -dot- adams -at- mccaw -dot- com

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