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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <nicola...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Usability news website
Date Sat, 22 Mar 2003 22:07:56 GMT


Stefano Mazzocchi wrote, On 22/03/2003 12.50:
> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> 
>>
>> I found this really cool site about website usability:
>> http://wsupsy.psy.twsu.edu/surl/usabilitynews/51/usability_news.html
...
> When I designed the Forrest skin, I had great help from my former 
> girlfriend who was responsible for the usability of the biggest italian 
> portal (www.virgilio.it). I also read three different books on usability 
> (Nielsen's and another one that I don't recall).

We know, we know ;-P

> So the above doesn't surprise me, except for paging. Laura and I had 
> major discussions over this, but she is an old-time mac user and doesn't 
> know the beauty of the mousewheel :)
> 
> this is only half-serious: I strongly believe that wheel-crolling is 
> potentially much easier to use and gives faster results (so much that 
> even if I now own a mac, I carried my good old optical wheel mouse over 
> with me, but it strongly depends on the audience.

Yes. Personally, I agree with you on this.

>                                     - o -
> 
> This said, I think there are a few issues with the current forrest skin 
> that I would like to see addressed:
> 
> for a reference look at the original design here:
> 
> http://www.betaversion.org/~stefano/software/forrest/1.3/page.gif
> 
> 1) the light-blue used-to-be-for-pagination bar is occupying too much 
> important space if we don't have pagination, we should think about 
> removing it or, at least, reducing its size.

Yes. Also the fonts are IMHO too big. Look at 
http://www.krysalis.org/centipede/index.html to see a different use of 
that bar, smaller fonts, and the page sections added to the left-bar 
navigation.

These are basically changes that I felt that the Forrest skin should 
somehow have, taken from things that users have told me. What do you 
think about it? Can we use some of these changes in the base Forrest one?

BTW Steven's idea is nice.

> 2) the tab above do not have the single black pixel below. this is 
> visually misleading.

Ok.

> 3) the leftbar should not open all levels, but only first two and the 
> one that ones at the level that is currently visible.

Yeah, we know, it needs fixing.

> 4) the use of the triangles indicates a visual semantics of opening the 
> tree (as used in macosx, for example).

Ok.

> Moreover, and even more important:
> 
>  THE TABS SHOULD NEVER OVERLAP IN NAVIGATION!!!
> 
> currently, the forrest web site is very poor in respect to this. tabs 
> should be indicating completely orthogonal concerns and thus site areas.

This concept got muddied with the new site.xml.
On this list there has been a very cool proposal from a user, that has 
also posted an example lately.

He discussed the points very well, and I have the sensation that there 
is good stuff there. Would you like to lead on this and bring it to 
practice? It would be cool.

-- 
Nicola Ken Barozzi                   nicolaken@apache.org
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)
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