[IAEP] 2 design proposals: home view, discoverable shortcuts

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 22:28:09 EDT 2009

On Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 3:06 PM, Benjamin M. Schwartz
<bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Jameson Quinn wrote:
>> Proposal 1: home view: "Filtered ring w/ side panels"
>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/User:Homunq/activity_ring_filters_and_sidepanes
> I'm glad that you're thinking about tagging.  For all of our talk about
> tags, we have yet to implement anything like a usable tagging system, and
> without it we have essentially no organizational tools at all.  It should
> be a high priority.  However,...
> I don't like this design, though it does force me to think.  Opinions
> about design are always mostly intuitive, so it's hard to justify any
> particular opinion. However, let me try a few suggestions:
> 1.  Is this really necessary?  The tagging system's purpose is for
> categorizing all Journal entries, as a student easily generates thousands
> of entries.  However, the total number of Activities in existence is
> relatively small (there are what, maybe about 50 that actually run in a
> given build?).  Are we anywhere near the point where students have so many
> Activities installed that the favorite/star system is insufficient?  Does
> such a point even exist?

Here are some data points to think about. Bryan Berry of OLE Nepal has
asked for 10,000 learning modules for Sugar. There are something like
30,000 packages in any Linux distribution. Also, we are inviting
teachers and children to invent activities, and working on tools to
make that possible for non-professional programmers.

> 2.  I find these filters confusing, and I think users would do.  "Star"
> makes sense; it filters the Activity bundles themselves.  "Recent" and
> "Mine" seem to be filters not on the bundles, but on other Journal
> entries.  I think placing them on the Home View, where the only items
> shown are Activities, is tremendously confusing.  Those filters should
> live in the Journal.

I would like to see test results with children. I know that some
adults hate the Sugar UI, while every report that I have seen is of
children taking to it like ducks to water. We listened to children
about Caps Lock, let's hear what else they have to say.

> The purpose of the Home view is to allow users to launch new, empty
> Activity instances in a convenient way.  Are you proposing a change in the
> purpose of the Home view, and if so, why is your proposal better than
> simply replacing the home view with the Journal?

I don't understand entirely what you are asking, but one consideration
is that activities must be available before they have been used,
meaning when they do not appear in the Journal.

> 3.  Selecting filters by dragging them is unnecessary.  A click should
> suffice.

Point and flick? We should be thinking about how all of this will work
on a touch-screen XO-2.

> 4.  There is no provision for filtering by multiple tags, without which
> tagging is a very weak organizational system.


> 5.  The distinction between "Start tagless" and "Start with current tag"
> seems unnecessary and confusing.  Assigning or removing a tag should be a
> trivial operation.
> 6.  The "Leftovers panel" does not seem to add any value.  Instead, we can
> simply grow or shrink the number of items shown on the home view itself,
> changing the ring into a sunflower, or eventually even a grid with scrollbars.

Can you mock that up?

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And Children are my nation.
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