[Sugar-devel] Write - "H1 - H4" & other minor things

Gary C Martin gary at garycmartin.com
Sat Mar 13 13:15:03 EST 2010

Hi Tim,

On 13 Mar 2010, at 06:40, Tim McNamara wrote:

> Hi all,
> A few thoughts on the version of Write which I cloned today.
> H1 ... H4 
> Do we know how these term has been received by the education sector?

No, but more generally, the real push for the new toolbar design landed to solve the very common complaint/feedback that folks could not always work out how to stop an activity, they would often get lost in some other text tabs, and end up going to home view and launch a new (duplicate) activity instance. The new toolbar always shows the Stop icon whatever other toolbars you have visible. The old text tabs use of text meant a higher literacy level was needed, cause additional translation effort, and were quite thin mouse click targets to hit.

> I wonder if we could change the string literals to something like "Major heading"  "Subheading" "Minor heading". I haven't got too much experience with teaching children in a classroom, but this is closer the language I remember from school. "H1" ... "H4" seems like something that HTML created.

The graduating line thickness of each, and position of the H1 .... H4 were meant to help ;-) I agree the reference to H is not great; unfortunately nothing better came up at the time. Write really was the worst case in terms of toolbar migration from the old text only tabs to full icons. Icons need to be as language/translation agnostic as possible so we should avoid string literals, unless each local is willing to create custom svg content (I was trying to avoid latin characters where possible, but that gets tough for most text processing functions).

Very happy to see refinement/replacement ideas!

> Export
> Great feature! Would be great to rotate the arrow on this icon outwards to match the word :)

FWIW there are several approaches to exposing Export functionality. Some backstory: In the old Sugar toolbar design, export was hidden as sub items under the "Keep" icon – but no one really seems to understand the Keep feature correctly (most folks think, and try to use it as "Keep a copy"), so overloading that misconceived functionality with export was a pretty confusing mental model... So, with the new toolbars export is showing up in the Activity toolbar either; 1) as a single uncoloured Journal icon with arrow pointing towards journal, holding a palette of export formats; 2) as separate 'document' icons (with arrow pointing towards document) for each export format supported (see Walter's TurtleArt). I rather like option 2 and may well move some activities over to that more explicit visual design.

> Insert/Delete Row
> I would have + & - visual indicators, rather than simply arrows.

Yes, I'd hoped to have found something better here also (ran out of time), however the arrows do at least show the direction the rest of the cells move in when making changes. Perhaps there's a way to combine both?

> That is all. If you're interested, I could probably submit SVGs for review to deal with the last two points.

Love to see more icon treatments bounced about, happy to see quick sketches/doodles (easier than building full Sugar HIG correct SVGs every time). 

Thanks for the feedback!


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