[sugar] UI for "working on it"
Mon Apr 7 21:20:38 EDT 2008
The recent talk on Sugar about notifications reminds me that the
OLPC currently appears to lack easy-to-check "I'm working on that"
feedback to the user.
Combined with Sugar's "a single screen for whatever one is doing"
philosophy, this serves to HIDE "what is going on" from the user.
I had originally thought "as long as information is shown somewhere,
that's good enough" -- let the user come looking. But seeing how
much I myself resent interruptions to what I am involved in, status
ought to be available "where the user is looking", and notification
ought not to impose non-deferrable "taking the user away from his
current task". [I hate it if I'm typing something, and the Frame
pops up and obscures where I was working.]
Two recent 1825 experiences have raised my sensitivity to "how to
know what is/is_not going on":
(1) I clicked (in Home "list" mode) on a rarely-used icon. Nothing
seemed to happen. Losing patience, I navigated to a Terminal
activity I had previously opened, and was about to type in something
when the XO screen changed over to the newly-launched activity.
[From the information available "where I was looking", I thought the
XO was not "working on it" (was not launching the new activity).]
[On Linux (and Windows), once the user has clicked on something, the
cursor changes (e.g., includes a bouncing ball). As long as the
cursor change persists, the user can feel "I don't need to do
anything more RIGHT NOW about what I clicked on". Normally, the
requested action will start (accompanied by a visual indication).
Else, when the cursor reverts to its non-changed form, the user
knows that he should investigate the possibility that the requested
action never started.]
On 1825 the only place that shows "activity being launched" is an
obscure corner of the Frame -- and I had gotten rid of the Frame to
be able to switch Home view into "list" mode. [I'm sorry, but to me
the Frame is too intrusive so far to be useful as a "current status"
display -- I only use it when I want to perform some "action".]
For me, showing "loading is going on" by in a corner blinking a dark
icon on a dark background is much too easily overlooked. At least,
both Home view modes need to give a *positive* indication at the
clicked-on icon that "your click-request was accepted". [Perhaps
have the background of the icon be "highlighted" until "launching"
[All "to be noticed" areas of the Frame should have a WHITE (or at
the least, a contrasting) background.]
(2) I had attempted to connect to an AP, by clicking on its icon in
the Neighborhood view. I got bored after several minutes waiting
for that icon in the Neighborhood view to stop blinking, and went
back to working within activities.
I don't know what the ultimate result was of me having done that
click in Neighborhood view. [From the information available "where
I was looking", I believed the XO had kept on "working on it" (was
still trying to connect).] I think the XO ought to have notified
me, either when it decided it had accomplished that connection, or
when it decided it could *not* make that connection.
Elsewhere (#1385) I've proposed that the two LEDs on the XO front
show "peer connection" status and "data server connection" status.
It's a pity that there are not three LEDs - "AP connection" status
also deserves a "front LED" (visible all the time, which the Frame
<thank goodness> is not).
[If important information changes status on the Frame (or on a
different screen than what the user is currently looking at), let me
suggest "blinking" (i.e., one-time dimming and brightening) the
current screen. Then, when he is ready to be interrupted from what
he was doing, the user can go off to view whatever that status
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