V St 07. 04. 2004 v 11:44 +0200 píše Ellen Reitmayr:
I would like to start doing the tests as soon as possible, so if anybody
has some more suggestions please let me know!
One thing I'd like to see some usability testing is the GIMPs use of the toolbar for a global menu. I would expact users confused by the use of two menu sets in the interface - There is a FIle menu in the toolbar that makes it possible to open files, but not save them because it isn't related to a particular image window for example. This has following issues

  • Having two sets of menus is confusing and doesn't exist in any other application apart from sodipodi which copied this behaviour from GIMP (this needs empirical data from the user testing).
  • The toolbar needs to be wide enough to hold the menu. Especially true for some languages.
  • You cannot hide the toolbar. It will always eat screen estate even though the tools are accessible with other means.
An alternative approach that might be nice to have and test is merging this menu into the image window and making the toolbar a regular dock just like any other. This exact interface exists in OpenOffice 1.1 for example. That would mean opening a new document window upon launching gimp (size and properties defined in the preferences).

There is a minor glitch to this. In OpenOffice the document window is enclosed in a placeholder window. When the user chooses to close the document and not quit, he can. When he chooses to open a new document, the old one, if it's untouched, closes so the new document gets placed where the old one was. If we choose not to use the placeholder window*, it may bring some problems:

  • User launches GIMP, chooses not to start from scratch and chooses to close the image window. *plop* GIMP quits.
  • User launches GIMP, chooses not to start from scratch and selects "FIle>Open" after locating the right document, the old document/image window closes and new one appears. It may not appear at the same location because it's the WM's job to decide.
Since nobody implemented the alternative approach (or the two variants of it), it would be nice to at least see if the existing interface makes it hard for users to distinguish the image-related menus and the global one. A sample task may be

  • Open an image and save it under a different filename

cheers

* which may or may not be difficult, I don't know

Jakub Steiner <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
art designer

Novell, Inc.

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