On 4 May 2004, Sven Neumann wrote:

> Hi,
> Nathan Carl Summers <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > > What I didn't address yet is the fact that the HIG suggests to
> > > left-align labels of UI controls while we currently consistenly
> > > right-align labels so that they are close to the control they are
> > > describing. I am not sure if I can follow the HIG argumentation for
> > > this. I guess we should create some screenshots or mockups of standard
> > > GIMP dialogs and discuss this change here before we start to work on
> > > this.
> >
> > It seems like the HIG suggests left-alignment for controls whose labels
> > are roughly equal in length, and right-alignment for dissimilarly-sized
> > labels.  While this probably does result in the most pleasant appearance,
> > it's an internationalization nightmare.  I suggest we stick with the Palm
> > usability guidelines here.  I suggest that the next version of the HIG do
> > the same.
> Since we use a whole lot of those labels that say something like
> "Scale X:" and below "Y:" I think we should generally stick to the
> right-aligned labels that we use now. What does the HIG say about the
> colons? Are they needed? Due to kerning the "Y" tends to crawl under
> the trailing colon so I'd rather get rid of the column and increase
> the spacing from the currently used 4 pixels to 6 pixels.

Colons are definitely required; the HIG states that they help screen
readers identify which component is being labeled.  On the other hand,
labeling the two components "X Scale:" and "Y Scale:" seems to conform
better to the independent-labelling guideline while also conveniently
working around the kerning problem.

(For those unfamiliar with the independent-labeling guideline, the HIG
suggests that the entire meaning of a control be contained in the label,
because those with screen-readers cannot tell that (in this case) the
"Scale X:" and "Y:" labels are arrainged analogously, and that both refer
to the scaling parameters.)

> > And while we're talking about the HIG, I still wonder what they were
> > smoking when they suggested that Gnome lay out all of its buttons
> > opposite to the way that common sense and every other set of UI
> > guidelines I've ever read suggests.
> If you are refering to the button order in the action area, I have to
> say that I am very happy about this decision. Mac OS uses this button
> order and I always found it to be more logical than the Windows way of
> arranging the buttons.

It seems to me that it makes sense to order the buttons so that when they
are scanned in normal reading order, the most likely button press is the
one that is read first.  If you know you want to "Launch Spaceship", why
should you have to skip over "Help", "Surrender Game", and "Cancel Launch"
first?  I know that you can train yourself to scan the buttons backwards,
but this is inherently less efficient, unless you learn to llew sa
sdrawkcab dear.

I didn't know that the Apple said something different.  I'll have to read
their guidelines again.  They probably have some good rationale.


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