On 03/10/2010 03:27 PM, yahvuu wrote:
> Martin Nordholts wrote:
>> 2010/3/10 yahvuu <yah...@gmail.com>:
>>> Each of these dialog options points at a potential interaction problem. If 
>>> the
>>> dialog remembers an option, the user also has to remember that option.
>>> In general, this amounts to additional cognitive burden to keep the mental 
>>> model
>>> in sync with the application state.
>> Hmm I don't understand, how would there be additional cognitive burden
>> on users if a dialog remembers a setting across invocations?
> You are right, that was an invalid generalisation. I was thinking of the 'New 
> Layer' dialog
> where the 'fill' option tends to get in the way.
> (If i leave that option to a fixed value -- like a prefs item -- there's no 
> problem, i can
> just hit  enter to create the new layer. If i, however, do change this value, 
> i'd better
> remember this the next time i create a new layer.)
>> The more options we can get rid of, the better.
> yep, that's what i was after
> regards,
> peter

I am not convinced that the 'New Layer' example given presents a
"better" situation as described.

In my mind, what is being overlooked is that there IS always a state
(setting value).  The question is a) whether the program always forces
the state back to some constant or b) whether the program remembers what
the user last set it to.

I think there is more "cognitive burden" _and_ "real physical burden" in
having to always know that the program will always force a setting to a
certain value and that the user might always have to change that value.

In the 'New Layer' example given, if I am doing a certain repetitive
task, it is *highly* likely that I will want the new layer to have the
same fill every time I do that function.  There is a significant
"burden" in having to change this setting _every_ time.  (And to make it
worse, some of these settings are not so easily accessible via keyboard,
thus wrecking my shoulder from mousing too much.)

So, which is better:

a) Knowing that the program will always force a default value and having
to change it much of the time (in my case for Canvas Resizing, ALL the

b) Knowing that the user is responsible to paying attention to what the
value says when they get to the dialog and if it is correct for the task
(which it will then be, once the user has set it, until later changed by
the user).

There is another option, but a bit more complicated:  1) Make the "force
to a default" vs "use last setting" a configurable preference. AND 2)
Make the value of the default a configurable preference.

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