On 5 December 2013 03:50, Vaughan Johnson <vaughan@...> wrote:
> Thanks for the further comments, guys.
> I thought our trend in these conversations was to include all prior
> messages and let the email client do the elisions. This one has been
> hard for me to track.
> So I'm replying to the first one in this thread, and trying to cover the
> Overall, I've very long been in favor of less verbiage -- I've shown in
> word and deed.
>> On 4 December 2013 03:01, Federico Miyara <fmiyara@...> wrote:
>>> Dear Steve,
>>>> Is there any evidence that a verbose GUI is better for users? Is this
>>>> good interface design?
>>> Put it in other words: Is there any evidence that verbose is worst?
> Yes, Federico, there are many. Please research, and if you don't find
> anything, I'll point you to some. Steve can also do so, I think.
> One long-standing and repeated experimental result is that when there
> are more words in alerts, especially 4x or more, people don't read them
> and skip ahead (click OK), not really knowing what they chose, just
> because they want to proceed.
> On 12/3/2013 12:25 PM, Steve the Fiddle wrote:
>> I've been looking through a very large number of non-Audacity effects
>> and I notice that the vast majority of interfaces name the controls
>> with one word. In a few exceptional cases there may be two or three
>> words or symbols.
>> Outside of Audacity and Goldwave the *maximum* length of a control
>> name that I found was 3 words.
>> In Audacity we commonly label controls with names that are 3, 4, 5 or
>> even longer names. In one of our more extreme examples Sound Finder
>> has 79 words in the GUI in addition to the effect name with 11 words
>> for the final control.
> That's about the effect dialogs. But I think you (Steve) may have
> recently pushed for longer menu command names, and more submenus, right?
On a few occasions I have been in favour of slightly longer names (a
recent example being to extend "Export" to "Export Audio").
Given out broad range of users I think that it is reasonable to be a
little more "explanatory" than is the general fashion, but in the
specific context of control names I think it important to
differentiate between a "name" and an "explanation". A good "name"
should be suggestive of what the control does, but the place for
explanation is in the manual.
As a brief anecdote:
I remember as a child knowing that the name of the pedal on the right
in a car was "the accelerator". I didn't know what that meant at the
time,, but I liked the word :-) Later, I learned that pressing "the
accelerator" made the car go faster. I still did not know why, but I
liked going faster :-) Later still I learned that "the accelerator"
controlled air flow, and fuel delivery. I still call it "the
accelerator" and not "the air flow and fuel delivery control".
The point of this anecdote is that although "the air flow and fuel
delivery control" is much more descriptive of what the control
actually does, it does not help the novice driver to drive better.
> For example, 'Split' is now not at top level of 'Edit' menu, but seems
> something people would not look into 'Clip Boundaries' to find.
> I'm -1 on repeated churning discussion of renames/reorders of menu
> items, and discussion thereof.
>> Is there any evidence that a verbose GUI is better for users?
> No, but much evidence to the contrary.
>> Is this good interface design?
>> Do we have any guidelines for the use of text in Audacity effects?
> Brevity and pointedness are mine. Strunk and White 'Elements of Style'
> for a starting point, about 90 years ago.
> - V
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