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Thread: This toggle button is confusing

  1. #11
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    This is the exact same "technology" that decades old light switches use.

  2. #12
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    This is the exact same "technology" that decades old light switches use.
    Well is it off or on?

    Also moved as we're now heading into a discussion on the design of Gnome UI's toggles.
    Last edited by ikt; June 25th, 2013 at 06:20 PM.
    // Blog

  3. #13
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    All computer interfaces must be learned. There's nothing at all intuitive about any of them. It's just a marketing buzzword.

  4. #14
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    All computer interfaces must be learned. There's nothing at all intuitive about any of them. It's just a marketing buzzword.
    I'm a usability expert and user interface designer/programmer, been working on TV interfaces for a decade and other interfaces for 15 years now.

    I could not understand the functionality of that toggle button.

    If you were seeing this button for the first time, and had to gamble with your life which was on and off, you'd be pretty uncertain.

  5. #15
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by argvar View Post
    If you were seeing this button for the first time, and had to gamble with your life which was on and off, you'd be pretty uncertain.
    Yes, you would need to learn what it does.

    I agree that how this button works is not instantly obvious. I also agree that some constructions are easier to learn to use than others. But, we have to learn to use any interface, even if we can apply what we learned a long time ago (like what a keyboard and a mouse do.)

  6. #16
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Yes, you would need to learn what it does.

    I agree that how this button works is not instantly obvious. I also agree that some constructions are easier to learn to use than others. But, we have to learn to use any interface, even if we can apply what we learned a long time ago (like what a keyboard and a mouse do.)
    You're much too forgiving for my taste, but good that you agree.

    I'd personally like to meet those who decided that this was a good design and yell at them.
    It's been said that Steve Jobs liked to yell at his workers... I wonder where Apple would be today if Steve Jobs was like "Oh well, the users just have to learn it I guess...".

  7. #17
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by argvar View Post
    You're much too forgiving for my taste, but good that you agree.

    I'd personally like to meet those who decided that this was a good design and yell at them.
    It's been said that Steve Jobs liked to yell at his workers... I wonder where Apple would be today if Steve Jobs was like "Oh well, the users just have to learn it I guess...".
    That's not exactly what I'm saying. I disagree with the frequent rants here, there, and everywhere, from someone who didn't instantly understand something and therefore slams it as "unintuitive", unlike the wonderfully intuitive nature of the thing he's been using for the last 5 years.

    It's all learned behavior, some easy, some unnecessarily difficult. When *you* design an interface, don't you rely on the user's knowledge, for example, that clicking on some of the things on screen makes certain things happen, and that the piece of hardware called a mouse is used to generate a click? That's learned behavior. Might you not design in a different way if you knew the target users were people who had never seen or used a computer?

  8. #18
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    That's not exactly what I'm saying. I disagree with the frequent rants here, there, and everywhere, from someone who didn't instantly understand something and therefore slams it as "unintuitive", unlike the wonderfully intuitive nature of the thing he's been using for the last 5 years.

    It's all learned behavior, some easy, some unnecessarily difficult. When *you* design an interface, don't you rely on the user's knowledge, for example, that clicking on some of the things on screen makes certain things happen, and that the piece of hardware called a mouse is used to generate a click? That's learned behavior. Might you not design in a different way if you knew the target users were people who had never seen or used a computer?
    It is true, a user must have certain knowledge to use computers, a mouse, a keyboard, a browser, etc.

    Maybe what I am getting at is... things that are unintuitive but don't need to be.

    I'm looking at this toggle button right now, in Settings > Privacy. I can see it is set to OFF because well I see "OFF". However, if I wanted to turn it ON I would have to click on "OFF". How does that make sense, if you want to turn something ON you click on OFF, and vice versa? My brain hurts!

    The problem is it is shows the current state without indicating it is the current state, and shows the counter-state for the result of the next action, e.g. clicking OFF means ON.
    Last edited by argvar; June 26th, 2013 at 10:19 PM.

  9. #19
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by argvar View Post
    I'm looking at this toggle button right now, in Settings > Privacy. I can see it is set to OFF because well I see "OFF". However, if I wanted to turn it ON I would have to click on "OFF". How does that make sense, if you want to turn something ON you click on OFF, and vice versa? My brain hurts!
    Shows the limitations, I think, of trying to mimic real world objects, like a light switch. Those buttons don't look like a light switch to me, probably because they can't, being two-dimensional.

    Here, though, clicking anywhere on the button toggles it between its two states.

  10. #20
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    Re: This toggle button is confusing

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    Shows the limitations, I think, of trying to mimic real world objects, like a light switch. Those buttons don't look like a light switch to me, probably because they can't, being two-dimensional.

    Here, though, clicking anywhere on the button toggles it between its two states.
    When I see this toggle button I think of the WC door locks, one showing "OCCUPIED" in red and "UNOCCUPIED" in green.

    Problem is in UI is that the user can have either the question in his mind "Is it occupied" or "Is it unoccupied" and both have equal weight.
    But the thought of the (WC) user is clear, he wants to know if he can go in, because well he has to use the toilet and that is the only question in his mind in the moment! Green and red are subtle indication of that, just like traffic lights. Green means you can go right in, red means NOOO.

    Light switches are bad choice of comparison, because there are so many light switches. The one I have have is similar to this:

    ^ this is the ON state. However, in my apartment I sometimes have two switches for the same light, so if I turn on one of them then one of them is in the incorrect state.

    Of course this one is no better:

    ^ does it show ON or OFF state? Or does it show that if you push it up it goes into OFF state?

    What about this one?

    ^ IMO probably the best alternative, but only if you had ON at top and OFF at bottom.
    LIke this:


    I think we may be exiting the realm of user interface design and entering a realm of philosophy here.
    Last edited by argvar; June 26th, 2013 at 11:05 PM.

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