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  • Usability issue...

    Here is something that does not work for me usability-wise. Its something that I think is visually confusing to many people.



    The green left and right arrows are actually buttons and NOT indicators as to where the change is located! I would have expected them just to be indicators (not buttons). If they are buttons, why is the image of the arrow not the same as is used in the main UI to copy lines from left to right and right to left?

    Personally, I would remove the buttons (people can use the main UI to copy the text, or use keyboard shortcuts!), reverse the sense of the arrows to give the meaning "e.g. Top arrow (not a button, just an image) points to the left which means that this line is what is shown on the left-hand pane.

    In order not to annoy people used to the old way, you could have this as a preference, with the new way as the default.

    Best,

    Friedrich

  • #2
    Hello,

    Unfortunately, it looks like your picture did not come through. If you are having trouble with attachments on the forum (under Go Advanced), you can email us at [email protected]. Please include a link to this forum thread in the email.

    In the Text Compare, the green arrow is in the gutter section of each side, pointing to the line(s) that are currently selected. Clicking the arrow would then copy these lines to the other side. The green arrow would appear directly beside the selected line(s) section. It is only visible if there is a selection of multiple lines made (or a click into the gutter). Is this the green arrow you refer to?
    Aaron P Scooter Software

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    • #3
      Aaron wrote:
      In the Text Compare, the green arrow is in the gutter section of each side, pointing to the
      ine(s) that are currently selected. Clicking the arrow would then copy these lines to the other side. The green arrow would appear directly beside the selected line(s) section. It is only visible if there is a selection of multiple lines made (or a click into the gutter). Is this the green arrow you refer to?

      Yes, its the arrows, maybe we don't need a screenshot. I did a little usability test with this and found that about 50% of developers (n=5) did not know how this works. I think the problem is a visual one - the arrows used to transfer a block and a line look too different. It is also not immediately apparent (visually) that the arrows at the bottom are in fact buttons, and how they work differently from the block copy ones. So if it was me I would do the following:
      1. Change the UI look of the bottom arrows to match the look of the arrows at the top - keep the same color, but make the bottom arrows a tiny bit thinner, but just a hint
      2. Change the look and feel of all arrow buttons to give them a less flat look when not hovered over (appear more button like). This may not be quite as sexy looking, but then conveys visually that these are buttons. This is not necessary for the toolbar, since people expect buttons there.

      The problem people who don't know the software have is that the bottom buttons can be mistaken for just static bitmaps. If you as a user think they are static bitmaps, then the arrow for the top line points to the right, indicating to the novice user that the top line is in the right-hand file comparison pane, whereas the top line is always in left hand pane.

      I think some very small and easy-to do visual changes could really help your product here, and if all you did was change the colour and shape of the bottom arrow it would be great.

      F.

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      • #4
        Hello,

        Thanks for the suggestions. It's something we'll consider. The Copy Section (yellow) and Copy Line/Selection (green) arrows are meant to be differently themed.

        For users that did not realize that the green arrows in the Line Details section were buttons, were they clicking on them and expecting different behavior?
        Aaron P Scooter Software

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