Better User Interface

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:50 pm Post

I have observed that design in general, and user interface design in one specific, is a bit like coaching a sports team or being a stand-up comedian.

Many people in the seats are certain they know better than the coach or are funnier than the person on stage. Their certainty lasts right up to the moment when they actually have to demonstrate their presumptive skills, at which point they learn that making it look easy is very difficult.

The same presumptive expertise also surrounds the field of technical writing, a.k.a. documentation. No shortage of soi disant experts in the figurative seats, but ask them to provide an example of how it ought to be done and suddenly they become too busy doing other things…

Cheers & play safely,
Last edited by sfosparky on Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:40 pm Post

pigfender wrote:
Metal Mick wrote:Well, you can keep your facetiousness - I have no time for such stupidity. I was expecting a backlash, but not one so infantile. I was, after all, expressing my opinion as I am entitled to and I shall continue to do so, regardless of whether you like it or not. I care not if you agree with my opinions.You don't have to. Nor do I have to agree with yours.

Tee hee.

Expressing your opinion isn't an entitlement. This is a corporately owned and run forum, and you have no "rights" here. This medium for your expression is a gift from the nice people at LitNLat.

Your freedom of expression as provided in the constitutions of several developed countries, actually only allows you to go set up your own website and host your opinions there. It doesn't require others to host them for you. Even then there are restrictions. The European Convention on Human Rights (which is the prevailing legislation for LitNLat's home country) restricts said freedom (see Article 10) in several ways. Protection of the reputation of others springs to mind here which would legally allow a company to prevent you from expressing opinions if they happened to be completely Wacko.

From a legal standpoint, LitNLat could delete your posts, cancel your forum membership and ban your email address and IP from signing up again. I can't imagine LitNLat ever taking these steps (the most I've ever seen them do is lock a thread - not delete, mind, just lock it). But you should bear in mind that the nice thing to do is always act on the internet as if you are a guest in someone's house. Because right now, you are.

Why would you ever want to give someone feedback where you were "expecting a backlash"? Why did that not give you pause for thought? If you don't care if others agree with your opinions why would you ever share them?


Off topic: I admin a forum and every so often someone will take umbrage about an edited post and they'll start going on about free speech and such. I used to try to explain it to them, but now I just direct them to some reading material: ... titlement/

Which is long, but maybe the best summation of it that I've found.

...of course the last time I did so they reported back that that link was "communism", so maybe I'd better go back to explaining, LOL.

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:24 pm Post

The Steve Pavlina piece is good; thanks for bring it up. (Having lived all my working life as a journalist with quite restrictive fetters on what I can write, I'm always caught by surprise that others are unprepared to acknowledge the same restrictions. But I shouldn't be.)
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:38 pm Post

Evidence that the folks placing said restriction on you are well aware of their insignificance. You only curtail those that could swing public opinion. Right? So by claiming "I'm not bound by your rules" I also imply "I'm impotent in the world of public opinion".

I'm sticking with it.

I will put my neck out there and say that I'm much less patient than anyone on the L&L staff. Or 95% of the scriv crew. Or vic-k's cats. Or Ange. I might be more patient that vic-k. Not sure, couldn't wait for the results.

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09


Metal Mick
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:35 pm Post

pigfender wrote:<snip>

Why would you ever want to give someone feedback where you were "expecting a backlash"? Why did that not give you pause for thought? If you don't care if others agree with your opinions why would you ever share them?

Firstly, I did think about what I wrote - I wanted to add to a thread that had relevance to my user experience, and perhaps contribute to a better Scrivener UI. Don't ever assume I do anything without considering their import. You might also want to stop believing the message was for anyone other than the developer(s) and that I lack experience in UI design.

You have a point though, with such bigoted egotists (you certainly didn't go on your 'rights' rant for my benefit) on this corporate forum, expressing my views is wasteful - my thoughts are only going to be swamped by the naysayers who appear to prefer chasing around the screen hunting for menu items that are placed in hard-to-find locations and buying extra books so they can accomplish the most elementary of tasks. With people like you and KB and others around, why would I bother?

Without a doubt, the Scrivener UI needs work, and help for that isn't going to come from me. I won't return to this thread, so write what you like, as your egos demand.

Good luck with your lives, because with your attitudes, you're going to need it.

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:23 pm Post

Metal Mick wrote:I won't return to this thread

Ah, yes. The right to remain silent.

That one you *do* have. |
"Some dice only have sixes." nom, 19 Oct 2013
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:40 pm Post

And... banned. The first time I've ever banned anyone for anything other than spam, in fact. Users are absolutely welcome to give their feedback - politely - about any aspect of Scrivener, be that UI or this or that feature. As I've tried to make abundantly clear in my posts above, we do not claim that Scrivener is perfect or that it has no room for improvement, and we are continually striving to make it as good as it can possibly be. A great deal of user feedback has gone into refining Scrivener over the years. However, this is a discussion forum, so anyone posting nonsense such as "your software has books written about it which shows it must be designed wrong" should expect an honest response. :) To reply to us or to other users with insults or name-calling can result in a ban.

To reiterate: we welcome *all* feedback, and *never* ban users for expressing negative opinions. We just ask that everyone respect that this forum is part of our workplace and therefore to understand that insults will not be tolerated. (In this case the ban was for ignoring my previous request to avoid insults.) Fortunately, we have a fantastic group of users and this community is usually one of the joys of working on Scrivener.
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Mad Girl Disease
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Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:02 am Post

I'm so sorry I read the last few days of this thread. :(
Lead me not into user error.

Jordi Mora

Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:57 am Post

KB wrote:Fortunately, we have a fantastic group of users and this community is usually one of the joys of working on Scrivener.

Absolutely - I've learned a huge amount in the past few years from this board - and the open-mindedness of the admin is quite remarkable (what other boards have a special nook for discussing software made by others)?

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:29 pm Post

Mad Girl Disease wrote:I'm so sorry I read the last few days of this thread. :(

Really? Like what's-his-face said in The Pickwick Papers, it was "better than a play."

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:00 pm Post

i got all excited and then realised you weren,t talking about banning pig boy. :€
Last edited by Floss on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
i am happy to give feedback on short passages.

be warned, though. my feedback can be blunt... always well intentioned and aimed at helping you improve, but possibly more honest than you are used to.

as such, i will only chip in if directly invited.

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:31 pm Post

It must pass the time while waiting for IOS. :D

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Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:20 pm Post

The thread above was completely unnecessary and rude. Yes, Scrivener could use some UI update, but what matters most is the stability and functionality. I have been using Scrivener for half a year now and have never experienced a crash. I still have the habit to save my work every so many words, but that's mainly because other applications tend to fail me from time to time and saving became a second nature.

Ask me which is more important, UI or UX and I will say that UX is what I love about Scrivener. The cost of the application is nothing compared to what it offers and what it gives me in return. It actually reminds me of my Linux years, when stability, efficient programming were the priority. The UI came later.

Keep up the brilliant work, dear developers. Don't let anything keep you from continuing this magnificent piece of work. I can't wait to see what you still have in store for us.

Back to my latte and paper now.

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Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:37 pm Post

I haven't ever really considered Scrivener's design aesthetic (until this thread)—I see its beauty in its capabilities.

I customise the toolbar to show the icons I use most often, and select "small size" to view as many icons as possible.

In general, I like monochrome designs. Beyond that, I think icons with similar functions group well together if they share the same colour palette.

–Finder related items (binder, collections, move, folder, etc) one colour.

–Text related items (colours, copy/paste format, font sizes, etc) another colour.

–Reference related items (quick ref, annotation, footnote, comments, etc) another colour.

…and so on.

Obviously some icons might arguably fall into more than one group: lots of different ways of working and opinions.

Two icons (personally) I would tweak:
(1) "Invisibles" — in my mind, the small "a" correlates with the capital "A" text icons for bigger, smaller, super- and subscript, making me assume, at a glance, that the icon is font related.
(2) "Move to Trash" — I'd prefer something similar to Mail's trash icon.

But these are such tiny and inconsequential things.
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