Cleaning up the default toolbars

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mirek2 mirek2
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Cleaning up the default toolbars

Hi everyone,
Now that we want to bring a new icon scheme to LibreOffice and make large
icons the default, it'd be good to make the top toolbars a bit more compact
as well.
In particular, I was thinking we could condense the standard toolbar enough
to share a row with the formatting toolbar.

As a first step, I would propose to create a drop-down menu at the end of
the toolbar, similar to that in Google Chrome or elementary applications
[1]. This menu should hold all the items that we determine not to be
important enough to show all the time, but useful enough not to be hidden
by default. At the end of the menu, there should be a "Customize..." entry,
so that people who have gotten used to a certain button being shown all the
time can bring it back easily.

This menu should be easy enough to implement, I hope. If a developer wants
to do more, he could implement aligning toolbars to the right or
drag-and-drop for easy customization, but it's not a necessity right now.

What do you think?

[1]
http://elementaryos.org/docs/human-interface-guidelines/ui-toolkit-elements/toolbars/appmenu

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Regina Henschel Regina Henschel
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

Hi Mirek,

Mirek M. schrieb:
> Hi everyone,
> Now that we want to bring a new icon scheme to LibreOffice and make large
> icons the default, it'd be good to make the top toolbars a bit more compact
> as well.
> In particular, I was thinking we could condense the standard toolbar enough
> to share a row with the formatting toolbar.

I don't think that it is possible, because the style and font drop-down
lists are rather wide. But there are indeed some candidates of icons,
that can be dropped totally. Unfortunately different users will consider
different icons as being unimportant.

>
> As a first step, I would propose to create a drop-down menu at the end of
> the toolbar, similar to that in Google Chrome or elementary applications
> [1]. This menu should hold all the items that we determine not to be
> important enough to show all the time, but useful enough not to be hidden
> by default. At the end of the menu, there should be a "Customize..." entry,
> so that people who have gotten used to a certain button being shown all the
> time can bring it back easily.

That feature is already there. Decrease the width of the application
window, so that the toolbar is wider than the window. You get an arrow
at the end of the toolbar. The real problem is, that this does not work
in between. If you have two toolbars in one row (e.g. the standard
toolbar and the find-toolbar) then the first one uses all place it can
get to show all of its icons. It is not possible to restrict the width
of a toolbar to a fixed value.

>
> This menu should be easy enough to implement, I hope. If a developer wants
> to do more, he could implement aligning toolbars to the right or
> drag-and-drop for easy customization, but it's not a necessity right now.
>
> What do you think?

I would like to have standard toolbars that are as similar as possible
for all modules. That would not be possible when mixing it with the
formatting toolbar.

The formatting toolbar depends on active context. With active picture
you have another one than in simple writing mode or with text edit mode
of graphics.

People like to handle toolbar position different on large screens and on
small netbooks, for example put the standard toolbar to the left on
netbooks.

So no, I do not like the idea of merging the toolbars. I would more like
it, if I could fix the width of a toolbar.

Kind regards
Regina

>
> [1]
> http://elementaryos.org/docs/human-interface-guidelines/ui-toolkit-elements/toolbars/appmenu
>


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Sean White Sean White
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

Do we have to make the large icons default to bring in the new design
scheme.  It doesn't add any value and with the current layout of toolbars
actually make the window look ugly on all systems bar Gnome 3 where
EVERYTHING is huge and thus looks equally ugly.

Jokes about Gnome 3 aside, it is still a fact that only IT is making large
things default and on every-other OS (even Win8) the normal sized icons
look perfectly fine and and actually come with the added bonus of being
able to fit more of a toolbar in a confined space such as your average
laptop screen.


On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 3:27 AM, Regina Henschel <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hi Mirek,
>
> Mirek M. schrieb:
>
>  Hi everyone,
>> Now that we want to bring a new icon scheme to LibreOffice and make large
>> icons the default, it'd be good to make the top toolbars a bit more
>> compact
>> as well.
>> In particular, I was thinking we could condense the standard toolbar
>> enough
>> to share a row with the formatting toolbar.
>>
>
> I don't think that it is possible, because the style and font drop-down
> lists are rather wide. But there are indeed some candidates of icons, that
> can be dropped totally. Unfortunately different users will consider
> different icons as being unimportant.
>
>
>
>> As a first step, I would propose to create a drop-down menu at the end of
>> the toolbar, similar to that in Google Chrome or elementary applications
>> [1]. This menu should hold all the items that we determine not to be
>> important enough to show all the time, but useful enough not to be hidden
>> by default. At the end of the menu, there should be a "Customize..."
>> entry,
>> so that people who have gotten used to a certain button being shown all
>> the
>> time can bring it back easily.
>>
>
> That feature is already there. Decrease the width of the application
> window, so that the toolbar is wider than the window. You get an arrow at
> the end of the toolbar. The real problem is, that this does not work in
> between. If you have two toolbars in one row (e.g. the standard toolbar and
> the find-toolbar) then the first one uses all place it can get to show all
> of its icons. It is not possible to restrict the width of a toolbar to a
> fixed value.
>
>
>
>> This menu should be easy enough to implement, I hope. If a developer wants
>> to do more, he could implement aligning toolbars to the right or
>> drag-and-drop for easy customization, but it's not a necessity right now.
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>
> I would like to have standard toolbars that are as similar as possible for
> all modules. That would not be possible when mixing it with the formatting
> toolbar.
>
> The formatting toolbar depends on active context. With active picture you
> have another one than in simple writing mode or with text edit mode of
> graphics.
>
> People like to handle toolbar position different on large screens and on
> small netbooks, for example put the standard toolbar to the left on
> netbooks.
>
> So no, I do not like the idea of merging the toolbars. I would more like
> it, if I could fix the width of a toolbar.
>
> Kind regards
> Regina
>
>
>
>> [1]
>> http://elementaryos.org/docs/human-interface-guidelines/ui-t
>> oolkit-elements/toolbars/appmenu
>>
>>
>
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>



--
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Within Temptation - Your Argument Is Invalid

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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

In reply to this post by Regina Henschel
Hi everyone!

Am Samstag, den 24.11.2012, 17:27 +0100 schrieb Regina Henschel:

> Hi Mirek,
>
> Mirek M. schrieb:
> > Hi everyone,
> > Now that we want to bring a new icon scheme to LibreOffice and make large
> > icons the default, it'd be good to make the top toolbars a bit more compact
> > as well.
> > In particular, I was thinking we could condense the standard toolbar enough
> > to share a row with the formatting toolbar.
>
> I don't think that it is possible, because the style and font drop-down
> lists are rather wide. But there are indeed some candidates of icons,
> that can be dropped totally. Unfortunately different users will consider
> different icons as being unimportant.

[...]

Some kind reminder that there has been some research work within the
Renaissance project at OpenOffice.org. At least there is some indication
what features are less used than others - and I'm sure some of those
features can be removed without to much headaches (when thinking about
the more average user).

Here is an example: http://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Tracking_results

Personally, I think that these data is - despite the improvements /
changes made in LibO - still valid for LibreOffice. At least, it's a
starting point ...

Cheers,
Christoph


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Fitoschido Fitoschido
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

In reply to this post by Sean White
+1000000000000000000000

On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 5:41 PM, Sean White <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Do we have to make the large icons default to bring in the new design
> scheme.  It doesn't add any value and with the current layout of toolbars
> actually make the window look ugly on all systems bar Gnome 3 where
> EVERYTHING is huge and thus looks equally ugly.
>
> Jokes about Gnome 3 aside, it is still a fact that only IT is making large
> things default and on every-other OS (even Win8) the normal sized icons
> look perfectly fine and and actually come with the added bonus of being
> able to fit more of a toolbar in a confined space such as your average
> laptop screen.

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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

In reply to this post by Regina Henschel
Hi Regina,

On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM, Regina Henschel <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hi Mirek,
>
> Mirek M. schrieb:
>
>  Hi everyone,
>> Now that we want to bring a new icon scheme to LibreOffice and make large
>> icons the default, it'd be good to make the top toolbars a bit more
>> compact
>> as well.
>> In particular, I was thinking we could condense the standard toolbar
>> enough
>> to share a row with the formatting toolbar.
>>
>
> I don't think that it is possible, because the style and font drop-down
> lists are rather wide.


I agree.
It'd be great to have the font picker condensed into a button. [2] (The
reasoning behind it boils down to the ux-visual-hierarchy principle [3],
as the other commands on the formatting toolbar tend to be more commonly
used, thus deserve more space and prominence, and, when it comes to fonts,
we really want to encourage the use of styles.)
Now that we have style previews, there should be nothing stopping us.

But there are indeed some candidates of icons, that can be dropped totally.
> Unfortunately different users will consider different icons as being
> unimportant.


That's why it'd be preferable to put them under a visible menu instead,
with a "Customize..." button at the end, so that the user can easily find a
hidden command and bring it back to the toolbar if he needs to.

>
> As a first step, I would propose to create a drop-down menu at the end of
>> the toolbar, similar to that in Google Chrome or elementary applications
>> [1]. This menu should hold all the items that we determine not to be
>> important enough to show all the time, but useful enough not to be hidden
>> by default. At the end of the menu, there should be a "Customize..."
>> entry,
>> so that people who have gotten used to a certain button being shown all
>> the
>> time can bring it back easily.
>>
>
> That feature is already there. Decrease the width of the application
> window, so that the toolbar is wider than the window. You get an arrow at
> the end of the toolbar.


I was thinking something more akin to a persistent, non-expanding Tools
menu, as seen in Google Chrome or elementary.
The advantage would be a cleaner default UI and a step toward being able to
hide menu bars on systems where applications without them are a standard
(elementary OS, and increasingly Windows and GNOME as well).


> The real problem is, that this does not work in between. If you have two
> toolbars in one row (e.g. the standard toolbar and the find-toolbar) then
> the first one uses all place it can get to show all of its icons. It is not
> possible to restrict the width of a toolbar to a fixed value.


How about this then: a toolbar that is right-aligned has preference over a
left-aligned toolbar. In other words, LibreOffice hides its icons only if
all of the left-aligned toolbar's icons on the same line are hidden.
See this mockup for illustration:
https://ubuntuone.com/7kamSlZ9XJsmdrq9a4zBYh.
(The original layout is here: https://ubuntuone.com/2c4HichNKuWplCJDwWRAA5.)

>
>
>> This menu should be easy enough to implement, I hope. If a developer wants
>> to do more, he could implement aligning toolbars to the right or
>> drag-and-drop for easy customization, but it's not a necessity right now.
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>
> I would like to have standard toolbars that are as similar as possible for
> all modules. That would not be possible when mixing it with the formatting
> toolbar.


> The formatting toolbar depends on active context. With active picture you
> have another one than in simple writing mode or with text edit mode of
> graphics.
>
> People like to handle toolbar position different on large screens and on
> small netbooks, for example put the standard toolbar to the left on
> netbooks.


> So no, I do not like the idea of merging the toolbars. I would more like
> it, if I could fix the width of a toolbar.



I think you misunderstood the proposal -- there was nothing about merging
the standard toolbar with the formatting toolbar.
[2] http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:F-list.png
[3] http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Principles

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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

In reply to this post by Sean White
On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 12:41 AM, Sean White <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Do we have to make the large icons default to bring in the new design
> scheme.  It doesn't add any value and with the current layout of toolbars
> actually make the window look ugly on all systems bar Gnome 3 where
> EVERYTHING is huge and thus looks equally ugly.
>
> Jokes about Gnome 3 aside, it is still a fact that only IT is making large
> things default and on every-other OS (even Win8) the normal sized icons
> look perfectly fine and and actually come with the added bonus of being
> able to fit more of a toolbar in a confined space such as your average
> laptop screen.


OK -- we'll discuss this at our IRC chat.

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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

Hi everyone,
I uploaded a much more detailed proposal to
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Whiteboards/Toolbar_layout.
Please take a look.

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Heiko Tietze Heiko Tietze
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Re: Cleaning up the default toolbars

In reply to this post by mirek2
I'm wondering why the decision to remove the main menu bar, to clean up a tool bar, to add pop-up menus etc. are made in the design section. I'd like to add some comments from a usability point of view.

Tool bars must not be contaminated with pop-up menu. It's reason is fast access for frequently used functions. (The full collection of all functions should be accessible via menu bar only.) User's orientation gets reduced with pop-up menus, numerous and cluttered items.
When the menu bar is removed the tool bars' layout becomes consequently more complex. But actually rather the tool bar is removed and the main menu bar gets larger and "itemized". There should no other reason to do so than touch input. But keep in mind that it removes functionality (fast access) in favour of those big buttons.
Merging tool bars is a bad idea since it is the most prominent grouping feature. In our latest icon test we found some icons with very loose association to their respective function. For instance, Oxygen's 'new' is often mixed up with other functions. But no one hesitates to click the left most icon. That means grouping is as important as perfect icons and labels.

Last but not least, LO users have an ambivalent attitude to Ribbon like controls. Some like it some hate it [1]. So I would suggest to ask the users. We could prepare some simple mockups with one or two bars, with small or big buttons, with more or less items etc. Never decide on your own.

[1] http://user-prompt.com/libreoffice-user-research-results-vol-4/

PS: Where can I found the discussion about the new icon scheme?