Salon on Mozilla

Tuesday March 12th, 2002

A number of people have submitted this article, and while it's not really news, it's just another example of how Mozilla is starting to win people over. This is also beneficial to the evangelism efforts going on.

#63 Re: Re: Yep

by strauss

Thursday March 14th, 2002 8:51 PM

You are replying to this message

> How do you delete more than one item at a time? You don't.

Funny, I have the History pane open right now in Mac IE 5.1 and I just did that. Click in the gray to get the rectangle tool and select as many history entries as I like, then hit Delete. Badabing, badaboom, all gone, bye bye.

>> (3) Click the triangle next to the folder (not the folder itself, of course) for `Today', which is annoyingly collapsed by default.

> Yeah, or double click the folder. It must be difficult for users to get this concept, since this is how it works in their Windows Explorer file manager, and in 4.x's history window.

Come on. Today's folder should be opened by default. How much more obvious could something be?

> > (5) Click -- whoops, no, *double*-click -- on the item you want. You're done, eventually.

> Why is this concept so confusing to you? I don't know if you realize this, but this is how the file manager works for 99% of Windows users.

Nice stealth insults there. What _you_ don't seem to realize is that history is made up of links, not files. You don't double-click links to open them.

> In the thousands upon thousands of pieces of 6.x feedback I've read, not a single user mentioned the difficulty of our history functions.

You expect detailed usability feedback from users outside the scope of a user test? What's your involvement with usability? Have you had any?

> We offer the history sidebar panel (on by default) with nearly identical functionality to IE's *for users who want to visit sites quickly*. We offer the history management windows *for users who want to manage their history*. So let's see, we match their existing functionality and extend it with a manager they don't even offer. We win.

No, spreading the same functionality out over multiple user interfaces is an objective usability failing in most cases, including this one. Edit-in-place has been the standard model for GUIs since there have been mass-market GUIs. It's like saying, it's fine, we have one place to view the text, and another place to edit it. That dog won't hunt.

Matthew, is this the level of feedback you're used to on this project? If so, you have my sympathy. It's hard to be that lone voice crying out in the wilderness. This is what drove Eli away from Netscape, huh? ("Here's a nickel, kid, buy yourself a copy of the Mac Human Interface Guidelines." Heh.)