[UX advise] Key navigation in ValueSet controls

Matteo Casalin matteo.casalin at gmx.com
Sat Mar 3 09:54:15 PST 2012

Hi Astron,

On 03/03/2012 04:07 PM, Stefan Knorr (Astron) wrote:
> Hi Matteo,
> so, took me a while to find the courage to read that :) But good
> observations these are.

Yeah, I was quite afraid of the length of my email :) Thanks for reading 
it all!

> Anyway, ...
>> Is this behavior the expected/commonly accepted one?
>> I would like to propose:
>> * left/right motion should not wrap around from first to last (or last
>>   to first) item. Moving through lines is fine (behavior similar to
>>   moving through text), although we can also just stay on the same line
>>   and stop at its borders.
> Makes sense to me. Although, of course the decision depends on whether
> we want to make it fast to go to an arbitrary position without much
> exactitude or whether we want to make it fast to go to the exact
> start/end. Your proposal seemingly aims for goal #2.

Well, in this case my goal is to let the user see the content of 
not-full rows without explicitly looking for it, and to move rapidly 
from an item to another without too much corrections.

>> * up/down should not wrap around. If pressing up on a middle column of
>>   the first line, then it moves to the first item. If pressing down, it
>>   should move to the column below if present, to the last item
>>   otherwise.
>  From my Western perspective that does make sense. However, I fear,
> such behaviour might be unexpected in some cultures (that use
> top-to-bottom scripts). Any experts?

Good catch. Also speaking from a Western perspective, I find it somewhat 
confusing to be brought at the opposite side of the one I was moving to 
(and columns can be long and involve scrolling, while rows don't 
scroll). My point is that currently left/right let you navigate through 
all the items, while up/down keys can leave a row "hidden".

>> * page up/down should mimic the behaviour of up/down keys: move in the
>>   same column when possible (even if the distance is less than a page)
>>   and, when pressed again and no motion in the current column is
>>   possible, reach the first/last element. I don't know if disabling
>>   navigation when key-modifiers are pressed makes sense.
> Makes sense. I guess, modifiers should be allowed (but not modify
> anything), in all cases where that's possible without unintended
> consequences.

I don't know the original goals of that features: currently it seems to 
me that if you use modifiers than nothing happens.

>> * If "none" item is present, then it could be accessed only from the
>>   first item by pressing any of left/up (also page up/home ?) keys.
>>   When selected, it can be exited only by pressing right/down (also
>>   page down/end?) keys, but always lead to the first item.
> Makes sense.

I'm less sure of this, now. If a wrap around for up/down is desired, the 
current behavior of always passing through the "none" item probably 
makes more sense. Unless we find a dedicated key to select that item, 
which could solve the situation. Any idea?

>> * Return key behavior: at least it should not close the color
>>   configuration window, but my guess is that's a misconfiguration of
>>   the specific instance of ValueSet.
> Not entirely sure about this one, although probably most people would
> want to use Return and Tab the same way (i. e. to get to the next
> widget and select a colour).

Wow. Too many things I didn't consider!
Honestly, my plans were to simplify code and provide a more consistent 
behavior than the current one, that I find somehow confusing.
I guess we should wait for some hints on the desired up/down behavior 
and then see how to proceed (if there's need to).

Thanks for your thoughts!

> Astron.
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