Lightbox: Cut and Paste / Drag and Drop
shawhan.liem at utoronto.ca
Wed Jun 6 16:09:35 UTC 2007
We had a talk yesterday at the ATRC about the keyboard-only
interaction for the Lightbox component. The idea came up that we
should perhaps use the 'cut and paste' metaphor for the keyboard
shortcuts (as this interaction is already familiar to most users), and
this raised a few questions.
Our understanding is that there are two elements to the 'cut and
paste' idea: the keyboard interaction (i.e. the standard CTRL-X,
CTRL-V keyboard shortcuts), and the visual response (cutting and
pasting text in a word processor is an example of this - the text
disappears when cut, you move a cursor to a new spot, and then paste
Currently, our keyboard interaction is based the 'drag and drop'
metaphor (user holds CTRL to 'pick up' and image, and then the arrow
keys to 'drag' to a new spot). Similarly, our visual design for
keyboard-only interactions is very close to the design for mouse-based
drag and drop (i.e. when and object is 'picked up' it remains on the
screen as a 'ghost', and the ghost becomes a preview for the new
So the question was: If we do decide to implement the added
'cut/paste' keyboard shortcuts, does it make sense to change the
visual design and behaviour so that it more closely follows the 'cut
and paste' convention (for example, when you "cut" an image, it would
disappear and be replaced by a 'cursor' until it is pasted again).
Alernately, does it make sense to use the cut/paste keyboard shortcuts
while keeping the current visual cues?
Also, assuming we are able to capture events from the 'standard'
cut/paste keyboard shortcuts (i.e. CTRL-X, CTRL-V), should we also be
implementing other interactions such as undo (CTRL-Z) and copy
(CTRL-C). There are also further complications such as what happens
when the user cuts a thumbnail without placing the previous one, or
leaves the gallery tool without pasting?
Hopefully I have explained the questions sufficiently... anyone who
was part of the meeting yesterday please feel free to jump in if I
haven't made things clear enough!
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