Lightbox: Cut and Paste / Drag and Drop
a.cheetham at utoronto.ca
Thu Jun 7 13:46:05 UTC 2007
Sorry to weigh in so late in this discussion, but yesterday I was
distracted by non-Fluid work :-(
On 6-Jun-07, at 1:04 PM, Michael S Elledge wrote:
>> 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),
> I think this is better both because it is both more familiar and
> easier to implement.
I would argue that it will likely NOT be easier to implement. We
haven't yet worked out exactly how cut and paste would be implemented
technically, but the issues raised regarding browser interception of
the keystrokes, cancelling the action before pasting, undoing,
switching away from the Gallery tool between the cut and the paste,
all of these raise red flags in my mind about the complexity of
implementing cut and paste.
On 6-Jun-07, at 4:04 PM, Daphne Ogle wrote:
> these are new kinds of rich interactions and it's OK be innovative
> as long as it is very easy to learn and do. The lightbox
> component will include the ability to drag and drop which requires
> learning as a fairly new web interaction. But...once a user has
> done it once, they get it.
I agree with this line of thought. Just because it's new and
different doesn't mean it's bad.
Also, Daphne referenced the lightbox metaphor itself. When I imagine
a person using a physical lightbox, I envision them sliding pictures
around to rearrange them. While it is true that computer users are
accustomed to using cut & paste in editing tasks, we are not really
dealing with an editing task. This is a re-ordering task. It is
different than editing, and I don't think it's a bad idea to use
different keystrokes. In fact, cut & paste, in editing, imply
several things that we are not offering. Cut can be used instead of
delete - do we want to provide that? Paste can be repeated multiple
times to effect a copy - do we want to provide that? If the answer to
these questions is yes, then probably cut and paste IS the way to go,
but then I think "lightbox" is not quite the right name for the
Perhaps what we should be doing is asking these questions of some
users :-) We have a working prototype of the ctrl-arrow
implementation. Maybe we should ask a few target users to try it out
and tell us whether or not they found using ctrl-arrow to be
difficult, or un-intuitive, and whether or not they would have
expected cut & paste to be used for this type of task, and what other
functionality they would expect if cut & paste were the metaphor, etc.
Anastasia Cheetham a.cheetham at utoronto.ca
Software Designer, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
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