Drag and drop behaviour for the Layout Customizer

Daphne Ogle daphne at media.berkeley.edu
Wed Apr 16 23:30:51 UTC 2008

I prefer the feedback with the full size avatar also.  It makes it  
clear what you are moving.  The yahoo pattern is so small and loses  
the contextual information of the portlet name that the user may not  
be sure that they "picked up" the portlet and which one it is.  I  
think the colored, horizontal bar indicating where the portlet will be  
dropped is also less noticeable than the dotted outline.  I also like  
how the google pattern gives the use immediate feedback about what the  
layout will look like even before they "drop it".

The varied column size does complicate things a bit.  However, if a  
portlet is being dropped to a different sized column it will have to  
adjust anyway so I think it's good for the user to see those  
implications up front.  Can we change the size of the portlets  
dynamically as they are being dropped?

I know Gary is on vacation this week but I am also interested in  
hearing the rationale for the change.  I believe it was based on user  
testing feedback but don't know which feedback was the driver.


On Apr 16, 2008, at 3:53 PM, Eli Cochran wrote:

> I have always felt that the iGoogle pattern was preferred. It made it
> clearer what the result was going to be on the page. However, there is
> something about the iGoogle pattern that I had never noticed before;
> the column widths are identical.
> I actually think that you might have it backwards Colin, that the
> Yahoo pattern is better when the things that are being moved are
> different sizes and shapes, especially when they might end up being
> different sizes and shapes depending on which column they end up being
> dropped into.
> I'm just musing here... what would the experience be like in in the
> iGoogle pattern if the avatar had to change dimensions as you dragged
> it around? Or maybe it doesn't and just the outline that shows the
> drop changes dimensions?
> I don't have the answer. I know that I like the iGoogle pattern
> better. It gives better feedback, it's cleaner. I have a better sense
> of what the end result will be. But I worry that Yahoo made the choice
> that they made because with panes of irregular dimensions, the other
> pattern just didn't work very well.
> - Eli
> P.S. I think that we're using the right pattern for the Lightbox
> because there is a difference between changing the composition of a
> page, and re-ordering like-items.
> On Apr 16, 2008, at 3:33 PM, Colin Clark wrote:
>> Hello designers,
>> We've been doing a lot of review and testing of the Layout Customizer
>> component in preparation for the Fluid Infusion 0.3 release. One of
>> the things we've been thinking about is the behaviour of drag and  
>> drop
>> in this component.
>> A couple of months ago, Gary and Shaw-Han did a great job of putting
>> together some detailed mockups. They're available at:
>> http://wiki.fluidproject.org/display/fluid/Portlet+Reorderer+Mockups
>> If you notice, these mockups specify an approach that is very similar
>> to myYahoo's news portal, available at http://cm.my.yahoo.com/. The
>> noteworthy features of this approach are:
>> * the use of a small drag "avatar" (the thing that follows your
>> mouse during a drag operation)
>> * a coloured, horizontal bar representing the drop target (the spot
>> where the thing will land when you let go of the mouse)
>> Another approach to drag and drop layouts is documented in the Fluid
>> design pattern for Layout Preview:
>> http://wiki.fluidproject.org/display/fluid/Drag+and+Drop+-+Layout+Preview
>> This approach is similar to iGoogle, http://www.google.com/ig.
>> Noteworthy features include:
>> * the use of a full-sized, transparent drag avatar that shows the
>> whole portlet
>> * a full-sized outlined box for the drop target
>> * other portlets on the page shift out of the way to show a
>> realistic preview of how the layout will look
>> What's the best approach? I'm thinking this is one of those "it
>> depends" questions. When portlets are similar in size and closely
>> spaced, the myYahoo approach is probably simpler and easier to
>> control. When portlets are more widely spaced and may have different
>> sizes, a full preview of the layout seems more useful.
>> At the time of the original designs, it's my understanding that we
>> went with the myYahoo-style interaction because it was immediately
>> similar to some existing code we have in the Reorderer. On the other
>> hand, the Reorderer is highly customizable. The dev team tells me  
>> that
>> implementing both behaviours should be relatively straightforward. It
>> may impact our release date a bit, but should we consider taking the
>> time to provide an option that will allow for the iGoogle-style of
>> preview?
>> I'd really appreciate opinions and advice from designers in the
>> community.
>> Colin
>> ---
>> Colin Clark
>> Technical Lead, Fluid Project
>> Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
>> http://fluidproject.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> fluid-work mailing list
>> fluid-work at fluidproject.org
>> http://fluidproject.org/mailman/listinfo/fluid-work
> . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .   .    .      .         .              .                     .
> Eli Cochran
> user interaction developer
> ETS, UC Berkeley
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at fluidproject.org
> http://fluidproject.org/mailman/listinfo/fluid-work

Daphne Ogle
Senior Interaction Designer
University of California, Berkeley
Educational Technology Services
daphne at media.berkeley.edu
cell (510)847-0308

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