Too many clicks

Allison Bloodworth abloodworth at
Fri Feb 8 22:46:13 UTC 2008

Oftentimes hearing that 'there are too many clicks' is a symptom of  
other problems, such as the fact that it's too hard to figure out  
which clicks are necessary to achieve the desired goal, that after a  
click things take too long to load, or (as in the example below) that  
the system requires repeated confirmation of things users expect it  
to remember.

The Sakai UX DG & some UX folks on the Fluid project were recently  
discussing the issues which could arise if users are confused because  
the system saves state--the non-working back button is certainly one  
of those ( 
+Issues+and+Discussions). Daphne Ogle and I are currently conducting  
'contextual inquiries' (which involves watching users work and asking  
them questions as necessary) with Sakai users, and this was  
definitely a source of confusion for the users we have talked to. We  
were thinking that it would be good for someone to take on the  
project of figuring out where in Sakai saving state causes problems  
and documenting it (perhaps we could start on the above referenced  
web page, and if there is enough interest, create a new web page just  
for this issue).

I am aware that Sakai's ability to save state when working in  
multiple tools is helpful to some users (usually instructors), and  
really do understand why those folks would like to see the system  
remain as is. However, I believe that the problems it causes for  
numerous other users (e.g. non-power users like students) does not  
outweigh this benefit. At the Fluid Summit we started thinking about  
ways to give those instructors the functionality they were looking  
for without saving state (such as the "Suspend - Inject - Resume"  
component near the bottom of this page: 
x/8QEa), but have not fully fleshed out any solutions. I'm hopeful  
that a solution can be found to give instructors similar  
functionality without actually saving state.


On Feb 7, 2008, at 8:54 PM, Marx, Harry wrote:

> I'm sorry, this is a "me too" and a "soapbox"
> Indeed, in an environment where "adherance to standards" are preached,
> you have to first respect other existing standards/practises and
> preferences...
> Harry Marx   (MSc Biochemistry, BSc - IT)
> System Analyst and Developer
> CVV - 5th floor room 119
> Tel: +27 12 429 3499
> Cell: 073 623 1939
> "In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded." - Terry  
> Pratchet,
> on the creation of the universe.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Marshall [mailto:adam.marshall at]
> Sent: 07 February 2008 16:04
> To: 'Sakai'
> Cc: 'Sakai UI UI'
> Subject: RE: Too many clicks
> | -----Original Message-----
> | From: Steve Lonn [mailto:slonn at]
> | Sent: 07 February 2008 13:50
> | To: Sakai
> | Cc: Sakai UI UI; Jonny Brown
> | Subject: Re: Too many clicks
> |
> | Also CCing the UX list on this conversation...
> |
> |
> | We have received comments about too many clicks every year on our
> | annual surveys at Michigan. While not a huge outcry, the few  
> users who
> | do mention "clicks" in their messages do have some good points.
> | Here's a sampling of the kinds of responses we got last year when we
> | asked "What is the most important improvement you want?":
> | |
> |
> |
> | Links in Resources are sometimes frustrating to access. The  
> browser's
> | back button does not work like it's supposed to,
> Here here! Most people we've got to trail Sakai have been utterly
> perplexed
> by the back button conundrum - the 'tool reload' button is always
> overlooked.
> adam
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Allison Bloodworth
Senior User Interaction Designer
Educational Technology Services
University of California, Berkeley
(415) 377-8243
abloodworth at

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