Keyboard Interaction for Re-ordering Portlets

Joseph Scheuhammer clown at
Thu Jan 17 15:03:57 UTC 2008


You wrote:
>  In the lightbox it seems like tabs take users between larger pieces 
> of the interface (I call them panes) and arrows take them between 
> individual items within the pane (thumbnails for instance).  The 
> proposal here seems to say arrows jump the user between chunks of 
> interface (portlets) and tabs move between the individual items 
> (fields and links).
Good point.  And, it implies a problem with the Reorderer, but more on 
that below.

One can detect a principle in the DHTML style guide that says that 
tabbing is for navigating among larger areas, while arrowing is for 
navigating within.  For example, one tabs to and away from a tree, but 
navigates among the nodes using arrow keys.  Or, one tabs to a menu bar 
and then arrows through the menus/submenus.  Hitting the tab key when on 
a particular menu item closes all open menus and moves to the next 
tabbable UI chunk outside of the menu bar.  I think this is probably the 
correct mind set, but I defer to user testing.

Still, it is easy to (mistakenly) see portlets as analogous to the 
Lightbox thumbnails, and the portal as the analog of the Lightbox 
itself.  In fact, this is how the Reorderer will work with portlets, as 
it is currently coded.  And, that's because the keystrokes are fixed in 
the Reorderer.  That is, navigation among orderable items is 
accomplished via arrowing, regardless of what the orderables actually 
are (thumbnails, portlets, lists, list items, tabs, or whatever).

That's a bug.  The keystrokes should be configurable, so that when user 
testing informs us what the keystrokes should be, we can simply plug 
them in.

I'm off to file a JIRA...


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      - "Doomsday", Dalek Leader -

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