Usability questions for Uploader

Daphne Ogle daphne at
Tue Jul 15 17:58:43 UTC 2008

On Jul 15, 2008, at 7:03 AM, Justin wrote:

> The pop-up version of the Uploader can be viewed here:
> The inline version of Uploader can be viewed here:
> I had two thoughts about the usability of Uploader.
> 1) The 'Add Files' button remains visible in the pop-up version, as it
> is on the same page as the Uploader. This may cause confusion for the
> user between the 'Add Files' button on the page and the 'Browse Files'
> button on the Uploader.
> This may just be an issue with this example (i.e. the integrator may
> have control over this)
Good point!  I think this is something the integrator would control  
but our example should set a good example.  The Add files button  
should be disabled when the Uploader is initiated.  I'll add something  
to the design pattern where we talk about integration design  
> 2) After clicking the 'Add Files' button (pop-up version) or 'Browse
> files" button (both versions) a modal OS file open dialog appears. It
> makes sense to use a modal dialog here, as the user needs to make a
> decision on files before continuing the interaction with the Uploader.
> However, in a tabbed browsing environment, it will prevent the use of
> any tabs in the browser. This means that a user who is flipping
> between  tabs (e.g. to see what is already uploaded and deciding what
> needs to be), won't be able to.
> I'm not sure if this is an option or not, it may be that the file open
> dialog is only modal.
This is a tricky one.  The trade-off to not making the dialog modal is  
the challenge with keeping track of the dialog (it gets hidden behind  
other windows and user loses track of where they were in the process  
for instance).  One of the benefits of the overlay dialog is the user  
isn't forced to leave their context to do the uploading so  
theoretically they can move the overlay around and be able to see what  
files are already in their current context.

I'd be interested to hear the technical options here.
> Please share your thoughts
> Thanks
> Justin
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Daphne Ogle
Senior Interaction Designer
University of California, Berkeley
Educational Technology Services
daphne at
cell (510)847-0308

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