Usability questions for Uploader (different issue)

erin yu erin.yu at
Wed Jul 16 15:43:57 UTC 2008

I don't think it's a big problem not being able to use the browser  
tabs when the OS pop-up is there, because your main task at hand is  
to select files. If you want to use other tabs, you can simply cancel  
out of the OS pop-up.
You'll notice this is how it works uploaders on the web...

I wanted to bring up another issue - we had talked about this a while  
back but here it is:

Currently, clicking on the "Add Files" button brings up the OS popup  
on top of the uploader dialogue, and the user goes,  "I can see there  
is something underneath this pop-up, but I can't see the whole thing.  
what am I missing? which one should i be looking at?"


If possible, it would make more sense to display only the OS pop-up  
when Add Files is clicked.
User wants to upload files --> User clicks on Add files --> User  
selects files and clicks ok --> User clicks Upload on the uploader.


On 15-Jul-08, at 2:46 PM, Eli Cochran wrote:

> The file browsing dialog is controlled by the OS and we can't change
> its behavior.
> - Eli "on vacation" Cochran
> On Jul 15, 2008, at 1:58 PM, Daphne Ogle wrote:
>> On Jul 15, 2008, at 7:03 AM, Justin wrote:
>>> The pop-up version of the Uploader can be viewed here:
>>> index.html
>>> The inline version of Uploader can be viewed here:
>>> index.html
>>> 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
>> suggestions.
>>> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>> fluid-work at
>> Daphne Ogle
>> Senior Interaction Designer
>> University of California, Berkeley
>> Educational Technology Services
>> daphne at
>> cell (510)847-0308
>> _______________________________________________
>> fluid-work mailing list
>> fluid-work at
> . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .   .    .      .         .              .   
>                    .
> Eli Cochran
> user interaction developer
> ETS, UC Berkeley
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at

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