Reorderer behaviour -- more discussion
justin.obara at utoronto.ca
Wed Sep 10 13:30:58 UTC 2008
I have actually filed this as a bug Fluid-1335 (http://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-1335
It would be interesting to see which implementation users prefer.
On 9-Sep-08, at 2:55 PM, Paul Zablosky wrote:
> Thank you Gary. One of the problems with this issue, is that we
> don't really have a way to do comparison testing with users. Now
> that we're discussing this in the open fluid-work list, I can put a
> question directly to the developers:
> Would it be possible to create a version of the reorderer that sets
> the position of the drop target not with reference to the pointer
> position, but with reference to the centre of gravity of the
> avatar? Since the avatar and pointer are locked together during the
> drag, this would seem to me to be a simple fixed translation of
> coordinates, but I don't know enough about the implementation
> details to guess if it's easy or difficult. Anyway, if we had such
> a thing, we could easily do user testing to find out which they
> targets that move with the pointer
> targets that move with the centre of the avatar
> I'm suggesting using the centre as tracking point, simply because
> it's the most obvious alternative to following the cursor position.
> There may be other loci that could be considered.
> I'll respond to Gary's responses within his message below.
> Gary Thompson wrote:
>> I'm cc'ing fluid-work so everyone can appreciate the questions and
>> digest the responses.
>> Great questions. The goal is to create an intuitive, elegant
>> design, so questioning the behavior is warranted if it seems to not
>> match your expectations.
>> As Colin mentioned, the Reorder - and thus the Layout Customizer -
>> are currently moving targets. The target movement was initiated
>> from the user testing done on the first integration environment,
>> which reported unusable response and behavior. Refer to the user
>> testing results:
>> Three comments:
>> 1. Context is king.
>> How drag and drop behaves will be specific to context. The
>> examples on the Layout Customizer springboard: http://build.fluidproject.org/fluid/fluid-components/html/LayoutCustomizer.html
>> ...actually represent something closer to list reordering, which by
>> context will have a different behavior. What most currently
>> represents the Layout Customizer, is the uPortal integration here:
> I totally agree that context is king. That's why I tried out all
> the different examples of the reorderer on the demos page. I found
> that I had the same difficulty with all of them, which led me to
> think that the problem was below the application level.
>> 2. The grab handle can be defined.
>> And is defined to be just the portlet title bar in the Layout
>> Customizer integration in uPortal (rather than the whole portlet).
>> This should help alleviate the confusion of location of the drag
>> avatar to cursor, though we may find in further testing that that
>> is still an issue.
> Yes, I noticed this. It's harder to demonstrate with the Layout
> Customizer because the grab area is smaller. But you can show the
> effect by grabbing at the left or right end of the grab area. The
> behaviour of the drop indicator is more consistent with a limited
> grab area, but it still feels strange if the grab area is at the
> edge of the element I'm grabbing.
> This of course gives us another thing to test. Do users prefer to
> have a large area where they can grab an element, or should it be
> limited to a specific "grab me here" region?
>> 3. The drag avatar may need to be minimized in uPortal.
>> The size of a portlet in uPortal is highly variable, and user
>> testing has already uncovered the unwieldiness of large portlets
>> being dragged in a preview mode. It may turn out that for uPortal,
>> we revert to an earlier design that more closely resembled the
>> Yahoo behavior at the time - a small grey box as the drag avatar,
>> and a non-preview, colored line as the drop indicator.
> A smaller avatar might help, but I still think it skirts the issue
> of where the drop indicator appears.
>> Paul Zablosky wrote:
>>> I have been playing with the reorderer examples on the daily build
>>> page <http://build.fluidproject.org/> and getting a feel for the
>>> behaviour of the avatars and the targets. The behaviour is not
>>> quite what I expect as I move things around, and I'm wondering
>>> whether I'm taking an idiosyncratic view of things. The problem
>>> is that the drop target doesn't seem to appear where I expect it
>>> to. I position the avatar squarely over where I want to move the
>>> element, and yet the target is one position off to the left or
>>> right (or above or below). I have to move the avatar farther
>>> than (I feel) should be necessary to get the target to appear
>>> where I want it. It makes the whole interaction sort of weirdly
>>> sticky for me. What it comes down to is that I feel I should be
>>> able to predict where the target appears, and I can't. At first I
>>> thought that this was just a performance issue, but now I know
>>> what causes it.
>>> Here's the explanation. What I'm trying to do is position the
>>> avatar where I want to drop the element, but the target isn't
>>> following the avatar. The target follows the /pointer/. So with
>>> a fairly large avatar -- such as a portlet window, or a multi-
>>> line list element, it makes a huge difference where I grab the
>>> element. If I grab the top edge of the list element, the target
>>> will appear in relation to the top edge of the avatar. If I grab
>>> the bottom edge, the target follows the position of the bottom.
>>> But I never pay attention to where I grab the thing. My eyes are
>>> tracking the outline of the avatar, and I sort of expect the
>>> target to appear where I have the avatar centred -- and that's not
>>> So it raises the question in my mind. Is it just me, or do others
>>> have the same experience of the movements of the screen objects
>>> not quite following their expectations?
>>> Of course my experience means nothing. I know that we can only
>>> settle an issue like this with user testing. So here's the real
>>> question: Do users have the idea that they are influencing the
>>> position of the drop target by the location of the avatar, or do
>>> they have the feeling they are shoving it around with the pointer,
>>> while ignoring the outlines of the avatar? And do we have any
>>> user testing results or research data (possibly from some outside
>>> source) that can tell us this?
>>> I spent a little time this afternoon trying to train myself to be
>>> a better drag-and-dropper, using the four reorderer examples <http://build.fluidproject.org/
>>> > -- either centring the pointer carefully on the element I'm
>>> grabbing, or following the pointer image rather than the avatar
>>> outline. I'm learning, but it doesn't feel quite natural.
>>> Comments? Am I marching to a completely off-the-beat drummer here?
>>> Regards to all,
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at fluidproject.org
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