More sidebar complications...

Arantor

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #30, on July 2nd, 2013, 12:36 PM »
That's one of the curses of changing something that isn't directly a 'feature'. I add stuff that is very blatantly, even transparently obviously, 'new features', it's stuff people can see themselves using, it's stuff that people can directly relate to. They see what I add and think, 'hmm, I can see how I can make use of that', or 'that would have been useful for <situation I had in the past>'

Something that is not clearly 'a feature' is hard for people to grasp in order to comment on it. It's a usability thing not a 'feature' thing, and as a result people need to see it, interact with it and get a feel for it to be able to figure out whether they like it or not. It's much the same with some of the WeCSS stuff, actually... same symptom under a different situation - most people are not in a position to see it or interact with it to be able to figure out if they're going to like it or not, and most people won't use it anyway because most people are only going to do minimal colour changes based on themes other people made.

I have a similar problem in terms of getting feedback when it comes to some of the stuff I've worked on with Wedge, e.g. when I asked about permissions. Everyone seems to grasp the nature of the problems that I see with what SMF had, but no-one's really quite sure how it should be fixed, and even when I tried bumping it via Facebook, the additional views didn't really help. It's frustrating in a way because I specifically wanted feedback but came to understand why I wasn't going to get very much on it.

The quest for perfection is a lonely enough road as it is, and when taking into account usability and aesthetics, it's even lonelier. Good design doesn't shout at you to tell you how good it is. It lets you do what you want to do without being in your face, in a way that feedback generally seems redundant. But bad design will generally get met with feedback along the way. The lack of feedback, generally, is a good thing where design is concerned.

I'm not sure how I feel about the sidebar at present. The idea of it sliding out is a cool one, but I'm concerned that it isn't obvious enough and it seems a bit twitchy to me - I go by the front page an awful lot and more than once I've ended up bringing the sidebar into view when going to click on the 'Wedge' in the linktree.
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Nao

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #31, on July 2nd, 2013, 01:10 PM »
Quote from Arantor on July 2nd, 2013, 12:36 PM
Something that is not clearly 'a feature' is hard for people to grasp in order to comment on it. It's a usability thing not a 'feature' thing, and as a result people need to see it, interact with it and get a feel for it to be able to figure out whether they like it or not.
While your features are mostly admin-only and thus were shown through screenshots, my features are mostly front-end, and when I ask members for their opinion, it's on what they can currently experience on the website... It's not so hard to press the middle mouse button and see for yourself what this animation is about, for instance... :-/
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It's much the same with some of the WeCSS stuff, actually...
(And I didn't bother too much about the lack of feedback on this, because the feedback I want is from developers, and currently, the only ones to have access to the codebase can be counted on one hand.)
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I have a similar problem in terms of getting feedback when it comes to some of the stuff I've worked on with Wedge, e.g. when I asked about permissions. Everyone seems to grasp the nature of the problems that I see with what SMF had, but no-one's really quite sure how it should be fixed, and even when I tried bumping it via Facebook, the additional views didn't really help. It's frustrating in a way because I specifically wanted feedback but came to understand why I wasn't going to get very much on it.
Yes, it's one of the cases where everyone was stumped, including me.
(Although later, I made a suggestion about moving everything to use hover dropdowns, which I still think is going to work great, but I'm always postponing my 'generic hover dropdown' thing, because I have other things to deal with... Currently, notifications, sidebar and infinite scroll, all three of which have taken their toll on me...)
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Good design doesn't shout at you to tell you how good it is. It lets you do what you want to do without being in your face, in a way that feedback generally seems redundant.
Yeah, just like everywhere -- when people are happy with something, they don't bother discussing it, they only post where they're concerned with something. But still, usually when I ask for feedback, I'll get some, and I'm not getting feedback on anything these days... Even from you, Pete, but well, you're on hiatus, right..?
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I'm not sure how I feel about the sidebar at present. The idea of it sliding out is a cool one, but I'm concerned that it isn't obvious enough and it seems a bit twitchy to me - I go by the front page an awful lot and more than once I've ended up bringing the sidebar into view when going to click on the 'Wedge' in the linktree.
Yeah, happened to me, too...
I was actually considering dropping the hover act for this, and going for a Menu button in both mobile and desktop. Both will have an additional trigger technique, of course: middle click for desktop, and right swipe for mobile. (The version I'm working on currently is much more conservative when it comes to the swipe length, and I'm hoping to be able to make it work the same on all mobile devices, whatever their way of calculating said length, which can be annoying.)

PS: I still think that, maybe, just maybe, we should consider saying Wedge is a 'blog' platform, or at least remove references to 'forum', and use 'community' everywhere...

MultiformeIngegno

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #32, on July 2nd, 2013, 02:13 PM »
Maybe there could be 2 different sidebars for phones and tablets. The one for phones should have less items and should be smaller (and less intrusive). :)

Nao

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #33, on July 2nd, 2013, 02:50 PM »
There are two different sidebars...

I take it you haven't followed this topic at all... Anyway...

Dragooon

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #34, on July 2nd, 2013, 03:18 PM »
I can't open it on chrome beta on my nexus 4. O tend to switch tabs, plus I'm not even able to scroll sideways.
The way it's meant to be

Nao

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #36, on July 3rd, 2013, 12:09 AM »
Fun crap of the day...
Chrome: $(document).mousedown(e) -> e.which returns 1 for left button click, 2 for middle, 3 for right.
Firefox: e.which returns 1 for left button click, and isn't caught at all in middle and right clicks... To trigger 2, you have to first press the right mouse button, then the middle button, then release the right button.

This is totally stupid..!
Posted: July 2nd, 2013, 11:39 PM

Also, doing it on click() (which isn't in the jQuery docs), right button works, but middle button still doesn't... -_-
Posted: July 2nd, 2013, 11:41 PM

I'm starting to seriously consider doing two different sidebar animations...

- desktop: sidebar shows from the left; screen remains static.
- mobile: sidebar is stuck to the left of the screen; entire screen scrolls, or 'pans' to the right.

The reason why I need to do it that way in mobile, is that it's the only way to trigger hardware acceleration; as a counterpart (?), the sidebar position can only be 'absolute', instead of 'fixed' (this is a W3C-induced limitation related to stacking contexts). It doesn't matter much anyway, because scrolling a position: fixed element on mobile is an... absolute PITA. Believe me, I've tried HARD... Doing it in a native app is easy as hell, but in a web app, it's really hard to get it right.
Desktop browsers don't need the extra boost from hardware acceleration anyway, so we can do without it... Although the animation isn't as cool, but since it's done by jQuery, it's compatible with all browsers, including oldIE. Normally...

I don't know... Should I do the hardware accelerated animation on both..?

godboko71

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #37, on July 3rd, 2013, 01:17 AM »
Just a note some of us are moving so have not had time to really reply last week or so.
Thank you,
Boko

Arantor

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #38, on July 3rd, 2013, 03:10 AM »
Middle mouse button would be interesting and so extremely flawed. Aside from the technical issues you've found, there are two very, very large objections to middle clicking.

1. A lot of mice have a scrollwheel instead of or even as well as the middle button. The mouse I'm currently borrowing has two principle buttons and a scrollwheel and I can depress the scrollwheel to middle click. Normally this also results in my scrolling the page somewhat meaning that I usually miss the thing I was trying to click on.

2. My laptop doesn't HAVE a middle button. It doesn't even technically have a right mouse button. Right clicking on the MacBook Pro trackpad is a two finger single tap to the entire trackpad, middle clicking is the Command key plus a tap to the trackpad. Yes, that's right: I have to physically use the keyboard, even though it's right next to the trackpad, to do that. Needless to say, it isn't happening any time soon. And most laptops I've seen have a similar issue: there's often only two buttons, which means if middle click is supported at all, which is not that likely, it's implemented as pressing both buttons together.

There is a wider issue here: outside of reasonably specialist activities - CAD, modelling and the like - and some games, middle click is *just not used* anywhere. For years I had my old mouse set up so that middle click didn't actually middle click at all, but instead issued a double click, to push less wear on to the left mouse button's switch. During that time I never found a single application that ever used the middle button for anything at all. That was a few years ago but generally speaking things haven't actually changed that much.

Hell, on my Logitech M500 mouse - the one with the back/forward buttons in easy reach of the thumb - of the games that did use middle mouse button for something, I just reset that to the back button because it was so much easier than actually using the middle mouse button. But even those were the minority in the first place.

Then, add in the fact that it's a feature NO-ONE is going to notice unless they're told about it - there is absolutely zero UI hinting in any current desktop operating system for middle clicking - and the fact that not everyone reads every post all the time (except possibly me, and even then I do gloss over the details of some of them though I try to pick up on what I think is important) and it all combines to a point where there is a feature that is potentially very cool but that no-one would ever find it except by accident and then they might not realise what they actually did about it. There is no way that is good design.

Show me one other website where middle clicking is a common and recognised aspect of the site. And then show me what they did to explain to users about it.

Of the people that actually do use middle click, they use it for a given operation and not the one you wanted to indicate (as stated, it's frequently used to open tabs in a new space). It works for me in Chrome, in that it does as described. But there is precisely no chance I'd ever know it was there unless you mentioned it. And if you have to explain to people that it's there and what it does, it's probably not the best choice for a UI element no matter how cool it is.

PS, yes I'm on hiatus, though I'm actually able to check in more than I previously thought (though Chrome seems to have trouble handling JavaScript, so I'm reduced to using Safari while I'm on OS X because I can't be bothered to either boot my Boot Camp partition or install Firefox *shrug*)

PPS, I stopped thinking of Wedge as just a forum a long time ago. But to call it a blog is a great disservice, it lowers it to the level of WordPress.

Nao

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #39, on July 3rd, 2013, 11:26 AM »
That's a long post, for an issue that really never was... ;)
Okay, I've updated the site to my latest local version, with:
- hover removed, so, no more accidental triggering,
- replaced with a 'standard' menu button, located in the top left of the screen, which you can click to toggle the sidebar,
- button has a title attr, explaining what it does, and that you can also middle-click,
- IE < 10 compatibility.

Hopefully, this time you'll think it's more usable. Haven't tested much with mobile devices, though...

I'm also considering turning the #top section into a fixed element, sort of a frame, and put all of the useful stuff into it, as icons. (Except for the search bar, which is okay as an input bar.. For now!)
I haven't tested yet, and I'm not even sure I'll do it, because on most sites, I tend to dislike fixed top bars, but on some sites I find it isn't too bothersome, so... I don't know, I'll have to see.

godboko71

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #40, on July 3rd, 2013, 07:11 PM »
The hair trigger is gone on my iPad 2 with iOS 6 and I like the icon as its something I see on other responsive designs.  Not tested on a pc yet.

Arantor

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #41, on July 3rd, 2013, 08:05 PM »
Testing on PC.

1. Whereas the hair trigger was kind of annoying, being forced to use middle click to see the sidebar means I'm never going to see the sidebar.

2. The closing behaviour feels inconsistent, even though it's not. The point of moving the mouse from inside to outside the sidebar area... the first time I saw it, I thought it was broken because it just happened to open and then immediately close afterwards. Cool, but feels weird.
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That's a long post, for an issue that really never was...
-sigh-

godboko71

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #42, on July 3rd, 2013, 08:29 PM »
On my windows 8 system on chrom my middle click brings forth a useful scrolling tool (well for large images anyway) so I am thankful there is a button. that said clicking the button again does not close said sidebar.

Nao

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Re: More sidebar complications...
« Reply #43, on July 3rd, 2013, 08:46 PM »
What's a hair trigger?

Removed the hover entirely now... To close the sidebar, just click outside of it.
Also made the Menu icon a bit bigger, so that you should be able to open a sidebar more easily, Pete... :P

And as always, middle-clicking also works!

godboko71

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