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Mylyn/UI Design


This page will be used to collect materials related to the design of Mylar's Focused UI. Please consider adding a screenshot of how you use Mylar to help inform the UI decisions discussed on bug reports.

Idioms

Avoid Hierarchies

While we are always tempted to add hierarchies to the Task List and there is never a lack of requests to do so, this is something that we have to proceed with very carefully because hiearchies are much dramatically more difficult to interact with and use than monocline lists. In general the Mylyn UI design attempts to follow the simpler monocline grouping metaphor over the hierarchical metaphor.

Avoid Preferences

While there is never a shortage of demand for additional preferences, especially from advanced users, each preference that gets added has a significant cost in terms of UI complexity. Preferneces also mask ways in which the tool should change by providing work arounds particular to very specific use cases. We should strive to evolve the UI in a way that meets the use cases proposed by requested preferences in a way that does not overly clutter or add modalities to the UI. Oftentimes this can mean improving on or changing existing functionality instead of adding a preference to accomodate a specific use case. Since figuring out how to do that can require implementation, preferences can be added more liberally to the Sandbox component for the purpose of experimentation.

See "The Question of Preferences" in the following entry for a good discussion: http://ometer.com/free-software-ui.html

Usage Problems

Context blank when forking tasks

  • It is been suggested to copy active context into newly created task. That will help in the situation like Michael demonstrated, so in worst case user would have to clean copied context or mark certain part of it uninteresting in a scope of new task.

References

Using links vs. buttons in UI: