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Orion/UX Issues/R0.5

This page summarizes a UX discussion between McQ, Ken, Anton, Simon, Susan about the state of Orion R0.5M1. We think a main push for 0.5M2 needs to be improving the UX in these areas:

  • new user experience on orion hub
  • push for consistency across pages in both behavior and styling

Areas identified are listed here, along with bugs that document both the general problems and instances of the problem. Bugs targeted for this effort will use the "usability" keyword.

The landing/login experience

what's on a non-logged in user landing page?

  • Tracking bug is bug 368739
  • authentication and distinguishing between logged in and not logged in is hard. (Simon/Szymon)?
  • the actual content of this page for orionhub (Ken/Anton/Susan)?
  • this page needs to be able to create an account on Orion (Simon?) bug 372512

logged in user

  • logged in user landing page is something like a navigator, but ways to populate with content
    • bug 345622 (Susan/Ken)
    • revisit the top pane concept


  • the Orion Hub pages should be able to be branded with the branding, vs. is our existing "minimal branding"
  • bug 369427 (WHO?)

existing content review

  • Navigator History is useless as is (Simon will remove)
    • we instead need to remember the state you were in...what tabs open, where you were in the editor, etc.
    • bug 373290 (WHO?)
  • Simon likes the banner but misses having settings available in a link
    • We should have the user profile as a page in the Settings page, then the user link could go there
    • bug 376776 (Anton?)

Sidebar, sections, and outline navigation

  • settings is different than outliner is different than nav left hand pane
  • consistent navigation experience is important
  • styling issues as well, for example, categories are easier to hit with finger, why isn't editor outliner that way, for example?
  • get rid of the word categories
  • Tracking bug is bug 368848 (Szymon, Susan, Anton, Libing)
    • We are starting this in the context of git status and the other git sectional pages
    • Git status becomes more like git commit, examine the navigation between changes bug 349328 (Szymon)
    • popup outlining/section traversal in git pages, consider adopting in editor bug 374400 (Szymon)

Selection, cursoring, preview, navigate to, etc.

  • We are all over the map
  • In pages like search results where there is no "selection", the cursor emphasis looks like selection
  • search results uses left/right arrow that indicates hover activation, tooltip dialog arrow is in the wrong spot. Compare the look and feel of the hover to the one in git log for commits
  • Selection should go the full width, clicking on a bar should select it, clicking on its link navigates (in outliner, settings, nav, search results, etc.)
  • should use extended selection model instead of checkboxes (ctrl/shift click model) with space bar toggling
  • add a dotted line link emphasis for cursored item since hitting enter will go there (can keep it also blue for now)
  • get rid of checkboxes
  • bug 377018, bug 359730 (Libing, Susan, Max)

Positions of actions, chevron menu

  • appearance of actions in rows vs. at a toolbar. Why aren't we just using a good selection model and making things appear in the toolbar? The web is heading this way vs. all these inline actions.

Navigator look and feel

  • selection inconsistencies, etc. aside...look and feel needs improvement
  • left hand pane is ugly (settings sidebar is prettier, easier to hit)
  • top level left hand pane should just be for replacing navigator content (Susan)
    • revisit
    • if something appears on the left hand side in navigator, it should replace your nav contents, not take you to another page, so for files, a favorite would go there in the nav and make it the cursored emphasis.
    • Take the "add random links" out of favorites (use browser bookmarks)
    • get rid of saved searches (maybe search page shows this)
  • terminology of favorites (shortcuts, etc.)
  • should take a pass at aesthetics. Some of this can be done with sidebar styling, selection styling, etc. bug 376360 (Anton, Susan, Linda) ?
  • Navigator is the landing page with an empty workspace providing some getting started stuff


  • It is weird that breadcrumbs are both links to navigator and things that scope pages (search results, git log)
    • Do we need another breadcrumby thing that scopes?
    • Or do we need another emphasis? it says (scoped by Xxx) in the breadcrumb
    • maybe the separators help show what's going on (they change?)
    • applying today's rules...use dotted line link emphasis on breadcrumbs that repopulate page content, use full line if you leave the page (not ideal)
  • This requires another conversation (Susan, McQ)
    • Susan has some work on this and also dimensions like branches, etc. to discuss

Key Bindings

  • We need to settle on scalable key binding strategy that considers in-editor behavior and browser default keystrokes bug 372652 (WHO? Max?)

Process issues

  • need to do more "try this site and give feedback on a running UI" vs. "release to master and get feedback someday"
  • build time in for this process

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