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Re: Fwd: Things I have noticed
On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 1:18 PM, Mark Shuttleworth <mark@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Natan Yellin wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Ryan Prior <ryanprior@xxxxxxxxx>
> Date: Sun, May 10, 2009 at 12:58 AM
> Subject: Re: [Ayatana] Things I have noticed
> To: Natan Yellin <aantny@xxxxxxxxx>
> On Sat, May 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM, Natan Yellin <aantny@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > I don't think an X is useful either, but it seems to be a
> > common request.
> I think that having a notification window pop up and having no way to
> close it, or to know how long until it will close by itself, is
> unsettling to many computer users.
> The biggest driver of this that I've seen in user testing, is the fact that
> the notification covers an area which often has really useful information on
> it. Even though we've gone some distance to making it possible to use that
> area smoothly (the click-through idea) there is still the sense that the
> notification is covering useful info... especially window tabs and the
> browser search box.
> That's the driver for us experimenting with moving the notification further
> down the right hand side of the screen, even though the placement will not
> be as visually pleasing if it's not neatly "in a corner".
What if the notification bubbles started neatly in the corner, but after a
moment slid down the screen and slowly faded while it moved down a few
inches, where it would disappear? New bubbles would pop up in the corner,
but would slide down while their duration ran out. More important bubbles
might pause in the corner longer and slide slower.
I think this would better express the transient nature of the bubbles, and
would also keep the bubbles from blocking the useful information in the
corner very long. This would also fix the problem of users not knowing how
long a bubble would stick around, as they could sense how quickly it was
moving towards the spot on the screen where their bubbles finally
I think the notification system is really shaping up. Keep up the nice
> I agree that an X button isn't
> needed, but I think the notifications would be improved if they all
> had a subtle indicator of how long until the notification will
> The problem with that is that the subtle indicator isn't useful if it's
> subtle :-) If my attention is on the thing I'm doing, and a notification
> pops up, I have to decide without looking at it if I want to break my
> attention. If I have to glance at a progress indicator I have already broken
> my concentration for the notification - I might as well just look at it :-)
> The countdown was arguably useful when notifications had actions, but in
> practice it just created this weird race-to-the-button experience.
> With regard to "how long", the answer is that the notification should be
> there "just the right time". Of course, that's very difficult to define, but
> we're going to try :-)
> In 9.10, the notifications will actually have variable duration (I don't
> think they do in 9.04, that was spec'd but didn't make it). The inputs to
> that time are complex and many: the urgency of the notification (which means
> we have to hunt down and destroy abusers of notification urgency), the
> amount of text, whether the notification has been appended to or replaced
> with updated content, and the urgency of the things queued but not yet
> displayed. We're also thinking of using things like "the user is busy
> typing, give him a few more milliseconds for this one" to let users finish a
> sentence then look at the notification.
> So, notification duration would be a fruitful topic for a thread on this
> list. MPT would be the man to convince, and Mirco would comment on whether
> ideas are implementable.
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