← Back to team overview

unity-design team mailing list archive

Re: Idea: Implementing a Lens Toggle into the System Settings


Oops, I accidentally sent this to just Mark a while ago. Sorry, Mark!

On Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 2:31 AM, Mark Shuttleworth <mark@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 24/09/12 02:29, Sam Hewitt wrote:
> I would like to append
> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7027392/unity-settings-keyboard-shortcuts.png to
> the above.
> On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Georgi Karavasilev <motorslav@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>> Sam has been working on extending his mockups so here are the improvements
>> hitherto (that means "so far"):
>> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7027392/main.png
>> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7027392/unity-settings-panel-applications.png
>> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7027392/unity-settings-panel-home.png
>> on

One niggle: every string on the right side starts with "Display."
Instead — especially when you use an On/Off switch — these labels
should not be actions, but objects. You can find examples of this
being done correctly in System Settings: "[] Cursor blinks in text
fields", "Screen Reader [On/Off]", "Automatic backups [On/Off]".

So, I made some changes to the mockup:

Some ideas here:
I don't think it makes sense for the "Off" state in an On/Off switch
to be destructive. If that must happen, it should be a button. There
is no turning it back on, after all. Instead, I removed the note about
that, assuming it is possible to change Unity so a lens can be
disabled without being uninstalled). I then placed some Add / Remove
buttons below the list of lenses.
Usually, the On/Off switch for a selected feature is at the top of
that feature's settings panel. You can see this most prominently in
the Ubuntu Online Accounts settings panel. So, I moved it to the top
here. It's all misaligned and weird looking in my mockup, so that
would have to be explored further. (Probably just remove the colourful
box it's sitting in).
I changed "visible in Dash" to "visible in Dash Home" just to be
internally consistent. This is likely the first and only exposure to
Unity's jargon for most users, so using it is really not much
different from referring to "Linux" and "Xorg".  Here's a second
mockup sans jargon:

> These are getting pretty good, thank you!
> The On/Off toggles could be on the left pane, so you can see which scopes
> are enabled immediately.
> There could be an "Add Scopes" button at the bottom left which takes you to
> the right place in USC to find more scopes.

That would be going against the switch pattern developed by the
Canonical design team:
That pattern (or at least something a lot like it) seems to have
developed as a defacto standard; you can see it happening pretty
consistently in gnome-control-center 3.6, and in the latest

I think there's some serious overuse of switches here. As a general
idea, if you're thinking about putting the switches on the left
because it's hard to tell which switch is which, switches are the
wrong choice. Use checkboxes. They're already on the left, after all ;)

A switch makes sense if you have a bunch of options for a given
feature, in which case an On/Off toggle is a nice, self-explanatory
way to also turn the entire feature on and off. When the entire point
of your panel is to turn features on or off (and there are no other
buttons), the switch is redundant and — since it's squished between a
bunch of other switches — confusing.

> Otherwise, great start!

I agree :)

Follow ups