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Re: Kill The Sort-By Button


I believe what I'm about to say have been said more than a thousand times
before, but still, I feel like adding some weight. Rather than adress this
"remove sort button" proposal (considering it is not a troll); I'd like
make a stance against this reductionist mentality. The more a software can
do, the better; there is no such thing as a software that can do too much
(new version of Nautilus, anyone?). What matters, is how those
functionalities are organized. If the UI and the code itself is well
organized, divided in layers of abstraction, modular, etc. that software
should as well be easy to use (no matter which level of expertise you're
at) and relatively easy to develop and maintain. If you are tempted to
remove a feature because it's rarely used or because it's a burden to
maintain, 90% of the times, the problem does not lie in the feature itself
but in your organisation: your system might not be modular enough so the
feature is tightly coupled with everything else and hence is a pain to
maintain or perhaps you were wrong in the first place to include this
feature in your application but it doesn't mean it doesn't belong anywhere
else. Completely removing a possible use-case from the range of the user is
just crippling. There's a difference between a concise design and a
simplistic one; unfortunately, it's also what distinguishes good designers
from bad ones.

Aside from that, I'm also really tired of this: "we aim for clueless aunt
Cecile user". First of all things to consider: the general population is
getting more and more computer-literate. Nowadays, not daily using a
computing device in some way is rather the exception than the norm and
don't we expect those users to at least evolve in the way they use their
software? Not only the general population is becoming more and more used to
the general principles behind computing but by using a software itself, you
tend to learn, get comfortable with it and then explore some of it's
features that would make you more effective. Users should be allowed to
progress in their use of the software and depending on the target audience
(professionals, general users, etc.) there should be a proper learning
curve to accommodate this.

This "dumb" user hypothesis is both insulting for the user and the
software. Gna.

On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM, Thibaut Brandscheid <randaltor@xxxxxx>wrote:

> As well as being simple for a basic user facilities that more
>> sophisticated users need must be provided.  Next you will be
>> suggesting removing split screen and tree view from Nautilus.  No-one
>> would ever suggest that.
> The split view is not a feature in the main UI window of nautilus causing
> any average UX problems... I have nothing against the split view.
>> >> On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 9:27 PM, Gabriel Pettier
>> >> <gabriel.pettier@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> >> I would hate this too, even if you seldomly use it, doesn't need you
>> won't
>> >> find it infuriating that > it went away when you'll actually need it.
>> I'm
>> >> pretty sure people would hate to have them
>> >> removed.
>> >
>> > Yes, we need the sort functionality, but do we need this
>> one-click-buttons
>> > in the "front UI"?
>> > If you would have to go to the settings, or would have to right click to
>> > unlock and make the Sort-By buttons visible and editable, would that be
>> such
>> > a big loss?
>> That is a different suggestion to your original idea, which was to
>> remove them completely.
> All I try to say is that we have a UX problem with the Sort-By buttons - I
> have no final solution for the problem.
> Move the action that is triggered by the Sort-By buttons to the
> preferences could be one solution.
> Moving it to the right click menu another.
> Or locking & unlocking the Sort-By button row.
> Or a single small button on the right of the Sort-By menu to change the
> sort pattern.
> No setting at all could be a solution too - a bad one - but it would work
> for 95% of the time...
> I have no final thought, just come up with something better/more suitable
> for average users.
>  > How often are the buttons used?
>> > rarely
>> Most days by me, for sorting columns in nautilus for example.  It
>> would be painful to have to go to the preferences to change it.  Often
>> I switch to date sorting to see which files have changed then back to
>> sorting by name.
> If you use it that often, then maybe you would be okay with some shortcuts
> - like for switching the folder view in nautilus by pressing CTRL + [1-3].
> "All" of my thoughts are base on the assumption that changing the sort
> pattern is a rare issue for average users - I could be wrong.
> How often is the change-sorting-action being used is the key question to
> find a good UX design. If its widely used by all user groups it should stay
> as it is. If its only often used by power users the action could be
> re-design.
> > How much space do they take?
>> > They use horizontally quite much space (horizontal space is really
>> valuable
>> > space)
>> I don't see how they take space in nautilus, or do you think the
>> column headings are not necessary?  They certainly do not take up any
>> horizontal space.
> I think the information that is present in the Sort-By buttons is
> negligible most times (Nautilus & Thunderbird, but not in Rhythmbox).
> Looking at the file column tells me all I need to know (filename, size,
> type, date - its pretty easy to grasp and everyone who cares about the
> displayed information can distinguish them).
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