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April 23, 2009


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If you'd like another "task oriented" message or GUI issue to fix take a look at this one:

The language on the print preview window is misleading.

Agreed. This one trips people up all the time. Thanks for calling attention to it.

Generally speaking I like the changes you have made to dialog boxes as described, BUT The example above of simplifying the inconsistent groups message is ringing alarm bells - You state that "The first two options seem reasonable but the second two create more questions. . . . The solution involved optimizing the underlying code to remove the least frequent and most confusing choices then reword the remaining choices to include supporting details." Well it just so happens that I tell my users NEVER select the first option (Ungroup), use option 3 instead (remove inconsistent elements from group) because that is the one least likely to destroy the model. Yes it would be good to know whether it refers to all groups, but why not just tell us. The real problem with that dialog box was that it did not give enough information, nor the option to find out which instance of the group it was referring to (Name and ID Please)
I have not tested v2010 to see if this is how you have implemented it (not easy to force the message), but I am seriously worried by it.

Please do not make assumptions about how we want to use the software, particularly if it subsequently limits how we can use it.

Tim, If you find any new cases definitely let me know but from known examples we had collected the code was improved to eliminate the occurrences. There is no intention to limit use by simply removing an option. This was why I chose these two examples as in the second case simplification was difficult so it was just presented in a refined manner and actually allowed for more flexibility.

I'm not sure I follow you - the dialog changes in second example (synchronisation) all sounds good; but the first one (inconsistent groups) is one that we have been really struggling with recently on a project in v2009. From your description above it sounds like you have removed the option that we like to use "remove inconsistent members from groups". Are you saying that the code has been improved so that we won't get the inconsistent members of groups in the first place? or that it handles it better when it happens? I may need to test this in v2010, but should we discuss this by email, off the blog? Coincidentally the project has just been uploaded to support for a workset issue, so you might be able to look at it yourself.


Yes the code was improved. I will contact you to test the file you mention if possible.

Keep up the good work of removing non comprehendable dialogs. New users realy do/did get confused as to just what to do.
The worry I have is the new dialog format/conventions. If you picked a radio button that was a clear thing to do, then you OK'd. Now a path for action or option is presented as an imformative 'message' sentence to read but the fact that you have to use the message as a pick 'button' is not entirely clear and the thin line green border indicating that it is the default is doubling as a traditional button indicator. Weird when first encounted and has to be explained to users that you pick the sentence to get action.

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