We spend a lot of time and energy talking about and dealing with modes. Although modes get a bad rap, and we have worked hard to remove modality when it was problematic, they do have their place. The advantages of creation/edit modes in the Revit environment are two fold:
- They focus the user's attention by graying out the surrounding context.
- They suspend regeneration to improve performance.
While modes themselves are not inherently bad, they are problematic when the user is not aware they are in a mode and do not know how to get out of the mode. The late Jef Raskin, one of the creators of the original Mac and the author of the Human Interface suggested "quasi-modes"; modes that require a constant physical action such as holding the shift key. While this is not feasible in all cases, we instead rely on a secondary user action - clicking Finish or Cancel. I have a few questions I have now that people have had some time with the 2011 release:
- We responded to feedback that people preferred the pre-ribbon Group Edit mode floating dialog. In 2011 we added this back as a floating ribbon panel. Comparing this to say, editing a floor or roof where the Finish/Cancel remain in the ribbon, is this floating panel preferable? It is more visually apparent, but it also occludes part of your view temporarily.
- Since you can undo back into any mode to undo changes, is Cancel really necessary?