"Secondary menus" in Icon-O-Matic and WonderBrush should be changed or improved.
|Reported by:||jstressman||Owned by:||stippi|
|Has a Patch:||no||Platform:||All|
Icon-O-Matic uses a number of "secondary menus" above different sections of the application, for performing functions on paths, shapes, etc.
Not only do these tend to break form from apparently all the other apps on Haiku besides WonderBrush (which suffers the same problems) in my experience, but the problem is currently greatly exacerbated by #3259 to the point where the app is likely essentially unusable to a new user unless they happened to read a guide before using it that exposes the functionality of those menus, or they accidentally click on them (as I did), or they spot the triggers in an image in the user guide ( http://www.haiku-os.org/docs/userguide/en/images/apps-images/i-o-m-overview.png ), which was in fact the only reason I even knew triggers existed in Haiku. (I wasn't a BeOS user and Window and Linux use the vastly simpler and more efficient ALT key alone to focus and unfocus the menu and allow key combos with that same key etc... but I'll leave that gripe for another time)
At the moment Icon-O-Matic apparently relies on the presence of the "trigger" underline to show that they are menus, and the lack of these trigger underlines renders them essentially invisible to the new user. They just look like descriptions of the different sections of the application.
The only other things that imply that they are menus is very subtle gradient behind them, which the menus also use, which is vastly less obvious than the triggers would be, or perhaps that some of them are greyed out if menu options aren't present, which is also not immediately obvious and clear because it goes along with the messages in the boxes implying that the titles are just greyed out because nothing has been added to that section yet... and even these clues are less likely present if you're starting from an existing icon.
This problem is also made even worse by the fact that these non-standard secondary menus cause other problems, like trapping the ALT-ESC menu keyboard shortcut... and trapping it in the Swatches menu, which is by default empty, so that you cannot navigate to the other menus, and none of the menu triggers work.
This very same problem exists in WonderBrush because it reuses this same paradigm. (nonstandard and violating over-all UI consistency, unclear and confusing to new users, and breaks keyboard navigation of menus entirely)
These "secondary menus" should really be redone to either move them to a central location in the main menu, where menu type things generally go (which unfortunately negates the 'proximity bonus' of having them right next to the relevant section), and changing what are now menus to actual non-interactive and unambiguous section titles... or change them to obvious drop down options or something so that any new user immediately and unambiguously knows that there are options available there relating to each section.
I already accidentally attached one mockup I made to the #8758 ticket. I'll attach a copy here as well. I basically added little drop down buttons to show that those were clearly menus or something with available actions (borrowing from a similarly non-standard use in the Magnify application).
I'm not familiar enough with all the available widgets in the toolset to offer any better suggestions or mock-ups yet. :(
I think both these examples are not the way it should be done... using an existing widget in a way inconsistent with its design intention and general meaning to fill a gap, or just function in lieu of a properly done design.
Either the app UI layout should be refactored to avoid the need for such nonstandard UI usage, or an appropriate widget should be found or created to create an unambiguous and consistent way to present such functionality to the user.