About Face 3: Menus

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An overview of Chapter 22: Menus from Cooper's book About Face 3.

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About Face 3: Menus

  1. 1. Menus Presented by Chris Cookley & Laura Williams
  2. 2. Overview <ul><ul><li>About </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of Menus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu Idioms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What Are Menus? <ul><li>  A list of functions or options available; an index of tools. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Should provide an understanding of the scope of what a program can or can't do. </li></ul>
  4. 4. History of Menus <ul><li>Command-line interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replaced the need for punch cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type in commands with the keyboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had to know what you needed to type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still considered faster by users who know the commands </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. History of Menus <ul><li>Sequential hierarchical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A list of choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Took you from one step to the next </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exit option typically only took you one level back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Occasional confirmation options were highly annoying </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. History of Menus <ul><li>Visible hierarchical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Originated in the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presented a menu horizontally across the top </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hot key accessible with a </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequent users memorized paths to most used items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1-2-3 style menu dominated the 1980's </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Lotus 1-2-3
  8. 8. History of Menus <ul><li>Drop-down </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First to utilize the pop-up window </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lists descend from a single menu bar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hierarchy flattened to only one level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialog box enabled the simplification of the menu </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. History of Menus <ul><li>Pedagogic vector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paradigm we use today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu is used more to learn then to operate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menus offer verbal descriptions of items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Toolbars are king for utility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A menu's main task is as an index of tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menus should make the programs capabilities clear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary role of a menu : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To teach new users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To remind those that forgot </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To provide a way to access infrequently used functions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Overview <ul><ul><li>About </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of Menus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu Idioms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Menu Standards <ul><li>Menus are currently more functions oriented, and not goal oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Optional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Universal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>File </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Menu Standards <ul><li>File </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Document would be a better goal-oriented name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or Song, if using a music software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should not be a catch-all for functions that don't fit </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Menu Standards <ul><li>Windows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arranging, viewing, and switching between windows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless a multiple document interface, isn't necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historically not very helpful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should help users learn the program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should always be a &quot;Shortcuts&quot; item, but there often isn't </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Menu Idioms <ul><li>Cascading Menus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard drop-down provides secondary menu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to locate items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require well-coordinated mouse movements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But, they do allow for larger command sets </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Menu Idioms <ul><li>Adaptive Menus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Displays most frequented items by users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intended to adapt to usage behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, it increases work performed by users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreases information on breadth and depth of application </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Menu Idioms <ul><li>The Ribbon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visually expressive combination of menu and toolbar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides good overview of capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, we still hunt for common functions </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Menu Idioms <ul><li>Disabled Menu Items  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gray-out nonfunctional menu items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful teaching tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Checkmark Menu Items </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily understandable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective because it indicates the state of that control </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Menu Idioms <ul><li>Icon on Menus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Symbol next to text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps users recognize without having to read </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accelerators (&quot;keyboard shortcuts&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Access Keys (&quot;mnemonics&quot;) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses alt key, arrow keys, and letter keys to execute function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide keyboard equivalent of each menu command </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Overview <ul><ul><li>About </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of Menus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu Idioms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Conclusion <ul><li>Menus have come a long way and we have learned from their failures and successes. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Keep in mind : Menus should provide an effective overview of functions.    It should teach new users, remind experienced users, and provide a way to access infrequently used functions.
  21. 21. Menus Presented by Chris Cookley & Laura Williams

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