Opened 11 years ago

Last modified 10 years ago

#6869 new defect

Contents of "Advanced" tab dependent on protocol menu in the "Basic" tab

Reported by: mpt Owned by: deryni
Milestone: Component: pidgin (gtk)
Version: 2.4.3 Keywords:


Pidgin 2.4.3, Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex alpha 3

In the "Add Account" window, the contents of the "Advanced" tab changes almost completely based on the option selected from the "Protocol" menu in the "Basic" tab.

From the Gnome HIGs:

  • Do not design a notebook such that changing controls on one page affects the controls on any other page. Users are unlikely to discover such dependencies.

And from the Windows Vista UX guidelines:

  • If used for settings, are settings on different pages completely independent? Will changing a setting on one page affect settings on other pages? If they're not independent, use task pages or a wizard instead.

One way to fix this would be to move the protocol menu above the tabs.

Another way would be to get rid of the tabs, converting the "Advanced" controls into an expandable section instead.

Attachments (1)

Screenshot-Network Settings.png (40.0 KB) - added by mpt 11 years ago.
One example of an option menu above a set of tabs is in Gnome's "Network Settings" window.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (10)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by deryni

History has shown us that our users do not understand (and quite often do not even see) expander areas, so as far as I am concerned moving in that direction is a non-starter. Further, it is my belief that we may in fact have previously used an expander and moved to the tabs exactly because no one ever found the expander-hidden settings.

I think moving the protocol selector above the tabs will likely look hideous (as well as being decidedly unusual, I can't think of (m)any places with tabs nested inside of some other control/frame layout).

I agree, in principle, that people may not connect the changing of a setting on one page with the available fields on another page, but to date I am unaware of any complaints we have received about this, and the settings that exist on each of the advanced pages are generally not anything the people prone to confusion need to be changing anyway (and are often better off avoiding).

It may make sense to rename the Advanced tab to something a little less 'interesting' sounding and something more account-specific sounding, but that is a separate issue.

Changed 11 years ago by mpt

One example of an option menu above a set of tabs is in Gnome's "Network Settings" window.

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by deryni

That's not quite the same thing as the suggested UI for the Add Account dialog, and (without having used that dialog) it does not appear to me that the dropdown selection would affect the tab contents (does it?).

comment:3 Changed 11 years ago by mpt

The only difference in layout is the small buttons to the right of the menu, which the "Add Account" window wouldn't have, but that's barely relevant to the overall design.

The selection in the menu changes the values of controls in the tabs, therefore the menu is outside the tabs.

comment:4 Changed 11 years ago by deryni

The contents of those tabs change as the top dropdown menu changes? Maybe it is just me but that doesn't seem particularly more immediately obvious then the Add Account dialog. Perhaps a tiny bit less surprising, but that is a separate issue.

comment:5 Changed 10 years ago by bernmeister

So can this safely be closed?

comment:6 Changed 10 years ago by mpt

I don't know what you mean by "safely be closed". This is still a bug. It would make sense to resolve this ticket as "fixed" once the bug has been fixed, or as "wontfix" after providing a reason for never fixing it. As far as I can see, neither of those things has happened.

Most of the discussion has been about one possible approach to fixing the bug, but keep in mind that the two suggestions I gave are not the only possible ways of fixing it. A third way, for example, would be to put the advanced settings in a secondary dialog opened from a button in the primary one. In suggesting possible solutions I'm just trying to be helpful, not saying "the bug must be fixed this particular way".

comment:7 Changed 10 years ago by bernmeister

Apologies if it seemed abrupt: reading the ticket it seemed that the developers considered your ticket and that it really didn't seem to go anywhere....

comment:8 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Owner set to deryni

I'm considering changing the name of the 'Advanced' tab to 'Protocol' (to match the protocol dropdown label) which should at least give some indication that they may be connected.

I don't like the idea of an advanced button, I feel like it would invite more curiosity than the current tab does (though that may be just me, and I'm open to being told I'm wrong about this).

I'm still debating what I think of moving the dropdown to the top of the window and I may end up just doing that, but I feel like that would be only part of a real solution. I feel like there should be a better redesign of the add account dialog possible.

comment:9 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

For the record, I looked at the GNOME 'Network Proxy Preferences' dialog in Ubuntu 9.04 with its tab above a notebook and I think that has to be the worst dialog I've ever seen. One of the notebook pages changes with the dropdown selection and the other does not.

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