MATLAB Answers

Daniel Shub

Editor powers and prominence of the buttons

Asked by Daniel Shub
on 28 Jun 2012
This is really a question to TMW and high rep users. Do you find our special buttons to be overwhelming and scary. There are so many now and they are so prominent. I am worried that I will do things accidentally.
Thanks to Randy Souza I now know doing things accidentally is a two step process, but the buttons are still "overwhelming".
In response to Kent Millard's comment, what about collapsing the buttons into a drop down list with additional items being added as you get the power. It would make initiating the task a little harder, which I wouldn't mind, and it would take up less space.


Thanks for the feedback Daniel. I'd welcome any suggestions on how these UI issues might be mitigated. Thanks again.
Thanks for the suggestion. You mentioned that the buttons are prominent, overwhelming, and scary--could you tell me a little more about that? What is it that makes the buttons prominent, overwhelming, etc.?
If you'd like, feel free to e-mail me. Thanks.

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5 Answers

Answer by Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012
Edited by Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

Clicking "Flag", "Edit", "Close", or "Delete" will open a dialog box asking either for more information or for confirmation, so please feel free to explore.
"Vote" is an exception to this rule, but you can remove your vote by clicking it a second time (though accidental votes do still give reputation to the person who you voted for).


Thank you for the assurance about the confirmation.
If I vote/unvote/vote/unvote... can I give arbitrarily large amounts of rep to someone?
No, we only add reputation the first time you vote.

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Answer by Walter Roberson
on 28 Jun 2012

For me the primary gotcha will be the Flag button's closeness to the Edit button. Fortunately Flag requires a confirmation. I expect that I will probably be using Edit a lot more than Flag.
I understand why Flag is where it is: everyone with more than a small reputation will have access to the Flag button for every post, but the other buttons appear much more selectively for most people. But understanding doesn't mean that I don't find the positioning annoying ;-)
A principle that I use in the layout of button groups that have no "natural" order, is that the most commonly employed button should be at the top, and the second most commonly employed button should be at the bottom. Humans position faster if what they use frequently are at the beginning and ends of groupings, because positions in the middle of groupings require more mental checking (e.g., reading) that one is at the proper middle location.


"Close" is the only one of the buttons perhaps not seen by regular users (who have earned a handful of reputation), even if only with respect to their own work. "Edit" and "Delete" were already present for editors, not new powers. "Flag" requires only a small amount of rep. I am thus not sure that a drop-down is a good idea.
I use "Edit" constantly. For me it would be a distinct pain if "Edit" took more steps, but that probably would not apply for many people. I do use delete a non-trivial amount, but not so often that an additional step would be so bad for it (I think.)
Thinking again briefly: we want to encourage people to know how to edit their postings, to reformat or to add additional information. I would argue the implication is that Edit should continue to be obvious.
Flag and Delete would (one hopes) be used much less often.
Exactly, Walter. The GUI should make the most necessary most direct.
Deleting a flag of another user is very easy and can be done accidently.

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Answer by Wayne King
on 28 Jun 2012

Hi Daniel, Wasn't it Spiderman's uncle (Ben Parker) who so wisely said: "With great power comes great responsibility" :)


But every super hero needs his alter ego. I just don't like wearing the spidey suit all the time.
The greatness of power is measured in J/s (aka Watt). Now I need to know the units of responsibility to test, if level of equivalence of the term "great" in both parts of this sentence. What about: With great Matlab programs come great results?

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Answer by Jan
on 28 Jun 2012

Me too. Especially if the latency in this forum causes long delays after I've clicked on a button. Sometimes I click again after 5 seconds to test if I have accidently click outside the area, but I'm afraid that I could confirm an unintended deleting. Therefore I click on a button, and when nothing happens after 5 seconds, I swicth to another page at first and try to solve the problem later.


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Answer by Image Analyst
on 29 Jun 2012

All editor icons don't bother me at all. I guess after seeing complicated cluttered web pages for 18 years, I'm used to seeing a lot of stuff and being able to ignore the irrelevant and homing in on the relevant.

  1 Comment

Then you would be a good image analyst.

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