activity configuration UI

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Wed Mar 28 11:17:20 UTC 2012

hi everyone.

please take a look at the attached screenshot of the activity configuration. 
(ignore the rendering issue with the selected wallpaper.) on smaller 
resolution screens this is what it looks like; with icon settings tweaked for 
lower resolutions we get two rows of wallpapers and things look a bit better 
but i think it is clear that there is room for improvement.

a quick anatomy of that window, moving vertically:

* a titlebar
* a text edit
* content
* a toggle button
* control buttons

it would be nice to limit the number of vertical pixels used so that content 
space is maximized. it would also be nice to eliminate redundant and obvious 
text. as such, here is a set of proposals which i will implement if there are 
no objections:

* change title to "Activity Settings" ("settings" being less "tech" than 
"configuration" and shorter, at least in english; use title capitalization)

* change "Activity name:" to just "Name:". that it is an Activity is implied, 
and is redundant with the title directly above it. the name also appears right 
next to the buttons on the activity view so there is an evident corelation

* move "Lock as private" next to the Name entry. this eliminates an entire row 
from the vertical space usage and puts all of the controls in one place

* change "Lock as private" to just "Private". the phrase "Lock as private" is 
a bit awkward (it is not a natural phrasing one would use in conversation) and 
specifying "Lock" speaks to the mechanism rather than the intention of the 
user. the intention is "this is private"; the mechanism we use is "locking 

one further thing i'd like to experiment with is moving the save/close buttons 
into the title bar. some other mobile OSes do this and it would accomplish two 
things: better use of screen real estate, make it more obvious to people where 
these buttons are. people often do not find the buttons at the bottom; i've 
watched dozens of people go through the UI and this is a recurring issue.

on thing that would make this harder is that currently when marking an 
activity as "private" the label on the Save button changes to a very long 
text. i also question if this is really needed or not: mark it as private and 
when "save" is pressed take the necessary steps for a private activity.

p.s. i don't have locking activities working here atm, so i can't see if there 
is any UI for changing the password, or if the password is asked for every 
time a private activity is saved ... in any case, i'm more concerned at the 
moment about the default UI.

Aaron J. Seigo
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