increasing the usability of search dialogs

Frans Englich englich at
Tue May 16 15:03:28 BST 2006

On Monday 15 May 2006 10:00, Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> On Monday 15 May 2006 03:18, Thomas Zander wrote:
> > > the problem with the find dialog is that it creates a window that needs
> > > to be moved around to see the results and requires moving between two
> > > visual contexts when using them. it's pretty sub-par.
> >
> > Hmm, my dialogs always move when the search result ends up under the
> > dialog. I'm wondering why yours don't that you see this as a problem ;)
> by "needs to be moved around" i meant that it needs to be moved around (to
> state the obvious ;) ... yes, it is moved programmatically when possible
> but an automagically roaming dialog is far from perfect. it's distracting,
> it's "magic" behaviour since it doesn't happen as a result of the usual
> user action that causes window movement and, while it "solves" the problem,
> it doesn't look overly polished.

Agreed. I think motivation a decision to programtically moving windows is 
hard. It must be something really ugly one avoids if it's better to introduce 
the problems a dancing window brings.

If moving windows turns out to be the be solution for a problem, I think it 
can be improved by gently moving it in an anmiation, where it accelerates and 
de-accelerates. Instead of that something suddenly jerks on the screen, the 
user understands what happens, and eventually sees the highlighted search 
term appearing as the window slides. It can be that the computer isn't 
percepted as something irrational and alienated, but that what it does make 
sense and is understandable.



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