Action icons in menus

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Mon Dec 13 22:26:34 GMT 2010

On Monday, December 13, 2010, Miha Čančula wrote:
> The pros and cons I can think of right now are: Pro:
>   1. Biger clickable area => less chance of misclicks

not substantially bigger; and in this case it would be interesting to know 
just how many misclicks actually happen using both UI styles.

>   2. Icons, when they are intuitively identifiable with an action, can be
> recognised by humans faster and much easier.

the context menus already have icons in them for these kinds of actions.
> Con:
>   3. For actions that are not easily identifiable by an icon, this is very
> bad. This is the reason only some of the actions would be converted to
> icon display, as you can see from the mockups and screenshots. 

which means inconsistency: some entires one way, other entries another.

it means having to scan visually in two different directions which slows usage 
down considerably. 

the loss of vertical alignment, particularly when in the middle of a menu, 
looks very noisy and unfortunate. i'd go so far as to say "ugly".

> 4. It looks (a little) like the ribbon UI.

a non-issue.

unless there is some sound reasoning showing why this is a beneficial change, 
i have to say this looks like a "cool change because we can" type thing. menus 
are hardly a massive usability "problem" as people use them without much fuss. 
it may make more sense to focus on issues that are actually problematic for 

Aaron J. Seigo
humru othro a kohnu se
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

KDE core developer sponsored by Qt Development Frameworks
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