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Old 02-11-2008, 10:53 AM
Michael T
 
Default Too many icons in the Ubuntu menus?‏ (repost)

I'm sorry, I am short of sleep at the moment and sent this without a subject.

=== Reposted message=========================================== ========
Hello,

I originally posted this as a wishlist item on Launchpad, but was advised to send it to the appropriate
mailing list (so I hope that this is it ). Something which slightly annoys me in Ubuntu (and more
generally in KDE and Gnome) is the overuse of icons in menus. Most (if not all) GUI style guidelines
recommend only using icons in menus where they are instantly recognisable to the user, so that they can
identify the menu entry from the icon faster than they would be able to read the menu text. See for
instance
http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/XHIGMenus/chapter_17_section_3.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000356-TPXREF116.
In other situations, the icon slows the user down, as they will automatically look at the icon before they
read the text. If you look at for example the "K" menu in Kubuntu, you will see that every menu entry,
including every application listed, has an icon next to it, which to my mind makes it look somewhat
unprofessional.
Does anyone else have thoughts on this? I realise of course that in many cases this is something that can
only be fixed upstream, but I wanted to start a discussion somewhere

Regards,

Michael

BTW, please excuse the messy hotmail formatting - this is my "disposable" address for posting to mailing
lists and things where it will be publically visible.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:57 PM
"Jonathan Jesse"
 
Default Too many icons in the Ubuntu menus?‏ (repost)

2008/2/11 Michael T <raselmsh@hotmail.com>:


I'm sorry, I am short of sleep at the moment and sent this without a subject.

=== Reposted message=========================================== ========

Hello,

I originally posted this as a wishlist item on Launchpad, but was advised to send it to the appropriate
mailing list (so I hope that this is it ). *Something which slightly annoys me in Ubuntu (and more

generally in KDE and Gnome) is the overuse of icons in menus. *Most (if not all) GUI style guidelines
recommend only using icons in menus where they are instantly recognisable to the user, so that they can
identify the menu entry from the icon faster than they would be able to read the menu text. *See for

instance
http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/XHIGMenus/chapter_17_section_3.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000356-TPXREF116.

In other situations, the icon slows the user down, as they will automatically look at the icon before they
read the text. *If you look at for example the "K" menu in Kubuntu, you will see that every menu entry,

including every application listed, has an icon next to it, which to my mind makes it look somewhat
unprofessional.
Does anyone else have thoughts on this? *I realise of course that in many cases this is something that can

only be fixed upstream, but I wanted to start a discussion somewhere

Regards,

Michael

BTW, please excuse the messy hotmail formatting - this is my "disposable" address for posting to mailing

lists and things where it will be publically visible.
__________________________________________________ _______________
Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today it's FREE!
http://messenger.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200471ave/direct/01/


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Michael,
*
I actually find it more annoying to not have an icon.* For example, in my Gutsy build w/ KDE4 running I have Konsole showing up as kde4-konsole withouth the icon in the Application Launcher.* To me this is more annoying and unproffesional looking then having the icon there.* But its probablly something I did that has changed my system that way.

*
Jonathan
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:04 PM
Ioannis Nousias
 
Default Too many icons in the Ubuntu menus?‏ (repost)

My personal opinion is that visual aids, such as launcher icons, are a
necessity. Removing them would be a step in the wrong direction.

I do I agree that icons design must be improved in order for them to
serve their purpose right from the start (when the user has not yet made
the association between icon and application).

Since we are on this subject, I find menus a thing of the past.
Especially menus with deep levels of hierarchy. Also using text to
identify an application/task/object is unintuitive and 'slow'. In real
life we see a chair (for instance) and we know it's a chair. We don't
need a little label there telling us it's a chair It can be more
tricky of course when dealing with 'actions' or abstract definitions.
Text is good for 'calling' a task/application, semantic search, like
desk-bar.

Again, that's my humble opinion. It probably is a left/right brain
hemisphere thing

regards,
Ioannis


Michael T wrote:
> I'm sorry, I am short of sleep at the moment and sent this without a subject.
>
> === Reposted message=========================================== ========
> Hello,
>
> I originally posted this as a wishlist item on Launchpad, but was advised to send it to the appropriate
> mailing list (so I hope that this is it ). Something which slightly annoys me in Ubuntu (and more
> generally in KDE and Gnome) is the overuse of icons in menus. Most (if not all) GUI style guidelines
> recommend only using icons in menus where they are instantly recognisable to the user, so that they can
> identify the menu entry from the icon faster than they would be able to read the menu text. See for
> instance
> http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/XHIGMenus/chapter_17_section_3.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000356-TPXREF116.
> In other situations, the icon slows the user down, as they will automatically look at the icon before they
> read the text. If you look at for example the "K" menu in Kubuntu, you will see that every menu entry,
> including every application listed, has an icon next to it, which to my mind makes it look somewhat
> unprofessional.
> Does anyone else have thoughts on this? I realise of course that in many cases this is something that can
> only be fixed upstream, but I wanted to start a discussion somewhere
>
> Regards,
>
> Michael
>
> BTW, please excuse the messy hotmail formatting - this is my "disposable" address for posting to mailing
> lists and things where it will be publically visible.
> __________________________________________________ _______________
> Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today it's FREE!
> http://messenger.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200471ave/direct/01/
>
>


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Old 02-12-2008, 05:53 PM
Markus Hitter
 
Default Too many icons in the Ubuntu menus?‏ (repost)

Am 12.02.2008 um 01:04 schrieb Ioannis Nousias:

> In real life we see a chair (for instance) and we know it's a
> chair. We don't need a little label there telling us it's a chair

If you see a chair the first time in your life, you actually need a
label (or somebody telling you what this thing is). Furthermore, not
every piece of software is as commonly known as a chair. There's so
much software today you even start to forget rarely used icons over
time.

BTW, did you ever try to explain some icon-only thing solely with
words (like, over the phone)?


If you solve these things, Icons are great.


Markus

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dipl. Ing. Markus Hitter
http://www.jump-ing.de/





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Old 02-12-2008, 06:49 PM
"Mackenzie Morgan"
 
Default Too many icons in the Ubuntu menus?‏ (repost)

On Feb 12, 2008 1:53 PM, Markus Hitter <mah@jump-ing.de> wrote:


Am 12.02.2008 um 01:04 schrieb Ioannis Nousias:

> In real life we see a chair (for instance) and we know it's a
> chair. We don't need a little label there telling us it's a chair


If you see a chair the first time in your life, you actually need a
label (or somebody telling you what this thing is). Furthermore, not
every piece of software is as commonly known as a chair. There's so

much software today you even start to forget rarely used icons over
time.

If you see a chair for the first time in your life, will you know what the word "chair" means?


BTW, did you ever try to explain some icon-only thing solely with
words (like, over the phone)?


That's why we have both.* It's not like we leave words out completely (like the OLPC Sugar interface does...that thing is confusing).
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:14 AM
Michael T
 
Default Too many icons in the Ubuntu menus?‏ (repost)

> If you see a chair for the first time in your life, will you know what the word "chair" means?
>
> BTW, did you ever try to explain some icon-only thing solely with
> words (like, over the phone)?
>
> That's why we have both. It's not like we leave words out completely (like the OLPC Sugar interface does...that thing is confusing).

Another example of what I meant - look in the Konqueror "Settings" menu. There is an icon for "Hide menubar" - the word "File" cut off to look like "Fili". Is that really a memorable symbol for the concept that users will be able to identify faster than the text? And there are icons for "Configure Shortcuts...", "Configure Toolbars..." and "Configure Konqueror...", all variants of a spanner icon which I have trouble telling apart without looking closely. Compare the Firefox menus, which have virtually no icons at all. I personally do not find this disturbing (do others?)

Regards,

Michael
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