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An uncomfortable bit of UI

I have been using the compass tool a lot today and its been awkward. I finally figured out why. Most of the tools (e.g., draw a line between two points, draw a circle from a center point to another point, set up a translation) use a click-drag-release motion. But the compass tool requires click-release-move-click-release. Why doesn't it use click-drag-release like the other tools?

-- Dave

on: Thu 30 of Mar, 2006 [04:54 UTC] reads: 126589

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3 stars
Re: An uncomfortable bit of UI
on: Thu 30 of Mar, 2006 [18:36 UTC]
Yeah I see what you mean, but what really happens is that I click on a point, and note that the point is not highlighted at this time (it highlights when you unclick), and then I start to drag as usual, and discover that I'm not getting any UI feedback (like the measured circle being expanded between point and cursor). It looks to me like I made a mistake or missed the point when clicking. And I can either unlick and start over, or move the mouse back to the original point and unclick there which highlights the point and I can continue.

I would suggest this interaction instead: Click on first point - get immediate circle feedback - drag to second point and release - with stretching circle feedback during the drag, and after the release the circle remains highlighted and follows the cursor until you click on the desired third point. So it is click-drag-release-move-click. This would make the compass tool behave much like the "draw two points and a circle" tool - with the extra step of clicking on the third point, as well as other tools where you're "stretching" something, namely the "draw connecting line tool", the parallel and perpendicular tools, and the midpoint tool. Right now it behaves like a selection-oriented tool like the "define circle from three points" tool or "bisect an angle" tool. (Although I notice that the "define an arc" tool, which is also a selection-oriented tool, stretches an arc as feedback, kind of makes me wonder why the "define circle from three points" tool doesn't stretch a circle as feedback.)

Anyway I just offer this as something to think about. I'm sure I'll train myself to use the current method in a day or two.

author message
Aw: An uncomfortable bit of UI
on: Thu 30 of Mar, 2006 [10:09 UTC]
The answer is easy: Because click-drack-release gives back two locations (start and end), but the compass tool needs three.


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