How cluttered is too cluttered

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Post: #1
On the one hand, all frequently used interface tools should be directly visible and accessible to the user.
On the other hand, too many interface tools creates a clutter that becomes overwhelming.

The reason I ask this is I have a fairly well laid out interface, but my Bossmanâ„¢ wants "another checkbox" and I can't think of a reasonable place to put it without pushing into that "cluttered" feel.

Suggestions on where to put it? How to access it? what have you.
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Post: #2
Can you put in a tab view to split up the elements, but still have them be in the same window? Otherwise, you might be able to reduce label sizes, or increase the window size slightly. (I'm not sure how strict of requirements you have for keeping things like they are now)
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The window size could be increased, but I am against that as I much prefer a tidier smaller window.

Tab views is an interesting solution, but wouldn't it hide elements? How would it work?

Reducing label size would be good for me, but bad for whom I develop for. They are old and have naturally bad eyesight.
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Post: #4
Skyhawk Wrote:Tab views is an interesting solution, but wouldn't it hide elements? How would it work?

[Image: tabview.png]

There can be elements in the box, (also called contentView) but when you select the other tab the elements are hidden and a different set of components are shown.

Sir, e^iπ + 1 = 0, hence God exists; reply!
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Post: #5
If there's any natural division to your interface elements, then it would be perfect. Tab views are a great way to have many more interface elements in a smaller space. If you need every element visible at once, unfortunately there's no substitute for more space. Rasp (unless there's some gaps that re-organizing can fill)
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Post: #6
what my interface currently looks like:
[Image: gsss.png]
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Post: #7
Seperate the interface from the graphical view, into seperate windows and panels.

Sir, e^iπ + 1 = 0, hence God exists; reply!
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Post: #8
I think that having the data and the controls in the same window of an application like that is just fine, and is actually preferable in many scientific apps I've worked on. It looks like it just needs some more massaging to get it to look right. I prefer to see my data on top and the controls on bottom, but sometimes that is difficult to handle correctly when the window gets resized.

A couple of things really stick out at me though.

- The stutter tolerance area looks awkward. The `Only use for Di' label should be removed and those controls should automatically be enabled/disabled as Di is selected/deselected.

- The tick marks under the sliders are useless IMHO, and needlessly add complication to the interface.

- `Toggle Sorting' should just be `Sort'. It should also be either at the top or bottom of the table, not the side where it looks very awkward. I understand that space is trying to be saved, but it still wastes space where it is. It would be ideal to not even have it as a checkbox, but rather to use the selectable column headers to determine how it is to be sorted, but I don't know how it's being used...

- `Shift Data Slider' should just be `Shift Data'.

- The radio buttons for Mono, Di, etc, should simply be a single pop-up.

- Don't forget that if the window is drag resizable there should be a control thumb in the lower right of the window. If it is being hidden by an OpenGLView, I have some code that arekkusu gave me to manually draw it in OpenGL.

- The text fields can be reduced in size a bit unless they will actually be using massively huge numbers.

- Oh yeah, and there shouldn't be a `Data Range' label. It should say `Low Range' and `High Range', and preferrably on the left side of each text field, not on top. And if you *really* want to hear me be picky, I'd say put low on bottom and high on top, but that's just me. [edit] I just noticed that the table on the right goes from low on top to high on bottom, so maybe it's fine as it is. [/edit]
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Thanks very much AnotherJake. Your post has been most insightful! This is indeed my first Scientific GUI Application for this lab. So far they've been most pleased, but I definitely see where things can improve. Thanks.
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AnotherJake Wrote:- `Toggle Sorting' should just be `Sort'. It should also be either at the top or bottom of the table, not the side where it looks very awkward. I understand that space is trying to be saved, but it still wastes space where it is. It would be ideal to not even have it as a checkbox, but rather to use the selectable column headers to determine how it is to be sorted, but I don't know how it's being used...
basically it switches between "sort by lane" and "sort by allele" view. Almost 2 completely differently tables of the same information, just... represented differently. *shrugs* It makes sense to them, and it makes sense to me. Wacko
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skyhawk Wrote:Thanks very much AnotherJake. Your post has been most insightful! This is indeed my first Scientific GUI Application for this lab. So far they've been most pleased, but I definitely see where things can improve. Thanks.
Glad to help! Grin
Quote:basically it switches between "sort by lane" and "sort by allele" view.
Weird. I guess the `Toggle Sorting' makes sense in that case then. Being as how I don't know what the heck they're doing, other than it appears to have something to do with genetics, the `Toggle Sorting' is less than descriptive. I wonder if maybe it might work to have a pop-up with Lane and Allele as items and a label to the left saying `Sort By:'? That would fit nicely above or below the table.

I suppose you could also have two radio buttons with Allele and Lane grouped as a subview of a box with `Sort By' as the label. That would probably look pretty good but it would likely need to be to the side of the table. In which case, you could help the interface out visually with a vertical line to the left of the Sort By radio buttons to separate the areas. Not the best use of space, but it might look good!

GUI layout can be real fun. Good luck with it!
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