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Tinderbox Users >> Off The Wall: Feature Ideas >> Oddity of 'Columns' in Outline view
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Message started by J Fallows on Jan 4th, 2012, 8:26pm

Title: Oddity of 'Columns' in Outline view
Post by J Fallows on Jan 4th, 2012, 8:26pm

Here is an aspect of using Columns, in Outline views, that I think has to be an oversight rather than an intentional feature:

- When you first click on Columns in the View menu, it automatically creates a column called "Child Count," which almost never will be the column that you in fact want to display.

- If you right-click on the column you have created, you can then choose some other Attribute for the column you would like to display.

- Then, when you right-click again, you also have the choice of New Column. By default, that will come up with the next attribute in its own hierarchy, which only by random chance will be the one you want to display.

SUGGESTION: When columns are first created, or when they are added via the "New Column" dialog, skip straight to the stage where the user chooses which one to display -- rather than assigning the next one in the hierarchy, which will almost always be wrong.

Title: Re: Oddity of 'Columns' in Outline view
Post by Mark Bernstein on Jan 5th, 2012, 4:29pm

The design principle here is that we'd like to avoid a modal dialog for choosing the column.  We could, perhaps, create new columns with a heading like "undefined" or "choose...".  

Title: Re: Oddity of 'Columns' in Outline view
Post by J Fallows on Jan 5th, 2012, 6:23pm

Thanks; understand that logic. The price of avoiding a modal step, though, is requiring the user almost always to go back and take a "corrective" step. When you create a column, TB assigns it a name -- and only by random chance will that be the name or value you in fact want. It would be more elegant to have it say "Choose" or "Undefined" rather than "Child Count." Same number of steps for the user, but not the sense that the system has inserted a "wrong" (as opposed to not-yet-specified) value that you have to go back and fix.

Title: Re: Oddity of 'Columns' in Outline view
Post by russ lipton on Jan 6th, 2012, 9:49pm

Yes, please "choose" or "undefined". I always experience a brief moment of irritation when I see the default column because it forces me to get rid of something unwanted, UI-psychologically-speaking (horrible phrase, I know).

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