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clevercactus: the UI changes


I've been meaning to post this since friday. So, finally, here it goes!

Some comments by email (particularly on the dev-list) had to do with the new UI of clevercactus. I want to talk a bit about that. But first, a screenshot:

cactus-ui-1-small.jpg

(click on the image to see a larger version)

The difference that can be seen right away with respect to the alpha is that the tabs are not there anymore. This is temporary--let me explain. I have already talked about it on the dev-list, but I thought it was useful to do it here as well.

Apart from the "navigation bar" and more filters (to, say, "see only the messages received in the last week") The new navigation interface includes the back and forward buttons. The buttons get activated when switching any of the parameters (say, going from Messages to Contacts, or changing the sorting, or, again, viewing only messages from last week), letting you navigate quickly between views. The buttons don't keep state between runs (although if it makes sense they could do that eventually), and they maintain state when switching between spaces. Soon, each space will have its own navigation history. Additionally, the tabs will be back, but they will be dynamic. The final result will look very much like a modern browser interface: the back/forward and the view filters define the current view, and you will be able to create multiple tabs dynamically, making it look like "the old spaces" if needed, or maintaining multiple views that you normally use, for example, view all Unread messages, and view all contacts.

The tabs are, IMO, crucial, and as I said they will come back, but improved. The default setting of the tabs will make it look like the spaces alpha, and you'll be able to ignore the navigation features if you want, or use them. The idea would be to move further into the concept of information as something dynamic, "browse-able", in a sense your own personal web of data, rather than the more static view that Folders provide today in other programs.

As always, comments most welcome!

Categories: clevercactus
Posted by diego on April 28 2003 at 1:58 PM

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