Gah! Sodding bloody typo!

So, for the second time I’ve managed to zap a bunch of perfectly valid
comments in the feedback pane.

For my next programming trick, I shall be throwing up a confirmation
box if you try and delete any ham. Watch the trunk!

On 29/10/2006, at 9:21 AM, Piers C. wrote:

So, for the second time I’ve managed to zap a bunch of perfectly valid
comments in the feedback pane.

For my next programming trick, I shall be throwing up a confirmation
box if you try and delete any ham. Watch the trunk!

IMHO confirmation boxes are almost always the wrong answer to a given
usability problem. In general you almost always end up training the
users to automatically click the confirmation box in addition to the
destructive action. In this case though I guess that deleting ham is
not a very common operation so that the training effect will be
minimal. Still, are there alternatives available?

I am assuming that you were deleting ham that was selected using the
select all function, but the first screenful of comments were all
spam? Is that right? Or is there some other scenario?

An alternative in this case might be to have a Select All / Select
Spam / Select Suspected Ham buttons, which would select only the
appropriate comments on the current page. Perhaps also a Delete All
Spam button which would operate independently of the currently-
selected comments?

On 10/29/06, Alastair R. [email protected] wrote:

IMHO confirmation boxes are almost always the wrong answer to a given
usability problem.

Yes, and there are some fairly obvious usability problems with the
interface in 4.0.

When I go to the Feedback area, “Delete checked items” and “Confirm
classification of checked items” are right next to each other.

My preference would be to have two columns of radio buttons instead of
one column of checkboxes. Color one column red for the spam, and the
other one green for the ham, and label the buttons too for
accessibility reasons. (Green eggs and ham?) Once you’ve checked one
or more controls, a single “Apply manual classifications” button would
process all of them.

With that interface, I can go through the comments top to bottom in a
single pass, click one button, and be done. Furthermore, the most
damage you can do with a single mistaken click is flag one comment
incorrectly, and that can only happen if you don’t notice the mistake
until you push the “apply” button.

The “things you can do” links could then be replaced with as “Mark
suspected spam as spam” and “Mark suspected ham as ham”. So if the
classification engine works, you can click those two links then hit
the button to apply the suspected classifications as-is.

In fact, you could consider just making the radio buttons for
non-manually-classified items default to the auto classification, and
get rid of the “things you can do” section entirely. So then you’re
down to 1 button and 2 columns of radio buttons, pretty idiot-proof I
think.

Is this suggestion clear, or would it help if I drew a mockup?

mathew

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