scribbles tagged ‘menu’

Do Androids dream of electric wendys?

Monday, June 20th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

While standing in the isle of a FGW commuter train from London Paddington I watched the young man seated beside me using his Blackberry phone. It looked like a mini Windows 95 – text-menu list overload! My gut reaction was yuck! The young man navigated the text-heavy grey menu with impressive speed. Clearly an experienced user.

Some of the things I love about my Android HTC desire are the way the designers have managed to

  • Use pleasing interaction styles –  I can gesture with flicks, stretches, squeezes. I can drag and drop all sorts of things across screens. I can use short and long presses on the screen to find different button behaviours. It’s fun to explore and learn
  • Create a simple, versataile information architecture. I don’t have to learn then relearn where everything is because everything is in a sensible place that’s easy to find and find again. The navigation system is clear and simple
  • Allow me to easily find and install useful, innovative, fun, relevant Apps. It’s my phone and it does what I want it to do!
  • Avoid looking like Windows 95, no battleship grey, no long text menus with uninspiring fonts
  • Include fun animations like the windscreen wiper blade running across the screen when its raining. I love how the designers have taken the notion of a dashboard design and then added a winscreen wiper extending the metaphor with humour. Fun!

My HTC Desire in the rain Hoorah for Android!

Do Androids dream of electric wendys?
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freakin’ voice recognition menus

Monday, November 19th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |


Listening to a freakin’ voice menu (FVRM)  ask me if the phone-number it has for me is correct:  Say Yes or No

Wendy:   No

FVRM: I didn’t hear you please answer yes or no

Wendy: NO

FVRM: I didn’t hear you please answer yes or no

Wendy: NO

FVRM: I didn’t hear you please answer yes or no


FVRM: please speak your phone number or enter it on the dialpad

I type  the number into the dialpad.   Subsequent menu options did not have dialpad alternatives.    I tried really hard to imitate the US accent of the FVRM.   Mostly failing.   Finally:

FVRM: to ensure service quality this call may be recorded.

Wendy: a-hahahahahahaHAHAHA   (falls off chair).

A conversation with customer service representative (CSR),   ends with my verifying that I understand:

 You can cancel my DSL service and only my DSL service,   not my phone service which is also supplied by your company.   You can only cancel my DSL service now,   you can’t take a date to end it on.   I can give your company an advance cancellation date for my home phone service.   I need to call another number to do this.       If I cancel my phone service my DSL will not work.  I will still be charged for it until I cancel it.  

CSR:   that’s right.   I can forward you to the number where they will be able to cancel your phone service in advance.

Wendy:   yes please.

dialtone (I am disconnected).  

When,  3 FVRM, later I found a nice lady she managed to book my home-phone service cancellation and my DSL cancellation to happen at a future date  at the same time.  

Wonderful lady

freakin’ voice recognition menus
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Darling’s cascading start menu

Friday, October 19th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Darling’s cascading start menu is


because I have to be very dextrous with Darlings touchpad to pick the right item at the top-level, and it gets even more tricky to get the second level menu to stay there long-eough to get to a specific choice there.   I rarely manage to get to the third level,   at least not without buckets of tears.  


because it holds long readable lists of all sorts of things that I could use.   They are hidden away until I click on whatever opens the menu and then I can see it all without clicking again.   No multiple clicks to see something, no digging around,   I can easily visually scan.   I virtually never go there, having these things hidden then scannable even  when I get the impulse to run a quick disc defragmentation.   The cascade is works,   I really don’t want to have to remember where things are.

A couple of fellows compared web-based cascading menus,   with drop-down menus and in-page menus by timing people while they searched for things in them and asking them to rate their  experience.     In-page navigation came out with the fastest-performance and being most liked.     Hoorah for  inplace menus in web-pages.   Please  don’t do that to Darling.   I defintiely  would  not  like all of Darling’s start menu items on my desktop.   Quick access to my disk defragmenter and my control panel from my desktop is not really what I want.   I quite like them hidden away in the start menu.  

Darlings lovely cascading start menu,   you can see lots of things that I rarely use,  all at once!:

Darling’s cascading start menu
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