general UI observations

Generally, two UI issues I’ve been struggling with:

  • Inconsistent item selection focus

It’s confusing to predict how certain actions will effect item selection focus.  When items are highlighted it’s obvious they’re selected, but sometimes they’re selected when they’re not highlighted (and reason for extra hesitation before doing something irreversible).  And sometimes items “unexpectedly” change/lose selection focus after an action.

  • Counterintuitive Undo/Redo behavior

It’s not easily apparent when Undo/Redo are active.  Sometimes several “context-changing” actions may occur while they remain active, then using them may do something unexpected.

I’ve intentionally omitted specific examples for now.

I’d like to feel as comfortable using DT as e-mail, web, and other interactive applications.  I know that’ll happen with more familiarity and my adjustments to it over time, combined with future UI improvements.

Okay, I’ve used up my forum post quota for the day. :slight_smile:

DT changes the focus as little as possible on its own - most handling is done by the OS to ensure DT behaves as expected. But if there are some specific things requiring finetuning, just let me know. And finally, version 1.8.1 will fix a few outstanding glitches.

Two examples:

After items are deleted in many other applications some item always remains selected. That doesn’t happen in DT and makes keyboard navigation clumsy if you’re moving thru a list of items, selecting and deleting some as you go.

Select item; it’s dark-highlighted. Duplicate it; copy is light-highlighted. Item selection focus is in limbo, temporarily “confusing” certain keyboard shortcuts (e.g. arrow key navigation doesn’t work).

It’s generally the combination of item selection and keyboard navigation that doesn’t flow well for me in DT. I’m mouse clicking to “refocus” item selection much more than I think should be necessary because I often can’t tell where I am and whether or not keyboard navigation shortcuts (e.g. arrows keys) will work in that context. And sometimes it seems an item might be selected, but it’s not visible in the on-screen list for the current view.

It’s better when items are dark-highlighted, but confusing when they’re light-highlighted or “off-screen”.

That’s mostly from my experience with Note Pad view but I’ve had “focus limbo” issues with List view, too.

One more thing:

There could be more visible/audible feedback when certain actions don’t have any effect. Delete a locked item, give a positive confirmation, and the item remains. Or trying to Convert a PDF file.  Silence often indicates action success, not failure, but something like Backup & Optimize could have noisy success feedback.

That’s intentional and similar to the behaviour of the Finder or iTunes (e.g. we don’t like Mail’s automatic selection of the next spam email ;D). And if an item is light highlighted, then its view does currently not have the focus.

For my most frequently used style of managing items (in Note Pad view) I’d prefer an auto-focus/selection that worked more like when managing bookmarks, but I’ll try to adjust…

Thanks for the light highlighting explanation.  Seems tapping the tab key sometimes works to regain focus and dark highlight an item, which I find more convenient than using the mouse.

Here’s another keyboard shortcut focus/navigation “glitch”:

  • click item in Note Pad view to display WebLink content pane
  • click link in content pane to display new page
  • navigation shortcuts (e.g. command-leftarrow) are disabled
  • click somewhere in content pane to reactivate shortcuts
  • command-leftarrow to go back – okay
  • command-rightarrow to go forward – disabled
  • click in content pane again to reactivate shortcuts

Seems like a bug, and also an example of trouble I have using keyboard shortcuts after the input focus unexpectedly changes.  In this case the only visible feedback is the Open/Launch/Delete/Group toolbar icons deactivate when clicking in the content pane.

Is it possible to add more obvious visual cues that indicate where input focus is at any time in every browser window/view context?  I’m not convinced the light/dark item highlighting is sufficient but am willing to be proven wrong. :slight_smile:

The focus handling (especially of HTML views) should be improved in v1.8.1 (e.g. space or shift-space shortcuts still work after clicking on a link). Unfortunately, this modification causes the "rainbow cursor" in column views after adding a new group :frowning:. But this will be fixed quite soon.

Thanks for those and other useful 1.8.1 improvements. An example of something I noticed right away is after drag-dropping a URL from Safari to a DT group focus is now immediately on the new item, with dark highlighting. That’ll save at least a few dozen <tab>-to-focus keystrokes per day. :slight_smile: