guidance-powermanager's "switching to bat. mode" popup - is it useful?

Martin Böhm martin.bohm at kubuntu.org
Wed May 16 16:09:58 BST 2007


Hi Kubuntu developers and friends (especially those with laptops),
do you like the current way powermanager is informing the user about power
cord being plugged out?

I have thought about this particular pop-up the other day and I realised the
following (it's all my personal opinion):
 * that this particular pop-up appears too often for me
 * that I completely ignore it now
 * that I feel that the change of the battery tray icon is the amount of
attention I need (compare with knetworkmanager - when the network goes down,
only the icon gets changed)

Pop-up windows are and always were a very aggresive way of getting
attention. IMHO pop-ups should be used only if there is an event the user
himself wants to be informed about. A bad habit from Microsoft Windows XP is
to pop-up an informational bubble even if the original action is triggered
by the user (infamous example - a user inserts a removable disc in the USB
port). I think this is a very similar case.

Sebastian Kügler (sebas) argued with me that this pop-up informs the user
about the powerstate change, not the removal of the cord itself. That is
certainly true, but does the common user want to be informed about it? I
don't think that the common user cares about the powerstate change. I think
he wants his laptop to drain as little power as possible by default. If he
wants more power, he can request it by clicking on the battery icon.

Note that I don't argue about the "low battery" pop-up - that is super
useful and out of the question. The "cord plugged  out" and "cord plugged
in" are the ones I mean.

Back to my first question: do you like those pop-ups? Do you feel that they
are useful to you, do you consider them useful every time you see them?
Please try to think like a common user, not like a skilled developer! :o)
(but I know, that's close to impossible)

So what do you think?

Martin "mhb" Böhm
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