Hover highlight effect inconsistency with GNOME applets.

Tomasz Dominikowski dominikowski at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 14:22:43 GMT 2008

Hi. I'm a long time GNOME user (since Hoary Hedgehog) and just today,
maybe because of the new FUSA applet and watching a newbie struggle
with it, something ocurred to me.

Why is it that only some of the applets are highlighted when you hover
your mouse cursor over them and some are not?

Some examples:

- Applications/Places/System buttons are not highlighted, but they
don't look like something obviously clickable at all.
- The new FUSA applet suggests with its tiny red "power off" icon that
it might be clickable, but the entire area of the applet is not
obviously clickable (leading my fellow newbie to try and click that
little red icon).
- The brightness applet "sun" icon isn't highlighted. It displays a
drop-down menu when clicked, so exactly the same behavior as time and
date applet (which is highlighted).
- The trash applet isn't highlighted.

On the other hand, these are highlighted (and for good reason):

All manually added icons (activators). Looks good, not necessary, but
looks good.
Lock screen applet icon. Looks good, not necessary, but looks good.
The time and date applet is highlighted, suggesting that it is
clickable and most importantly, that the whole area is clickable
(including the integrated weather report). Good. Discoverable.
The workspaces switcher applet highlights the workspaces as you hover
your cursor over them, making it easier to understand what are they
all about. Good.
The "Show desktop" button/applet is highlighted. It looks like a
button, so it's obviously clickable, so it it may not even be
necessary to highlight it, but it doesn't distract. Good.

I was trying to make sense of it all, eg.:
1) If it's an applet with an icon - highlight it
Inconsistent - trash applet, brightness applet and probably more
2) If it's an applet without an icon or simply non-obviously-clickable
- highlight it
Inconsistent - most of them (apart from time and date applet and
workspace switcher applet)

I wouldn't notice this inconsistency, but just try to move your mouse
from the time and date applet over to the FUSA applet and see what I'm
talking about. Tooltips help to some degree, but it's just a band-aid
for the inconsistency.

Any thoughts, suggestions, explanations?

                 Tomasz Dominikowski
Tomasz Dominikowski
"Brian, let us pray. Dear Lord... stay out of our way!"

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