Bug and discussion about ubuntu menu

Greg K Nicholson greg at gkn.me.uk
Sun Mar 16 10:46:28 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-03-16 at 10:56 +0100, Milan Bouchet-Valat wrote:
> Or we ca say "User Preferences", with this "Administration" will
> appear
> much clearer.
> > If that's not possible, just “Preferences” will do—the word “preference”
> > tends to imply *personal* preference anyway.
> >   
> I thought so, but it looks like people don't make the difference between
> preferences (personal) and administration (ugly system and hardware
> stuff). 

I'm not sure that most users would immediately recognise themselves as
“the user” – I think that's a word *we* tend to apply to them. So I
think that that wording (“User Preferences”) might seem a little bit
foreign to some users.

…but not problematically so, and if this makes it clearer that these are
*personal* preferences then I think this'd be an improvement.

> The fact is that we are now turning round. Anyway, we should
> make clear whther we need a deeper refactoring, in which case the
> Preferences/Administration issue will disappear.

I think de-segregating the two is a good idea in general – it's easy to
forget whether the setting you're after is global or personal, even when
applying lots of logic- and experience-based mojo.

However, (how) will it still be clear when one's changing a global
setting as opposed to a personal preference?

As a quick, rough UI sketch: the Unlock button could instead say
“Administration” and open a new sub-dialogue solely for administrative
settings (with “Administration” shoe-horned into the title somehow).

Or, each dialogue could include a progressive disclosure control
(labelled “Administration”) that would disclose the admin settings, all
of which would be greyed out until the Unlock button (which would now
live *inside* the progressively-disclosed area) was used and, if
necessary, the password entered.

(I suggest that the admin settings should always need unlocking when
entering the dialogue – even if gksudo is remembering the password and
it won't need to be re-entered – to emphasise that these options are
potent and “a little bit scary”.)

I prefer the progressive disclosure method – “new sub-dialogue” is not
a nice phrase, and this option would still maintain a clear distinction
between personal preferences and admin settings.

I also think it's a good idea to show the user what settings they'll be
able to change *before* having them enter their password, which is
tedious by design.
Greg K Nicholson

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