Menu changes (Re: A really really stupid idea. Really. Stooooopid.)

Martin Maney ubuntu at
Sun Sep 26 21:31:46 UTC 2004

On Sun, Sep 26, 2004 at 01:14:58PM -0700, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> We all know the feeling of being frustrated by out-of-date documentation,
> but please be considerate in your communications on this mailing list.  For

Sorry, that was my headache talking.  I shut the machine down and I'm
feeling much saner now.  I wasn't making it up about the eyestrain...
nor exaggerating the aggravation at all, at all.  It was even worse
because I had very early on stumbled across "Desktop Preferences" when
I was looking for something else, and before I found it again I was
wondering if I'd accidentally made it go away somehow.

I think I was also inspired by something I read a couple days ago - is
"Computer" an Ubuntu change?  I'm almost positive I read something that
said it was - a place to hide the icons that normally appear on an
unmodified Gnome desktop.  If that's the case, please remember that
this is the sort of thing that makes usability testing vastly more
important than any amount of "design intuition" - once you've learned
where it is, yes, it's not much different than anywhere else.  The
problem is that once you've learned it, you're no longer able to assess
how "obvious" it is or isn't.  I know that one from both sides.  :-/

Oddly, I "intuitively" expected desktop settings would be in the same
menu as "System Tools" - isn't that how these things are usually
handled?  "Computer" raises expectations much more similar to a well
known "My Computer" thingy.  :-)

I hate to sound like I'm saying "if it's not like MS Windows it's
unintuitive", because that's really not what I mean - I work with MSW
machines all day long (only because they pay me to <wink>) and don't
consider them very intuitive at all.  But at a superficial level MSW
does define (or copies - since MS does a good deal of usability testing
there's plenty of chicken/egg ambiguity by now) what your average
computer user is used to.

[obviously I've addressed some things that others have had to say in
this thread, so I probably won't be posting separate replies to each
of them.]

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