r5 - 27 May 2009 - 22:14:32 - GrahamPerrinYou are here: OSAF >  Product Web  > TopUsabilityIssues

Top Usability Issues


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  1. view the list of issues for which most votes have been cast
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Notes for editors

For each issue below, please include a reference to either:
  1. the reference in OSAF Bugzilla; or
  2. the most relevant point in discussions on-list.

Categories of issues


  • Adjustable font size in Notes field

Workflow improvements

  • Multi-select to Triage and Drag and Drop items between collections
  • Maintain selection when switching app areas
  • Go-to affordance from alarm pop-up
  • Sidebar collections should show
    • Search result numbers for all collections (not just the selected one)
    • When a collection has unread items (ideally how many unread items)
    • When a collection has conflicts in it

Simplify concepts

  • Keep Desktop and Hub account in sync auto-magically

  • Add notion of an Owner to the Note kind that displays in the Who column

  • Remove and Delete mental model: Allow items to be removed from Dashboard no matter what

  • Rationalize Sidebar
    • A way to see "not-filed" items
    • Replace Mine / Not-Mine with Spheres (way to group collections)

  • Rationalize Cut/Copy/Paste/Duplicate

  • Wizards for setting up Gmail, Google Calendar Sync


  • Data integrity issues (aka repo getting corrupted)
  • Pop-to-Now issues
  • Smarter conflict resolution - See list: http://lists.osafoundation.org/pipermail/chandler-dev/2008-September/010332.html


  • Sharing with yourself that is distinct from sharing with others
  • Print
  • Attachments
  • Custom attributes / Tags
  • Spheres (way to group collections)
  • Linking items / clusters
  • Rule-based collections
  • More "Agenda" like commands in the quick entry field

Keith Winsor

  1. Focus Switching from one view to another should retain focus on the existing record [already reported] even if it would not appear in the new view.
  2. Drag and drop It should be possible to drag items from the detail pane so that, if #1 above is implemented, a task can be dragged onto the Calendar or added to a collection.
    • e.g. Task: Ring Fred for appointment
    • My ideal workflow: 'Ring Fred' task pops to Now, click on it in Table view. Fred task details appear. Ring Fred. Switch to Calendar view to find a mutually acceptable timeslot - task details remain in view. Drag task from detail pane to calendar slot required, adding it to calendar and selecting the timeslot in one operation.
    • NOTE: As a tablet PC user, dragging is the more natural way of manipulating objects. Obviously keyboard shortcuts should be presented as an alternative, but anything that requires the use of Alt-keys (which are usually folded up under the keyboard) and doesn't offer a drag-and-drop alternative, is a problem.
  3. Find items not in a collection I often find myself looking for items that are not part of a collection, often things that have come in via Thunderbird and not yet been allocated to a category. Some means of finding things that aren't in any collection would be very useful - to focus on things that have arrived in dashboard and are nowhere else. These are usually 'In' items, but it would save going to In and clicking on each item to see which collections it belongs to.
  4. Conflict resolution There needs to something in every view to indicate that a conflict exists somewhere. The obvious place is the collection area but, where a user has too many collections to view without scrolling, the indicator would be off-screen, so something at the top would be better. Ideally, clicking it would list all conflicts, grouped by collection perhaps, with the option to resolve all with a single click.
  5. Display Notes I can choose to view Starred Items, Calendar items, and All items, but I can't choose to view Notes: items that exist but aren't Starred or Calendar. We need another button!
  6. Collection colours More of them, please (user-defined?), and the ability to shade the background in Dashboard/table view to indicate collection. This does pose problems when an item belongs to more than one collection: coloured blobs for other than the first?
  7. Make selection buttons behave like checkboxes, not radio buttons It would be good to be able to view, say, notes and Starred items, or other combinations of items. At the moment, clicking one of the view buttons de-selects the others. Why not make them so that they can be selected in combination with each other?
  8. Vertical scroll bar for non-standard displays I accept I'm in a minority with this one. One of my machines is a UMPC with a 600-character deep screen. Bits of Chandler fall off the bottom of the screen without a scrollbar to get them back. As I'm probably the only person using Chandler in this way, don't worry about an urgent fix - next week will be fine…
  9. Sync address information between 'sync with self' PCs. Once I've typed an address into Chandler it can automatically fill it in again - but only on the machine I originally typed it into. It would be nice to sync this across all my PCs.
  10. Make clickable things look clickable Not actually a grouse of mine but, from a support point of view, a lot of 'how do I' queries will probably be spared if the month/week/week no./day indicators look like they could be clicked.

Davor Cubranic

1. Super fast application response

  • this is one of the biggest turn offs for first-time users in the current app

2. Rock solid repository

  • currently it appears to get corrupted way too often, and the app has to resort to various kludges to keep it reasonably performant, such as periodically trimming old versions of stored objects.

3. UI fitting the platform look-and-feel and behaviour

  • it's fairly close right now, but there are numerous not-quite-right discrepancies (e.g., the application menu on MacOS)
  • see Eclipse for a good example of a cross-platform app that really behaves like a native citizen of any particular platform
  • Grant and Jeffrey might disagree, but WxPython? looks to me like it's running out of steam; aren't Gtk and Qt now available on all three platforms (Linux, Windows, and Mac) and developed by major organizations? Maybe it's a good time to re-evaluate pros and cons of sticking with Wx for the rearch?

4. Expose some basic UI customizations and preferences, especially:

  • font size, starting day of the week, daytime hours
  • requests for these are very common

5. Define and clearly communicate what plugins (esp. third-party) can and cannot do

  • add to the schema at will, e.g., new item types? or be limited to only add attributes and relations to existing objects? will the plugins' additions to the repo be synced to the hub?
  • Chandler initially promised a lot in terms of pluggable architecture and third-party plugins providing new capabilities, but in the end, those turned out to never be anything more than simple demos, as they could add only minimally to the UI and their objects could not be synced to the hub.

OK, I'll throw in the sixth one for free:

6. Be able to use a platform's default Python install, don't require any customizations that result in having to bundle the entire Python distribution; pull in any extras as needed using setuptools

  • Chandler downloads that topped 100Mb should just not happen
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