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Terminating buttons

I was checking out Silverstream's latest GUI application and found the following snapshots:

I was particularly intrigued by the terminating buttons, at the bottom.  They are not buttons, but 3D text.

They look good (just like Joel's underline edit boxes), but then again...  why the change?  Does it add anything significant?  Or is it just a misplaced attempt at being creative?

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

My guess would be that something purely cosmetic like that would not really be a true usability obstacle, but I don't have any data. I'd love to do a research project one day where we give thousands of people UIs with slightly different widgets and see how much of a difference it truly makes.

But I do agree with you-- why did they bother? :) I mean, I have an obligation to show off, but what's in it for them?

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, October 16, 2001

My first reaction when seeing those buttons was "Oh, I don't dare to click those..." followed by " will take forever to do it and I don't know what will happen".

The text of the buttons is made to appear as it is floating above the control pane (and a good way up). As you can see the background and shadows between the pen strokes of the glyphs I get the feeling that I absolutely have to click on the glyph in itself (a couple of pixels wide) - otherwise I would just click through (isn't that term trade marked by someone?) and hit the background instead.

Alas, I do not know the whole GUI situation here - if the mouse pointer would turn into a big, fat fingertip that covers at least a couple of glyphs that instill confidence in me that I would manage to hit the button... leaving the characters "nce" imprinted in the finger.

Intellectually I know that I can treat those buttons as a normal button, but I would think that their appearance would slow me down a tenth of a second every time I was about to click any.

Fredrik Pihlström
Thursday, October 18, 2001

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