Sunday, June 26, 2005

User Interface Principle: Operations Applicable to Representations in Any Context

Here's a user-interface principle: if you can do some operation X to some reprepresentation of some thing, A, in some context, then you should be able to do X to any other representation of A in any other context, unless there is a reason not to. My impression is that in most programs, which of the representations of an item you can perform an operation on is a fairly ad-hoc.

Here's an example of where I'd like such a design. I use Winamp (v5.04) to play MP3 files, and when you search for files, you can right click on an item in the results and choose to move that file to after the current song (being played) in the playlist. But if you right-click a file that's in the playlist itself, there's no option to move it to after the current song, which I often find frustrating.

I'm not up on writings on UI stuff, so I have no idea what might have been written about this kinda idea...

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