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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Hal Shubin <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 Sep 2002 09:04:45 -0400
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Hal Shubin <[log in to unmask]>
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How easy is it to train people to use the right-mouse menu (aka MB2 menu or
context menu)?

I'm helping a client develop software for clerical people to use. They'll
include training with the product because the users aren't all comfortable
with computers. (They said it starts with "This is a mouse...", but perhaps
not literally.)

The application is a Web-enabled one that runs in a stripped-down browser
(no browser menu bar, tool bar, etc).

To save time, they want to put many features on the context menu. I
suggested creating a menu bar or tool bar of some sort for these commands,
but they don't want to do that because it will take an extra click or two,
or involve moving the mouse across the screen. I always allow for a context
menu, but only as a redundant way to get to some of the items on the main
menu bar. They don't seems to want to have the menu bar at all.

The users will be sitting in front of this application all day long, so
every second they save is multiplied through the day. These commands will
not have to be used in every operation, but will be used frequently. I'm
not sure if it's frequently enough to help them remember that the popup
menu is there; I'll have to look into that.

I'll certainly push back to see what the limits are, and I'm trying to
arrange for some usability testing. In the meantime: Anyone have any
experience with the idea of teaching people to use a software feature like
this that they've probably never seen before?

Replies will be compiled and posted.

thanks                          -- hs

Hal Shubin
Interaction Design (
Design & strategy for the Web
617 489 6595

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