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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Cindy Lu <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 3 Mar 2005 20:47:25 -0500
text/plain (39 lines)
My fellow worker, Robert (not his real name), and I have been debating 
whether we need the menus (File, Edit, View, Help..) for a web application 
we are desiging (it's an application supporting some hardware downstream).  
He said Yes and I said No.  We can't convince each other.  I am interested 
in your comments, experiences or guidelines.

Robert's arguments:
-We need the menus because the user can find all the functions in a 
structured way.  Users are familiar with these menus in desktop 
applications.  They should find the same thing in the web app.
-We can't just put icons/buttons here and there and rely on users to find 
them.  If we have menus, users will find them in one place.
-Redundant menus are good things.  The desktop applications provide both 
shortcuts and menus.

My points:
-Users are not working with files on a desktop.  They use the system to get 
information and solve problems.   The file menus are no longer applicable.
-We do need menus for navigating in the system but not Files, Edit, View.
-Actions should be placed closer to the object the user is manipulating.  
The menu structure in the desktop application groups all the functions for 
all objects.  The menu is too heavy.  You don't know what function can be 
applied to what object.
-If you can clearly position the action buttons to the objects, users will 
find them.  You don't need redundant menus for functions.  Redundant menus 
make the screen clutter.


- Cindy

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