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Subject:
From:
Alastair Campbell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Alastair Campbell <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 10 Feb 2005 14:18:18 +0000
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Cindy Lu wrote:
> Our team put a Refresh button on the UI.  The questions are:
 > If we do, will users mix it with the Refresh button in the browser?

Probably, although I'm basing that with testing experience of trying to 
use a back button. Browser buttons are consistent across sites, and that 
tends to be what people are used to, and have fairly strong habits about.

> Do we need the Refresh button?

It would be better if it wasn't needed, not that many users are aware of 
'refreshing' pages as a concept. I'm sure anyone in web design will be 
familiar with telling a client "yes, the page really has changed, you 
just can't see it, please press the refresh button..." (in a calm 
soothing voice!).

 > An alternative way is that we rename the Refresh button to Update
 > Network.  It's long but it reflects what the system does.

How about something more task specific, like "update information" or 
something similar? I tend to find it better if it is less technical and 
more to do with the task, at least for most audiences.

 > If there is any change in the network, you need to pull the data again
 > from the network.  The network is not able to send the updated data
 > to the UI automatically.

I assume by 'network', you mean this is due to other people/systems 
changing the information?

> Ideally, when a device is installed in the network, the system should be 
> able to automatically detect it and present it to the user.  If the user 
> updates something from the workstation, it should be sent to downstream 
> immediately and the workstation is updated, too.  This way, no Refresh 
> or Update button is needed.

I get the feeling that I'm not familiar with the situation you are in, 
is it hardware things that are being added/changed, or information updates?

In terms of updating things without a (page) refresh, the XMLHttpRequest 
technique might be useful. You can see it in action on Google suggest:
http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?complete=1&hl=en

And get some further explanation and links here:
http://blog.bitflux.ch/wiki/LiveSearch

Kind regards,

-Alastair

-- 

Alastair Campbell   |   Director of Research & Development

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