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-   -   Not really digging the use of orange for "Flagged"... (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=30779)

SFF 2013-09-20 04:19 AM

Not really digging the use of orange for "Flagged"...
 
After using OF2 for several days now, I wanted to offer my thoughts on the decision to depict flagged tasks by coloring the check circles orange. In my opinion, there is not enough distinction between the orange used for "flagged" and the yellow used for "due soon", especially when a task is both flagged [I]and[/I] due soon - the half orange, half yellow circle just doesn't offer enough visual separation to be able to easily note that the task is flagged. Lists of tasks, some of which are flagged and some of which are due soon, are also difficult to differentiate, especially when scrolling through these lists.

My suggestion would be to either use a completely different color for "flagged" (blue?), or even better, show an orange flag icon [I]inside[/I] the circle (similar to how the 3 dots are currently used to show a repeating task), and use color only for Due and Overdue.

(and not to hijack my own thread), but since I'm talking about visual differentiation, I'd like a bit more contrast between deferred tasks and active ones--maybe a bit lighter gray for deferred?

Thanks again to the Omnigroup for your great customer service!

enigma2k 2013-09-20 08:51 AM

Yes this was also my first thought that yellow and orange are too similar and blue was also the first color that came to my mind for the circle flag color.

Please don't put an additional flag into the circle, this would just overcomplicate this wonderful simplistic design OF2 currently offers.

RobTrew 2013-09-21 04:02 AM

Apparently it's a holiday souvenir of the Ginza line in the Tokyo metro.

[url]https://twitter.com/fet/status/380463862165684224[/url]

I would personally add that this is generally a very good redesign, but I do wonder whether a circle thick enough to draw attention amidst all the noise and bustle of a busy metro station isn't a little too thick and attention-seeking for a small screen.

Particularly when there are multiple colored circles on a phone screen, that's fairly strong visual competition for the adjacent text, and seems to come a little adrift from Apple's principle of UI 'deference' to user data.

The metro signs seem a very reasonable and interesting source of inspiration, but I think that adaptation for context, medium, and cognitive efficiency may work better than decorative copy-paste. Slightly thinner and less obtrusive circles would work better for me.

(Perhaps others respond differently – I know some people like to be 'hit over the head' by bright colors to warn of impending due or elapsed due dates :-)

Generally, however, a really encouraging redesign, I think.

[COLOR="White"]--[/COLOR]

RobTrew 2013-09-21 04:52 AM

Perhaps the difficulty of distinguishing at a glance between flagging and time status could be eased by reserving the Tokyo Metro symbols for timetabling (due/soon), and using something with a distinct profile for flagging.

(Even, perhaps, a simple flag icon like the one in iOS7 Mail ?)

[COLOR="White"]--[/COLOR]

psidnell 2013-09-22 11:05 PM

I like the idea of combining due/overdue/flagged/repeat into the circle, but find the colours a little too similar to always see the difference, particularly in daylight.

If due/overdue always occupied the bottom of the circle and flagged always occupied the top - rather than either of them filling it than perhaps it would be clearer.

Lizard 2013-09-23 05:46 PM

[QUOTE=RobTrew;127338]
(Even, perhaps, a simple flag icon like the one in iOS7 Mail ?)
[/QUOTE]

In my iOS 7 mail, flagged items get an orange dot...

RobTrew 2013-09-23 08:46 PM

[QUOTE=Lizard;127428]In my iOS 7 mail, flagged items get an orange dot...[/QUOTE]

The flag icon at the top right of iOS7 Mail - in the toolbar.

I do think though, since you mention them, that those orange dots – small, unobtrusive, single outer edge – are good exemplars of UI deference.

The Tokyo Metro symbols – large perimeter, thick fills, two edges – are a bit self-advertising.

enigma2k 2013-09-24 01:28 AM

Where can you guys see an orange dot in iOS7 Mail? Mine is blue next to unread messages and I can't flag them in any other way.

RobTrew 2013-09-24 02:05 AM

3 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=enigma2k;127442]Where can you guys see an orange dot in iOS7 Mail? Mine is blue next to unread messages and I can't flag them in any other way.[/QUOTE]

The flagging icon (blue outline) is bottom left on iPhone, top right in iPad.

(The dots yield a better balance between UI distraction and data foregrounding than the Tokyo fruitloops, I think)

[IMG]http://forums.omnigroup.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2901&stc=1&d=1380017031[/IMG]

[IMG]http://forums.omnigroup.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2902&stc=1&d=1380017031[/IMG]

[IMG]http://forums.omnigroup.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2903&stc=1&d=1380017031[/IMG]

enigma2k 2013-09-24 02:22 AM

I can understand now why I couldn't find the orange dot. I have set up my Gmail account with Exchange to get push notifications but it only allows me to mark messages as unread and won't give me the flag option.
My other gmail account that doesn't use Exchange and the iCloud mail account both allow me to flag with the orange dot.

This was really driving me crazy that I couldn't find what you guys were talking about... :)

RobTrew 2013-09-24 02:24 AM

( Something more on the scale and width of the iOS7 [I]Reminders[/I] circles might be a less distracting – less UI-promoting – middle ground )

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Mr Rob 2013-09-24 01:36 PM

Just to add my "Plus 1" to not liking at all the use of orange for flags.
It is the only thing I am really not a fan of.
It gets even worse when you have something flagged and due - the half orange, half red thing, just leaves me looking at it to wonder what it means!

Re. the comparison with the new look of mail - it gives you the option to use the dot or the flat symbol - could we at least have the option? i.e. the ability to use a colour, perhaps user defined, if people prefer this, or the use of a flag inside the circle if they don't.

I'll beg if I need to - flagging is vital to my workflow and this new design has really slowed me down.

Thanks otherwise for a great new design.

spwalker 2013-10-02 09:11 PM

[QUOTE=SFF;127302]After using OF2 for several days now, I wanted to offer my thoughts on the decision to depict flagged tasks by coloring the check circles orange. In my opinion, there is not enough distinction between the orange used for "flagged" and the yellow used for "due soon", especially when a task is both flagged [I]and[/I] due soon - the half orange, half yellow circle just doesn't offer enough visual separation to be able to easily note that the task is flagged. [/QUOTE]

I second this. Trying to squeeze this much meta data about tasks into the circle, along with several other elements of the UI in OF2 for iPhone, led me to delete OF2 and move back to OF1. In my opinion the new features in OF2 don't outweigh the problems that the new UI presents to my daily workflow. OF1 may be outdated in appearance, but its UI doesn't make managing my tasks more challenging.

fairydreams 2013-10-03 12:41 AM

I didn't like the doughnuts to start off with, but they are definitely growing on me.

Now I think the double-flavour doughnut actually makes sense.

The coloured ring is a hand waving at the back saying "don't forget or ignore me", their first priority is raising awareness, the second is the specific awareness: important vs late.

I think the way it is implemented does this job very effectively and, now I have grown used to it, I find it very helpful and easier than two separate indicators.

RobTrew 2013-10-03 02:39 AM

[QUOTE=fairydreams;127719]The coloured ring is a hand waving at the back saying "don't forget or ignore me", their first priority is raising awareness, the second is the specific awareness: important vs late.

.... now I have grown used to it ...[/QUOTE]

It's an interesting mnemonic, and helpful of you to share it with us.

But does good information design impose the need to devise and learn mnemonics ?

One can always learn and get used to things – with time, Morse code or the Chinese writing system can become second nature, and look completely transparent and meaningful, but the quality of UI design = (what it makes visible ) divided by (the effort it imposes).

If the effort imposed on the user [B]increases[/B] (colours have to be distinguished in bright light, mnemonics have to be devised and shared, attention to text gets distracted by unnecessarily large and saturated UI elements etc etc) or if information visibility [B]decreases[/B] (flags are conflated with timing), then, quite simply, the quality of UI is lowered.

The little coloured progress dots are excellent. The thick and over-loaded Tokyo metro fruitloops are not. They can, with time, be learned, and mnemonics can be devised and shared. But good UI does that work for the user. Weak UI depends on the user to do the work.

The first thing that hits the eye when you look at an action list should be the actions.

Visually checking the action status should not require mnemonics, impose a period of learning, or become more difficult in strong light.

RobTrew 2013-10-03 02:54 AM

PS

Productivity is a continual alternation between looking and acting.

Ornamentation which adds friction to that cycle is not worth its weight in pixels.

It lowers the both the quality and the value of the software.

[COLOR="White"]--[/COLOR]

fairydreams 2013-10-04 12:36 AM

[QUOTE=RobTrew;127721]
But does good information design impose the need to devise and learn mnemonics ?
[/QUOTE]

It definitely shouldn't... but OF2 doesn't need them... and I suspect you have deliberately misinterpreted an analogy for a mnemonic in order to suggest that.

I have found that with a few shifts to the OS7 design, I have grumbled initially because the UI was not what I have learnt.

What I have realised in most of those cases is that the new UI makes more sense and is more intuitive, but it is different. Because I have learnt the old behaviour, it is jarring and I have misinterpreted that jarring for bad UI.

I am, on the whole, finding that I have less need now to remember "the right way to..." and I can just get on with doing.

For OF2, the fact that I now find it far easier to do stuff with OF2 iPhone than OF1 iPad was an eye-opener. I find that the iPad version is more long winded and seems to take more effort. The fact that on a smaller screen OF2 is easier to use says a lot to me.

My only real grumble with OF2 is that Omni seem determined to try to keep open a need for the Mac version by leaving out basic elements from the iOS versions. Some are simple (time estimates), some slightly harder (non-photo/audio attachments) and some more complex (editing perspectives).

RobTrew 2013-10-04 01:12 AM

[QUOTE=fairydreams;127742]you have deliberately misinterpreted an analogy for a mnemonic[/QUOTE]

You feel the term matters ? We could call it an interpretive framework, a rationale or an aide memoire, but a design which requires the summoning to mind of such rationales (self-devised or helpfully shared by others), is a design which is imposing additional cognitive effort.

Good designs don't do that. They make things effortlessly visible.

fairydreams 2013-10-04 01:48 AM

[QUOTE=RobTrew;127744]You feel the term matters ? We could call it an interpretive framework, a rationale or an aide memoire, but a design which requires the summoning to mind of such rationales (self-devised or helpfully shared by others), is a design which is imposing additional cognitive effort.

Good designs don't do that. They make things effortlessly visible.[/QUOTE]

No... I feel the misinterpretation matters. My point was that it is intuitive and a good design... for me. I do not need an [I]aide memoire[/I] nor a mnemonic to remember how to use OF2.

[B]Simply put: For me it is easier, more intuitive and simpler.[/B]

I understand that it doesn't work for you and that is a pity. I am not trying to invalidate your viewpoint, but highlighting that for others it might work... (and clarifying that my original post was supporting the new design rather than highlighting issues with it).

RobTrew 2013-10-04 02:10 AM

Fair enough, but the fact that it seemed useful to you to explain how the scheme might in fact make sense, after an initial impression that it didn't, is not, I think unrelated to the fact that [I]design aesthetic[/I] and [I]gorgeous[/I] are in focal positions in:

[url]http://www.omnigroup.com/blog/iOS-7-and-omni-whats-new-whats-cool[/url]

with Apple's [I]deference[/I] and [I]clarity[/I] demoted to the end of the sentence and reframed as 'suggestions' rather than structuring design goals.

Focusing on iOS7 as a new style or decorative aesthetic (rather than as a new foregrounding of data and clarity) means giving absolute priority to a decorative scheme (a kind of mainly minimalist modernism, with proud and prominent stylistic quotes of the Tokyo metro) even if that erodes the immediate clarity of flagging, to the point where users begin share suggestions about how the new encoding of flagging might, after a while, be seen to make sense.

Frankly, going for decorative integrity at the expense of clarity is simply turning Apple's proposition upside down:

[I]Nothing we’ve ever created has been designed just to look beautiful.[/I]

[url]http://www.apple.com/ios/design/[/url]

bafranklin 2013-10-21 11:56 AM

I have to agree with some of the other posts that it is confusing looking at the orange-red and orange-yellow circles.

I would love the option of displaying a flag shaped icon instead of the orange circle or half orange circle.

ext555 2013-10-22 11:02 AM

+1 on the flag icon.. at the very least please ditch the combo colored circles . Muddles up my brain , interpreting the meaning all the time . Having mental " resistance " with my GTD lists with OF2 iOS that I never experienced with 1.0


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