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UI / Listviews

We are currently rethinking our GUI components and one thing that some of us do not agree on is listviews. The 24SevenOffice UI is very desktop-like, unlike most web 2.0 apps which has a very different UI compared to traditional desktop applications. One difference is how to present lists. Basecamp and others presents lists with text and a checkbox to select each item. In 24SevenOffice we have a listview and to select an item you must click the item (row) like you do in Microsoft Outlook. To select more than one item the user must use the control or shift keys. For novice users I think this is not very intuitive compared to a visible checkbox. In our UI-discussion I argued the case for having checkboxes in listviews. Other web-applications use a traditional listview as well, such as Zimbra or the new Yahoo! Mail so I would like to go for such a solution as well. But I am unsure whether all users understands it. I must say I am a bit surprised to see Yahoo! opting for such a interface. The new interface is radically difference from the old. The average Yahoo! user is far from a ‘enterprise-user’ which is somewhat true in 24SevenOffice’ case. It will be interesting to see how novice users reacts to the new Yahoo! mail interface.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should we expect users to know how to select more than one item in a listview and also use a right-click menu instead of using a checkbox with a action button at the bottom?

Is using a combined solution a good idea? A listview with a checkbox on the right side. That way novice users can click the checkbox to select one or multiple items while it is also possible to click the entire item (row) and use click/shift to select a range of items.

Example in 24SevenOffice (contactlist):


Written on 24 January 2007.
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