Working Hard

12/5/2011

I just wanted to check in and talk about some of the ideas driving current work in gpEasy.

Main Menu and Layouts

I've been very happy with gpEasy's current page manager. Our original page manager wasn't bad, it just didn't offer as much flexibility as the current one. And yet, there were some things we lost in the transition. The current page manager doesn't show users which layout is being used for every single page (it only shows a colored icon for titles that have a specific layout assigned to them). I chose to do this because it seemed less cluttered, a little more efficient and still gives the same information as long as users understand that child pages inherit the layout of a parent page.

The problem with this: "as long as users understand".

To make gpEasy as easy as possible, I want there to be as few "as long as users understand" situations as possible. It's unrealistic to think we can get rid of them all (gpEasy certainly has many) but we can work hard to make things as clean and intuitive as possible so that gpEasy "just works".

In the case of the page manager and layouts, a vertical line matching the icon color of the layout visually ties the child pages in with the parent page (image on left). It's a simple solution that immediately shows the user that child pages are directly affected by the changes made to a parent page. Just as importantly, it's clean and doesn't distract users from the rest of the page manager.

Small improvements like these don't generate much hype or buzz which is fine. gpEasy development isn't dictated by what has the potential to generate buzz. Don't get me wrong, I love it when we release exciting new features but, the small things are just as, if not more important. Taking care of the loose ends helps us get rid of those lingering "as long as users understand" situations and gives us more "it just works" features.

One down, and many more to come!


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