[Pharo-project] Usability improvements for the class browser: buttons

Stephan Eggermont stephan at stack.nl
Wed Sep 16 10:35:45 EDT 2009


When I open a class browser in a Pharo Image (10418 updated to 10451)
with the default Watery 2 theme, the window is visually dominated by the
button bar. Compared to the other parts of the window, it has too much
vertical height and there is not enough white space around the buttons.

The problem with vertical height can be illustrated by looking at the
precision needed to select a class category versus that needed to click
the browse button. The button has about twice the vertical height.
That would be ok when clicking the button would be the more common
operation, but I don't find that to be the case.

The kind of button used in Watery 2 only works well visually when it
has a rather large white space around it. The button bar of the  
browser already works much better than that of the class browser,
but even that has too little space above and below.

The buttons in the button bar of the class browser feel very heavy  
they don't have enough horizontal separation. With the default window
size, there is not enough space for the needed separation. When the
window is grown, instead of growing the separation first, and then the
button width, only the button width is grown. Some operating systems
have introduced a better solution for this problem, a dedicated button  
Attached is an impression of how this could look. I hope you'd agree
that it would provide a cleaner look. I'd be interested in some clues on
what would be needed to add such a button bar.

The red, orange, and green window buttons used to have a much better
horizontal separation. I am not sure in which update they were put so
close together, but they need at least as much horizontal separation as
the space from left window border to the first (red) button.

Stephan Eggermont

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