Save Changes Integrated 3

Previously:
Save Changes Integrated 1
Save Changes Integrated 2

Due to the various concerns that have been raised, here’s another approach, targeted at the WM alone.

I also played a bit with WM button styles and suddenly had the idea of using a colour change on the close button instead of a * in the document window title to indicate unsaved changes. But as that doesn’t show up in task bar items, perhaps both should be used.

The warning colour of the button could extent to the titlebar that serves for both document window and dialog. The window title changes to that of the dialog, as that makes more sense in the task bar, I think.

The dialog is meant to be a movable relative to the document window , just in case the user wants a free view on the canvas, but is placed so as to emphasize the connection. It’s taken right from GIMP; the wording, icon and button labels shall be of no concern, here.

Save Changes 3 Title Bars

Save Changes 3
(Click to enlarge)

Save Changes Integrated 2

After some discussion with Peter Sikking, I decided to modify the design from my previous post.

Before, I placed the dialog part at the bottom, to keep the buttons in the usual place (if you think of the whole window as dialog). This time I aim at a stronger visual separation, more like the dialog appearing right on top of the image window, but precisely aligned and glued to it. The canvas part could either slide down, or the message / button part could appear above it for not having to resize the window.

Note the disappearance of the close button. Close buttons were the user has to wonder if they equal cancel and close or do-whatever and close are a well known problem. For GNOME/GTK, it has been argued that the presence of a Close button on dialogs is an accessibility feature for the blind. Well, I don’t quite get that.

Save Changes 2
(Click to enlarge)

Save Changes Integrated

Applied to GIMP, as that’s where I stumble over the Save Changes dialog most frequently. That dialog appears centered over the image window, so you have to move it out of the way if you want to take a second look on the image you are about to either discard or to overwrite another version with. At least with GIMP 2.3.x and Metacity, the dialog can’t be focused separately, already making it a part of the image window in a way.

After the user issues a Close command, the canvas part of the image window should move up as the menu bar disappears. The window is expanded downwards as needed. The zoom combo box in the status bar of image windows would still be useful, but I decided to go for a clean layout. Zoom options could be given in a context menu on the canvas. Experienced users prefer shortcuts, anyway ;)

The List Changes button is optional. It came to my mind because the text mentioning changes from the last x minutes is nice, even helpful in cases, but vague (well, it points the user to his own memory and time perception, so to speak). Also, the GIMP already has a history panel and the changes dialog would be similar. I wondered if the button label should end with and ellipsis (…), but the HIG tells us that it should only be used if the brought up dialog requires user input.

I tried to shorten the message text a bit. The original reads: “Save the changes to image ‘Untitled’ before closing? If you don’t save the image, changes from the last 5 minutes will be lost.”

Save Changes

(Click to enlarge)