Authored by: Irene Au, Netscape
Client User Experience Group
Date created: 3 March 1998
This document describes the design for the toolbars in Netscape Communicator.
Table of Contents
Keep notion of pictures & text, text only, or pictures only in toolbars.
Design must work in browser, mail, news, and editor gracefully
Pictures and Text
Having text labels on toolbar buttons has contributed significantly
to the product's usability. Thus, keeping text labels with toolbar
buttons, at least as an option, is a must. Users can turn off the
text labels or the icons with the "Show Toolbar As" preference.
Number of buttons on the toolbar
We are designing Communicator to accommodate users with systems that
meet the minimum requirements, which includes users running Communicator
on 640x480 resolution. Thus, the toolbar buttons cannot exceed the maximum
width of the window in 640x480 resolution with the "Show Toolbar As:" preference
set to Pictures and Text. Under these requirements, a maximum of 9 to 10
buttons are allowed in all toolbars in Communicator in order for the toolbars
to be useful.
The logo should be in a consistent place in all windows. Currently
it is on the far left of the topmost toolbar. If the toolbar height
changes due to a change in toolbar preference, the size of the animation
should change accordingly.
All buttons are of the same width so as to give each button a constant
Text labels for toolbar buttons
Toolbar buttons need to be reasonably large so the text is readable,
yet not so large that the desired 9-10 buttons cannot fit. We limit the
number of characters for text labels so that they do not exceed 9 characters.
Ordering of toolbar buttons
In the browser, we feel strongly that Back, Forward, and Stop should
stay in the same position they've occupied in previous versions to support
users' positional memory. Data from field studies indicate that these buttons
are the most frequently used buttons in the browser.