December 26, 2005

The Double Click Syndrome

Are you double-click happy?

I find that one of the worst UI (User Interface) things ever devised is the double click. I can't begin to tell you how many people I train or see working who struggle with single and double clicking. In reality, if you get it right, there is plenty of functionality that exists in Illustrator that can make your life easier with the double click. In this post specifically, I'd like to focus on two such areas in Illustrator:

1. With the Selection or Direct-Selection tool selected, double-clicking on a text object will automatically switch to the Type tool and place your cursor within the text, allowing you to edit the text.

2. With the Selection or Direct-Selection tool selected, double-clicking on a group activates group isolation mode.

I look at myself as being a pretty good Illustrator user (blush), and feel the same way about many other graphics applications. Yet, I always find myself falling into one of the two cases mentioned above accidentally. I select a text object to move it and then try to drag it and suddenly I'm editing the text. And my inner voice is saying "stupid Illustrator, I don't want to edit the text, I want to MOVE it. And the same applies when I want to move a group. Although instead of the group moving, I get the gray box around my group, indicating I've isolated the group instead.

Turns out that in reality, you're supposed to click and drag in one step and motion. Unlike feeble old me, who selects first, and then clicks and drags. I guess I'm old school. In either way, the problem is worse when I use my track pad on my PowerBook. You figure that AI has so many preferences, that surely, there's a preference for this as well, but alas, there is not. And so, I will continue to double click and become frustrated.

5 comments:

Newmango said...

Hi, Mordy - and Happy Hanukkah!

Glad to see you start this blog - I'll try to help keep it active.

I think the problem you point out is because a perfectly good behavior in AI 10 and before was changed in CS. Used to be you clicked on something and it highlighted at mouse-down, giving you immediate feedback that something is selected. Now you don't get the visual confirmation until mouse-up, which means you have to click again to move the object. What reasoning went into changing this behavior?

JET said...

Mordy,

The doubleClick itself is the baby. Where and how it's used is the bath water. Trouble is, sometimes Adobe can't seem to tell the difference.

I surely wouldn't want to have to tediously switch to one of AI's--let's see--yep, FIVE text tools just to put a text object in edit mode.

On the other hand, the Group Isolation Mode doubleClick is attached to a feature that, well, shouldn't be there in the first place.

DoubleClicks attached to TOOLS, though, are a godsend. Adobe has gifted most of the siblings in the main toolbox, but the poor little Pen (of all things!) seems to have been neglected Christmas after Christmas.

A doubleClick on the Pen tool would be the right place to put options for: toggling auto add/delete behavior; toggling that infuriating auto-join to UNSELECTED paths behavior; and a rubber-band (segment preview) feature.

So I want more doubleClicking in AI, not less. I just want it in the right places.

JET

Mordy Golding said...

You do make a good point JET. Maybe my frustration has more to do with the mouse as an interface tool, and less so with a quick and easy way to modify the behavior of my currently-selected tool.

I've seen some people who seem to meld with one with their mouse -- the cursor flies around the screen and things happen so quickly that if you blink, you miss what's happening.

I always know WHAT I'm supposed to do, but somehow, the interface always seems to get in the way.

:) Mordy

Teri Pettit said...

Well, I'm with Mordy on this one. I can't count the number of times in CS or CS2 that I try to move a text object (especially point text) and it instead opens it for editing. AARRGH! If I want to be editing text, I have no trouble switching to the text tool. I find that if I am in a mostly text entry phase, I will keep my tool set at the text tool and use the Cmd key to temporarily access the Select tool for moving around the text objects I'm making.

And I think group isolation mode is extremely handy for extended drawing into a group. So I don't think it's a feature that shouldn't exist. But I would be quite happy to only enter it by gestures such as a button or a Layer palette operation that woudn't be so easy to do accidentally.

To my mind, double-click should only be given meaning in contexts where there isn't much reason to ever want to click on something once, and then very shortly afterward, mouse down on it again for some reason other than a double-click, like to move it. That means toolbox icons are good candidates, as are other static controls like color wells, swatches, etc. (OK, you can drag a swatch, but you don't usually do it quickly as a common part of a workflow.)

But a gradient color stop, for example, would be a bad place to assign a double-click meaning to, since clicking once on a gradient stop just to see if you get the black hat, and then mousing down on it again to move it, is a fairly common way of working.

Anonymous said...

Play free game kanser youtube video directory oyun adult porno sex shop image hosting
japan auto store ara utube ytube video share online games adult

Kanser -
Akciğer Kanseri -
Rahim Kanseri -
Lenf Kanseri -
Mide Kanseri -
Yumurtalık Kanseri -

Play game -
Play mario -
sim taxi -
Dress up my scene -
Play game -
Adult games -
Play game -
Play game -
Youtube video

Play action games -
Play arcade games -
Play casino games -
Play misc games -
Play puzzle games -
Play game -
Play shooting games -
Play sport games -

About everything -
you tube video -
Hediye -
Play free game kanser youtube video directory oyun adult porno sex shop image hosting
japan auto store ara mario games erotik fantazi fantezi iç giyim utube ytube tube
video share online games adult
Porn tube

Japan autos -
Alışveriş -
Sex shop -
Image hosting -
Image hosting -
Porn Video -
Porn Video -
Porno Video -
Play free game kanser youtube video directory oyun adult porno sex shop image hosting
japan auto store ara mario games erotik fantazi fantezi iç giyim utube ytube
video share online games adult tube
Porn tube
Porn Video -
Youtube Video -
Sex Shop -
Hodobax -
Sex Shop, Kozmetik -
Hodobax -
erotik iç giyim -
Sex Shop -
Hodobax -
Video Hosting -
Porn Video -
Hediye -
porno -
Directory -
Directory

Play free game kanser youtube video directory oyun adult porno sex shop image hosting
japan auto store ara mario games erotik fantazi fantezi iç giyim utube ytube
video share online games adult tube