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Designing Interfaces by Jenifer Tidwell

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THE PATTERNS

Most of this chapter's patterns fit into the functional groups described earlier. Edit-in-Place is very much a WYSIWYG approach to editing labels and text. Smart Selection and Composite Selection deal with selection mechanics, and One-Off Mode and Spring-Loaded Mode solve problems with mode switching.

Constrained Resize, Magnetism, and Guides address precision-related problems that users often face with direct manipulation. All three patterns help a user achieve a specific task—resizing an object correctly in the first case, and moving objects to precise locations in the other two.

Paste Variations addresses a very specific design problem in an application's cut, copy, and paste feature. WYSIWYG editors tend to need it more than other kinds of applications.

edit-in-place

OmniGraffle label edited in place

Figure 8-2. OmniGraffle label edited in place

what

Use a small, dynamic text editor to let the user change text "in place": position the editor directly over the original text, rather than using a separate panel or dialog box.

use when

The builder UI contains text that the user may want to change sometimes. The names of objects, text elements in a graphic layout, labels, and even property values are good candidates.

why

Making the user ...

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