Open Bug 1399873 Opened 4 years ago Updated 4 years ago

Option to automatically hide or not the download button needs better discoverability

Categories

(Firefox :: Toolbars and Customization, defect, P4)

defect

Tracking

()

Tracking Status
firefox57 --- wontfix
firefox58 --- affected

People

(Reporter: clement.lefevre, Unassigned, NeedInfo)

References

Details

(Keywords: nightly-community, ux-discovery, Whiteboard: [mozfr-community] [reserve-photon-structure])

As requested in previous bugs, download button now offer an option in customize mode to offer user the choice to autohide it or not.
However, there's nothing hinting on the presence of this option, and I discovered it very randomly with a random click on the button.

I think something should be here to inform the user that there's an option if they click on the button.
(In reply to Clément Lefèvre from comment #0)
> As requested in previous bugs, download button now offer an option in
> customize mode to offer user the choice to autohide it or not.
> However, there's nothing hinting on the presence of this option, and I
> discovered it very randomly with a random click on the button.
> 
> I think something should be here to inform the user that there's an option
> if they click on the button.

"Something" like what? The panel shows up whenever you try to move the button or click on it. I don't really see what else we can do to say there is a panel there...
Blocks: 1397447
Flags: needinfo?(clement.lefevre)
Whiteboard: [mozfr-community][photon-visual] → [mozfr-community] [photon-visual] [triage]
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #1)
> (In reply to Clément Lefèvre from comment #0)
> > As requested in previous bugs, download button now offer an option in
> > customize mode to offer user the choice to autohide it or not.
> > However, there's nothing hinting on the presence of this option, and I
> > discovered it very randomly with a random click on the button.
> > 
> > I think something should be here to inform the user that there's an option
> > if they click on the button.
> 
> "Something" like what? The panel shows up whenever you try to move the
> button or click on it. I don't really see what else we can do to say there
> is a panel there...

Yes, people said me that later on on IRC.
Still, the pannel appears if you try to move the button, but by default, the button is on the toolbar and just isn't visible everytime.
Considering the user can just want to let it at its current place and disable the autohide, there's nothing giving the information that this checkbox exist and is here. Unless you try to move it.
I'm not UX expert, but I don't think you might discover it most of the time. And I would even say that have the button visible in Customize and disappear when closing customize might be confusing as user don't know that this option does exist.
Flags: needinfo?(clement.lefevre)
I don't want this autohide behavior. After reading that there is some option to disable it, I spent like more than 5 minutes to find it because I had no idea what button you were talking about. At first I tried right-click but it needs to be left-click. Expecting that people who don't know there is this option will be able to find it when they want it is completely ridiculous.
(In reply to Clément Lefèvre from comment #2)
> And I would even say that have the button visible in Customize and disappear
> when closing customize might be confusing as user don't know that this
> option does exist.

Well, originally there wasn't going to be an entry in customize mode, but then it's impossible to give UI to people who don't want the autohide behaviour. So now there is an entry in customize mode. It wouldn't really make sense not to have it while the button is invisible because then people who want it permanently wouldn't be able to find it while it was hidden... If you have suggestions about how to improve this, they would be welcome.

(In reply to Oriol Brufau [:Oriol] from comment #3)
> I don't want this autohide behavior. After reading that there is some option
> to disable it, I spent like more than 5 minutes to find it because I had no
> idea what button you were talking about. At first I tried right-click but it
> needs to be left-click. Expecting that people who don't know there is this
> option will be able to find it when they want it is completely ridiculous.

Please feel free to suggest a way of making this toggle more discoverable. Things I think we won't/shouldn't do:

- add this to the footer (which already has loads of items / is cluttered)
- add a preference in about:preferences (which also wouldn't be discoverable, but there we are).

Things I just don't think will help with the discoverability:

- different icon (still doesn't invite you to click / drag / find anything out, just draws attention)
- different tooltip in customize mode (if you didn't try to drag or click the item in customize mode, I don't see why you would stick your mouse over it for long enough for a tooltip to appear, and we all know from research that most users don't read dialogs or tooltips anyway).

Things I think would probably give undue weight to the item (after all, the downloads button isn't the only thing you use customize mode for, nor do you need to toggle this on/off every time you use the 'real' downloads panel):

- automatically popping the panel up on hover / customize mode opening (the latter also wouldn't help in figuring out how to open it yourself...)
- having some kind of tip/explainer panel telling you how to open the thing
- having a permanent checkbox to toggle this behaviour in the non-customize mode downloads panel (which also, again, wouldn't help while the item is hidden).

So, as far as I'm concerned the fact that we have two *very* different behaviours and need to provide some way for users to switch between them is just really difficult to provide "intuitive" UI for. We thought having it appear when moving the item as well as when clicking it would help discoverability (also because it seems there's a significant overlap between "people who want to put this button somewhere else than the default location" and "people who want this button to always be visible") and that informed the current behaviour.

TL;DR: We gave this a good shot in a very limited timeframe. It's not clear to me what would be better here, and it's not a simple problem. Suggestions for improvements are good and appropriate and helpful, just calling things "completely ridiculous" isn't. Rein it in, please.
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #4)
You did a good summary of the possibilities, I don't have much more to add.

> - add this to the footer (which already has loads of items / is cluttered)

This would definitely help with discoverability, in fact I searched in there, but I agree it's already cluttered.

> - add a preference in about:preferences (which also wouldn't be
> discoverable, but there we are).

This wouldn't be much discoverable but wouldn't be unreasonable. There is a Downloads section already.

> - different icon (still doesn't invite you to click / drag / find anything
> out, just draws attention)

Adding some kind of mark to the icon could be helpful if the panel pops on hover.

> - different tooltip in customize mode (if you didn't try to drag or click
> the item in customize mode, I don't see why you would stick your mouse over
> it for long enough for a tooltip to appear, and we all know from research
> that most users don't read dialogs or tooltips anyway).

I agree.

> - automatically popping the panel up on hover / customize mode opening (the
> latter also wouldn't help in figuring out how to open it yourself...)

Popping the panel when opening customize mode would be bad because the panel would hide other icons near the Downloads button. I think it should be on hover, but the button should have some mark which draws attention.

> - having some kind of tip/explainer panel telling you how to open the thing

Maybe.

> - having a permanent checkbox to toggle this behaviour in the non-customize
> mode downloads panel (which also, again, wouldn't help while the item is
> hidden).

At least this would allow people who wonder where the button is, once it reappears, to stop it from disappearing again.
Of course this would add clutter and probably most people won't change the pref frequently. It could be better to add this option to the context menu (both in customize and non-customize modes).

Another possibility would be to back out bug 1397447. I can't imagine why someone would want the icon to magically appear and disappear.
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #4)
> (In reply to Clément Lefèvre from comment #2)
> > And I would even say that have the button visible in Customize and disappear
> > when closing customize might be confusing as user don't know that this
> > option does exist.
> 
> Well, originally there wasn't going to be an entry in customize mode, but
> then it's impossible to give UI to people who don't want the autohide
> behaviour. So now there is an entry in customize mode. It wouldn't really
> make sense not to have it while the button is invisible because then people
> who want it permanently wouldn't be able to find it while it was hidden...
> If you have suggestions about how to improve this, they would be welcome.

Well, the biggest difficulty here for me is that this button is the only one to have such on-click options.
My idea, if there were more, would be to make them looks different so that user now there's something different with those button. The same way for example some Android keyboards have three very little dots on some characters telling the user "hey, if you hold me, I can show more options".
Here that could be change background color, adding a little sign like down arrow, little three dots and so on.
But I don't think it would make sense if thats the only button with such possibility and would draw way too much attention on this single button.
Other than that, I'm honnestly out of idea.
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #4)
> Well, originally there wasn't going to be an entry in customize mode, but
> then it's impossible to give UI to people who don't want the autohide
> behaviour. So now there is an entry in customize mode. It wouldn't really
> make sense not to have it while the button is invisible because then people
> who want it permanently wouldn't be able to find it while it was hidden...
> If you have suggestions about how to improve this, they would be welcome.

Could there be an entry for 'Always show download button / Auto-hide download button' (as applicable) in the Library > Downloads subview, say right above the 'Show Downloads folder' button? This would be similar to how the Library > Bookmarks subview currently includes an option to show / remove the Bookmarks button (behind the Bookmarking Tools subview).
(In reply to Oriol Brufau [:Oriol] from comment #5)
> > - automatically popping the panel up on hover / customize mode opening (the
> > latter also wouldn't help in figuring out how to open it yourself...)
> 
> Popping the panel when opening customize mode would be bad because the panel
> would hide other icons near the Downloads button. I think it should be on
> hover, but the button should have some mark which draws attention.

I think if we did it on hover, it would interfere with trying to drag other items in customize mode, if you accidentally hovered over the downloads button. In particular, this would happen to all users, all the time, and the number of people who want to turn off the autohide option is already small, coupled with the fact that obviously they only need to do that once (and it would pop up on hover all the times after that, being distracting/annoying).

> > - having a permanent checkbox to toggle this behaviour in the non-customize
> > mode downloads panel (which also, again, wouldn't help while the item is
> > hidden).
> 
> At least this would allow people who wonder where the button is, once it
> reappears, to stop it from disappearing again.
> Of course this would add clutter and probably most people won't change the
> pref frequently. It could be better to add this option to the context menu
> (both in customize and non-customize modes).

I don't think I agree that this is more discoverable than the existing stuff - a large proportion of people would never think about using the context menu on toolbar buttons / items in the first place.

> Another possibility would be to back out bug 1397447. I can't imagine why
> someone would want the icon to magically appear and disappear.

Because it's largely not a useful icon while there are no downloads (the drag/drop functionality is not discoverable at all, so most people don't know about it). Other browsers do similar things for downloads. Normally people download something, then they run / open it, and then they're done with it. No point having it permanently take up space in their toolbar. In any case, this isn't the discussion we're having here - it was had extensively in the previous bugs on the previous incarnation of the autohide functionality.

(In reply to Bruce from comment #7)
> (In reply to :Gijs from comment #4)
> > Well, originally there wasn't going to be an entry in customize mode, but
> > then it's impossible to give UI to people who don't want the autohide
> > behaviour. So now there is an entry in customize mode. It wouldn't really
> > make sense not to have it while the button is invisible because then people
> > who want it permanently wouldn't be able to find it while it was hidden...
> > If you have suggestions about how to improve this, they would be welcome.
> 
> Could there be an entry for 'Always show download button / Auto-hide
> download button' (as applicable) in the Library > Downloads subview, say
> right above the 'Show Downloads folder' button? This would be similar to how
> the Library > Bookmarks subview currently includes an option to show /
> remove the Bookmarks button (behind the Bookmarking Tools subview).

I think on the whole, this might be the best option I've heard, if indeed we want to do anything else here. The downside is that it's not on the downloads button, but as an upside it'll be usable while the downloads button is not currently visible. One other point is that there isn't a subview (and wouldn't make sense to have a "downloading tools" one with only 1 item), but I think we can live with that. Aaron/Bryan, thoughts?
Flags: needinfo?(bbell)
Flags: needinfo?(abenson)
> (In reply to Bruce from comment #7)
> > (In reply to :Gijs from comment #4)
> > > Well, originally there wasn't going to be an entry in customize mode, but
> > > then it's impossible to give UI to people who don't want the autohide
> > > behaviour. So now there is an entry in customize mode. It wouldn't really
> > > make sense not to have it while the button is invisible because then people
> > > who want it permanently wouldn't be able to find it while it was hidden...
> > > If you have suggestions about how to improve this, they would be welcome.
> > 
> > Could there be an entry for 'Always show download button / Auto-hide
> > download button' (as applicable) in the Library > Downloads subview, say
> > right above the 'Show Downloads folder' button? This would be similar to how
> > the Library > Bookmarks subview currently includes an option to show /
> > remove the Bookmarks button (behind the Bookmarking Tools subview).
> 
> I think on the whole, this might be the best option I've heard, if indeed we
> want to do anything else here. The downside is that it's not on the
> downloads button, but as an upside it'll be usable while the downloads
> button is not currently visible. One other point is that there isn't a
> subview (and wouldn't make sense to have a "downloading tools" one with only
> 1 item), but I think we can live with that. Aaron/Bryan, thoughts?

This one would place the option to a really unattended place in my humble opinion.
While the idea isn't that bad, if user doesn't know about that option I think it could be even worse than the current situation to discover its existence.

To make things more clear: I think the current option is perfectly fine at its current place and doesn't need to be placed elsewhere nor another way. It only lacks a little something to let the user now "hey, there's an option right under that button if you click it", that's all.
Priority: -- → P3
Whiteboard: [mozfr-community] [photon-visual] [triage] → [mozfr-community] [photon-structure] [triage]
I expect a checkbox menu in context menu of the download button.
Keywords: ux-discovery
(In reply to :Gijs from comment #8)
> I don't think I agree that this is more discoverable than the existing stuff
> - a large proportion of people would never think about using the context
> menu on toolbar buttons / items in the first place.

A context menu entry is not enough by itself, but as a supplement it would help people like YF and me.
Flags: qe-verify?
Priority: P3 → P4
Whiteboard: [mozfr-community] [photon-structure] [triage] → [mozfr-community] [reserve-photon-structure]
Flags: needinfo?(bbell)
Flags: needinfo?(abenson)
Flags: qe-verify? → qe-verify+
QA Contact: gwimberly
I would like to raise again the point that an auto-hidden download arrow 
makes it more difficult for the new user to find downloads from previous sessions 
(which is offered normally when there is no download in current session).

Of course one can go to the library, if one knows to go there. Which the new user probably doesn't.
Though new user might discover it by experimentation (four clicks deep, which is a pretty good series of guesses).

And I don't see how it could be signposted, if the download arrow is absent.

=> One might overcome these objections by defaulting to "show", so that only more familiar users would elect to hide it. 
(Sorry about that, considering the work already done.)

Continuing to show the arrow when there are only historical downloads would be rather clumsy.

(I've said before that don't like confusing pop-uppity behaviours. I note I'm not alone.)
(In reply to Bill his name from comment #12)
> Of course one can go to the library, if one knows to go there. Which the new
> user probably doesn't.
> Though new user might discover it by experimentation (four clicks deep,
> which is a pretty good series of guesses).

Unless you are speaking of the Library window, the Library / Downloads menu is just 2 clicks.
And since the Library panel includes almost everything (history, bookmarks, downloads, remote tabs) the new user is likely to look there sooner or later. It's a very prominent toolbar button just after the Address Bar.

(In reply to :Gijs (blocked reviews; no response to ni until Nov 2 (PTO)) from comment #8)
> (In reply to Bruce from comment #7)
> > Could there be an entry for 'Always show download button / Auto-hide
> > download button' (as applicable) in the Library > Downloads subview
> 
> I think on the whole, this might be the best option I've heard, if indeed we
> want to do anything else here. The downside is that it's not on the
> downloads button, but as an upside it'll be usable while the downloads
> button is not currently visible.

But if the user already discovered Library / Downloads, what's the point of an option there to alwats show the downloads button, when the same information is available in Library / Downloads?
(In reply to Marco Bonardo [::mak] from comment 13)

Firefox: 三, Library, Downloads,Show all Downloads (at the foot, look for it)
four clicks, requiring advance knowledge that downloads are to be found in Library, 
and that Library is to be found in 三
and that "Show downloads folder" is not what you wanted, and actually means "Open downloads folder".

Ctrl+J would get you there, if you knew that, which naïve user doesn't.

"Thrash around and discover sooner or later" isn't exactly good UX policy and doesn't qualify as intuitive (not that many things do, even if the guy that wrote the code thinks they are).

I've mentioned before that ESP is useful in this regard, but can't be expected. 

In the old days of web design, back in the last century, this kind of thing was known as "mystery meat navigation" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_meat_navigation, and is Not A Good Thing.
The library button (the books icon) is immediately available on the navigation toolbar, its downloads sections contains ALL the recent downloads. There's no need to go to Show All Downloads, nor to use the 三 button.
If you don't see the Library button, maybe you removed it, check in customization.
I stand corrected. Indeed I had moved the Library into the Menu to remove clutter, so that's my fault.
It's entirely reasonable that a new user might try it to see what it does, then see Downloads.
So: Library, Downloads, Show all Downloads - only 3 clicks & not that bad.

Apologies.
Aaron, is there a plan for post-57?

Marking wontfix for 57 as last beta is today and there's no consensus on what the best way to improve this is, and just implementing all 3-5 suggestions at once without strings is not really a doer - definitely not this late in beta. :-)
Flags: needinfo?(abenson)
See Also: → 1452970
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