Contacts sidebar: Implement ENTER and/or ALT+ENTER keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected AND focused contact (ux-consistency with OS and TB address book)

RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 998312

Status

--
enhancement
RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 998312
7 years ago
2 years ago

People

(Reporter: bugzilla2007, Unassigned)

Tracking

(Blocks: 1 bug, {ux-consistency, ux-efficiency, ux-trust})

Trunk
ux-consistency, ux-efficiency, ux-trust
Dependency tree / graph

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

Attachments

(1 attachment, 1 obsolete attachment)

+++ This bug was initially created as a clone of Bug #343973 +++
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:2.0.1pre) Gecko/20110413 Thunderbird/3.3a4pre

STR
1 compose message
2 F9 to show contacts sidebar
3 single-left-click on one contact to select and focus
4 to edit the properties of that contact, try
4a Enter
4b Alt+Enter

Actual Result
nothing

Expected Result
4a Enter should open the "Edit Contact" dialogue
4b Alt+Enter should open the "Edit Contact" dialogue

Reasons:

1) In lists, it is good UI practice that ENTER will trigger the default action for a list item.

2) The default action for ENTER should be "Edit Contact"
2a) ux-consistency:
In the main address book, ENTER on a selected contact will trigger the "Edit contact" dialogue.
2b) offer a quick and easy way to "Edit Contact" from contacts sidebar

2c) "Add to To" would *not* be ideal as a default action:
- Between "Add to To/CC/BCC", it would be difficult to choose a default action, as we would be tempting users to use "Add to To" without consideration for CC/BCC, simply because pressing Enter is easier than Alt+A.
- We would deprive users of an easy and intuitive way to edit the contact (see 2b)
- We would go against ux-consistency (see 2a)

3) Alt+ENTER as an additional keyboard shortcut:
It is good UI practice that Alt+Enter triggers Properties dialogue for a selected item; the context menu has "Properties" (why?) to access "Edit Contact" dialogue, which is de facto a properties dialogue (even if we rename the context menu).

4) Both Enter and Alt+Enter are not used for anything else in that situation, nor are they likely to be hit accidentally, nor would it hurt to hit them accidentally, even multiple times (ENTER again would just close the "edit contacts" dialogue).
(Reporter)

Comment 1

7 years ago
Created attachment 526688 [details]
Request UI-review for ENTER and ALT+ENTER to edit contact in contacts sidebar

Bryan, this should be quick and straightforward for ui-review, please find the details in comment 0.
Attachment #526688 - Flags: ui-review?(clarkbw)
(Reporter)

Updated

7 years ago
Blocks: 343973
No longer depends on: 343973
Doesn't alt-enter send the email? Or is that ctrl-enter? (Mac uses cmd-enter)
It's ctrl-enter
Comment on attachment 526688 [details]
Request UI-review for ENTER and ALT+ENTER to edit contact in contacts sidebar

I don't think you can compare this view to the address book for consistency of actions.  The context of the address book is managing contacts, therefore the expected behavior is an editor.  However in the compose window the context is addressing/sending.

I'm always reluctant to add lots of keyboard shortcuts for every action, TB currently has a minefield of actions that can occur at any window.  But I'll let Blake decide here since he's making these calls now.
Attachment #526688 - Flags: ui-review?(clarkbw) → ui-review?(bwinton)
Comment on attachment 526688 [details]
Request UI-review for ENTER and ALT+ENTER to edit contact in contacts sidebar

> 1) In lists, it is good UI practice that ENTER will trigger the default action
> for a list item.

That's a reasonable point.

> 2) The default action for ENTER should be "Edit Contact"
> 2b) offer a quick and easy way to "Edit Contact" from contacts sidebar

This doesn't seem to me to be the main action people would want to do on a contact listed in the sidebar.  I could believe "Add to To", or "Add to Cc", but you cover the reasons not to use those below.

> 2c) "Add to To" would *not* be ideal as a default action:

Also, having Enter sometimes add people to the address list, and sometimes add a newline to your message seems like a great way to send email to people you don't mean to…  :)

> - We would deprive users of an easy and intuitive way to edit the contact (see
> 2b)

I believe right-clicking is at least as easy and intuitive as hitting Alt+Enter, particularly since we have no way to show people which keys they can use to open the properties in that context.

> 3) Alt+ENTER as an additional keyboard shortcut:
> It is good UI practice that Alt+Enter triggers Properties dialogue for a
> selected item;

That's kind of true.  Well, not on the Mac…

> 4) Both Enter and Alt+Enter are not used for anything else in that situation,
> nor are they likely to be hit accidentally, nor would it hurt to hit them
> accidentally, even multiple times (ENTER again would just close the "edit
> contacts" dialogue).

That's true, but Ctrl+Enter is used to send the message no matter what part of the window you have focused, and I would hate for Enter and Alt+Enter to behave differently than Ctrl+Enter in this case.

Also, neither of those keys work in the attachment list, or the list of messages.  And in the 3-pane they all do the same thing.  And finally, I think I'm with Bryan in his reluctance to add even more keyboard shortcuts, so I'm going to say ui-r- for this idea.

(But, now that you know we won't take these keys in the core code, you can write an extension to make them do what you want with confidence that we won't override you.  ;)

Thanks for the idea,
Blake.
Attachment #526688 - Flags: ui-review?(bwinton) → ui-review-
(Reporter)

Updated

7 years ago
Blocks: 713979
(Reporter)

Comment 6

5 years ago
(In reply to Blake Winton (:bwinton) from comment #5)
> Comment on attachment 526688 [details]
> Request UI-review for ENTER and ALT+ENTER to edit contact in contacts sidebar
> > 1) In lists, it is good UI practice that ENTER will trigger the default
> > action for a list item.
> 
> That's a reasonable point.

I'm still dreaming of the day when the concepts of "Focus respect" and "Keyboard efficiency" will finally dawn on TB UX.

I'm still failing to see how doing NOTHING for well-established OS-wide default keyboard shortcuts like ALT+ENTER on a deliberately *selected AND focussed item* (like a contact in the sidebar) can possibly be better than doing the default action users would expect from that keyboard shortcut on their OS, i.e. to open the properties of that item, especially when there are no risks or drawbacks  whatsoever.

> Also, having Enter sometimes add people to the address list and sometimes add
> a newline to your message seems like a great way to send email to people you
> don't mean to…  :)

That's not what this RFE proposes, so that risk is not there. Also, I'm much more interested in ALT+ENTER than plain ENTER.

I'm still maintaining that users who are not able to handle their keyboard focus will not be able to use software at all, because afasics FOCUS is still the MAIN concept of human interaction with computer software, and always will be, until that day where we'll have mind reading modules or other such direct links from human brain to software (and the reason why voice control never really took off is probably that it's too hard to get FOCUS right, because the software can't tell what you're looking at unless you tell the software...).

Iow, it's obvious and trivial that pressing ENTER will do different things depending on FOCUS - I really don't see the point of saying that users could get confused because ENTER in composition adds a new line but it won't add a new line when focus is in the list of contacts. Sure, it will NEVER add a new line when the focus is outside editor, in a search, or in a dialogue - so what?

> > 4) Both Enter and Alt+Enter are not used for anything else in that situation,
> > nor are they likely to be hit accidentally, nor would it hurt to hit them
> > accidentally, even multiple times (ENTER again would just close the "edit
> > contacts" dialogue).
> 
> That's true, but Ctrl+Enter is used to send the message no matter what part
> of the window you have focused, and I would hate for Enter and Alt+Enter to
> behave differently than Ctrl+Enter in this case.

Why is it better to do NOTHING for ENTER on a *selected AND focussed* contact than doing a sane default action which is also UX-consistent with main AB of which contacts list is just a miniature version? Much more so for ALT+ENTER which nobody in their sane minds can press unintentionally (plus it won't hurt if you do, you'll just discover how to edit your contacts from side bar efficiently!)!?
So currently, ALT+ENTER on a *selected AND focused* contact in the sidebar will do NOTHING - how can that be better than doing SOMETHING USEFUL at no risk and no cost?

:(

> I believe right-clicking is at least as easy and intuitive as hitting
> Alt+Enter, particularly since we have no way to show people which keys they
> can use to open the properties in that context.

The point is that there's no need of /showing/ people that they can use ALT+ENTER to open the properties because if they are keyboard users at all, they will just KNOW and try that from habit formation because anywhere else on their OS, and also by analogy in TB's main AB, ALT+ENTER will trigger Properties of the selected item, as you are also confirming below. We don't inform users about ALT+ENTER for selected contacts in the main AB either, but we have implemented the shortcut, even *in addition* to Ctrl+I shortcut for card properties, and I suppose it's there for a reason (-> ux-consistency, internally and with OS)
And no, right-clicking, navigating to properties as one out of 5 items, and then clicking or hitting Enter again, isn't as easy and efficient as just hitting Alt+Enter straight away (-> ux-efficiency).

> > 3) Alt+ENTER as an additional keyboard shortcut:
> > It is good UI practice that Alt+Enter triggers Properties dialogue for a
> > selected item;
> 
> That's kind of true.  Well, not on the Mac…

> And finally, I think I'm with Bryan in his reluctance to add even more
> keyboard shortcuts

ALT+ENTER isn't "just another keyboard shortcut", it's an OS-wide default shortcut for getting the properties of *selected AND focused* items (-> ux-consistency). It's not like we're wasting a keyboard shortcut that could have any other better use or be ambiguous or dangerous in that situation... Even if you are an advanced user using CTRL+ENTER to send your messages, nothing bad will happen to you if you mistake that for ALT+ENTER and end up in the properties of the selected contacts (per this RFE) instead of ending up nowhere as we do now. But for those users who rightly expect ALT+ENTER for properties, we are needlessly violating ux-efficiency. (And the reverse user error already fails now, with safety confirmation, if you use Ctrl+Enter when you really mean ALT+Enter which imo is really unlikely for those advanced keyboard users we are talking about).

In a nutshell, for users who are not able to tell apart Ctrl+Enter from Alt+Enter, I recommend they should consider going back to writing letters with ink on paper, so that for the rest of us, we can follow the most basic design guidelines of software interaction, and finally start to RESPECT FOCUS. That's notwithstanding the potential benefit of having some cross-focus master shortcuts like Ctrl+Enter (or even occasional deviations from focus respect to prevent bad errors), but this RFE does not affect or interfere with that one in any way...

Finally, this discussion has something of a déjà-vu (cf. bug 315144 and friends), and it may suffice to say that FOCUS RESPECT per established design guidelines has ultimately won the case (thanks Jim!), and we no longer have lower-case button labels either, and everyone is just living happily ever-after, with no complaints raised that I know of. :)

> Thanks for the idea,
> Blake.

Always welcome. :)
Keywords: ux-consistency, ux-efficiency, ux-trust
Summary: Contacts sidebar: Implement [Enter] and/or Alt+Enter keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected contact → Contacts sidebar: Implement [Enter] and/or [Alt]+[Enter] keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected contact (ux-consistency with OS and TB address book)
(Reporter)

Comment 7

5 years ago
^^
(Reporter)

Comment 8

5 years ago
As a sidenote in support of adding at least harmless ALT+ENTER shorcut for card properties, we also have Bug 343973 which already has ui-review+ from :bwinton in Bug 343973 Comment 12, while being the more delicate operation:

Bug 343973 - Contacts sidebar: Implement [DEL] keyboard shortcut to delete selected and focused contact(s)

Perhaps my reasons in that bug were more convincing because they are shorter, but they also apply to this bug seamlessly:

>Reasons:
>1) ux-consistency (with address book, most other lists in TB, lists controls in OS / external applications...)
>2) ux-efficiency (this is maximally efficient, and more efficient than context menu)
>3) Very low risk of accidental DELetion (user needs to deliberately place focus AND selection for DEL to work)

By analogy, very low risk of unintentionally hitting ALT+ENTER here, and it needs selection AND focus on the contact first... Plus, advanced users who might use CTRL+ENTER to send their messages, possibly without confirmation, certainly know what they are doing so they won't miss it...

>4) No risk of dataloss even for accidental DEL keypress (confirmation dialogue)

By analogy, no risk even for accidental usage of ALT+ENTER: "Edit Contact" dialogue opens, and user can press ESC or even ENTER to dismiss that dialogue without any changes or problems whatsoever...
And they'll certainly be happy to discover ALT+ENTER shortcut that way if they haven't yet... just because it's so ux-efficient... ;)

So to those reasons, Blake said in Bug 343973 Comment 12:

> Sure, ui-r=me.

...
(Reporter)

Updated

5 years ago
Summary: Contacts sidebar: Implement [Enter] and/or [Alt]+[Enter] keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected contact (ux-consistency with OS and TB address book) → Contacts sidebar: Implement [Enter] and/or [Alt]+[Enter] keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected AND focused contact (ux-consistency with OS and TB address book)

Comment 9

5 years ago
I'm an avid keyboard user who will be glad to see this fixed.

In case it hasn't been already stated, this does no harm to people who don't use keyboard :)

Comment 10

5 years ago
In the address book, Enter opens the properties of a card. So we could do the same in the contacts panel. I see there are some OS specific comments here so please summarize which shortcuts should be added for which OS. Thanks
sshagarwal, do have ALT+ENTER or a similar default shortcut to open the properties of selected items on Linux?
(In reply to Thomas D. from comment #11)
> sshagarwal, do have ALT+ENTER or a similar default shortcut to open the
> properties of selected items on Linux?

Yes it is Alt+Enter

Comment 13

5 years ago
Created attachment 766307 [details] [diff] [review]
patch

This extends the logic started with bug 343973 and needs to be applied on top of it.
Assignee: nobody → acelists
Attachment #526688 - Attachment is obsolete: true
Status: NEW → ASSIGNED
Attachment #766307 - Flags: ui-review?(bwinton)
Attachment #766307 - Flags: review?(mkmelin+mozilla)
Attachment #766307 - Flags: review?(mconley)

Updated

5 years ago
No longer blocks: 343973
Depends on: 343973

Comment 14

5 years ago
Comment on attachment 766307 [details] [diff] [review]
patch

Review of attachment 766307 [details] [diff] [review]:
-----------------------------------------------------------------

r=mkmelin assuming it gets ui-r.
Attachment #766307 - Flags: review?(mkmelin+mozilla) → review+
Comment on attachment 766307 [details] [diff] [review]
patch

I haven't seen anything that would cause me to revert my previous ui-r-.
And being insulted by Thomas in comment 6 makes it that much less likely that I'm going to change my mind on this one.
Attachment #766307 - Flags: ui-review?(bwinton) → ui-review-

Comment 16

5 years ago
(In reply to Blake Winton (:bwinton) from comment #15)
> Comment on attachment 766307 [details] [diff] [review]
> patch
> 
> I haven't seen anything that would cause me to revert my previous ui-r-.
> And being insulted by Thomas in comment 6 makes it that much less likely
> that I'm going to change my mind on this one.

Blake, I'm not sure what the perceived insult is, but if you are referring to "I'm still dreaming of the day when the concepts of "Focus respect" and "Keyboard efficiency" will finally dawn on TB UX." ... I think the reference is not to a person, but is a general observation which cuts across Thunderbird's history - which, from my limited perspective as I don't pay match attention to UI, seems like point worth making.  As to other areas of comment 6, Thomas (sorry Thomas) does tend to run on which perhaps comes off as overbearing or browbeating.


I don't (yet) have an opinion on the underlying objections because I haven't followed the conversation but ...

>> And finally, I think I'm with Bryan in his reluctance to add even more
>> keyboard shortcuts

I understand reluctance but I hope it is understood that, when taken as an absolute, this approach hurts keyboard centric users. And, although I never use contacts sidebar, my impression is it is heavily used - perhaps even more than address book itself (sorry I have no data)
So I just opened up my contacts sidebar, and imagined what it would be like to have this Enter shortcut feature.

I feel strange about it, because I feel as if Enter should do the same thing as double-click (which, in this case, adds an email to a field if one is focused).

But we've already agreed (and rightly so), that this might make it too easy to accidentally add people to the recipients list.

I find the disagreement between double-click and enter very unintuitive, and that makes me uneasy. I'd hate for a user to double-click on an item in that list, expecting the contacts editor to come up (since it does with enter, and they should do the same thing), and then not notice that that user was added as a recipient to their email.

Maybe that's far-fetched. Just my two cents.
Comment on attachment 766307 [details] [diff] [review]
patch

Anywho, cancelling review request until we agree on what to do about this.
Attachment #766307 - Flags: review?(mconley)
In bug 998312 (as a subset of this bug 650745), I added *ALT+Enter* keyboard shortcut for editing a selected and focused contact, which is the Windows default shortcut for editing item properties. That addresses the main ux-efficiency motivation of this bug, to have an easy and universally known keyboard access to editing contacts from sidebar.

(In reply to Thomas D. from bug 998312 comment #1)
> This bug [bug 998312] seeks to provide a clean and neutral start for a small subset
> extracted from Bug 650745 which failed to take off because I didn't conform
> strictly enough to "one-issue per bug" and it ended up in misunderstandings
> and emotional cul-de-sacs which hindered objective analysis and progress.
> Mixing up Enter and Alt+Enter as I did in Bug 650745 was a truly bad idea
> for which I apologize because Enter in contacts side bar is an entirely
> different story, a can of worms indeed given the broken design for default
> action in contacts side bar (see Bug 650745 Comment 17 by :mconley). So this
> is a fresh start which leaves out the entire complex discussion about plain
> Enter and so I think it will be much easier to reach a consensus here.

I'd like to thank Mike Conley for pointing out the existing broken design for default action in contacts side bar:

* Double-click on a contact adds it as a TO-recipient, implying that "Add-to-TO" is the default action. 
* The keyboard equivalent of double-click default action, plain ENTER on a selected and focused contact, unexpectedly does *nothing*.
* Worse, on double-click we even stubbornly keep adding TO-recipients when user has explicitly changed the recipient type to BCC (Bug 271917).

With regards to the plain ENTER part of this bug as originally presented, that's a principled and valid point against merely introducing plain ENTER for editing contact properties without also changing the double-click action to do the same. Fortunately, ALT+Enter for contact properties does not have the same challenges.

(In reply to Mike Conley (:mconley) - (needinfo me!) from comment #17)
> So I just opened up my contacts sidebar, and imagined what it would be like
> to have this Enter shortcut feature.
> 
> I feel strange about it, because I feel as if Enter should do the same thing
> as double-click (which, in this case, adds an email to a field if one is
> focused).
> 
> But we've already agreed (and rightly so), that this might make it too easy
> to accidentally add people to the recipients list.
> 
> I find the disagreement between double-click and enter very unintuitive, and
> that makes me uneasy. I'd hate for a user to double-click on an item in that
> list, expecting the contacts editor to come up (since it does with enter,
> and they should do the same thing), and then not notice that that user was
> added as a recipient to their email.

Based on Mike's comment 17 and with a view on Bug 271917, we'll certainly have to revisit the problem of default action in contacts side bar, and somehow make mouse and keyboard default actions consistent. But let's do that with a clean start in other bugs, not here. Thanks.
Assignee: acelists → nobody
Status: ASSIGNED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 2 years ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
See Also: → bug 271917
Duplicate of bug: 998312
(Reporter)

Updated

2 years ago
Summary: Contacts sidebar: Implement [Enter] and/or [Alt]+[Enter] keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected AND focused contact (ux-consistency with OS and TB address book) → Contacts sidebar: Implement ENTER and/or ALT+ENTER keyboard shortcut to edit the properties of selected AND focused contact (ux-consistency with OS and TB address book)
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