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I definitely prefer a WYSIWYG that leaves the side and topbar untouched as they are needed for orientation.

A WYSIWYG that takes over the whole screen has one major disadvantage: a novice user needs to orientate once again as the entire Layout changed.

What happend? Where am I? These were exactly the questions i had the first time I clicked the WYSWYG button.

From a usability perspective a WYSIWYG editor that takes over the whole screen is a bad thing. It makes you think!

Of course the same is true for a text area that takes over the entire screen.

-- CarloSchulz - 01 Aug 2007

I don't agree with Carlo. Pushing away the topbar and sidebar is a kind of reduction of complexity of the screen to the function that is to be performed in this moment. Still having the topbar and/or sidebar there offers functions which are not related to editing or, even worse, interfer badly with the edit screen, e.g. drives him away from the editing screen thus leaving behind unsaved data or at least a dangling edit lock.

Even though the complete layout changes when you click on edit in TWiki, the edit screen is still recognized as being part of the same application, the wiki.

However, I agree that the standard PatternSkin does not offer enough orientation which page I am actually editting. This could be eased by still presenting the breadcrumbs navigation at the top of the screen the same way as it is present in the normal view of the topic.

-- MichaelDaum - 06 Aug 2007

My recent work on TinyMCEPlugin re-uses the standard edit screen to display the WYSIWYG editor, so WYSIWYG editing is no different to "normal" editing.

I agree with Michael, and would add the point that I would rather have all the screen real-estate available for editing, rather than crowded out by menus and top bars.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 06 Aug 2007

"Even though the complete layout changes when you click on edit in TWiki, the edit screen is still recognized as being part of the same application, the wiki."
I've observed enough users feeling lost after they clicked "edit" while we used PatternSkin. Feeling lost is bad user experience to me.

Micheal, a major reason why we switched to your NatSkin was the fact that you kept the topbar (and the leftbar in an earlier release) in edit.

Did you have a look at other wikis? MediaWiki, PmWiki, DokuWiki and Confluence, etc. ? They all keep the side or topbar while editing a topic.

"Pushing away the topbar and sidebar is a kind of reduction of complexity." True, in particular here on twiki.org. But twiki.org isn't a role model for a good sidebar. If you have just a few navigation or task related links this kind of complexity reduction isn't that important anymore.

Navigation is about orientation. What is the first think you do when you're new to an application? You try to orientate yourself. Where am I now? What can I do? How can I do this?
You complicate this process if you remove the thing that gives you most safety. I unterstand your arguements but I think they are driven by your current perspective. Try to imagine you are a first time user with no or just a little background knowledge on computer/software/internet...

Every major layout change kicks you back to the beginning. Where am I now?

-- CarloSchulz - 06 Aug 2007

This tracks all the way back to the original c2 wiki. When the view "screen" is simple, then a small shift to the edit "screen" has little visual impact. Over the years the TWiki view screen has become more and more complex, and the edit screen has been "kept simple" in the belief that maximum real estate, and simplicity, are laudable goals. And for people like me, who want the maximum screen available during edits, it's the right way to work. However, as we move further towards edits being done by AJAX components embedded in the view page this model is arguably less applicable.

As with so many other things, it requires someone to put the effort in to design a skin (perhaps a derivative of Pattern) that models the "new" UI paradigm. Only by trying it do we see if it works.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 06 Aug 2007

Hm, I would disagree on this. Top right bar for actions is suffice.

Though what I would agree is to add a sidebar for search results, which NatSkin doesn't have (yet?)

-- KwangErnLiew - 07 Aug 2007

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Topic revision: r2 - 2007-08-07 - KwangErnLiew
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