To prevent inadvertent selection of multiple images, enable “select all” keyboard shortcut (Cntrl-A) only when pointer is hovering in the image browser area.
This especially important in the customize tab, when the image browser is not displayed (closed). Typing Cntrl-A selects all images; however there is absolutely no feedback on screen when the image browser is closed.
This post is not a duplicate of my other post here:
Joana, It would at least eliminate the case of selecting multiple images with no feedback to the user, when image browser is not in view.
The underlying assumption is that the user intends to act on the objects of the interface identified by the pointer. Thus, “select all” performed in an image being customized has no effect on image browser selection, while “select all” performed in the image browser selects all images.
I disagree with this assumption and don’t see it corresponding with the overall user interface. Once I’ve actually selected something with the mouse, then I can control it: windows, menus, sliders… Until I select something else. The point of keyboard shortcuts is to simplify this process and to execute commands such as copy, paste, and selection on my behalf with minimal manual intervention. I still think the best solution is to let the user map and unmap such shortcuts and maybe also provide a warning message that can be dismissed or disabled.
In my view, the existing user interface definitely does not use the best principles of human factors.
There is an obvious issue with visibility of the system state regarding the image browser selections. Consider this example:
User chooses to work with the image browser hidden (not in view)
User hits Control-A : there is absolutely no feedback to the user on screen. The state change from 1 image selected to all images selected occurs in a totally obfuscated way
Subsequent commands operate on all selected imaged without feedback - usrer is left in the dark
This behavior breaks the User Interface design principle called “feedback”
I stumbled on this good quote : " In his book The Design of Everyday Things , Donald Norman defines three principles of control design:
Visibility: It Should Be Obvious What a Control Is Used For.
If I press this button, what will happen? If I want to unlock the door, which control should I use? A system with good visibility allows the user to easily translate goals into actions.
Affordance: It Should Be Obvious How a Control Is Used.
The system should provide “strong clues to the operation of things”. A button affords pushing, a lever affords pulling, etc. The user should know how to operate a control just by looking at it.
Feedback: It Should Be Obvious When a Control Has Been Used.
Once the user has pressed a button, the system should react in a manner that clearly communicates what has just been accomplished. If nothing has happened, this fact should also be obvious."
The interface is also lacking “Poka-Yoke” (fool-proof) to make sure that selecting all images is really intentional.
Furthermore, I did not find any keyboard shortcut to reverse the effect of multiple image selection.
I agree with everything you just wrote, Pierre. That was very well stated. What I was disagreeing with is that the mouse pointer’s mere position should define the scope rather than what has actually been selected through use of a control such as mouse or keyboard. My words probably weren’t as clear as they could be. I note that once an image is displayed in the image viewer, there is always something selected in the image browser. Usually one image, but possibly multiple images. I agree, any change to what is selected should be accompanied by a cue or alert. Ordinarily, the image browser wouldn’t be hidden, but since PhotoLab allows that it’s a concern.
I’m also trying to keep in mind what is consistent with the behavior of the Windows OS and what isn’t. Ctrl+A consistently means Select All, so I believe that should be retained as default behavior in the image browser - with the addition of the feedback you are seeking. (I don’t know if Ctrl+A serves any other purpose in PhotoLab.) Perhaps the feedback can even be non-visual, such as a voice saying, “You have selected all images,” if it can be captioned and turned on or off.