Re: [Tails-ux] Dialog box default action confusion

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Author: sajolida
To: Tails user experience & user interface design
Old-Topics: [Tails-ux] Dialog box default action confusion
Subject: Re: [Tails-ux] Dialog box default action confusion
> I referred to this already in my other discussion but it's probably best
> to make this a new thread to prevent confusion.


I don't remember you posting on this list before. So welcome!

And sorry for the huuuuuge delay. We're always pretty swamped.

> I was printing a PDF from Tor Browser in Tails and the experience was
> confusing because it was very difficult to know what the default action
> for the Return key was. For reference, here's a screenshot of the point
> I got confused at:
> (Steps to recreate: navigate to any webpage in Tor Browser, choose Print
> or execute Ctrl-P, then hit Tab twice - the first Tab highlights Print
> to PDF, the second Tab 'highlights' the File box).
> I think if you were to do a poll by showing new Tails users this
> screenshot and asking them what they thought would happen if they tapped
> Return at this point, you'd get a near-universal response of "Print the
> selected item". But they'd be wrong. In this case what would happen is a
> Save As dialog would open. The problem is the highlighting. "Print" is
> in blue, while the File box has the slim border applied to it and that's it.

Which version of Tails are you running?

I get a different behavior on Tails 4.3:

1. Press Ctrl+P
2. Nothing is highlighted by default
3. Click in the list of printers
4. Press Enter
5. The page is saved to output.pdf (predefined)

> The same problem occurs on the Save As dialog you reach from this Print
> dialog. Here's a screenshot for reference:
> Again do a poll and ask new Tails users what would happen if they
> started _typing_ at this point, you'd get a near-universal response of
> "Rename the output file". But they'd be wrong again. In my case at least
> what happens is a Search begins. This is hugely unintuitive. The
> filename is highlighted in blue like it's been selected. I don't know
> any other OS that would act like this when text is highlighted.

I also get a different behavior in Tails 4.3:

1. Press Ctrl+2
2. Type something
3. The file name gets changed

I'm attaching a screencast. You can record such short screencasts for
debugging in Tails with the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R.

> After noticing these two issues I realized this kind of thing happens
> all over Tails. Dialog boxes can be very confusing and
> counter-intuitive. It's frequently impossible to guess what will happen
> when you start typing or tap Enter, it's just something you have to
> learn from experience. I don't think that's good behavior, and it's all
> because of the way Tails uses highlighting. I think this needs to be
> looked at with some urgency if Tails wants to improve the experience for
> new users - and existing ones too :)

Indeed, similar things probably happen all over the place. What's tough
for us is that these are most likely not going to be specific to Tails
but rather inherited either from some application included in Tails or
GNOME, the desktop environment. Please report more such confusing
behaviors and let's see if we can fix some of them!

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