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First Level Submenu Popups

Currently, the first-level submenus are enumerated at the top of the right pane, which is a fixed area that stays the same size regardless of how many items are in the submenu or where the parent menu item is located on the left side. Contrast that with lower-level submenus that pop-up, dynamically sized and adjacent to the parent menu item.

For me the first-level submenus are more difficult to use, primarily because of distance I am constantly rolling my mouse. The situation is exaggerated when the working in the lower part of the left pane and there are relatively few menu items in the right pane, meaning you have to roll the mouse pointer the full height of the menu.

A related issue is related to eye-stress when I'm searching through the menus. By that I mean, my eyes want to follow the mouse on the left side. As I change from item to item, the submenu on the right side changes context. But to "see" the new context, I have to avert my eyes from the bottom left to the top right and then back. Same with my mouse if I want to "explore" the submenus in the right pane.

Simply put, I guess the issue is the mouse and eye tracking distance required by your menu design. I'd like to see some ergonomic refinements in that area. Off the top of my head, I suggest two options:

1. Make the first-level submenus popup, just like the lower-level ones do,
2. Retain the fixed pane, but position the submenu items lower in the pane so they are adjacent to the parent menu item.

Dennis , 07.11.2012, 20:10
Idea status: under consideration

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