[Squeakland] UI feedback

Randy Heiland heiland at indiana.edu
Mon Jan 23 11:33:54 PST 2006

Hi gang,
I held another Squeak/eToys workshop a couple weekends back in my hometown's
children's museum (kidscommons.org) and just wanted to provide some more
user feedback (where the users were 4-6 graders).
Without a doubt, the most common problem/frustration they had was inserting
a new tile into (at the end of) a script.  For whatever reason, performing
this action was much more problematic than in other workshops I've conducted
- although it often shows up to some degree in every workshop.  The students
felt compelled to exactly line up the new tile with the last tile in the
script and would inevitably "drop it" just outside the script, causing it to
auto-create a new script.  I wonder, is it possible to modify the
insert-tile-into-script logic/code to allow for a delta-offset along both
the left-hand and bottom boundaries of a script?  If so, I could see this UI
frustration essentially disappearing.  It would seem to be the logical thing
to do since, if a user was trying to create a new script, they would keep it
a safe distance from any other script when dropping it into the world.

Another frustration involved the creation of a frame-based animation and the
auto-centering of the "rotation center" crosshairs.  An example which many
are probably already familiar with is BJ's flower pot with the growing
flowers.  For this type of project, it would be extremely useful to provide
a menu item which locks the rotation center.  This would allow for a smooth
animation, rather than having to manually re-center the crosshairs on each
frame.  (This is also somewhat related to a question I posted a few weeks
back about programmatically setting the location of the rotation center, to
which Scott replied that it was not possible).

Fwiw, Randy

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