12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 26, 2011 2:42 AM by Peter Villevoye RSS

    The Folio Builder panel, design-wise...

    Peter Villevoye ACP

      Part of my job is to teach routined InDesign users how to build Folio's. Most of them do quite well, after their initial confusion with the Interaction panels ("which do and which don't work with ADPS"). But the panel they fear most, is definitely the Folio Builder. Not even because of its casual malfunctioning (that's my nightmare as a trainer), but mainly because of its design and cosmetics. The panel sports a well-know and trusted appearance, but it's a devil in disguise.

       

      It begins with logging-in. "No, you can't click the bull's-eye, it's just a mysterious indicator." It would be much more obvious if it looked like a led (red or green) or if it had some useful interaction to it - letting you log in/out perhaps...

       

      Next, the three-tiered views are not clear enough. When I show them the image below, and tell them how their workflow moves from left to right and from right to left (from "Account" to "Folio" to "Article" to "Layout" and v.v.) they immediately 'get it'. And after warning them that the navigational elements on top of the panel are quite clueless (what to hit, to go where to), and that you're often thrown back from Layout to Folio (skipping Article), they're in charge and on guard. Finally, I tell them that the "New" button magically changes its functionality in each level ("wait for the pop-up!"). It is highly unusual that a side menu shows and hides certain commands in each level. It should list ALL associated commands, and show momentarily unavailable ones grayed out.

       

      This all wouldn't be necessary if the panel would be a bit more self-explanatory. I hope this rant helps to improve its design.