Control Proximity Revisited, Reemphasized
Or, "Put It Near" May 2,
Put things as close to their point of relevance
or action as possible. In a previous article the principle was
noted for 'controls' such as buttons and links. In this article,
I show that it applies to information as well.
Looks like it was way back in 2005 that I posted an article
about control proximity explaining that buttons and links
should be as close as possible to the item on which they act.
In this B&A I have an example of how the same applies with
information, in this case, text in a table.
I used wetpaint.com to
create a wiki in seconds, but had trouble with its invitations...
inconveniencing not just myself by the VP of my company,
who I'd tried inviting. Doncha
hate when that happens? I easily used the invite function,
and it said "Sent successfully..." right on that page. I
wanted to actually see it in some listing before checking
with the VP whether he got it. But when I looked in the
Sent Invitations page it didn't list... just the 4 prior
Presumably unrelated, the VP didn't get the invitation,
probably because of spam filtering, and I was finally getting
the situation a few days later. Can you see the problem?
They have text at the top to explain that there's a lag
time. I don't ever
seeing that text,
until days later when I wanted to invite another person.
The problem is that:
1) They put data (the 'one invitation' item) into an area
and format that does not look like data. The text at the
top connotes instructional information. Presumably it was
there the first time I looked at the page, and I had no
reason to read "instructions."
2) They don't put the data at the point where the data
pertains... in the table. If the data has a state, use
the Status column. If the state is exceptional, call it
out with color coding:
Now go do what I said on your site.
I haven't come across this principle,
control proximity, out there in the literature or heuristics
else get the credit? Let me know so I can credit the
proper source. —www.jackbellis.com