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#1 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:10 AM

Grouchnikov over at Pushing Pixels has an interesting post regarding The usability of radial menus. I guess it was in response to someone else's article about how the revolution of the radial menu is underway.

Grouchnikov points out:

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In a traditional drop down menu you have a relatively small margin of error when you want to select a specific element; the direction is always the same, and the selection is controlled by how much you move the mouse and how is that translated to onscreen pixels. In a radial menu, however, the distance is the same, but the direction matters.


What's your take on it? I always enjoy seeing new UI or UX concepts and radial menus are on the top of my list.. Do you use radial menus or even different UI other than a standard drop down menu? With the push for tablets will programs soon having to deal with their context mentus in radial format? Does muscle memory even work with in a business context?

I think I might go fiddle with making a radial UI menu for .NET .. hmm.

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Replies To: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

#2 DarenR  Icon User is online

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:14 AM

i am starting to lean towards the radial menues. To me it just makes more sense. Why drag your mouse across the entire webiste to chose menu options when they can all be placed in a nice neat central area.

This post has been edited by DarenR: 27 July 2012 - 10:14 AM

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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:18 AM

Do you implement them anywhere, or have you come across them in the business world? I get the whole compact size, but I also know my frustration with them in video games (as in where the hell is this damn option in this damn web of radials..
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#4 DarenR  Icon User is online

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

I have seen them and used them in video games. I dont mind them. I am still working on putting them onto a web page if i ever get my server up and running.
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#5 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 29 July 2012 - 06:07 PM

I would seriously hesitate unless it's a touch screen. Remember, KISS (keep it simple stupid.) The point of a site is usability, and whenever radial menus are practical and more usable and intuitive than a regular styled menu, go for it.

At this point I just don't see these really going big for a while until touch screens and gestures come more into play.
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#6 e_i_pi  Icon User is offline

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:41 PM

On my site, I'm going to use a type of radial menu on my game screen territories, which involves menu item icons "flying out" of the object that has been right-clicked on, like so:
Attached Image
For my interface, it will work well (since it's an online game), though I'd probably think twice if it was software for business use.

IMO, one of the main targets that a UI creator should have is making the UI intuitive. I know that sounds wishy washy, but there's a lot of ways to achieve this, including things like menus dropping down on hover/click, the escape key closing popups/windows, etc. The fact that radial menus are quite new doesn't mean that developers shouldn't aim to incorporate them into their software where applicable, just that more care has to be taken during implementation. For instance, if a radial context menu has 2 options that always come up, and 4-8 options that conditionally come up, I would expect the 2 options that always come up to always come up in virtually the same place.

I think it's important to understand where regular menus came from as well, and whether they were held back by technology, acceptance, and/or usability issues. For instance, gone are the days where you have to install drivers for a mouse or keyboard, you can pretty much plug one in and have zero issues (in fact I can't remember the last time I had an issue with an input device). How would you go about implementing a radial menu for someone without a mouse or touchscreen though? What is the expected response to using arrow keys to navigate an open radial menu? (q.v. - Invert camera y-axis in games).
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#7 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:04 PM

A simple test to find out how well your system works is to grab a non tech friend and ask them to look around a site. Observe how they go about it, and use about 3-4 people. That should give you some pretty conclusive data to work with.
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#8 goatsy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Radial menus - and other alternative UI discussion

Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:49 PM

I wanna turn this into a menu of some sort:

http://tympanus.net/...dSkillsDiagram/

:turned:
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