The Case of the Missing Click

We are drilling down further into Editoria – currently running production workflow tests with the copy editors and authors involved. During this process we are discovering some interesting insights into how production editors work.

One such case is that Kate Warne and Cindy Fulton from UCP wanted to be able to double click on a name of a chapter in the book builder component (a segment of which is displayed below), inorder to open up that chapter in the editor…

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The interesting thing about this is that double clicks generally aren’t used in the web platform world. However, Kate and Cindy found they were constantly, out of habit, double clicking on the chapter names (but of course, nothing happened). This comes from their experience of working with MS Word documents on a file system (their computer). In these environments you do double click on the relevant .docx file to ‘open the chapter’.

I found this pretty interesting. It also exposes an interesting tension between what is generally considered standard user experience best practices for the web and established behavior (even if coming from another context). Many UX experts will go so far as to say double-click must die).

However, if Editoria did not support this, it would drive the production editors crazy as the behavior is so normal for them now. We will change Editoria’s behaviour to match their expectations.

Learning things like this is exactly why we use the Cabbage Tree Method to design software. Users are, after all, use case specialists and we should develop open source practices to involve them in the production design process as much as possible.

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