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Color Alternatives
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Apr, 2006 18:01    Post subject: Color Alternatives Reply with quote

Love DIX. I have a couple of suggestions for colors.

1. Would you consider removing the highlight? I find it somewhat annoying and it doesn't add any information.

2. Would you consider using more color gradients? This could expand the palette and allow for more distinguishable application types. It might be interesting to see a display of a single color from darkest to lightest. Of course if there were lots of file types telling the difference would be hard. Maybe a larger color difference between the file types with larger file sizes and less gradient between less important file types?

3. An alternative to color would just be to use the application icon. I'm not sure how jumbled this might get, but it might be easier to associate boxes in the map with a particular file type.

If you want critiques from people more experienced with information design than I check out http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/. Click on the Ask ET link at the top and consider posting. Lots of good stuff here including color selection.
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Tjark Derlien

PostPosted: Fri 05 May, 2006 19:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. You mean the yellow selection mark? The selections in all views (finder view, treemap, kinds statistic and selection list) are synchronized. So if you select a file in treemap, you can see where it resides in the file hierarchy and vice versa. I think this is quite convenient.

2. Yes, this would be possible.
But I think it's hard to distinguish more than 8 colors in a almost any diagram. When trying to find the disk hoggers, the files of the further kinds may not be of so much interest.
If you have multiple windows open and run out of colors, you may choose to not share the colors between the windows (so the color assignment is done for each window individually - see DIX's preferences).
I think about adding a preference with which the set of colors is customizable (the number of colors and the colors themselves).

The color brightness depends on the position of the corresponding file. The deeper a file resides in the file system, the darker the color. So using a single color for all kinds and only graduating the brightness would spoil this feature.

3. Another user also mentioned this interesting idea. A problem might emerge with very small rectangles. Another layout algorithm might be useful which produces more quadratic rectangles so the icons fit nicely in the rectangles.

Thanks for the link. I have only took a quick look yet but will have a close one.

Thanks for your suggestions,
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