Re: [wmii] wmii-3 mean real improvements?

From: Denis Grelich <>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 16:56:24 +0200

On Mon, 22 May 2006 09:36:22 +0200
"Anselm R. Garbe" <> wrote:

> There are no real arguments of having the bar at top or bottom,
> beside personal taste and habit.

Well, there surely are arguments. Having the bar at the bottom or top
is quite a design decision, and not just a matter of personal taste.
I recently read about comfortable viewing angles in various papers.
From an ergonomics POV, there are viewing angles that are very
comfortable to view, and the nearer you get to the borders of that
area, the more strain is put it on the eye. As [1] explains quite well,
looking »down« is easier than »up.« (Though I also read on some other
paper, which I can't find atm :(, about head mounted displays that a too
low angle is uncomfortable as well). So, the decision whether bar at
the bottom or at the top end of the screen is better depends on several
 • The position of the monitor in the user's work environment:
   ‒ The top end of the monitor is at eye-level (old recommendation)
      Here, it is pretty uncomfortable to work with the topmost lines, I
      suppose. (That's probably what most people have)
   ‒ The monitor is lower that eye-level. On notebook computers, this
      is probably always the case. Here I suppose, both ends of the
      screen are equally »hard« to look at. I've also seen setups where
      the monitor is under the desk, and there's a glass window in the
      desk. There, eyes get tired faster when looking at the
      bottommost lines.
   ‒ Environments where the monitor is higher than eye-level suck and
      should not be used in any case; if there /are/ situation where
      this is the case, wmii has not much to do with them.
 • The importance of the data in the bar:
   ‒ If the data is not important (to the user), the bar in the
      »better« position wastes very precious screen real estate in the
      best-viewed area of the screen.
   ‒ If the data is somewhat important, the bar in the »worse« position
      is annyoing to look at often.
 • Personal taste (surely the weakest point here)
It surely /is/ a design decision to say that the bar is at some
position. If you select the »worse« position, the bar is of lesser use
for monitoring more important data, meaning you promote a standalone
app for monitoring stuff, or some other means. If you select the
»better« position, the bar is somewhat more emphasized and thus is
predestined for monitoring important stuff.
But on the other hand, you can't know which is the »better« and which
is the »worse« position for the user's work environment. I would opt
for making it configurable.



Received on Tue May 23 2006 - 17:09:32 UTC

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