Sunday, February 15, 2009

Windows 7 – Favorite Folders poor function design

This is a minor tip that was a little un-obvious to me for about a minute.  It shows that some capabilities in the system are just awkward as hell to use.  I wanted to add my mesh folders to my favorites.  In reality it is simple.  It just wasn’t obvious what was expected.  I actually had to read the pop-up carefully to figure out what it wanted me to do.


So, I did what I think %99.99 of the people will do the first time they try to do this, I only read “Add Location..” everything after that bit was blah, blah, blah.  If you look at the picture again, you will see that I have the Favorites entry highlighted.  What I got was a duplicate Favorites folder in my favorites folder.  So, after breathing a sigh of relief that the universe didn’t explode from the infinite self-referencing loop, I went back and read the menu item carefully.  What it really wants is for your current path to be set to the place you want to add to the Favorites.


Notice the path at the top is now at a folder I created called MESH.  Even though Favorites is highlighted in the browser window.

I doubt I’m alone in thinking that a browse to folder dialog was going to pop-up when I selected the “Add Location in Browser to Favorites” menu item.  You have to parse the menu sentence carefully to comprehend that it means “in this current browser window instance, go to some other folder, select it as the current folder, then scroll back up here and make sure you right click to so you don’t accidently change the folder location to one you don’t want to add.”

Like I said, it is a minor annoyance.  But, when there are 2394879234234 interface points and a lot of them act in non-obvious ways, uncertainty begins to get in the way of using the system.

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