July 2nd, 2008

Why not have the interface teach?

Recently Google Calendar changed the way you hide and show a calendar.

It used to work with check boxes. Checked is visible. Not checked is hidden.

Google Cal

 The system worked well for me and I used that feature all the time to hide my civic association's calendar, for instance. 

Currently you click on the name of the calendar to hide or show it. The check boxes are gone. 

Google Cal 2

The issue I have is that I was never informed that this change was made. I just figured the feature was removed. It confused me that it was gone, but I did not have the time to dig deeper at the moment. (For the record, I like the change.)

It occurs to me that Google could have used the interface to inform me of the change.

Imagine this scenario:

  • You log-in to your calendar and the check boxes are still there.
  • You click on a check box and a little bubble of sorts pops up and says, "Hey, we have changed this feature. From now on, you can just click on the name to hide/show it."
  • The check boxes then disappear.

How cool would that be?

And, it would be informing you of the change at the time you need to know.

If you did it this way, there would be no need for documentation to be created.

To all of our fellow interface designers out there, what do you think?

Check out another article
May 30th, 2008
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