Pattern from Lyn Pemberton

Name:  Just the usual


Some operations lend themselves to a range of parameters, e.g. a user may "Print" one or several copies, on a default printer or a different one, in a number of formats and so on.


Complex systems may offer this range of options as a matter of course, even though 99 times out of 100 it is the simplest option that is wanted. For instance, the user probably who selects "New"  in a word proecessor probably wants to create a simple blank document but instead has to click through a dialogue box asking what sort of document s/he wants. The user clicking on "Print" probably wants to print a single copy on the local printer but instead has to dismiss a dialogue box giving choices about page setup, paper size and so on.  This is particularly annoying when it interferes with the sense of closure given by pressing "Print": users often walk to the print room, wonder why their document has not printed out and only discover when they get back to their desk that a "Confirm" dialogue box is holding up proceedings.

A solution:

Assume the simple case.

This is similar to the Save vs Save as distinction. "Save" essentially means "Save under the name and in the place already specified". It would be very annoying if the user had to confirm this every time they saved a file. So why not "Print" and Print…" and similar pairs? They could be implemented as distinct menu choices, or better probably, with the non-confirmed version on a toolbar button.


Alan Cooper makes a similar suggestion in  "About Face".


There could be patterns for "Give a sense of closure" and "Use toolbar for frequent commands"

An example pattern prepared for the Usability Pattern Language Workshop at Interact '99