File “Open”, “Save”, “Save as”, “Move to” – What an apathy!

I hate to write this!

Just go and open the File menu of your favorite application.

I want to draw your attention to two sections – one highly commercialized and innovation driven – and another wanting for attention.

The darling one is “Print Settings”, “Print” and “Print Preview”. Printer companies and EFI are making tons of money serving these options. A lot of innovation is being poured in.

The ignored one is “New”, “Open”, “Save”, “Save as” (and “Move to” in case of a mail client) section. It simply throws file browser / Windows Explorer.

Whatever innovation the Windowing system does in its file browser, is the ONLY innovation you have seen so far.

Usually it throws you to a default location that the programmer of the application software thought was fit.

For example, my MS Word forces default on me in “My Documents”. Now, that is pure absurdity. None in her/his right mind will keep any data in C:/ drive – much less in “My Documents”. What  useless default location!

A very careful observer might have noticed Windows 7 File Browser has imported “History” and “Favorites” concepts from Internet Browsers. It requires curiosity of a kindergarten kid to use the interface – and to add further, there is no way a user can declare some folder his/her favorite. Why can’t a red heart or a star for marking a location favorite be always displayed in the location bar – like Firefox?

I have seen such things happen when a designer works for bonus rather than for the love of product.

Why can’t multiple location list pop up in file browser each with one of the following? The user can then select it through a radio button – and drop down lists, if at all needed?

  1. History of THIS application for this user
  2. History of ALL applications for this user
  3. Favorites of THIS application for this user
  4. Favorites of ALL applications for this user
  5. What locations other applications are using for this session (“Environmentally aware”) for this user
  6. Default

Readers, do you have any other suggestions that we can add in our wish list?

Yet another wish I had for these options is automatic detection of a cycle of activities.

For example, I am required to review (edit and save) 20 people’s performance based on Balanced Business Scorecards in a folder called 2010. Then I need to copy over (open, save as) in 2011 directory and edit them again – in a loop.

Readers, how do you think such activity loop detection should be implemented as a user interface?


One comment on “File “Open”, “Save”, “Save as”, “Move to” – What an apathy!

  1. […] If readers of this blog remember, we had discussed about one ignored part of normal menus in applications – “Open/Save/Save as/Move to“. […]

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