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What I'm trying to do is show a list of alarms on the right hand side in the middle with the list 3:04, 3:06, 3:08. As the user hits + on the LHS, a new object is created that you can edit on the RHS, or if you already have some edits on the RHS, if you hit + on the LHS, it'll create a new object with those values. The user should be able to easily edit each list and delete the rows.

The + sign on the RHS adds a new alarm time to the list on the RHS based on what's in the bottom scrolling view with the times.

The Edit button on the LHS puts the tableview on the left into edit mode so you can easily delete items.

Similarly, the Edit button on the right pane allows the alarm times (3:04, 3:06, 3:08) to easily be deleted from the list.

My first question is, is it too confusing with the two plus signs, and two edit buttons to the user each divided into their own split section. They do similar functions in their respective sections, but wasn't sure what the better way to do it was.

Second question is, does anyone have an opinion on how to display the alarm times on the right pane. I'm using a standard tableView that Apple provides, but to me it looks kind of funny since the times are just floating there it looks like.

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It is confusing. Do you really need two different lists or would it work with just one? I see no difference with the RHS and LHS but I think the LHS list is better visualized. If I were in your position I would try to use only one list. –  Benny Skogberg MCSA May 6 '12 at 6:39
    
Benny, if you look at Crystal's previous questions it may make the goal for this application clearer. Each item in the left list is a 'set' of times... the right is the specific view of one set of times which you can use to edit an existing set of times, or make a new one. –  Myrddin Emrys May 6 '12 at 9:51

1 Answer 1

I think having two sets of [edit] and [+] buttons is confusing. When a single icon or button does different things depending on context, you're likely to confuse your users.

I'm actually not sure you need either of the [+] or [edit] controls.

The [+]s can be brought down as a greyed-out "Add New" item on the bottom (or top) of the list itself. That way the result of the action you want the user to take is much closer to the button which initiates that action - there is a stronger connection between the two and it's fairly intuitive to look for an action relating to the list on the list itself as long as it's visually distinct from other items.

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For the LHS, if [edit] just brings up a mode which allows users to perform a rarely-used action quickly, you may not want it at all. Do you really need to give the user the ability to delete items more quickly than selecting an item and having a [delete] item on the RHS? If not, you avoid modality (which can be confusing for users) and reinforce the RHS design pattern by a set of controls directly relevant to the currently selected item.

Similarly for the RHS item deletion, I would make the controls more relevant to the list - an edit button each or even a delete button each might be appropriate if you have the space.

I would also try to make the options more semantically obvious. Could you use [New Time] instead of [+]?

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