I am working on an application that is similar to a source control tool in that we have a view to display the state of each change in a changeset. For example, with Mercurial, I can get the state of each changed file (displayed by a single character and color). By default, Mercurial also groups changes by status:
Here is the mockup we've made similar to Mercurial (each state character would have the name displayed in a tooltip):
Is this "better" than just grouping each file by status?
The users of our application are mostly non-technical. They most likely have never seen this type of "change state" interface before.
The advantages to using the abbreviations:
- Less vertical space used.
- Repetition of the state.
- Once learned, there is almost instant recognition (similar to how programmers are trained with source control).
The disadvantage to the abbreviations:
- The letters by themselves aren't entirely descriptive (one user we tested with said that
Dwere not obvious).
- Tooltip is required for discovery.
Has anyone created a similar interface for non-technical users?