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I would use a Button Based UI in this case. Why? From what you've described in the use case about metadata-aware spreadsheets, I'm assuming that the most user actions would start with the question: "I need to take some action on these cells". The question you need to be answering for them is - "Which cells do you want to act on?" and then, "What do you ...


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Using your vocabulary, I would expect a Button-based UX when using any program that looked like a spreadsheet. It sounds like you have some interesting new functionality in mind, but at the core, your product is going to appear like, and function like, a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets have become fairly standardized and users expect their existing spreadsheet ...


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Select then act Spreadsheets lend themselves to selecting the area to act upon then editing or choosing your action. In the case of tagging cells or ranges, as a user I would expect to select my range then apply the tag, not the other way around. There are likely some actions that blur the lines (eg cetain types of large area formatting), but those cases ...



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