Monday, January 21, 2013

Mouse Wheel Scrolling

The short story: as of today, the mouse-wheel is used to scroll up & down in Gigantt, not zoom in & out. To zoom, use the zoom buttons or the keyboard shortcuts (+, -).

Here's why.

From day one we envisioned Gigantt as a zoom-able mind-map for project planning. Our inspiration came, among other sources, from online mapping applications, where the mouse wheel is used to zoom in and out. For example, that's how Google Maps does it, and we tried to make zooming as intuitive as possible to anybody who's ever used Google Maps (which is everyone, right?).

This, it turns out, was dead wrong. For too many of our users, who are very accustomed to using the mouse wheel to scroll up & down, this default zoom behavior was very surprising and hard to get used to. It is mainly for their sake that we're introducing this change. To our dear, loyal, existing users, we're sorry for the hassle of having to get used to this new behavior.

Another reason is we observed that most of our users don't really do a lot of partial zooming. They either step into a task completely (e.g. by double clicking on it) or step outside (by double-clicking outside or on the Zoom Out button). Zooming in partially is something our users do rarely - usually when they have too many tasks in the same container and they're too small to read comfortably (hint: use the collapse feature).

The one place where incremental, partial zooming is very useful is Team View. In team view you can zoom out and see thousands of tasks on the screen at the same time, so it's really important to be able to zoom just enough to see what you want to see. We think this is still pretty easy to do with the zoom buttons. Again, you can also zoom with the keyboard shortcuts +/- and you can change the time resolution with Ctrl +/-.

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