TrackStack mockup help request

Michael Allan mike at
Tue Oct 11 06:24:11 EDT 2011

Hi C,

Other work has kept me away, and then the thanksgiving holiday on top
of it.  But I wanted to mention what I already mentioned on #votorola,
I think this design is rocking!  I can't comment yet on the history
(bottom track), except to say I think it should be a separate series
of mockups (I recall Thomas suggests similar) because it's a separate
design effort in many ways.

Regarding the resource accumulator (top track) my favourite is:

The combination of segement + arrow motifs is superb, and that part of
the visual seems perfect.  Other parts (ignoring the history track for
now) do not seem to add much.  I would look at eliminating them.  My

  1. Remove the yellow 1,000,000 (votes needed?) and the red 487,320
     (current votes?).  That kind of detail will be more repelling
     than attractive to first time viewers, and I think it mars the
     overall visual.

     Is there a way to reveal the details more gently as the user
     explores inquiringly with the mouse?  At other times, they should
     be invisible.

  2. The mouse over cue (green) is too bright.

     A slight brightening/dimming of the fill colour, or other subtle
     cue is probably all that's needed.  The user is already looking
     directly at the mouse pointer and will notice the effect, and
     understand: if I click, I will get more info.

  3. The hover popup (with avatar etc) seems was too much.  (Again, I
     think Thomas or someone suggested similar.)  I will actually
     frighten the users a little bit.  They'll become scared to move
     the mouse anywhere near the track for fear of seeing that window
     pop up unexpectedly.  Must be gentle.

     Remember, when the track is not functioning as a mere attractor
     (in diff bridge say) but as a workaday tool, then votespace is
     there too.  Any hover effects over user nodes will be similar
     between the two.  My own plan is to use a HUD to bottom left of
     the track stack.  I'll project the username there in semi-opaque
     grey (I guess) whenever hovering over a node in the tree.
     Probably no other info is needed, right?  You get more info if
     you actually click, of course.

     Remember too, clicking on a node in votespace takes you up/down
     tree, so presumeably clicking on a segment does, too.

  4. I would show all mockup states on a single page.  So a series of
     multiple mockups, one for each state: plain, mouse over, mouse
     click, etc.

That's mostly the stuff to take away; but I guess there's also stuff
to add.  One may want to navigate to the account page in the pollwiki,
for example.  There's also a question about what happens as the user
climbs the vote tree.

conseo wrote:
> Added 2ga.m2.xht (1) which visualizes a mouse over of one of the segments in 
> the history TrackStack. Should I show the complete visual like in 2ga.m1.xht 
> (2) or is a simple tooltip like version better for the segements?
> ...
> (1)
> (2)

These two look to be identical.  I would avoid tooltips for anything
but a tool, since many users hate the things.  They already expect
them in toolbars, but not in visuals.  HUD is nicer, because it's in a
fixed location and it's less in-your-face.

Good work, I love that accumulation arrow!

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

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