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Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

User avatar hook
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Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:10 pm
So far the icon test results seem to indicate that the undo/redo icons are based on a flawed concept in pretty much all sets. A plea for suggestions has been stated, but I haven’t seen a place announced to collect these ideas – so I opened a thread for it here ;)

To kick it off, I have three suggestions on how to change the redo/undo:

1) using the history meme – what we are doing is going back or forward in the history of the document/actions/…, so maybe a clock with an arrow pointing back in time for undo and another pointing forward in time for redo, might work. Maybe if a document image would accompany the clock, it could help.

Better yet, what about if the undo icon was a clock going backwards¹ (attached to a document), but the redo would be a crossed out undo icon. This would basically tell the user to remove the undo (which is what a user actually want to do).

2) using the commit/state meme – we could have boxes, documents or parts of a document represent more or less actions being made. E.g. imagine something like this:

undo: ☑⇐☐
redo: ☐⇒☑
or
undo: ☐☑☒
redo: ☐☐☑

A similar concept could be used by having less or more text (maybe with different colours or shades) show up on a document icon.

3) An alternative approach might be to (kind of) reuse the Skip forward or Skip Backwards icons from the music scene. It is quite similar to the currentl flawed concept, but maybe better than the current version.


1: e.g. similar to this icon here


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User avatar Hans
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:43 pm
Personally I don't see what's wrong with the usual curved arrows for undo/redo.

Image
Image


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User avatar Nuc!eoN
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:12 am
Hans wrote:Personally I don't see what's wrong with the usual curved arrows for undo/redo.

Image
Image

+1
User avatar Uri_Herrera
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:40 am
Why not the curved arrows. Ok here's why:

The icons in Breeze, and specifically the toolbar icons have a 1px stroke. So what, you ask, well, the issue/problem/fault with this is that thin strokes are hard to work with when they're circular, this matter when the icon is not a complete circle, curved lines are blurry, contrary to straight lines which are perfectly visible (and sharp).

This is not overly visible in say... the icon for refresh but, it's visible in the current icon for rotate.

That's one.

The second is: The curved arrow doesn't fit the guides used for the rest of the 600 icons.



Here you see that in order for the curve to fit the angle of the objects indicating the arrow (in the style of Breeze) it has to be misaligned to the grid in Inkscape, which is good enough of a reason to not do this.


This is what I just came up with, I have never liked the curved arrow (one doesn't rotate a document, one returns to a previous state), and I don't intend to use it, this however I can live with (it's not centered btw):



And I know that the current ones aren't great, I don't like them either but that's what I came up with when I did them.

Last edited by Uri_Herrera on Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:16 am
If we talk about undo/redo and arrows in general: What's about RTL languages? Will arrows point to the same direction? It would be nice to here an opinion from a native speaker.
User avatar Nuc!eoN
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:19 pm
@Uri_Herrera:
Indeed I always liked the second version much better and easier to understand their use case. The first can sometimes be a bit confusing (I think I've struggled with them at the beginning, when libreoffice changed to them).

However what I meant is that IMO the general idea of an arrow is alright and should not be changed.
User avatar Hans
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:41 pm
Uri_Herrera wrote:Why not the curved arrows. Ok here's why:


My comment was more on the curved arrow metaphor in general, but it was very interesting to hear it from a Breeze perspective. Thanks for including the pictures, they were very helpful to understand the issue!

The second picture is an improvement, but it looks more like "Go back" to me because the arrow is pointing directly to the left. I personally see the undo/redo icons as a "jump" back in time.


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User avatar veqz
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:52 pm
Hans wrote:
Uri_Herrera wrote:Why not the curved arrows. Ok here's why:


My comment was more on the curved arrow metaphor in general, but it was very interesting to hear it from a Breeze perspective. Thanks for including the pictures, they were very helpful to understand the issue!

The second picture is an improvement, but it looks more like "Go back" to me because the arrow is pointing directly to the left. I personally see the undo/redo icons as a "jump" back in time.
So something like this then?

Image

We could even put a timeline under the arrows to make it obvious it's a jump in time... ;)

Still wonder if this changes in RTL locales.
User avatar Uri_Herrera
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:27 pm
Heiko Tietze wrote:If we talk about undo/redo and arrows in general: What's about RTL languages? Will arrows point to the same direction? It would be nice to here an opinion from a native speaker.


The picture above is for undo, redo would face the opposite direction.


Nuc!eoN wrote:@Uri_Herrera:
Indeed I always liked the second version much better and easier to understand their use case. The first can sometimes be a bit confusing (I think I've struggled with them at the beginning, when libreoffice changed to them).

However what I meant is that IMO the general idea of an arrow is alright and should not be changed.


The current one is only missing a "stick" in the middle to become an arrow and swiftly turn into what the OP "commit" metaphor indicates.


Hans wrote:
My comment was more on the curved arrow metaphor in general, but it was very interesting to hear it from a Breeze perspective. Thanks for including the pictures, they were very helpful to understand the issue!

The second picture is an improvement, but it looks more like "Go back" to me because the arrow is pointing directly to the left. I personally see the undo/redo icons as a "jump" back in time.


The picture is directly to the left because that's for undo, redo would be facing to the right.

I don't see the actions as jumping through time though, I see them as saving states.

veqz wrote:Image

We could even put a timeline under the arrows to make it obvious it's a jump in time... ;)

Still wonder if this changes in RTL locales.


Rotating arrows for an action that doesn't involve rotation of any sorts are already out of context, jumping arrows are even more out of context.

In Oxygen I haven't seen many icons with a suffix or prefix as RTL, but I have seen them in Gnome, and they are inverted versions of the same icons.

Last edited by Uri_Herrera on Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar andreas_k
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:15 pm
Hi,

when you look at the plasma-next-icon package there are two files

1. zoom-previous and 2. view-refresh


when you put them together it could be previous-view


I know the curved arrow are more common because you also know it from libreoffice as the icon above and some other icons sets, but the plasma-next-icons are an icon theme so everything should work together. when you only want to copy monochrome icons, there is also a thread where you "only" find icons on the web and make a icon theme.

And of course I also like the curved arrow
prosmaninho
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:47 pm
I like the idea of andreas_K of conjugating the view_refresh with the arrow. It makes a lot of sense.
If you guys want to use arrows anyway, maybe try to put the arrow inside the circle?
User avatar hook
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:06 pm
Using my limited artistic skills, here’s what I’m came up with when banging together some Breeze icons into one:

Undo:
Image

Redo:
Image

Undo alternative:
Image

Redo alternative:
Image

The SVG sources – not that they’re any good – are available on Share.KDE.org

Obviously this need more work from someone capable, but just wanted to introduce the time meme into the undo/redo discussion. For starters I think the chronometer or some other time-going-backwards indicator would be good.

----
edit 2017-01-03: moved icons to KDE’s own Nextcloud instance and changed the links here accordingly.

Last edited by hook on Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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User avatar Uri_Herrera
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:45 pm
hook wrote:Using my limited artistic skills, here’s what I’m came up with when banging together some Breeze icons into one:

Undo:
Image

Redo:
Image

Undo alternative:
Image

Redo alternative:
Image

The SVG sources – not that they’re any good – are available on my owncloud instance …please be gentle, my server is a poor ARM.

Obviously this need more work from someone capable, but just wanted to introduce the time meme into the undo/redo discussion. For starters I think the chronometer or some other time-going-backwards indicator would be good.


Adding more stuff will make it more complicated, it should remain a simple metaphor. Also, it doesn't fit the document size.
User avatar hook
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:52 pm
Uri_Herrera wrote:Adding more stuff will make it more complicated, it should remain a simple metaphor. Also, it doesn't fit the document size.


Agreed. The problem is that I didn’t manage to separate parts of each icon in Inkscape, so I just glued two full icons together. Much of that (double docs etc.) could be removed.

The problem with the simple metaphor is that the current one doesn’t work. I’m looking forward to see if the test show a certain type of arrows working or that the whole simple error metaphor is not good enough.


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AGuiFr
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Re: Idea(s) for new undo/redo icon

Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:17 am
One of the commenters from the blog post on Breeze usability test suggested to use a clock metaphor. I think it makes a lot of sense. Undo is like going back in time, so something like this could be used :
Image
(source)

If the metaphor would be changed, this is the one I would prefer. The only issue with the current curved arrow metaphor is that undo and redo can be mixed up. I am not sure it is really an issue because for the redo action to be possible, you had to click undo before. Redo is disabled before clicking on undo. Anyways, this clock metaphor would solve the issue as it would be obvious that counter-clockwise is for going back in time, and clockwise for going forward.

 
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