Difference between revisions of "Link to Drummond Reed explanation of each R-button state"

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(New page: 5Nov2008 On today’s VRM Standards call, Joe and Asa explained to me the conclusion reached on the last R-Button call that an r-button should be tri-state: 1) Nothing lit up: open (o...)
 
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Revision as of 11:47, 28 November 2009

5Nov2008

On today’s VRM Standards call, Joe and Asa explained to me the conclusion reached on the last R-Button call that an r-button should be tri-state:


1) Nothing lit up: open (off/completely greyed out)

2) Lit up: open

3) Lit up: closed


Having missed the end of last week’s R-Button call and not knowing that tri-state was the conclusion, I had posted yesterday an endorsement of the idea that the Left-Side (User) and Right-Side (Vendor) halves of the button should be able to be lit up independently. That reflects the initial five-state conception:


1) Nothing lit up: open (off/completely greyed out)

2) Only left side lit up: open

3) Only right side lit up: open

4) Both sides lit up: open

5) Both sides lit up: closed


So I went into today’s call thinking that five-state was still an option. Furthermore, one good use case for state #3 (right side lit up: open) was when a user wanted to initiate a relationship with a vendor but the vendor was not “in the system” yet, so the user’s only option was to initiate a “proxy” relationship via a relationship service provider that could subsequently be “discovered” by the vendor.


However after talking it over with Joe and Asa, I now see why tri-state was the conclusion last week (and why we should stick with it). I volunteered to send this email to the list just to save others from having to run through the same analysis time after time.


What it comes down to is the question of “affordance”: what does the button actually indicate to you, the user, what you can do? In the tri-state model, it’s very simple:


1) Nothing lit up: open ==> no relationship actions are available

2) Lit up: open ==> relationship actions are available but none have been taken yet

3) Lit up: closed ==> at least one relationship action has been taken


When you ask the same affordance question of the five-state model, the mental model gets much more complicated:


1) Nothing lit up: open ==> no relationship actions are available from either side

2) Only left side lit up: open ==> user-defined relationship actions are available but none have been taken yet

3) Only right side lit up: open ==> vendor-defined relationship actions are available but none have been taken yet

4) Both sides lit up: open ==> both user- and vendor-defined relationship actions are available but none have been taken yet

5) Both sides lit up: closed ==> at least one relationship action has been taken


Not only does this require the user to understand the conceptual difference between user-defined relationship actions and vendor-defined relationship actions, but the problem remains that once the user takes ANY action, the button closes and the user has no way of knowing whether it was a user-defined action or a vendor-defined action.


Net net: Joe, Asa, and I agreed that it would be much simpler to stick to the tri-state model for the r-button itself, and then present the range of actions – which may vary anywhere from simple user-defined options (“open a proxy”) to simple vendor-defined options (“buy this”) to extremely rich options (an entire right-button menu) via a context-sensitive menu displayed by the local relationship agent.


Hope this helps,


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