Suggestion: contextual menu design


Lots of applications provide rectangular pop-up menus.
I was impressed by some circular pop-up menus.


The advantage of the circular popup menu is as follows

  1. The movement of the mouse pointer is minimised.
  2. The Simplicity of Design increases the intuitiveness and the productivity.

Could you consider it?

Best regards,

Staffpad’s circular menu is for the Surface Dial, of course, where you place the Dial down on the display and then can choose an item from the radial menu by turning the dial.

But thanks for the suggestion. I don’t think this will be high on the list of things for us to add, but we’ll definitely bear it in mind.

For what it’s worth, I find the circular menus in Max hard to use (and Max also has a user interface object which is a regular picker, a pop-up menu).

Thank you for considering it.

I think that extra hardware like Surface Dial is not required.
I am attaching a draft for my suggestion (I converted some menu item to circular style design.)
Screenshot 2018-11-20 23.06.36.png
The rightmost icon is the filter.

Great, but my context menu in Dorico has 15 sub menus. I only see seven on your dial…

I would really prefer Dorico to stick with standard interface conventions.

I love that it is possible to use the keyboard (letters and arrows) to navigate into the context menu. One thing that really would be awesome would be to have a different letter for each entry of the submenu (or filter, too) in order to optimize some actions, without the nedd to create another shortcut…
Don’t get me wrong : I love shortcuts but there are way too many possible actions in Dorico to have them all keyboard-shortcut, and my brains is filled with those shortcuts… I like the speedy process of having simple commands to access those functions.

I find the circular menus in Max hard to use

This is because the design is not intuitively designed. In the recent version of Max, the circular popup has been replaced by rectangular menu. I think they should have revised the circular menu intuitively.

I am very sure that the circular popup minimises the movement of the mouse pointer.

but my context menu in Dorico has 15 sub menus. I only see seven on your dial…

15 items can be designed as a circular menu as well. I am attaching a new draft in which I have put all items (20!) in a circular menu:
Screenshot 2018-11-20 23.06.36.png

I just don’t buy it. The last thing I want to do is have to learn what more pictures mean.

Or, use keyboard-based popovers instead…

Or, use keyboard-based popovers instead…

Could the commands in the context menu be doable by popover?
For example, how could be the notehead changed by keyboard-based popover?
In the help document, I could not find a method of using popover, but only the method of selecting an item from menus.

The existing context menu is navigable from the keyboard, at least on macOS. Right click to open the menu, then tap (for instance) N S Enter. Should give you slashes.

I agree. This looks like a ribbon interface going around in circles. If I have to memorize things, I’ll stick with the popover codes I use.

It reminds me of this relic:

It reminds me of this relic:

I have been a Finale user since 1995 (or 1993?). In 2002, I could move to Sibelius, but I did not because microtonality and sub-brackets are restricted in Sibelius.
In Dorico, I can build microtonality. I hope ternary brackets are implemented.

I think the point I was trying to make, albeit tongue-in-cheek, is that text menus are clear and unambiguous.

a) The intelligent positioning of the (traditional) context menu means that what I’ve selected in the score remains in view, unobstructed.
b) I can’t accidentally click out of the (traditional) context menu (there’s no white space).
c) There’s no possibility of me mistaking an actual score item for a piece of text on a context menu.
d) I can easily (and frequently do) navigate the menu using my keyboard.
e)The fact that the context menu duplicates most of what’s on the Edit menu reinforces my memory on where things are and what order they’re in.

The disadvantages that I see to the circular thing you’ve suggested are:
a) a circular thing is sometimes going to obstruct what you’ve selected, or if it’s programmed not to you’re going to have to mouse further away from where you’ve clicked to get to the opposite edge of the circle.
b) There’s white space that actually won’t be white; it’ll be the black and white score underneath. It’s thus easy(ish) to click out of the circle by accident.
c) Even if I can navigate it with a keyboard, I can’t instantly see what key I need to press. I need to think “oh, that image means octave lines. Now, is that O for Octave or 8 for 8va?”
d) It goes against everything else that already exists in Dorico. Everything else is straight lines, not circles. The only exceptions I can think of are the macOS colour palette, which pops up if you want to colour an object in the score (which I never do), and some round knobs that probably exist in HALion (which I never touch).

I can see how it might be a nice thing for somebody to build with a script, on their own time, once the Lua scripting has been properly organised, but I certainly wouldn’t want it to replace the perfectly functional existing context menu. Furthermore, I wouldn’t want it to take up valuable development time that could be better spent implementing features that don’t yet exist, like the condensing feature and guitar notation.

I’ve only fought with one circular menu in the past, and that was the setup menu for a TV (I can’t remember the make, it wasn’t mine anyway).

That was made even worse because you had to navigate round the circle using the left and right arrow buttons on a key pad! Completely pointless. And If you were at the top of the circle, “right arrow” moved to the right, but if you were at the bottom, it moved to the left. Logical, not!!!

The other thing is, it’s all very well having the top 20 sub-menus on a wheel, but how do you then deal with the sub-sub-menus?

Would this be a case of one wheel with 20 little pictures, orbited by another wheel with 14 pictures, orbited by another wheel with another 7 pictures? Or would the sub-wheels move to the side, covering up your score? Or would it just give you the text sub-menus we’re already used to? I don’t know how the wheel thing works in Max, but from the videos I’ve watched on how it works in Staffpad it seems to be a way of getting to a mode, like hairpin mode. You then draw a hairpin and it knows that what you’re wanting to draw is a hairpin because you’re in that mode.

At least that looks and functions vaguely like a menu.

Unlike a misguided attempt (IMHO) to drive a notation program with Microsoft’s “ribbon” UI - I forget who tried that idea, before they got older and wiser :wink:

Rob, I’m 30. The one thing that worked out very nicely for me with Sibelius was timing - I used Sibelius a huge amount as a teenager but I didn’t start depending on it for my rent until my early 20s, at which point the ribbon appeared. I quickly embraced the method of tapping Ctrl and then using keytips to hop around the ribbon (e.g. Ctrl L O S to Optimise Staves).

I thankfully don’t depend on Sibelius to pay my bills these days, but Dorico work has paid my mortgage a few times in the past couple of years. I’m very content knowing where everything is, and I’m sure that the team thought long and hard about exactly how to lay it out and where to put things. A widget could be useful for people with a Surface Wheel, but that’s not the vast majority of Dorico users.

edit: Rob, this just came up on my Facebook newsfeed. It’s priceless: