Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Advanced Settings Blog

At some point someone noticed that there was a bunch of stuff in the setting panel. "This is too cluttered!", someone said, "Some of this stuff must be for power users! Put those settings in an 'advanced' section.".

Ah, but what is "advanced"?  This is, apparently, a hard question to answer because every thing I want to change seems to be in the "advanced" section.

I would suggest a few guidelines:
  1. "Advanced" is not a synonym for miscellaneous. Just because it's not used or doesn't fit into any other category doesn't mean it's "advanced".
  2. "Advanced" is not a synonym for rarely used. Sure, I rarely delete a password using the password manager but deletion of a remembered password isn't rocket science.
  3. "Advanced" does not mean hidden. Sometimes you need to get technical, that doesn't mean it has to be hidden like some kind of video game secret level. It's getting to the point I need to google the entire internet to get the Konami code to change a setting.
  4. If >90% of users don't know what it means and it can seriously screw things up by messing with it, then it's an advanced setting. Be sure to include a "reset to defaults" button somewhere. Maybe a help button too since you are allowed to try and help interested users understand things. You're just not allowed to assume that they'll read it.

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