Camera makers: Stop graying out options in your UI
A User Interface gripe I've always had regarding software is the common and lazy practice of graying out feature options that are not available in the current operating mode/configuration of the application, at least when the reasons for the graying out are not displayed/explained to the user. Sadly Camera makers have adopted this practice as well.
A recent example which prompted this rant was on the Fuji X-E1. I just shot a sequence of photos that should have been raw but came out JPEGs. I never changed the IQ quality setting but found the camera was set to JPEG. I went to the IQ setting in the menu and raw was there but grayed out, with absolutely no explanation why. It took me 5 minutes going through every menu option to figure out what camera setting had changed that made raw shooting unavailable. It turns out I changed the continuous mode setting of 6fps to 3fps, which I don't even remember doing, and for which no warning was given that the IQ mode would be changed as a result.
My preference is that all feature options be made available in all operating modes of the camera. If the user selects an option that is not compatible with the current operating mode then tell the user why when he attempts to select/change the option. Also, warn the user about major operating mode changes that will occur whenever he changes an unrelated option.
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|Jun 30, 2013||1|
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