Unify list item removal
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Description

In various KCMs we have a list where items can be added/removed. The presentation, wording and icons for this are not consistent. Some have the remove action inline by using a swipelistitem, some have a remove button below the listview. Some have the label "Remove", others "Remove X", some "Delete X". Some have an X as icon, some a minus, some a trashcan.

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nicolasfella added a project: VDG.
ognarb awarded a token.Tue, Mar 3, 1:25 PM
davidre added a subscriber: davidre.Tue, Mar 3, 1:26 PM

I think inlne is the way to go for remove. It's an action pertaining to the specific and item. Also selecting an item and then clicking the remove button is more cumbersome

ndavis added a subscriber: ndavis.Tue, Mar 3, 2:17 PM

I agree, inline is better. Hover to show will be a problem for touch users, so we'll need to make the controls remain visible after selecting an item.

abetts added a subscriber: abetts.Tue, Mar 3, 4:24 PM

It seems that the most common iteration is using the minus sign when the buttons are outside of the list itself and use some kind of remove button for those items that have things inline
I guess it depends if we are talking about removal from the system versus removal from the list. They are not intrinsically the same thing. However, I tend to favor using a minus sign in most places
I don't think the trashcan icon is probably as appropriate just because we don't always delete.

ndavis added a comment.EditedWed, Mar 4, 1:54 AM

Trashcan for when deleting sends the deleted entry to something like a trashcan is a pretty straight forward choice.

Looking at various icon websites (e.g., icons8.com, flaticon.com, iconfinder.com), it seems some other theme authors can't make up their minds about what kind of symbol to use for remove actions in their icon themes either.

  • x and - are the most popular types of remove symbol
    • Every icon theme on my system (e.g., Papirus, Adwaita, Tango, Oxygen, Elementary, Breeze) uses - for list-remove(-symbolic)
  • x and trashcan are the most popular types of delete symbol
    • Adwaita and Oxygen use x for edit-delete(-symbolic) and Papirus puts an x inside of a trashcan

Picking between x or - for standard remove actions is tricky.

  • I doubt most users will intuitively understand any kind of subtle difference in meaning between x and -, but I don't have data.
  • Do most users intuitively understand the difference between a red trashcan (used for permanent deletion) and a normal trashcan (used for move to trash)? I think probably not, but I have no data.
  • x is fairly universal
    • If you're not paying close attention or have dyslexia, I could see it being harder to discern the difference between a + and an x when they're used together, especially as emblems in the bottom right corners of action icons
    • x can become overloaded. There have been plenty of situations where I wasn't sure if an x button on a website would remove an item or close something.
  • - looks strange by itself. It kind of needs to be used as the opposite of +.

Ideas that might work:

  • Use trashcans when working with files, maybe use x when permanently deleting a file
  • Use x for delete/remove and avoid putting it next to +
  • Use - for deselect/remove from selection in contexts where + is used to select/add to selection
    • A checkbox might be a good alternative to using +/-
ngraham added a subscriber: ngraham.Wed, Mar 4, 4:02 PM

We currently use a trashcan item for inline buttons in our grid views. Discover uses trashcan icons for the inline buttons in its list items. We also use trashcans for panel editing. However the virtual desktops KCM uses a red X.

I'm starting to think we should just standardize on the trash can rather than coming up with some kind of heuristic (e.g. "trashcan is for deleting; X is for removal). Any distinctions we draw are likely to be lost on the average user.

ndavis added a comment.EditedFri, Mar 6, 6:24 PM

We currently use a trashcan item for inline buttons in our grid views. Discover uses trashcan icons for the inline buttons in its list items. We also use trashcans for panel editing. However the virtual desktops KCM uses a red X.

I'm starting to think we should just standardize on the trash can rather than coming up with some kind of heuristic (e.g. "trashcan is for deleting; X is for removal). Any distinctions we draw are likely to be lost on the average user.

Right, that's a good point, but what do we do about bottom right corner icon emblems? We mostly use a red X for those and it's very difficult to make a legible miniature trashcan that makes sense in that situation. I realize this is a bit off topic, but it's closely linked. Whatever symbol we use for remove, we need to use it consistently.

And that's also a good point. I agree that the prospect of making a legible 4px trashcan seems unlikely, and that it would be odd if we use an X for removal in icons, but a trashcan for removal in list and grid items.

That raises the question though: if we're going to use an X in icons and in list and grid items, then where do we use the trashcan icon? Just the Move to Trash and Delete actions?

I still think we should differentiate remove and delete

I still think we should differentiate remove and delete

My worry is that the distinction will be lost on users, and we can't even do this at all for icons since there is only room for an X, not a trashcan.

ndavis added a comment.Fri, Mar 6, 8:31 PM

And that's also a good point. I agree that the prospect of making a legible 4px trashcan seems unlikely, and that it would be odd if we use an X for removal in icons, but a trashcan for removal in list and grid items.

That raises the question though: if we're going to use an X in icons and in list and grid items, then where do we use the trashcan icon? Just the Move to Trash and Delete actions?

Maybe only when moving to the trash. The way we use the trash icon right now, I'm not sure it's really obvious when something is going to the trash or not.