Alex Pandelea has been working on batch renaming for Nautilus. So far we though about taking most of the design ideas from what Finder, the file manager of MacOSX does.
Here is a video of Finder’s batch renaming
However, after trying a prototype implementation following Finder, I have been changing my mind about the design being good enough.
Let’s take a look at Finder’s design and find the ugly parts.
First mode, “replace text”
I can see few issues:
- The “Replace Text” combobox doesn’t really provide me a hint that it’s a combobox for changing modes. It looks like part of the mode itself, doesn’t give a hint about having more importance than the entries under it or the cancel and rename buttons
- The cancel and rename buttons are at the same level than the example and information. I would prefer to have the information and example in one line, then the final decision about cancelling and renaming apart of those. This is now usual in dialogs on the GNOME HIG where the dialog buttons occupy the whole width and are in a different line level.
Let’s change the mode. “Add Text”
One big issue here, suddenly the entry and combobox for the mode is in the same line as the combobox to change the mode. I guess they wanted to give a connection between the UI items in there, so it makes a sentence like “Add text …. blah blabh…. after name”. But that is not the case in other modes, so it’s more confusing than anything.
Next mode is “Format”
And this is the one with more UX issues in my opinion. It has the ones of the first mode plus:
- There is no visual connection between the “Name format” and “Start numbers at”.
- “Start numbers at” is only useful for “Name and Index”, not for other name format modes, still it’s there for other modes.
- It’s using combobox for just three and two options… which is kinda useless. It’s better to just present all the options. Much straightforward, much clearer, one click less.
- The labels “Name format” and “Custom format” are misleading. Either I want a custom format or something else.
Apart of these issues, I also noticed it doesn’t give you feedback if some file in the directory conflicts with the names that are going to be generated beforehand. We want this on Nautilus.
So I came up with this draft as my idea to cover these issues (my drawing skills are not the best). Note that the mode selected is”Format”, which is the most complex UI wise:
I would like to know your thoughts about this, and even better, engage you on providing design and ideas. Now it’s your turn 🙂
Here’s the svg of the picture above, you can modify and put your ideas https://my.owndrive.com/index.php/s/TK4JfCPOzUnDlzN