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The star for the "favorites" menu is non-obvious
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Description

Recently, Phabricator changed the plus icon in its toolbar to instead be a star. Presumably that is to reflect that the menu is no longer restricted to creating tasks, but serves as a configurable "favorites" menu.

A star in the toolbar most commonly means "save/favorite whatever I am looking at right now", which is absolutely not what this button does. Unless you notice the dropdown arrow, you are unlikely to think to click it. Even with the dropdown arrow, it's not what many of us would expect to press to "create a task".

The icon should change. I'm not sure to what, but even an ambiguous web "hamburger menu" icon would be less misleading.

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptMar 9 2017, 9:20 PM
ksmith updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 9 2017, 9:34 PM
greg added a subscriber: greg.Mar 9 2017, 9:36 PM

Facebook uses stars for saving posts to read later, so it's not unheard of.

greg added a comment.Mar 9 2017, 9:37 PM

(I have no major opinion on UI elements such as this.)

Restricted Application added a project: Upstream. · View Herald TranscriptMar 9 2017, 9:46 PM

(I'm also not totally happy but have no other idea as hamburgers aren't great either IMO. At least the 'star' icon a 'v' dropdown implication...)

mmodell added a subscriber: mmodell.Mar 9 2017, 9:56 PM

Phabricator uses font-awesome so any of those icons are easily usable.

Some choices that seem sort-of appropriate include:

  • fa-link
  • fa-bookmark-o
  • fa-bars
  • thumb-tack
  • chevron-circle-down
ggellerman added a subscriber: ggellerman.EditedMar 9 2017, 10:43 PM

Thanks for staring the discussion, @ksmith!

For me, the plus icon communicated, 'I want to do something" whereas the star is something that is recognizable to me due to its use elsewhere to "favorite" something.

I think that what could be helpful to determine which icon to use to convey these functions would be to talk to actual users. Could the familiar plus sign have continued to communicate "open a task" as well as the new functionality in the dropdown? I think that it could have.

@mmodell Thanks! For me, the "chevron-circle-down " would make the most sense. to convey what the star icon is being used for now.

Of those, I like chevron-circle-down perhaps with bars, like: (I should mention that I'm not a fan of bars/hamburger menu, but they are widely used, so are fairly recognizable.)

Maybe or

Another option that would be consistent with other apps (e.g. Android) would be ellipsis-v but it seems too small/subtle. Maybe in a big font with nothing around it, it might work:

Note that the header looks like this on devices (mobile/tablet), so the "stacked bars" would be ambiguous:

What do those stacked bars bring up on a mobile device? Would it make sense to combine the 2 menus (on both platforms)?

greg renamed this task from Phabricator's "favorites" menu should not use a star icon to The star for the "favorites" menu is non-obvious.Mar 10 2017, 6:53 PM
greg updated the task description. (Show Details)

@ksmith: resize your browser window to < 1280px (width) to see the mobile ui

Thanks @mmodell. That's interesting to see.

This probably isn't the place to discuss it, but:

  • It seems the hamburger menu offers mobile (and narrow-screen desktop) users things that aren't available to normal desktop users, and
  • Nothing in the hamburger menu seems necessary for my own personal workflow, and
  • In Firefox, I end up with 2 hamburger menus, one right over the other (one for the browser, and one for phab), which seems pretty confusing.

I should probably file a separate task about possible changes to the hamburger menu.

Aklapper triaged this task as Low priority.Aug 5 2017, 9:52 PM
Aklapper lowered the priority of this task from Low to Lowest.Mar 7 2018, 12:49 PM

I changed this to "" somewhat recently, which I'm sure everyone will agree on unanimously.