Please refine the sequence of the focus, and the handling of the new thought dialogue.

  • Dialogue comes up, visible are name field, type button, tags button, resize triangle.
  • You enter the thought name.
  • Press <Tab>, focus is now on the resize triangle.
  • You press <Space> for "Resize dialogue". Focus is now on the name field, cursor at last position.
  • Now, press <Tab>, focus is on the resize triangle.
  • You press <Space> for "Resize dialogue". Focus is now on the name field, cursor at last position. BETTER: focus is on the type button.
  • To specify the type, you now have to press the <Tab> three times, followed by <Space>.
  • [specifying the type is ok]
  • You press <Tab>, focus is on the name field. BETTER: focus on tags button.
  • Now, you have to press <Tab> two times to set the focus onto the tags button.
  • To complete the data entry, you have to be (sic!) on the name field, and only there the <Return> triggers the data entry to TB...

I know, that I could use the mouse/trackpad to navigate to the element of choice, but as I want to enter a thought (text!), my hands are on the keyboard. I want to concentrate on the data to enter, not where TB places the focus onto.

My suggestions:
  • imho, there's no need for the resize triangle
  • the sequence of the elements is wrong, should be name, type, tags
  • why do you use a button for the type? A drop down list would be fine, and btw, would show the selected type, even if the list is not expanded.
  • same for tags: why do you use a button? For an example, please see the preferences of iTunes, especially the settings for sharing playlists ...
  • enable <Return> on any element to complete the data entry.

Btw.: if you have selected type and/or tags, the appr. button shows the selected value(s). That's ok and fine, but it's more the behavior of a drop-down list than that of a button, isn't it?


Thank you for your analysis and suggestions. The tab-ordering of all UI elements is something that we still have on our list of things to address and we will certainly try to make it work similarly to how you suggest.

Even though the tab ordering is not done yet, I think you will find that we have thought carefully and put quite a bit of work into the keyboard UI for TB9...

Try this when creating a thought: Use Ctrl/Cmd+Y or Ctrl/Cmd+G to assign a tYpes and taGs. The dialog need not be expanded - it will automatically expand at the same time as the popup for tags and types appears. Pressing return from these elements completes the assignment of the tag and type, returning you to the name, which you may not have finished with. Simply press return again to create the thought.

It is worth noting that the Ctrl/Cmd + Y/G also works in three different contexts: the create dialog, the thought properties dialog, and the plex (for navigating to a type or tag).

Many of the UI controls in TB are custom-built because the default controls (drop-down lists in this case) do not allow for the degree of customization in interaction and presentation that is required by TB. For example, when selecting tags, say you want to set 5 tags. It would be incredibly tedious to have to click to open the list of tags again each time you wanted add another one... Additionally, a drop-down list does not enable displaying multiple selected values. These are just a few examples - believe me it would have been faster and easier for us to use only standard controls, but the results would have been far less capable.

The button to expand the dialog enables the UI to remain simple for new users while power users can open it up. Once it is opened, it stays open until the application is closed and restarted. One of the things we are striving to accomplish with TB9 is a better balance between a sophisticated UI for power users and an overwhelming experience for new users. Some users do not use types or tags at all.

Deleted-Cross posted with Harlan's far more comprehensive reply
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119

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