New volume applet has usability issues

Bug #533560 reported by Benjamin Humphrey on 2010-03-07
This bug affects 19 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
indicator-sound (Ubuntu)
Matthew Paul Thomas

Bug Description

Changed into separate bugs.

Binary package hint: gnome-applets

This applet now looks a lot worse than the Karmic one, in my opinion. Why?

The slider is too short and doesn't let you fine tune volume properly (bug 537768)
The two options, "mute all" and "sound preferences" are not grouped together (bug 537770)
There's a random 1px line that inexplicably runs underneath the slider box
The max volume icon doesn't have enough padding, compared to the no volume icon
Volume changes appear in the notification system - you would expect the volume controls to have the same style (bug 537773)
The size of the box is inconsistent with the wireless connection menu, the messaging menu, the MeMenu, the date/time/calender and the user session menu - all of these are longer than they are wide, but this one is wider than it is long
The background colour for the slider looks out of place, it isn't necessary. (bug 522471)

Benjamin Humphrey (humphreybc) wrote :
affects: gnome-applets (Ubuntu) → indicator-sound (Ubuntu)
Changed in indicator-sound (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

This should be seven separate bug reports.

description: updated
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

"Mute All" and "Sound Preferences" are not "options", they are standard menu items. The slider is supposed to highlight like a standard menu item too, but currently doesn't (bug 524541). If it did, it would be more obvious that the "random 1px line" is a standard menu separator.

What do you mean by the "box"? I thought you might mean the menu title, but that's wider than it is tall just like all the others, so I guess you mean something else.

Benjamin Humphrey (humphreybc) wrote :


By size of the box I mean the actual proportions of the applet. I've attached an image to illustrate my point. I don't have Evolution or Empathy installed to show what the messaging menu would look like by default, so I found an image on the internet of it in action.

Alejandro Vidal (mancvso) wrote :

It could have been a step forward if the mic slider were added... but until now, I don't see this applet being an improvement.

summary: - New volume applet is hideous
+ New volume applet has usability issues
Ingo Gerth (igerth) wrote :

I agree on this bug, the reason behind this change is not clear at all. Why was it changed? It is a complete break with the general design guidelines.

Scott Ritchie (scottritchie) wrote :

The first time I used the volume applet I couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting any sound. Visually the volume was in the middle, but it was actually muted.

The reason is that the new volume control doesn't have any visual queue as to when the sound is muted - there's no icon change, no greying of the volume bar. Instead I have to _read_ the mute / unmute toggle, and then reason that the current mute status is the opposite: "unmute" = "sound is muted".

Forgive me if the above should be an eighth bug report, but it seems closely related to some of the above points.

Scott Ritchie (scottritchie) wrote :

I should add an addendum to my previous comment: the panel icon DOES change when it is muted, however this icon is obstructed by the cursor when you click on the menu (which is exactly what I do when the sound isn't right, before comprehending why)

Conor Curran (cjcurran) on 2010-03-11
Changed in indicator-sound (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

As I feared, this report has derailed because it was an omnibus. Please report individual bugs separately.

Benjamin, menus often differ greatly in their proportions. For example, in Nautilus the "View" and "Places" menus are longer than they are wide, but the "Help" menu is wider than it is long.

Ingo, the reason for the new sound menu is to integrate with the other system status menus (messaging, me, session). Please give a link to "the general design guidelines" you're referring to when you report your bugs. Thanks.

Scott, the muted icon is supposed to go red whenever sound would be playing. Please report a bug if this isn't happening.

Changed in indicator-sound (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
Benjamin Humphrey (humphreybc) wrote :

Matt, I've created new bug reports for the still-relevant issues and linked to them from here.

description: updated
description: updated
Kimble85 (kim-betti) wrote :

Scrolling on the icon does not change volume anymore!

Please bring this feature back, I use it all the time! Or make it possible to install the old applet, I actually don't think that there is a single thing that I like about the new one.

Alvaro Kuolas (kuolas) wrote :

One very important usability regression is the inability to change volume with the mouse wheel over the applet (without clicking the applet as in Hardy).

Conor Curran (cjcurran) wrote :

The ability to change volume by scrolling on the panel image is coming in the next release.

vishnu jyothi (vjmist) wrote :

In root a/c volume is by default set to minimum , in fact changing volume from volume applet wont affect PC volume also...Mute All functionality is disabled ,when preference is clicked it does nothing..

But in user a/c all these works fine.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers