Last Modified 2010-12-29 by Guest

Horde UI

This section is here to collect documentation on Horde's UI conventions, suggestions for improvements, etc.


This is a place to collect thoughts, processes, suggestions etc. regarding usability in Horde.

Target Audience

Which is the target audience of Horde software? Is there a consistent audience at all?

Attempt of a possible classification of users:

  • Beginners
    • People who use Horde at their ISPs or organizations (e.g. universities)
    • Use basic functionality: reading and writing mails, adding addresses directly from emails, adding addresses directly to compose window
    • Navigate with mouse
    • Intermediates
    • People who use Horde at their companies or organizations
    • Intranet
    • Office replacement, groupware
    • Need Horde to organize their data, streamline processes
    • Navigate with keyboard and mouse
    • Power users
    • People who use Horde as a desktop replacement
    • Own server
    • Horde developers
    • Use edge features
    • Want full control about behaviour and settings

Guidelines for Design of Horde Screens

Change Suggestions

Navigation Related

  1. Change in Navigation Structure

[Navigation screenshot]

Navigation changes the moment user enters any of the sections in the address book. In the example displayed below user has selected ?New contact? option. For a new user this could be confusing. Also from a standardization perspective clear demarcation should be made between primary, secondary and tertiary navigations.

a. Visual indicator separating the global and navigation for the Address book functionality
b. Division of the global navigation and contextual navigation (Navigation for address book) into two navigational bands

  1. Ambiguity in functionalities, Tree structure for navigation

[Navigation screenshot]
The left navigation and the global navigation can cause ambiguity about functionalities.
For a new user it might be difficult to understand where to look for the desired functionality. Very often users explore the interface before using any of the functionalities hence it desirable that there should be clear demarcation between functionalities provided in the two navigation structures to help in the learning process.

The tree structure should be avoided for navigation purposes as this requires the user to click and explore the items in the navigation. Hence some functionality may remain hidden from the user.

a. Avoid repetition of functionalities in the two sets of navigation. Develop a detailed information architecture based on tasks analysis.
b. Tree navigation structure can be avoided.

Note from a visitor: There is however a certain difference in functions the two different navigation blocks have. The horizontal top menu is easily accessible and clear to use from within the application, (I.e. whenever the application is shown on your screen), whereas the sidebar menu (navigation tree) enables you to quickly jump from your Inbox (IMP) to New Task (Nag) without unnecessary page reloads.

Control Related

In the scenario where the Horde framework is supporting large mixed groups of users; populating selection lists with all the "Users in the System" presents an enormous list which can be difficult to navigate.

a. Filter the user names by domains, using the vhost configuration in Horde. Then implement an auto-completion field as an alternative for long select lists.
b. Hack in a way to populate the lists by groups.

Colorscheme / CSS

There are currently a lot of colorschemes included in the Horde packages. You can download this additional colorsheme and untar it into
YOUR_PATH_TO_HORDE/themes/. The new colorscheme will be available in preferences->visible design->colorscheme

The GUnit colorscheme is available on this page