How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?

As a keyboard junkie, I’ll be mousing over or arrowing down to select tasks while using the spacebar to complete them.

I’m not sure how I feel about them on the right side at this point. The one plus with them on the right is the consistent design from iOS to OS X.

I don’t mind the shape, and I like the look of the checkboxes on the right, but I do find them slightly less usable. That said, I rarely look at lists of completed tasks, so it mainly just slows me down in identifying and checking off tasks. I find that it is encouraging me to check off tasks using the space bar instead of clicking the box, which is actually faster than my old workflow…

I think they’re lost over there even on my Macbook Pro 13". Especially as they’re used for overdue status.

My longer comment and alternate visual here: Overall, how are you liking OmniFocus 2 relative to OmniFocus 1?

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As a lefty, I too like to have the checkboxes on the left, on the iOS version too. On my big screen it feels like slowing down moving my hand all the way to the right just to check the task off. AND to make sure I don’t accidentally check off the wrong one because I’m on the wrong line.
I do like the feature of the color denoting the status, so I’d like to keep that.

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Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

Don’t think it has to do with hand orientation. I’m right-handed but I like to have the checkbox on the left as it gives a sense of structure and hierarchy to the whole process.

I could care less if the checkboxes are on the right or left — the point is more intricate for my interpretation of the issue here.

Simply, the checkbox on the right-hand side on large screens AND the only indication of a tasks status is the problem. If the updated checkboxes in OF2 were only there to indicate complete or incomplete tasks there is really no issue. However, the checkboxes have been modified to indicate additional information; flagged, due soon, and over due. It is this information which is difficult to discern as it is too far from the text it represents. The only solution I can think of while keeping the checkboxes on the right-hand side is to have the text of a task change color according to its status (such as is done in OF1) and thus the checkbox, alone, is not required for such status determinations.

– Edit –

Correction by changing left-hand side to right-hand side.


Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

There’s the psychological aspect to this issue as well. A circle instinctively feels like something that is harder to click, hence the need to ‘aim’ for. A checkbox, on the other hand, is slightly different.

Similar situation in standardised tests like the SAT, or any other administrative form that you fill. Always squares as opposed to circles.

Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

Hm. Never thought about this before. I do get your point.

Obviously just a mock-up: apologies for the poor quality of this illustration, but:

It would be similar to how OmniOutliner 4 handles ‘backgrounds’ in rows.

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Yes. As you have done or which could be done by changing the text color (less jarring in my opinion), would connect the task title with its current status. The need to scan horizontally is greatly reduced and this information is not indicated solely by the new checkbox design and location. One could scan down the left-hand side and immediately recognized task status.

– Edit –

The reason I would hold changing the text color as more effective over the changing of the background color would be because the flagged state is determined by the colored circle. Confusion could occur when the dual color circle AND a colored background are present. I would expect a change in text color along with the colored circle checkbox is sufficient to clearly communicate the task’s status.

The only flaw is having the flagged status represents so far away from the text of the task, but this is how OF1 presented the information and this status is usually viewed from the flagged perspective.

I prefer the checkbox on the right-hand side because its easier to read in my iMac (big screen).

That’s easily fixed by having the divider line highlight in some fashion as you mouse over a checkbox.

I moved 7 posts to a new topic: A proposal for Status Circles response to swipe gestures

I like the checkbox to be on the right. Given the direction of reading - Left -> Right, I do not need to se the checkbox there, as in 99% of cases it is unchecked - unless looking at completed tasks - Which I personaly rarely do. With checkbox on the right I can focus straight on the task.

Btw, that is something I would love to be able to change in omnioutliner too;)

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Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

Apologies for that mistake (I’ve corrected it now), but my original point still stands.

Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

Glasside has shown how he achieves this in OmniOutliner (4). Quotation attached below for reference:

Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

Can’t remember how many days we have had OF2 test, feels like a week though.

I am still clicking where I expect the checkbox to be, (on the left), and it takes me a few seconds to catch my error. I’m just clicking white space. I’m surprised I’m not used to it yet, but I just don’t associate the right aligned boxes with the task.

It does seem like there is fairly even split on people who prefer left to right and vice versa. I think this should be an option, as it just doesn’t work for me on any screen size.

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I like 'em on the right. It suits the way I scan things. I can see I’m in a minority (at least in these discussions), but I’d prefer them to stay where they are

I’ve started using OF2 the same day I moved from a small desktop monitor to the largest monitor (pre-thunderbolt) Apple sells.

The checkboxes on the right when expanded full screen seem to be completely disassociated with the tasks.

I use OF on all other devices (iphone, ipad, macbook) and I know the value of this design on iOS devices, but I don’t like it on the desktop. I had hoped having a large screen would help me with OF because I have a zillion projects nested in many folders, but I’m pretty disappointed at this point. Such a sea of white. I think to compensate I’m going to have to shrink the width of my OF window to half the size of my screen.

(longtime OF user since the days of kinkless)

Reading these comments, it seems to me like there are pros and cons to both approaches:

  • Having the checkboxes on the left makes it easier to check off completed task and to identify the status (flagged/due soon/completed) of any particular action. It also emphasizes the hierarchy, making it more obvious if an action is nested within an action group.

  • Having the checkboxes on the right puts greater emphasis on the action titles, making it easier to scan the content. (Although, personally, I find that the inclusion of a second line of context/project information on the left dramatically undermines this benefit). It also creates consistency with iOS, where it has the added benefit of being easier for right-handed folks to check off tasks with their thumbs.

Which is more useful is probably very workflow dependent – for example, I use lots of daily repeating maintenance tasks and I find it very frustrating to have to pause even slightly to figure out which checkbox corresponds to which action, but I could imagine that not being a problem for people who check off fewer tasks throughout the day.

That suggests to me that this should be a user-definable option. However, if you need to pick one, I would say they should go on the left and follow the hierarchy.

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Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

I think you might be interested in the current (heated) debate on the topic of data density.

Add me to the list of people who don’t like circles as check boxes

hummm, it might just be me, but isn’t this a rather “expanded” view for a task manager?

As a workaround for the remote checkboxes, either first click the task You want to check (which results in a blue hue for the specific item) or click yourself through the list with the direction arrows and press the spacebar to check the task off!