Transparency Interface

Simple interaction makes the transparent feature useful.

Winamp has come along way, but since it was bought out by AOL it hasn’t really been innovating much. I got the latest version and they have this feature that lets it become transparent (which it has done for awhile) but what they have added to this is that it becomes fully opaque when you mouse over it and fades to transparent again when you move your mouse away.

This simple interaction makes the transparent feature useful (which it was really before so didn’t use it much) but is also an interesting idea for an interface design. You could have more than one thing/window transparent and layered on top of each other. As the document was further towards the back of the pile (i.e. say a group of journal entries stacked by date) they could be more/less transparent (need to experiment with opacity). Possibly flip/zoom though the layers with the mouse wheel and on the mouse over increase the opacity to full (or readable level?).

Drop-Down Menus = CSS HELL

Seems there is a bit of a hoo-har about making nice dropdown menus since most recent article on ALA which has got Zeldman started on about how he hates drop downs anyway but supports the right to rant about them. There does seem to be some empirical evidence to support the idea that dropdowns are bad UI design, but try telling that to a designer.

This is all fine and dandy since I woke up this morning and decided to solve all my CSS dropdown problems once and for all. So I’ve been researching and this is what I’ve found:

  • There‚Äôs mention of some Dutch dude who has a pair but bugger me if I can read Dutch. Works in everything except IE/Mac (bain-of-my-facking-exsistence). So no good :(
  • There are better suckerfish menu’s avalable now, which I originaly gave up on because of IE/Mac problems. Still no work in IE/Mac but offers a dubious solution.
  • Whatever I come up with, I’d like to intergrate it with the sexy sliding menus. Pitty they don’t use CSS for positioning.
  • Finaly there is the XHTML/CSS/DHTML Semantically Correct Drop-Down Menu v1.1 which I have been using thus far but have done something to the CSS that makes it wig out on Safari 1.2 and quite frankly I’m over it.