Analysis of the current Deja Dup interface

Matthias Clasen

From an email to GNOME desktop devel.

  • Could have a better first-time screen than just two big buttons. Maybe just ask the user what he wants to backup if no locations have been configured yet... The entire question of initial setup and assisting the user with setting up a reasonable backup configuration is an interesting one that seems to be left out so far.
  • (./) With a UI consisting just of two big buttons, the main window should not be resizable, since huge buttons look odd.

  • In the same vein, the assistant windows should probably not be resizable.
  • (./) The main window should not pop in and out as the two assistants are shown.

  • (./) The button labels should probably have ellipses to indicate that there is a dialog coming up. Otherwise, people might be scared to click the Restore button, thinking that it might directly start a possibly destructive action.

  • When the restore is actually happening, it should warn me about overwriting files. It should also tell me what locations will be restored, before starting it, and ideally allow me to selectively restore.
  • (./) The nautilus extension should only offer to restore files that are actually present in the backup

  • (./) When restoring a single file (in nautilus), the success message at the end should not talk about 'files' - ngettext...

  • It would be good if the nautilus extension also allowed to add a location to the set of backup locations.
  • (./) Identifying backups by date is ok, but it would be nice to make that a little less detailed. If there is only one backup from March 10, it would suffice to identify it as 'Today' or 'March 10', not the full 'Wed 10 Mar 2010 03:26:55 PM EST"

  • (./) If the 'Include from:' list in the Backup assistant is long enough to break over several lines, the window has size issues, the 'Except for:' line gets cut off

  • In the same dialog, an empty 'Except for:' line should probably just be hidden.
  • (./) The Details expander in the progress page needs to enlarge the window to a reasonable size. It is somewhat tricky to get that right, but I have code to do it somewhere...

Allan Day

The main window

  • (./) It looks a bit odd with the two big buttons and it doesn't provide any feedback about state. I'd recommend reworking it to include some feedback and additional functionality, possibly including: status of backups, date/time of last backup, date/time of next backup, space remaining on destination.

  • (./) The file menu should be renamed, since the primary object of the interface is not the file. Rename it 'Backup'?

  • (./) The first run wizard should be accessible from the main window. [no more first run wizard]

The configuration window

  • (./) The Connect to Server button is confusing. Its relationship with the preceding combobox is unclear. The phrasing of 'Connect to Server' doesn't suggest that it is a configuration option.

  • (./) Having Amazon S3 alongside local locations suggests that it is also local. The folder icon also suggests this.

  • (./) There are a number of layout issues (mainly misaligned elements).

  • (./) Cramming everything into a single window means that there's a lot for a user to process.

  • (./) I'd recommend splitting the options up into tabs.

  • (./) The bookmarking functionality is unclear. What bookmarks are being referred to? A user is expected to understand how this integrates with Nautilus.

  • (./) Could the list of online connection types be shortened? Separate items for Public FTP and FTP (Logon) could be replaced by a single FTP category, for example

Name and icon

  • (./) Neither communicate the application's functionality particularly well. [new icon, de-emphasized name]

First run wizard

  • (./) Headings need to be more specific and informative. [no more first run setup headers]

  • (./) Requires additional descriptive text to guide the user. [no more first run setup]

  • (./) The final stage presents the user with the choice between backing up now or cancelling. What if they want to finish now, but don't want to back up?

  • (./) Reproduces several of the layout issues found in the configuration window.

  • (./) The wizard asks for several configuration options after the first backup has been made. This could be disorientating - all the configuration should be done at once, prior to the first backup should be run.


  • (./) Should use GNOME recommended terminology for noun/verb backup/back up.


Thorsten Wilms

You could remove " folders" from "Include files in folders:" and
"Exclude files in folders:". Would allow a slightly tighter layout and I
doubt anyone would miss that word there.

[] Automatically backup on a regular schedule
  How often to back: [Weekly |]

could be shortened to something like:

Automatic backup: [Weekly |]

provided one item is "Never".

Anthony Ettinger

... [I]t wasn't clear to me whether it
"encrypted the files" for transfer only or it actually "encrypted the
files" and stored them on the server that way.

Apps/DejaDup/Design/Review-2010-05/Analysis (last edited 2013-08-14 14:40:21 by WilliamJonMcCann)