The Power to Esc[ape]

By Michael Flanakin @ 6:52 AM :: 1553 Views :: Development, Tools/Utilities, User Experience :: Digg it!

Given my new venture, I have to complain about something... small tools/utilities that don't close when I hit Esc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything needs to close on Esc, but there is a lot that could. Take, for instance, the vast number of utility windows in Windows... wait, no, let me revise that... How about every control panel applet (or whatever you call them). Ok, sure, a lot of them are dialog-based and close as you'd expect when Esc is pressed. Let's look at the Windows Update window in Vista, tho. Since it's based on Windows Explorer, Esc doesn't close it. There's no OK/Cancel button; no buttons at all. So why would it hurt to support Esc? Perhaps this is simply an oversite, but it's one that way too common. I can name a dozen places like this in Windows, but I'll spare you the agony. Microsoft isn't the only culprit, tho. All I ask is that developers think about their users a little more. Is there any way you can shave one keystroke, one mouse move, or even a transition from the keyboard to the mouse. All these things add up to big points in the user experience arena.