Friday, November 24, 2006

Semi-Modal dialogs

A key piece of Cardspace is the UI experience/ceremony. At key times, Cardspace greys out the screen except for the Identity Selector, visually hiliting for the user that 'something important is happening' (this reinforced by the fact that the identity selector is a modal dialog and thereby prevents the user from doing anything else until they've dealt with the the dialog).

For the first time, I've seen this visual paradigm used elsewhere. When you try to login to Ping ID to access their information library (which I resent by the way) the rest of the browser screen is greyed out except for the account/password prompt window. Additionally, I can't do anything else in that window but deal with the dialog (see below)

Not sure what to make of this. One of the purported justifications for the Cardspace 'greying-out' is to produce a visual effect that would be difficult for a phish site to recreate. But, any phish site could recreate the effect within the browser and it's modal only within the browser (actually only within the tab).

Do semi-modal dialogs diminish the power of those that are fully-modal?

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