StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

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StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Adam Willoughby -Knox
Howdy,
I got the mockup out of my head and down on paper. It would use a tab
kind of system, to help grasp this I created a few more images.

As with all things there are downsides, the following is what I noted
as most important:
1. It would take 3 clicks to get a new document (launcher > program
tab > new file icon), as opposed to having individual launcher icons.
I personally wouldn't mind this because then it would mean having
fewer icons in my quick launch area.
2. The start-up tab is a bit cluttered.
3. I didn't have a good idea on how to get back to the start-up tab
after selecting a different tab. I'm  not sure how often this would be
necessary, but I didn't like the idea of having to close the program
and reopen it just to get there.

Comments and suggestions are welcome, but keep them constructive as
this is my first major addition to the group :P

http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/User_Experience/StartCenter#Mockups

Thank you to STS for letting me bug you so much, and IvanM for the
startup document.

-Knoxy

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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Clément Pillias
Hi Adam,

I don't have time to comment now, but it is a good work.

I was thinking that the "Recent Documents" and "Watched" lists could  
benefit from a search field, and it gave me another idea: why not  
have the same kind of feature than the awesome bar in firefox 3? Ie.  
a list of documents indexed by "frecency" (a mix of frequency and  
recency) with "Watched" documents signaled by the same kind of star-
icons used for bookmarks in FF3… And a search field.

I need to add this to the wiki page…

Clément.

Le 28 janv. 09 à 19:24, Adam Willoughby -Knox a écrit :

> Howdy,
> I got the mockup out of my head and down on paper. It would use a  
> tab kind of system, to help grasp this I created a few more images.
>
> As with all things there are downsides, the following is what I  
> noted as most important:
> 1. It would take 3 clicks to get a new document (launcher > program  
> tab > new file icon), as opposed to having individual launcher icons.
> I personally wouldn't mind this because then it would mean having
> fewer icons in my quick launch area.
> 2. The start-up tab is a bit cluttered.
> 3. I didn't have a good idea on how to get back to the start-up tab  
> after selecting a different tab. I'm  not sure how often this would  
> be necessary, but I didn't like the idea of having to close the  
> program and reopen it just to get there.
>
> Comments and suggestions are welcome, but keep them constructive as  
> this is my first major addition to the group :P
>
> http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/User_Experience/ 
> StartCenter#Mockups
>
> Thank you to STS for letting me bug you so much, and IvanM for the
> startup document.

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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Graham Perrin
Administrator
Clément Pillias wrote
a good work.
+1

All: if this is Renaissance, shall we move to neighbouring ui@ux ?
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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Ivan M
Hi Adam, all,

Thanks for your mockup, it's good to see the discussion around the
start center going again!

First of all, while we're discussing the start center, which do you
think would be better - Start center or dashboard (the only difference
IMO being that one is full screen/flexible width [and thus allows for
more space] and the other is fixed width)? I know we've discussed a
dashboard idea not so long ago, so maybe we could address this too
while the topic is sizzling :)

IMO, the start center/dashboard has huge potential in winning users
over (would make great screenshot material), and would be the ideal
place for some out-of-the-ordinary eye candy - graphics, buttons,
subtle but nice mouseover effects, etc to make the experience better.
Nothing extravagant or bloated - just lots of attention to small
details.

With that in mind, I'll move onto the mockups - I'll address these one
by one, and nitpick away (Adam, I hope you don't mind  :) - I like the
concept, but believe it could be improved)

1) http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Image:GalaxyStart1a.png

- I really like the idea of a RSS Feed / Message Section - it would
add a dynamic touch to a largely static interface. But it might also
be seen as annoying advertising if we're not careful and if the
announcements that appear there are not kept under a tight rein.

- The large app icons might be a good thing in terms of encouraging
brand recognition, but how clear is it for the new user who has
decided to try OOo after years of using MS Office or some other
productivity suite? Will they be able to tell that the icons are
buttons or just a part of the design?

- What kind of file will 'New File' produce? Or will it be akin to
closing the start center (no file is open - therefore, no file has
actually been created)?

2) http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Image:GalaxyStart2.png

- "New Spreadsheet" would be more informative than "New File"

- "New Template" implies, "create a new template", not "create a new
document based on an existing template"

- I like Clément's idea of a more specific ranking rather than having
a 'Watched' feature - I would envision this as a text box above a
normal Recent Files list - when the user starts typing, the recent
files list will get populated with the incoming results. Thoughts?

3) http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Image:GalaxyStart3.png

- OOo does not currently allow separate modules to be downloaded
(AFAIK, there is currently no plan to enable this in the future) -
it's all or nothing.

-------------------
Regards,
Ivan.

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Graham Perrin <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Clément Pillias wrote:
>>
>> a good work.
>>
>
> +1
>
> All: if this is Renaissance, shall we move to neighbouring ui@ux ?
> --
> View this message in context: http://n2.nabble.com/StartCenter-Mockup%3A-Galaxy-Start-tp2233897p2235483.html
> Sent from the OOo user experience: discuss (main) mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
>
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StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Christoph Noack
In reply to this post by Graham Perrin
Hi Adam, Clément, and Graham!

I'm happy that you re-started the StartCenter discussion, because there
is still a lot room for improvement - and once implemented, it would be
highly visible :-)

Adam, back to your proposal... you asked for some constructive criticism
which I hope to provide. I will start to discuss the overall structure
(some kind of information architecture) and then go into some details.


STRUCTURE

In general, I noticed that you decided to go for a deep structure:
      * Module (seems to mimic tabs)
              * Action (e.g. New File, Open File)
              * Previously created documents (tabs)
                      * Recent documents
                              * Action (e.g. select document)
                      * Watched
                              * Action (???)

Some years ago it has been decided to better promote the individual
modules by showing their names in the UI - like the other major
commercial office suite. For OOo, people are still required to learn
what the modules mean, so I would propose not to omit the document type.
Example: "Calc -- New File (Creates a blank file)" does require context
(last steps) and knowledge (Calc = Spreadsheet). This could be also
accessibility related, think of people who require
text2speech-conversion.

The layout of the tabs seem to suggest that all modules are of equal
importance. Especially for the first tab (OOo in general) I'm not sure
about that, because:
      * it contains more also general items (Extensions, Community)
      * it contains elements which I don't understand in this context,
        e.g. New File - what kind of file? Is there another subsequent
        selection required?

Concerning the equal importance - I'm also still not too happy with an
approach I made some time ago for an improved options handling. But look
for yourself... [1].
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/5/53/ImprovedOptions_DesignProposal_ChristophNoack.png

The general items (Extension, Community) are very important from my
point of view. Do people really know what the terms "Extensions" means?
Other software provides modules, plug-ins, ... so I think it should be
made more clear.

When all modules are installed, then using those tabs might lead to a
strong visual density ("noise"). The StartCenter might be the first
thing the user is "confronted with", so the design should avoid such
impressions. (Please have a look at it in the original size.)

Currently, we see some major improvements concerning templates [2].
Let's assume that we have a sufficient number of templates (e.g.
birthday card, diploma thesis, ...) - is it really required for the user
to know which module to use in the first place? I don't think so,
because they a) might search for an appropriate template and then b)
check whether they are able to use the corresponding module.
[2] http://templates.services.openoffice.org/

The modules section seems to mimic tabs, but is hard to recognize which
tab is active at the moment (e.g. GalaxyStart1a.png) - at least for the
first one. I'm not sure if I missed something, because I really much
like your approach to use the border color in GalaxyStart2.png - really
cool branding!

Concerning GalaxyStart3 I wonder whether downloading modules is so much
different from installing extension. In both cases it is about adding
functionality - things that belong together (in my point of view). Mmmh,
and ist really important that people have to download it (at the moment
the download-icon is the grouping element)?

DETAILS

There are also some more minor issues which may be fixed easily,
therefore I just name a few before the "overall" concept is being
finished:
      * Similar to your decision to put emphasis on "modules", you often
        refer to files. People may rather think in documents, who are
        represented by files (today).
      * In the Recent Documents tab it is not clear which column is
        sorted by the little arrow icon: Usually those icons are located
        at the right, but here it seems to be the Date column.
        Unfortunately there is no visual clue like a separator or a box
        that groups the elements.

Okay, that's all for now because - at the moment - I would like to skip
the entire visual design discussion. So what to say as a conclusion? I'm
really happy that you provided so much input (which is seldom) and I
really hope that some of the open questions or critique is helpful for
the ongoing discussion. Thank you so much for your effort! Especially
since you added background information to the wiki page and your
graphics (alternatives etc.)...

Oh dear, now I see that Ivan has already addressed some of the points in
a current mail, but I don't want to rework mine :-)


Thank you and best regards,
Christoph

Am Mittwoch, den 28.01.2009, 14:59 -0800 schrieb Graham Perrin:
>
> Clément Pillias wrote:
> >
> > a good work.
> >
>
> +1
>
> All: if this is Renaissance, shall we move to neighbouring ui@ux ?


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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Adam Willoughby -Knox
Great comments!

I've updated the graphic to include a search bar in Recent Files.
Though I think it should naturally show the most recent 10 or so. I'll
swap the sorting arrow to the other side. I added text above the
program icons, I realized not everyone is as visual a learner as I am.
I think having a "New File" icon in the startup page may feel
repetitive, but people will want to accomplish the same task in a way
that makes sense to them (ei. for printing: ctrl+p, file>print, print
icon). Yes this would lead to another menu asking them what type of
file and then blank or template.

I've been using the word "file" because when I think of document I
think of a writer document. I'm going to stick with that vernacular
until I've been outvoted :P (I feel like this might be one of those
break away points from msoffice, just because it is standard doesn't
mean they did it right).

It sounded pretty firm that all programs would be installed at one
time, so I suppose I'll scrap my Dload Icon idea. I'll have to check
on my Ubuntu Computer and make sure that it corresponds (I think I
only have Icons for Writer, Calc and Impress). Perhaps this could
morph into the concept of a customizable interface (google homepage
-esque), where Program Icons can be added, removed and moved.

I'm going to push the extras into this new Customize Tab.

@Ivan: I'll change to spreadsheet, makes perfect sense. I agree with
the template notion, and it has sparked a new idea.


I'll update the images by the end of the day (EST), and shoot out an e-mail.
-Knoxy

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 5:27 AM, Christoph Noack
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Adam, Clément, and Graham!
>
> I'm happy that you re-started the StartCenter discussion, because there
> is still a lot room for improvement - and once implemented, it would be
> highly visible :-)
>
> Adam, back to your proposal... you asked for some constructive criticism
> which I hope to provide. I will start to discuss the overall structure
> (some kind of information architecture) and then go into some details.
>
>
> STRUCTURE
>
> In general, I noticed that you decided to go for a deep structure:
>      * Module (seems to mimic tabs)
>              * Action (e.g. New File, Open File)
>              * Previously created documents (tabs)
>                      * Recent documents
>                              * Action (e.g. select document)
>                      * Watched
>                              * Action (???)
>
> Some years ago it has been decided to better promote the individual
> modules by showing their names in the UI - like the other major
> commercial office suite. For OOo, people are still required to learn
> what the modules mean, so I would propose not to omit the document type.
> Example: "Calc -- New File (Creates a blank file)" does require context
> (last steps) and knowledge (Calc = Spreadsheet). This could be also
> accessibility related, think of people who require
> text2speech-conversion.
>
> The layout of the tabs seem to suggest that all modules are of equal
> importance. Especially for the first tab (OOo in general) I'm not sure
> about that, because:
>      * it contains more also general items (Extensions, Community)
>      * it contains elements which I don't understand in this context,
>        e.g. New File - what kind of file? Is there another subsequent
>        selection required?
>
> Concerning the equal importance - I'm also still not too happy with an
> approach I made some time ago for an improved options handling. But look
> for yourself... [1].
> http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/w/images/5/53/ImprovedOptions_DesignProposal_ChristophNoack.png
>
> The general items (Extension, Community) are very important from my
> point of view. Do people really know what the terms "Extensions" means?
> Other software provides modules, plug-ins, ... so I think it should be
> made more clear.
>
> When all modules are installed, then using those tabs might lead to a
> strong visual density ("noise"). The StartCenter might be the first
> thing the user is "confronted with", so the design should avoid such
> impressions. (Please have a look at it in the original size.)
>
> Currently, we see some major improvements concerning templates [2].
> Let's assume that we have a sufficient number of templates (e.g.
> birthday card, diploma thesis, ...) - is it really required for the user
> to know which module to use in the first place? I don't think so,
> because they a) might search for an appropriate template and then b)
> check whether they are able to use the corresponding module.
> [2] http://templates.services.openoffice.org/
>
> The modules section seems to mimic tabs, but is hard to recognize which
> tab is active at the moment (e.g. GalaxyStart1a.png) - at least for the
> first one. I'm not sure if I missed something, because I really much
> like your approach to use the border color in GalaxyStart2.png - really
> cool branding!
>
> Concerning GalaxyStart3 I wonder whether downloading modules is so much
> different from installing extension. In both cases it is about adding
> functionality - things that belong together (in my point of view). Mmmh,
> and ist really important that people have to download it (at the moment
> the download-icon is the grouping element)?
>
> DETAILS
>
> There are also some more minor issues which may be fixed easily,
> therefore I just name a few before the "overall" concept is being
> finished:
>      * Similar to your decision to put emphasis on "modules", you often
>        refer to files. People may rather think in documents, who are
>        represented by files (today).
>      * In the Recent Documents tab it is not clear which column is
>        sorted by the little arrow icon: Usually those icons are located
>        at the right, but here it seems to be the Date column.
>        Unfortunately there is no visual clue like a separator or a box
>        that groups the elements.
>
> Okay, that's all for now because - at the moment - I would like to skip
> the entire visual design discussion. So what to say as a conclusion? I'm
> really happy that you provided so much input (which is seldom) and I
> really hope that some of the open questions or critique is helpful for
> the ongoing discussion. Thank you so much for your effort! Especially
> since you added background information to the wiki page and your
> graphics (alternatives etc.)...
>
> Oh dear, now I see that Ivan has already addressed some of the points in
> a current mail, but I don't want to rework mine :-)
>
>
> Thank you and best regards,
> Christoph
>
> Am Mittwoch, den 28.01.2009, 14:59 -0800 schrieb Graham Perrin:
>>
>> Clément Pillias wrote:
>> >
>> > a good work.
>> >
>>
>> +1
>>
>> All: if this is Renaissance, shall we move to neighbouring ui@ux ?
>
>
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> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Graham Perrin
Administrator
In reply to this post by Graham Perrin
Adam Willoughby -Knox wrote
… how to get back to the start-up tab … I'm  not sure how often this would be necessary … 
In my experience on Mac OS X: very often.

command-N (New…), very often pressed, does nothing in OOo 3.0.x. <http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=94393> became <http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=86520> then <http://eis.services.openoffice.org/EIS2/cws.ShowCWS?Path=DEV300%2Fvcl97> in OOo 3.1,

command-N = start module on demand,
precursor to any new file.

As start module will be a precursor, so _rapid presentation_ of start module is paramount. In OOoDEVm39 it does feel *very* good.

Please aim to not add, to start module/centre, anything that may slow its presentation.

Thanks.

I do like the examples :)

The splash screen example prompts some thoughts on 'threads' and 'performance' (old thoughts, not specific to OOo) that have long bothered me, I'll revisit the discussion later.

Best regards
Graham
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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Graham Perrin
Administrator
In reply to this post by Christoph Noack
Subject: the 'Improved Options' one-pager

At a glance, without paying attention to detail or what might fit in those dialogues, they're great. Thanks.

Interesting that you have a Firefox example to one side. FWIW I find the arrangement of options within Firefox to be very disorderly, moreso in modern versions of Firefox than in the the past.

A suggestion: search field should be top right, not interrupted by (a) the introductory text or (b) the 'Clear' button. Rationale: search results should be extremely useful; first and foremost, encourage the user to search.
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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Graham Perrin
Administrator
Subject: safe mode within Galaxy Start and/or the 'Improved Options' one-pager

Borrowing from <http://n2.nabble.com/-tp2151578p2248450.html>

Suggestion:

a start module of any sort (not limited to Galaxy Start)
and an improved preferences dialogue
should both benefit from presentation of the option to start OOo in:

* safe mode.

---
Postscript: added some missing words, sorry!
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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Graham Perrin
Administrator
Graham Perrin wrote
a start module of any sort (not limited Galaxy Start)
A typo, sorry. I didn't mean that Galaxy Start is limited.

I meant, all notions of start module (including but not limited *to* Galaxy Start).

The Nabble view of the post is corrected.
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Re: StartCenter Mockup: Galaxy Start

Benjamin Horst
In reply to this post by Ivan M
Hi Ivan and all,

I also prefer the term Dashboard. For one thing, Start Center implies  
you only use it when you first start the application, whereas  
Dashboard does not. Dashboard is also shorter and spelled the same in  
both American and British English...

I also like the full screen/flexible width better. I think it makes  
better use of screen space, and allows users to enlarge or shrink it  
to their preference. (This means the design will have to incorporate  
the possibility of different sizes, just like web apps have to do.)

I further agree with you on the positive visual effects that can be  
offered in the Dashboard. We should put serious effort into making  
this look really good, since it is the first thing new users will see,  
and if we build it with lots of useful functionality, it's something  
users will want to use frequently as well. It could quickly become the  
iconic image people have of OOo and the default screenshot used by  
news articles about us, as you mention.

In terms of implementation, it may make sense that the Dashboard  
actually use XHTML/CSS to generate its user interface (using WebKit or  
Gecko, probably). An advantage of this approach is that it would open  
up development of Dashboard Extensions to all the web developers in  
the world, which should help us get lots of new extensions and  
developers on board.

-Ben

On Jan 29, 2009, at 3:22 AM, Ivan M wrote:

> Hi Adam, all,
>
> Thanks for your mockup, it's good to see the discussion around the
> start center going again!
>
> First of all, while we're discussing the start center, which do you
> think would be better - Start center or dashboard (the only difference
> IMO being that one is full screen/flexible width [and thus allows for
> more space] and the other is fixed width)? I know we've discussed a
> dashboard idea not so long ago, so maybe we could address this too
> while the topic is sizzling :)
>
> IMO, the start center/dashboard has huge potential in winning users
> over (would make great screenshot material), and would be the ideal
> place for some out-of-the-ordinary eye candy - graphics, buttons,
> subtle but nice mouseover effects, etc to make the experience better.
> Nothing extravagant or bloated - just lots of attention to small
> details.
>
> With that in mind, I'll move onto the mockups - I'll address these one
> by one, and nitpick away (Adam, I hope you don't mind  :) - I like the
> concept, but believe it could be improved)
>
> 1) http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Image:GalaxyStart1a.png
>
> - I really like the idea of a RSS Feed / Message Section - it would
> add a dynamic touch to a largely static interface. But it might also
> be seen as annoying advertising if we're not careful and if the
> announcements that appear there are not kept under a tight rein.
>
> - The large app icons might be a good thing in terms of encouraging
> brand recognition, but how clear is it for the new user who has
> decided to try OOo after years of using MS Office or some other
> productivity suite? Will they be able to tell that the icons are
> buttons or just a part of the design?
>
> - What kind of file will 'New File' produce? Or will it be akin to
> closing the start center (no file is open - therefore, no file has
> actually been created)?
>
> 2) http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Image:GalaxyStart2.png
>
> - "New Spreadsheet" would be more informative than "New File"
>
> - "New Template" implies, "create a new template", not "create a new
> document based on an existing template"
>
> - I like Clément's idea of a more specific ranking rather than having
> a 'Watched' feature - I would envision this as a text box above a
> normal Recent Files list - when the user starts typing, the recent
> files list will get populated with the incoming results. Thoughts?
>
> 3) http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Image:GalaxyStart3.png
>
> - OOo does not currently allow separate modules to be downloaded
> (AFAIK, there is currently no plan to enable this in the future) -
> it's all or nothing.
>
> -------------------
> Regards,
> Ivan.
>
> On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Graham Perrin  
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Clément Pillias wrote:
>>>
>>> a good work.
>>>
>>
>> +1
>>
>> All: if this is Renaissance, shall we move to neighbouring ui@ux ?
>> --
>> View this message in context: http://n2.nabble.com/StartCenter-Mockup%3A-Galaxy-Start-tp2233897p2235483.html
>> Sent from the OOo user experience: discuss (main) mailing list  
>> archive at Nabble.com.
>>
>>
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>> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
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>>
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Benjamin Horst
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646-464-2314 (ET)






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