Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

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admin
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Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by admin » 01 Dec 2012 14:02

The Portuguese version brings the current dialog to its limits and beyond. The stuff does not fit anymore. And I cannot make the dialog any wider than 800 pixels (otherwise I would exclude a large section of users with smaller monitors).

So, either I split some of the current sections, e.g. like this:

Code: Select all

        Before:             Now:
          General             Tree and List
                              Sorting and Renaming
          Extended            Menus, Mouse, Safety
          Advanced            Refresh, Icons, History
                              Dropdowns and More
          Colors & Styles     Colors
                              Styles
Or a totally new approach to these hundreds of settings. Maybe a long list or so? Similar to the current "Jump To Setting..." list? But this would be hard work, especially porting the current translations to a radically new config style would take a lot of thinking.

Hm. Any ideas?

admin
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by admin » 01 Dec 2012 14:13

PS: Something like this might work:
http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/a5/AlphaS ... Dialog.gif

Filehero
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Filehero » 01 Dec 2012 14:23

admin wrote:PS: Something like this might work:
http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/a5/AlphaS ... Dialog.gif
I still see these kind of dialogs almost only in tec-tools like IDEs etc.

Can you put a real tree on the left side? This way you could easily combine your "Before" and "Now" scenarios.


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Filehero

admin
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by admin » 01 Dec 2012 14:31

One could keep the current sections list (the one with the icons) on the left and use it to jump to the corresponding sections in the new long list (that contains ALL settings in one list).

Advantages of the new long list:
- could be filtered
- could have per-item descriptions (similar to the CKS descriptions at the bottom of the CKS dialog).
- dialog would load much faster

But there are also disadvantages:
- less visual "grip", it's all just a very long one-dimensional thing
- certain settings would need to open another interface to be read/set because they don't fit in such a list from their nature.

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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by admin » 01 Dec 2012 14:37

Hmm, sorry for public on-the-fly thinking but I now I think it won't work with a long list. It's just not practical for too many of the settings, and ultimately it would come out quite user unfriendly. :(

So, I guess I will have to split some of the current sections to make space for wider languages.

Filehero
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Filehero » 01 Dec 2012 14:46

admin wrote:It's just not practical for too many of the settings, and ultimately it would come out quite user unfriendly. :(
You've beaten me here. :mrgreen:

Personally, I could live with that quite easily. But I suspect the vast majority of users (not regular forum members!) are used to do/reach everything easily by mouse.
Actually, what is needed is "just" the introduction new subcategories without changing the semantics of root sections/nodes too much.


Cheers,
Filehero

FluxTorpedoe
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by FluxTorpedoe » 01 Dec 2012 15:10

Another food for thought: :)
While a bit similar to the link you posted, I find Reaper's approach more efficient:
http://reaper.software.informer.com/screenshot/128788/ (random "Preferences" screenshot from Google)

Two things you can't see in this screenshot:
- Reaper (a Digital Audio Workstation - with a nice development / business model too btw!) has a LOT of preferences (and this was from an older version)
- the main entries (e.g. "Audio") are clickable and display their own settings, which makes better sense IMO than displaying the same settings as their first entry (like it's done in other softs).

& on the usability side, I find it to work rather well for so many settings.

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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Marco » 01 Dec 2012 15:29

admin wrote:The Portuguese version brings the current dialog to its limits and beyond. The stuff does not fit anymore. And I cannot make the dialog any wider than 800 pixels (otherwise I would exclude a large section of users with smaller monitors).
Are you really sure of this? I mean, maybe a poll to see what's the most common screen resolution would help. 800*600 was the standard in Win 98, but it's 2012 (almost 2013) now. Even the crappiest netbook is 1024*600.
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SkyFrontier
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by SkyFrontier » 01 Dec 2012 15:49

Marco wrote:
admin wrote:The Portuguese version brings the current dialog to its limits and beyond. The stuff does not fit anymore. And I cannot make the dialog any wider than 800 pixels (otherwise I would exclude a large section of users with smaller monitors).
Are you really sure of this? I mean, maybe a poll to see what's the most common screen resolution would help. 800*600 was the standard in Win 98, but it's 2012 (almost 2013) now. Even the crappiest netbook is 1024*600.
When everything's ok.
Desktops without display drivers may reach ridiculous 640x480.
Safe modes won't go much farther.
Of course this is not the main scenario XY will run for the everyday file management but should be taken into account.
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Marco » 01 Dec 2012 16:02

SkyFrontier wrote:When everything's ok.
Desktops without display drivers may reach ridiculous 640x480.
Safe modes won't go much farther.
Of course this is not the main scenario XY will run for the everyday file management but should be taken into account.
Uh, that's true.
Then I would transfer all the items in the left part of the Configuration window in a dropdown menu on top of that window. So you can mantain the total width of the window and widen all the captions by a 20-25%.
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admin
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by admin » 01 Dec 2012 16:16

Marco wrote:
SkyFrontier wrote:When everything's ok.
Desktops without display drivers may reach ridiculous 640x480.
Safe modes won't go much farther.
Of course this is not the main scenario XY will run for the everyday file management but should be taken into account.
Uh, that's true.
Then I would transfer all the items in the left part of the Configuration window in a dropdown menu on top of that window. So you can mantain the total width of the window and widen all the captions by a 20-25%.
Good idea, but less usable than the current approach IMO.

I think making some more meaningful subcategories (and getting rid of the meaningsless "General", "Advanced" etc.) will be good in itself.

Marco
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Marco » 01 Dec 2012 16:26

Or, a tabbed interface.
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Filehero
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Filehero » 01 Dec 2012 17:05

FluxTorpedoe wrote:Another food for thought: :)
While a bit similar to the link you posted, I find Reaper's approach more efficient:
http://reaper.software.informer.com/screenshot/128788/ (random "Preferences" screenshot from Google)
Should I post a Cubase one? :mrgreen:

That's basically I've meant - with or without tree connectors.


Cheers,
Filehero
Last edited by Filehero on 02 Dec 2012 07:36, edited 1 time in total.

kunkel321
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by kunkel321 » 02 Dec 2012 03:39

Image

Ugly, but it maximizes width....
ste(phen|ve) kunkel

Marco
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Re: Rethinking the Configuration Dialog

Post by Marco » 02 Dec 2012 09:50

^^ Exactly what I thought above. This is Windows standard. (look my previous post)
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