Author Topic: Proposed (optional) changes for simplified layout  (Read 101597 times)

Steven

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with the "PureLight BeeMetro" skin and others, i think they would look a lot better if the controls can be de-cluttered some more, especially if the player is docked on the bottom.
I know it has been mentioned before but i will restart this for any comment as i now plan to do something - it might just be a single option, something like "hide navigator controls"
That would cause:
- the header bar with the back/ forward buttons, location bar and panel layout button to not display. For the search box it could go into the caption bar. Not sure about any custom toolbar buttons
- the Now Playing header with the total playlist duration to not display
- the bottom bar with the open/close buttons and the file summary stats to not display. The operation for opening/closing the panels would need to be done via a menu

Any comments? No doubt when i look at this in detail there will be some things that arent immediately obvious that might require more thought

Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 06:33:55 PM by Steven

redwing

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Great proposal! Here's some input from me:

- When the header bar is hidden, back/forward button could be offered as right-click menu items for the main panel. I guess toolbar buttons could be replaced by user-configured hotkeys as they cover the same commands.
- Would be great if caption bar can be hidden as well, only appearing when the mouse's being moved to the top of the screen.
- In addition to the one single option, also allow to hide/show each bar separately. "View" menu could contain those commands.

SimonBRT

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Really like the idea of this.  Think it could potentially help MB lose some of its historic 'Windows' look and feel.  I am a fan of simplicity when it comes to an apps looks.

The only thing I can see myself missing (as I use them frequently) are the custom toolbar buttons.  But as Redwing says, I could just set up some keyboard shortcuts.

I also like redwings idea that a mouseover at the top of the screen could temporarily cause controls to reappear (similar to hidden sidepanels now).  Not completely sure about hiding the caption bar itself though as I am a big user of 'tabs in caption bar'.  That said, if it looked really good I could be tempted to change behaviour!

Overall, I think this 'Immersive' mode could almost make MB feel visually like a Windows 8 app (but without the pain of actually being one!).

Bee-liever

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Any comments?

some good ideas there; especially hiding back/forward and layout buttons, and location bar.
the current UX/UI trend is for more control by icons, so I don't think hiding custom toolbar buttons/icons is a good idea.
with the bottom bar hidden, icon for panel open/close could be moved to auto-open side panels themselves.
sort of like pining the panels in theater mode but they would dock instead of just being pinned open
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hiccup

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Personally I have no problem with (well-organized) 'clutter' at all.
MusicBee is a desktop application, and most users nowadays have high-res displays, with resolutions only getting higher.

The auto-hide suggestions seem fine, but I hope they will be optional, and development to get MusicBee make better use of the available desktop space will also continue.

psychoadept

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MusicBee is a desktop application, and most users nowadays have high-res displays, with resolutions only getting higher.

I think this is over-generalizing.  I have a 13.1" monitor on a laptop that will probably need replacing in the next year or two, and I have no desire to go bigger because that means going heavier.  In fact, I may look into something that doubles as a tablet.

To answer Steven, I think I will have to see it in action before I can offer much input.
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hiccup

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MusicBee is a desktop application, and most users nowadays have high-res displays, with resolutions only getting higher.

I think this is over-generalizing.  I have a 13.1" monitor on a laptop that will probably need replacing in the next year or two, and I have no desire to go bigger because that means going heavier.  In fact, I may look into something that doubles as a tablet.

To answer Steven, I think I will have to see it in action before I can offer much input.

Good points, but your next 13" will definitely have a higher resolution than your current.
I mostly appreciate MusicBee as a full grown software application, not just a trendy 'App' which also has to run on Android or smartphones.
If Steven is going to be aiming more at tablet (touch) use, I am only voicing I hope that that won't go at the cost of desktop users with enough 'desktop estate' who like to have the best possible overview on relevant options.

Pingaware

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MusicBee is a desktop application, and most users nowadays have high-res displays, with resolutions only getting higher.

I think this is over-generalizing.  I have a 13.1" monitor on a laptop that will probably need replacing in the next year or two, and I have no desire to go bigger because that means going heavier.  In fact, I may look into something that doubles as a tablet.

To answer Steven, I think I will have to see it in action before I can offer much input.

I seriously doubt that Steven will go that route. I think the (optional) bit in the thread title is enough evidence of that.
Good points, but your next 13" will definitely have a higher resolution than your current.
I mostly appreciate MusicBee as a full grown software application, not just a trendy 'App' which also has to run on Android or smartphones.
If Steven is going to be aiming more at tablet (touch) use, I am only voicing I hope that that won't go at the cost of desktop users with enough 'desktop estate' who like to have the best possible overview on relevant options.
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ma_t14

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I would definitely be interested to see this idea materialize as long as it's just optional, as stated. I strongly agree with redwing that it would be great if each of the changes could be disabled/enabled separately.

- the header bar with the back/ forward buttons, location bar and panel layout button to not display. For the search box it could go into the caption bar. Not sure about any custom toolbar buttons

I overall like this change since that bar is just taking unnecessary space most of the time, if you are not using custom buttons that is. I would appreciate though if the back/forward buttons made it to the caption bar as well, as I find them quite useful for navigation.

- the Now Playing header with the total playlist duration to not display

Good change as the bar seems redundant, for the purpose it serves it just takes unnecessary space. If you can come up with a "clever" way to preserve it's functionality (to display the duration) in a not so immediately visible way it would be a plus (unless someone can point out an already possible method)

- the bottom bar with the open/close buttons and the file summary stats to not display. The operation for opening/closing the panels would need to be done via a menu

I find that selecting files and instantly knowing the duration, size etc of the selection is quite useful. Maybe show this info only when a selection is made? Hm, I'm not sure what the actual implementation should look like though
Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 01:46:12 AM by ma_t14

Steven

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i'm just playing around with things and havent really looked at the original proposal but i was wondering what people thought of this layout to make things a bit more logical and less wasteful of space:



the header bar is narrower and spans the entire application
the tabs are in the header bar (perhaps vertical and in the caption bar would no longer be supported
no location bar

SimonBRT

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the header bar is narrower and spans the entire application
This has always struck me as possibly the most illogical thing in MB at present. Definitely in favour of the header bar being across the whole app.  I often find my mouse naturally moving toward top left in search of the back button only for it to be several inches to the right.

the tabs are in the header bar (perhaps vertical and in the caption bar would no longer be supported
never use vertical tabs so would not miss this.  always use tabs in the caption bar so would like to try out having them in the header bar before making the switch.  i can see the logic but am really not sure about this one.  might feel like a step backward.

no location bar
Absolutely fine with this.  Personally have never used the location bar and for me it has always felt superfluous.

redwing

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the header bar is narrower and spans the entire application
+1

the tabs are in the header bar (perhaps vertical and in the caption bar would no longer be supported
no location bar

Personally I don't use location bar, but I know some people use it. And I am a big fan of tabs in caption bar. So I'd suggest give tabs in caption bar as another option for people who need location bar or prefer it to tabs in header bar.

ma_t14

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I find the exclusion of the location bar a good step forward to making the interface seem more unified. But in my opinion it's a shame how the whole caption bar space goes to waste if the tabs are no longer to be allowed there.

More on the removal of the location bar, since browsing the web is a secondary feature in MusicBee, I think a simple hotkey to bring up a location bar to input a url would be more than enough. Something like the following found in the old Opera browser when in full screen mode:



With these changes I would not mind having the proposed concept as the default user interface. With that being said, even if the location bar was not to be removed I still think that it would look better than the current interface with the change to the header bar spanning the whole interface.

psychoadept

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i'm just playing around with things and havent really looked at the original proposal but i was wondering what people thought of this layout to make things a bit more logical and less wasteful of space:

the header bar is narrower and spans the entire application
the tabs are in the header bar (perhaps vertical and in the caption bar would no longer be supported
no location bar

My initial reaction is that it actually seems more wasteful of space: it reduces the vertical space of the left navigator without adding space for other elements, and for those who don't use multiple tabs it leaves a lot of unused space.

Personally, I would prefer to see the tabs moved to the caption bar a la Firefox, etc.  If the navigation buttons and layout button were moved INto the left panel, leaving more vertical room for the main panel, that would be worth the loss of space in the left panel, IMO.  Maybe the search box could work more like it does for Library Explorer and the Now Playing List, popping up when needed but easily dismissed.

Regarding the original proposal, I would hate to lose the status bar.  I use it all the time to check how many files I have selected or the status of a sync, etc.  Unless that information was shown elsewhere, such as in the caption bar.
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Bee-liever

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the header bar ... spans the entire application
+1 if it includes moving the RH panel underneath the header, to match the LH side

no location bar
+1

loss of vertical/caption bar  tabs
-1

loss of custom toolbar buttons/icons
-1

As it's only an optional view, it doesn't really matter that much.  It just would be a view I probably wouldn't use (no matter how much I want to hide the location bar).
But it would be disappointing to see these great options hidden away if the proposed simplified layout became the default view.
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