Author Topic: Proposed (optional) changes for simplified layout  (Read 102879 times)

Steven

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33274
One thing I have noticed is that if I go fullscreen the toolbar buttons are almost clipped off the top of the screen and do not look good at all.  not sure if that is due to my monitor/setup or if others have the same issue?
are you using skinned windows borders? I'm using windows 7 and there is a 1px gap in that case but thats because there isnt any more room.
Perhaps you can post a fullscreen screenshot so i can have a closer look

Steven

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33274

SimonBRT

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
One small bug in the latest version - there is now a border line with tabs in the caption bar on the active tab (see image).

thats intentional so there is no blocking line under the active tab. Your screenshot looks ok to me - do you think it looks wrong?
Yes.  Does not look right to me.  I do not think that single pixel white line should be there.  It creates a gap as the playerbar transitions to the active tab.  Previously that white line did not show.

One thing I have noticed is that if I go fullscreen the toolbar buttons are almost clipped off the top of the screen and do not look good at all.  not sure if that is due to my monitor/setup or if others have the same issue?
are you using skinned windows borders? I'm using windows 7 and there is a 1px gap in that case but thats because there isnt any more room.
Perhaps you can post a fullscreen screenshot so i can have a closer look
Using unskinned borders.  This is not a major issue, it just looks cluttered to me.  I think that there is a 1px border as you say, its just that it is barely noticeable and does not look great (to me at least).  I suppose if the icons were moved down slightly it might look odd when not fullscreen?


EDIT: Ha! You posted the new version while I was writing!  1px adjustment helps I think.  Thanks!

Steven

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33274
One small bug in the latest version - there is now a border line with tabs in the caption bar on the active tab (see image).

thats intentional so there is no blocking line under the active tab. Your screenshot looks ok to me - do you think it looks wrong?
Yes.  Does not look right to me.  I do not think that single pixel white line should be there.  It creates a gap as the playerbar transitions to the active tab.  Previously that white line did not show.
it seems MB is using the wrong color - perhaps thats the active tab color when tabs are displayed in the main panel. I might need your skin but i will let you know tomorrow

Steven

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33274
i looks like the wrong colour was being used. This should fix that, but let me know if you still think it doesnt look right
http://www.mediafire.com/download/w37hzh4o95mlptj/MusicBee_Exe_Patched.zip

Also i have moved the toolbar buttons an extra 1 px for windows 8+ when maximised
Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 06:36:14 PM by Steven

SimonBRT

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
Thanks for looking at this Steven.  Unfortunately that white line is still there with this new version.

Here is a link to my skin file in case that helps: Download

The extra 1px for the toolbar buttons definitely helps.  Looks better now, thanks.


Steven

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33274
this should fix the bug:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/w37hzh4o95mlptj/MusicBee_Exe_Patched.zip

also this version now applies the new status bar which spans the entire application to older skins. Also the 2px gap between the left/ main and right panels (used by midnight and the windows theme is no longer supported and now has a 1px border between those panels. This is so it works better with the new status bar

mikebo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 350
I don't think it was a good idea to rearrange the tab bar elements when it's integrated in the caption bar. There is no good reason to force users to learn a new layout and fight old habits if they decide to switch.

The reason given for moving the search box was that it would be aligned with main panel because that's where it applies, and i get that it makes some sense, but surely it's more important to keep the search box in top right corner where everyone expects it to be, even if it's not exactly aligned with the main panel (which i don't expect would confuse anyone).

The reason for moving the configuration layout and toolbar buttons was that it looked cluttered on the right side. So now they are changing their position constantly. But it's true that the clutter on the right side is gone. It's one the left side now. I think there are better ways to deal with clutter without shuffling things around.
I think it was scampbll who proposed that instead of a search box in caption we could just have the magnifying glass icon that when clicked would expand to become a search box (which would already have focus so it would still take one click to enter a search query).
For the toolbar buttons my solution is to combine them into a single dropdown button (maybe with a toolbox icon) that would show a list of user's commands. This would be optional because i don't think everyone is bothered with clutter and they might not appreciate the extra click it would take to execute commands.


I also don't like the changes made to the status bar. First we lost the panel toggles which were quite useful and i don't recall any pleas to remove them. So it seems the only problem with them was again "visual clutter". But why not try to deal with that in some other way than removing the toggles entirely.
The centered file info imo doesn't look that great. On the right side it was always aligned with main panel. Now it is centered with respect to the whole window, but can be off-center with respect to the main panel depending on the layout.

ma_t14

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
I have been using the "Dusk" skin this whole time so I was not exactly aware of most of the changes made. But seeing the vocal response from mikebo just now I switched to to the default skin to see what was going on.

I will just say that I agree with everything mikebo said because honestly I don't think I could say it any better myself. But I would like to add that I especially dislike the new status bar, for the reasons stated by mikebo, but also because I don't think it conveys information very well. Especially the now playing information on the right of the bar I think is not immediately clear what it refers to and overall the bar looks kinda clunky visually.

Don't get me wrong I like the concept of trying to reduce vertical space and making the interface look more unified but I still think it needs some more tweaking to find the sweet spot.

psychoadept

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10674
It's a new layout.  Learning new habits will be part of it regardless, so let's focus on making it good for the long haul rather than not forcing people to change their habits.  Otherwise what's the point?  I think the change in the search box and the layout button work well (though I would be interested to see what the hidden search box looked like, for sure).  What if the layout button went to the left of the tabs, too, where it would be in the same place all the time?

Not sure more options is really helpful (weren't you just arguing against this, mikebo), but as long as it is optional, the toolbox button might work as a compromise.  I would not want it, but I'm having trouble coming up with a better solution.

I think I've made my position on the status bar clear enough: it should be in the main panel only.  I agree with what mikebo says about it.  I'll just add this, and then I'll leave it alone from here on out:  with the player panel at the bottom, the status bar looks like it's meant to be part of the player bar rather than the main panel.  
MusicBee Wiki
Use & improve MusicBee's documentation!

Latest beta patch (3.5)
(Unzip and overwrite existing program files)

ma_t14

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
It's a new layout.  Learning new habits will be part of it regardless, so let's focus on making it good for the long haul rather than not forcing people to change their habits.  Otherwise what's the point?  I think the change in the search box and the layout button work well (though I would be interested to see what the hidden search box looked like, for sure).  What if the layout button went to the left of the tabs, too, where it would be in the same place all the time?

While I understand what you are saying and I partially agree I still think there should be a clear logical connection between the two layouts, meaning that the general orientation of elements should be similar otherwise usability might suffer.

I think I've made my position on the status bar clear enough: it should be in the main panel only.  I agree with what mikebo says about it.  I'll just add this, and then I'll leave it alone from here on out:  with the player panel at the bottom, the status bar looks like it's meant to be part of the player bar rather than the main panel.  

Agree completely

ma_t14

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
Regarding the search button, do you think that something similar to this that is found in Opera Browser would work well? Not sure how technically challenging this would be though.


Bee-liever

  • Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3768
  • MB Version: 3.5.8279 P
I don't think it was a good idea to rearrange the tab bar elements when it's integrated in the caption bar. There is no good reason to force users to learn a new layout and fight old habits if they decide to switch.

The reason given for moving the search box was that it would be aligned with main panel because that's where it applies, and i get that it makes some sense, but surely it's more important to keep the search box in top right corner where everyone expects it to be, even if it's not exactly aligned with the main panel (which i don't expect would confuse anyone).

I agree.  I've been keeping quiet about this because the last time I disagreed with a change,  I was accused of being "too negative".

Why does the search box become larger in the caption bar view.  Surely just having it the same, smaller size would help reduce the clutter in the caption bar.

"(optional) changes for simplified layout " was the proposal. Having the icons and elements moving about with each different view would be counterproductive to this.

The reason for moving the configuration layout and toolbar buttons was that it looked cluttered on the right side. So now they are changing their position constantly. But it's true that the clutter on the right side is gone. It's one the left side now. I think there are better ways to deal with clutter without shuffling things around.
I think it was scampbll who proposed that instead of a search box in caption we could just have the magnifying glass icon that when clicked would expand to become a search box (which would already have focus so it would still take one click to enter a search query).
For the toolbar buttons my solution is to combine them into a single dropdown button (maybe with a toolbox icon) that would show a list of user's commands. This would be optional because i don't think everyone is bothered with clutter and they might not appreciate the extra click it would take to execute commands

I think using the smaller search box in all views would be a better solution than the expanding search box, but with the toolbar buttons, maybe a combination of showing only the first five or six (or what shows in a set space) with the rest expandable across the bar or in a dropdown menu.

I also don't like the changes made to the status bar. First we lost the panel toggles which were quite useful and i don't recall any pleas to remove them. So it seems the only problem with them was again "visual clutter". But why not try to deal with that in some other way than removing the toggles entirely.
The centered file info imo doesn't look that great. On the right side it was always aligned with main panel. Now it is centered with respect to the whole window, but can be off-center with respect to the main panel depending on the layout.

I thought that one of the main aims of this change was to increase vertical display area in the left and right panels.  We've lost internet browsing (presumably because it was to hard to integrate into the smaller header space) and we've lost the panel toggles (even though the status panel remains) for a gain of (approx) 30 pixels.

IMO these are big losses for such a small gain.

As always, these are just my opinions and observations.  Steven is the creator and distributor of MusicBee and it's his decision (and right) to make the changes he sees fit to do.
MusicBee and my library - Making bee-utiful music together

ma_t14

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
I've been visualizing different layouts in my head and the more I think about this the more I believe that there is no way to include absolutely everything in the header bar while maintaining a high enough level of visual clarity. Hopefully I can be proved wrong though...
Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 01:43:10 AM by ma_t14

SimonBRT

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
OK. Too late to comment all the responses right now.  Lots of strong opinion which I suppose is a good thing.

I will say quickly this though, I simply do not get the dislike of the new status bar.  For me, its a big improvement.  I find it clear, concise, consistent and visually appealing.  The sidebar toggles were superfluous.  I like everything grouped under one layout button.