user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

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camel
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:38 pm

user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by camel » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:42 pm

hi,
i want to catch here the ideas, how it can be made better to use the settings ...
a lot of user are overflow with the wuge different settings.

so, maybe there are ideas, how it can be better made in future ...

one idea is -> to add a new function (examle: to bottom menu - like: "customize tab", and then it will show all options, which are relevant for the current tab ...
another idea is -> to add a manual for settings -> where the wholesettings are described, but would need more mein DWC and also installation file would be bigger.
another idea is to make video manuals -> and only add the link to youtube, where user can watch, and would see:set an option, and see what the option would change..but would need a lot of small videos.

example: we have no ~10 options which are related to the T9-search behaviorbut from 100.000 users - maybe 500 know, how powerfull this settings are be.
so, this is the next challenge to inform the users about.

every idea is welcome ...thanks

nerbrume
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by nerbrume » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:24 pm

Hello,

Right now, I feel the option menu is pretty good. I support your first idea.
I think an online manual might be a good idea.
I won't look at any video (and I often skip tutorials too). So third idea useless IMHO.

Otherwise, 2 things that disturbed me the first time I used DW :
- A lot of very useful (and IMHO, frequently accessed) options are 2 level deep, behind the "display" option. I think you should partially move them one level up (most notably, the "tabs" options)
- the option on how to display contacts (buttons, picture, organisation, etc...) is reapeated several times (once for each tab). Maybe add a "global" setting for these settings, and a sub-menu for each tab configuration, to override the default "global" behaviour. This is motivated by the fact that I (but it could be just me) wish to display the contact in the same manner on each tab, in order to never be confused.

camel
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by camel » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:24 pm

nerbrume wrote:Hello,

Right now, I feel the option menu is pretty good. I support your first idea.
I think an online manual might be a good idea.
I won't look at any video (and I often skip tutorials too). So third idea useless IMHO.
well, thanks for idea ... ok, so i see this as a voring for an ONLINE manual (example on forum, where the user can look through)
example: 1 long list where every option is explained + small pciture to see how the option will act in DWC.
nerbrume wrote: Otherwise, 2 things that disturbed me the first time I used DW :
- A lot of very useful (and IMHO, frequently accessed) options are 2 level deep, behind the "display" option. I think you should partially move them one level up (most notably, the "tabs" options)
which one do you mean ? which options are important for you, to be on first-level (i know we add the "more" menu in "long-press menu", then we asked users, which options should be in first-level and which one not so often used ...and set this to the "more" menu
on older version we had all in 1 menu, and then the lsit was so long, that noone wants to scroll down ...and then they haven'T seent eh options. so we descide to make this 2nd-level menu "more".
nerbrume wrote:- the option on how to display contacts (buttons, picture, organisation, etc...) is reapeated several times (once for each tab). Maybe add a "global" setting for these settings, and a sub-menu for each tab configuration, to override the default "global" behaviour. This is motivated by the fact that I (but it could be just me) wish to display the contact in the same manner on each tab, in order to never be confused.
yes, this is true .. on default all menus are identically set to the right side ... and a global overwrite options would again -> 1option more ..
next is, that not on all tabs, you can see the "contact picture, so the global is only if it is for the whole system related.
addionally - it will come an special design for "favorites" ... like to show the favorites in a big picture design - and example: only show 6 contact per page only show a big contact picture ... then the menu will not be valid :)

cu camel

thanks for the ideas ...
i must look -maybe we should stop development on new features and making manuals ...(til now it was more concentrating on the new features, and (hopefully) user will find, that we have a lot of options to configure the dialer or contacts exactly as they like ...




a lot of functions

nerbrume
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:58 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by nerbrume » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:39 am

You're right, there's already too much items on the first level. Some idea, thought :
- group all the "help" items in a sub-menu
- create an "advanced" sub-menu, for less useful or more obscure options (on top of my head, "language" is a good candidate)
- dispatch the "Display" sub-menu in 2 : "tabs" sub-menu, and "general display" sub-menu
- A sub-menu somewhere for all the dialer-completion related stuff. I see you put a lot of efforts on these, and I have totally ignored them, since they where at the end of an already lenghty sub-sub-menu.
i must look -maybe we should stop development on new features and making manuals ...(til now it was more concentrating on the new features, and (hopefully) user will find, that we have a lot of options to configure the dialer or contacts exactly as they like ...
Yup, i think it is time to do so. Going further away without thinking about the "big picture" will make DW diffucult to apprehend/use for a new user, something you really want to avoid.

More than a manual, which will be needed at some point, but is very time consuming, a "tips&tricks" page, with pictures, seems like a good idea to me. I know it already exists. Maybe you should start organize it, and add some pictures, as for know, I found it a bit obscure.
On this subject, (and I apologize if this seems insulting, since I may be wrong), I think you should get close to a native english speaker to write these. Your post are understandable, but one have to concentrate. (once again. I apologize. I know my english isn't very good as well, so I'm not really in position of giving lessons on this subject).

camel
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by camel » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:29 pm

thank you very much for your ideas ....
yes, it is not so easy how to handle the settings - and which sub menus must be done or not ..
it is often not so easy, to know, where to place an options ...
easy example: "font size for dialpad" - should be on the menu "dialer settings" - but on the other hand - it is a design related stuff ...

well, not so easy ... and beginning with manuals, where there are so many functions not implemented ... the same ...
under tips&tricks to make for every purb an own thread ... hmm - maybe also not the best ..and on the other hand -doing all in 1 is the same bu**shi* ...
well, not easy .... hmm, but every idea helps to find a better way ..

thanks for your effort :)

camel
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by camel » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:21 am

well, that's true i'm also not a native english speaker ...

the real problem is: we have settings (example: for "phone"tab, which are under several sub-menus ..
ex: under "design" you can find some of them, some under "global" , and some under "phone settings".
and then is often the discussion, where to show all of them or where should they are ...

it is like the groups for contacts. i have contacts, which are in group "All" and "familie" and also under "business"
in dwc settings structure is the same problem: which group should be show now to user ?
should we display "All" or "familie" or "business" ?
or display "familie" and "business" (divided + not showing options double times)...

so, as you can see it is not very easy ...

1 idea would be: let the menu structure as it is ->(show "All"), and also the user can click on "Phone settings" in menu, and then it will show all optiosn which are related for phone tab...how much work this will be .. pff and if it is possible ... that's the next good question ...

Malversan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by Malversan » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:19 pm

Hello, I am new on DWC and I am astonished how full of features it is. A program that seems thought to have everything an user may want deserves a big applause.

But as you mention, this richness of features often goes against usability. And that also has a lot to do with program structuration, not only with a manual. So I wanted to give my impressions on this subject:

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Tips&tricks are not enough when it comes to a not-so-simple program. DWC has a lot of features and things to understand, not only 10 or 20 specific tasks.

It really needs a manual, or better a contextual help system (more on this later).

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But first it needs a huge FEATURES LIST.

I was horrified, for example, to notice that subgroups were never mentioned in the program, neither in the tips&tricks, they were only mentioned as a remark in one post in the forum. I think it is possible that only a few people are using subgroups for this reason, just because almost no one knows they can be used. A true pity for such a powerful feature to organize contacts, not found in other similar softwares.

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So it makes sense to have a help system and a features list (possibliy included in the help system). That is not just a documentation written in some hours, for rich programs it uses to be a task as hard and laborious as coding the program itself. It requires some study and some design. And mostly it also requires a bit of program redesign to adapt it to the user way of thinking and doing things.

- Complete and updated.
It seems evident, but this is a must. Maybe the best way to have the help always complete and up to date is to make it available online.

- Used centric.
This seems the most hard to understand part for a lot of developers. For sure the programmer is happy that his program does A, B and C, but when the user wants to do Z he does not want to navigate through A, B and C. This requirement is related to almost all the next requirements I explain.

For example, you mentioned a structuration dilemma about the font size of the dialpad. In my opinion, all visual design settings in one place (as it is currently) is perfect. But not because it is more nice or more structured, but because when an user wants to do something (alter the visual appearance of the program, in this case), he really needs to have all the related settings in just one place. So structuration (and help, and specially usability) must be designed coherently with how the standard user thinks and operates.

- Well structured.
This also seems a must, but it is often bypassed. When a program gains more and more features, often its menus and settings pages become a clutter of options that have been added over time. At some point this needs to be restructured and rationalized.

And I am sorry, but I must say that DWC fails on this. Leaving apart the documentation, the features are hard to find because they are placed with no evident criteria for the user, and some settings pages are somewhat hard to navigate.

Currently almost all the menus are ordered with no logic and features change its place and order from one menu to another. For usability, all the menus must follow exactly the same order criteria, and (most important) this criteria must be EVIDENT to the user. An user may not understand why unfrequent features (like making an appointment or editing the number before dialing) are in first place while he has to navigate to a submenu to simply delete it. It should be a lot better to avoid that cluttering, to make submenus with related features and to keep always the same evident ordering logic.

Also for usability, the settings pages and menus should never be nested more than once. The detail views settings fail on this, for example. For an user it is really easy to get lost on that structure, and forget where he is, and being unable to find it again after leaving the settings to see the results.

- Contextual.
Maybe this is difficult to implement, but the documentation should be accessed from within the program in a contextual manner, pointing the user to the specific explanation of what he is currently doing.

For instance, if the user is fighting with groups visibility and needs help, and he is taken to the program generic help index page, he will be very frustrated of having to navigate the entire help trying to find the specific feature he is dealing with. That is an extra and unnecessary effort for him, and in the process it is very probable that he decides to switch to a simpler program with less features.

This also implies that a "Help" option must be accessible from any point of the application.

- Well explained.
This seems obvious, but it is a strong point.

Currently things like groups visibility by account are simply not understandable (if I deal with grouped contacts from more than one account, why groups are automatically duplicated in accounts where I have not created them, and why do groups appear repeated in the contacts list?).

- Uniform.
Features must be uniform across all the program, instead of varying depending of where you are.

For instance, I really cannot understand why the contact search criteria changes depending if you are searching on the contacts screen, dialpad screen or search screen. That is very confusing, and a standard user will not understand it.

- Internationalizable.
This is also a must for most people out there. This is also a huge task and requires the community collaboration. Places like crowdin.net should help a lot in that.

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And last, I want to sincerely thank you for this great piece of software. Maybe it is in the point that needs to be rethought with the standard user in mind, but that does not mean it is not an amazing wonder. It really is.

dwp
Site Admin
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:46 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by dwp » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:29 am

Hello Malversan
Thank you very much, your article I benefited.
I consider these issues will be profound.

Malversan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by Malversan » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:19 am

Thanks to you. I am glad to help if I can.

dwp
Site Admin
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:46 pm

Re: user interface - how to inform user about all settings ?

Post by dwp » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:41 am

Thank you, I think I can make some adjustments,
Enter only see from a different interface and its associated settings.

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