Alo Sarv
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Developer's Diary

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Small bits and pieces

The thing with very new code is that there's so much to do at same time, so it doesn't really matter in which end you beat at it, everything needs to be done anyway.

So most of today went to finishing first set of features on transfer page - all the buttons in bottom-bar now function, and the filter-bar mostly works as well - filtering by multiple categories at once doesn't work yet tho.

Usability testing brought out one somewhat important issue - namely the tester was on transfer page, and was intending to perform a search, so he entered the search string into the 'filter text' box instead and clicked 'clear filter' button, before realizing the need to switch to search page first. This is an offset of having multiple pages look very similar. The current proposed solution is to slightly tone the background of each page differently - search as light blue, transfer as green etc, to provide visual hints on where the user is located at. Icons at nav-bar will also help towards that end.

On search-page, we need some kind of progress indicator, and I figured that we'll simply reuse the search input box for the progress indicator (draw it transparently on top of it), and switch the "search" button to "cancel" button while search is in progress. That way the progress of the operation is displayed near/at the location where the operation was started.

Madcat, ZzZz

It seem a good idea :)
I would not use the solution with different background colors. Instead, declare in the transfer window clearly the thing as filter, name it, and place it below the list. This way its out of the current view point. Even more, you could make it hideable, for those that need no filter, which techncially is the most common case.

For the second part, include a search part in the top part. Most current webpages include this feature and it makes them much more accessible. Make it simple, only a text box with a button, maybe not even the button. Label it, or put an icon next to it. When a search term is being sent from there, open the search page with a new tab. On the new tab, tehre should not be a search interface, but an interface for the filter again (you might want to filter results). Create the search interaface itself above the tabs.

Myself, i design UIs for almost 20 years now, the basic of yours is solid and good, just change a few things and it will be a great one.
Imagine all screen types (search, download, etc.). Put them next to each other like a piece of film, assign a pice of identification to each of them (icon, text, etc.) and "glue" together the ends of this film to form a circle.

Put this thing on your UI in a fixed place. Whenever you change to a different screen, this indicator "turns" likewise.

You can attach a previous/next type of interaction to this element (lets call it "looking glass"), also maybe showing part of the previous and next screen.

This has proven to be a quite effective element in our UI studies, as esp the new and unscilled user does not perceive the fear of not knowing how to come back to a particular part of the interface, as it is "circular". And like in a movie, they can remember very well, how the sequence of the "story" went.

However, this is a general hint, and the filter mistaction will not be solved by it directly.

Maybe another screenshot that shows exactly the element where the misaction occurs would help, and we could have a look...
Hi MadCat !
To rebember you, a good , realy good features that many p2p Ui miss, its the capacity of see the sources of file !
Dont remember this !!!

thank you !
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