Alo Sarv
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Developer's Diary

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hydranode User Experience

A few weeks ago I wrote up a public memo to Hydranode developers (both current and future) about Hydranode User Experience. Since the document got very positive feedback from people of very different backgrounds, I decided to make it available publically. It's a short read, about 8 A4 pages, so grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and enjoy. Comments welcome, as always.

Hydranode User Experience (MS Word .doc format)

On other news, MLDonkey Import Module bounty was completed today, the required 80 EUR was raised. Development of the module will begin shortly, and is expected to be released publically within one week. Stay tuned.


"[..] MLDonkey Import Module bounty was completed today [..]" .. wow :-)
would be nice to see more frequent bounty progress changes,
so people can see other people speending money and are more willing to join.

Your paper is also a nice to ready. :)
Can you publish the files on wider formats, please? Like ODT, PS/PDF...

Nice document, but wrong format used (in my opinion)
I fail to see how the MLDonkey import feature is really a step forward for Hydranode. Is it really necessary? Why not just finish the downloads in MLDonkey and then start new downloads in Hydranode. I think development resource can be spent more wisely on true feature developments (and refinements)
I personally don't like the idea every time user reaches "goal" hydranode reminds about donating. I believe this kind of extra dialogs annoys many users. There are many spyware/adware clients which encourage you to pay for the full version just to get rid of the messages.

However, I fully understand why such feature is planned. And if there is going to be "first time tutorial" with help-balloons, it would even make sense that when this tutorial is completed hn reminds about donating. But if it notifys afterwards again, I think it starts to feel like begging, want it or not.

Hn should ask do you want step by step guide to download your first file. yes/no. Yes-->balloons guide you and in the end you are notidied about donating. No-->hn starts normally, however you are notified about donating.

There is already message "support hydranode development! Donate" in bottom right of hn 0.3 home page. I think it should be clickable(button), and when clicked, web page opens which explains hn is free software you should consider donating etc etc. :)

What do you think about my opinions? Comments please!

Overall the document was good and made me strongly believe hydranode will be the best!

"would be nice to see more frequent bounty progress changes,
so people can see other people speending money and are more willing to join."

The bounty was payed in two parts in full, so intermediate steps couldn't be seen at this time.

"Can you publish the files on wider formats, please? Like ODT, PS/PDF..."
I published the document on currently most widely used software of this blog readers (70+% from Windows platform). It's possible I can publish future documents in PDF if that's so important to you.

"I fail to see how the MLDonkey import feature is really a step forward for Hydranode. Is it really necessary?"
It was requested by a user and financed by a user, thus it was developed; it has nothing to do with "stepping forward" or anything. If you want a feature you can set a bounty and finance it and it'll get developed as well. Send email to me with details of the bounty if you wish.

"I think it starts to feel like begging, want it or not."
I don't like it either, but like it or not, that's the only way to finance an open source project. If you have alternative ideas on how to finance this project, please tell me and I promise I'll take them under serious consideration. I don't like begging either, but right now I don't see other ways either. And the fact is that without proper financing this project cannot continue, since I have to live as well. As you are aware I'm not coding Hydranode right now at all (and won't be expected to do so until end of July) since I'm working on payed database project to get some money. Only financed bounties for Hydranode will be developed for the time being. I'm sorry, but this is the current reality.

Thanks for answer, madcat! I fear you misunderstood what I was trying to say. Just to make it sure:

I didn't mean that asking donations is begging or wrong. Instead, I meant that many users don't like messages popping every now and then telling something they already know. However, perhaps I am wrong. If this way the amount of donations really increases, it's fine!

But like I suggested earlier, how about clickable donate button integrated in hydranode gui, visible all the time instead of those messages? What do you think about this madcat? It isn't as effective?

I only hope best for hydranode and you. Wish I was a millionaire so I could make some _big_ donations..

IMHO, power-users seem to be disobliged a bit.
Power Users are people who has spent time
developing their computing habbits (computer usage).
They've spend a lot of time and has chosen a lot
of application that fit TOGETHER into their
habbits and philosophy.

This people just can't stend your confidence about
the right way of usage/thinking about your prodact.
You can't say anything about the right way
because you know nothing about user's applications,
hardware, country, religion and so on.
Power Users are not mythical, Average Users are.
And it sometimes hearts to hear that being different
gives you no chance to use such a cool product.

You words about silly requests naturally
extrapolates to the person making requests.
So it can offend somebody.

About first time help and assistance. I can imaging
two cases wich should be considered separately.
The first is, the experianced user drop hydranode,
but then decided to try again. This assistance,
dialogs and help will erritate him a lot
and can become the last drop to overwhelm
user's patience. The second, is a newbie
he has successfully downloaded his first file
with assistance and this assistance went away.
This user desided to download something else
but he has forgotten some details, what should he do?
He wants assistance as it was. He can decide that
hydronode is _silly_ and drop it. I think
there should be a learning mode and only user
should decide whether to swith it on or off.
Question should be in installer.

The other thing. People likes stability.
If you try to tune to them everytime
this will irritate them. Stable interface
is transporent. Smart interface forces
users to learn why it is so this time
and what has user done before.

Overal, the document is great and it's
another reason I like hydronode.
I'm your power user. Really I just like the goals
of hydranode and the way you wrote documentation.
I don't use p2p a lot. Anyway I've promoted Hn
to several of my friends. Thank you for your work.

And I vote second for another format of your
document just save it as HTML next time, please... :)
In my opinion, nobody will donate money if you annoy him with those dialogs.

The only point where it makes sence, is while updating to a new version.
Maybe list the new features and some planned features and provide a text field to directly submit feature requests.
Show the user for what he will pay: an active development and new features.

I think this is the only real chance to get donations from non-community-members. Of course, users reading this blog or the forums know how to donate if they want to...

Yust my 2 cents...
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