User design feedback (1 Viewer)

akayani

Portal Pro
August 8, 2015
76
11
Australia
Australia Australia
WARNING TOUGH LOVE TO FOLLOW

I'm switching from Windows Media Center re Windows Tin.

I thought I'd give you some interface feedback before I get used to this app and maybe I can team in with one of the groups skinning this app.

Initial thoughts... GAWD! and later OH GAWD!

I feel like I just become a member of the usability poor society. I tried a few themes and hated them all.

Even after finding some features twice I still can find them a 3rd time without feeling I'm digging for gold.

Say the number of rows in the TV guide. Logically a right click on the guide should take you here. No you have to dig into the skin to find it. And after making an adjustment back out back into TV then guide only find it a mess and dig your way back to where you were.

Windows title frame. I never need to see it full screen until I need to frame the app to do other things. 2 screen set up and at least some times I work while watching TV. This too needs something better than digging to get to the control.

My turner card accepts 2 digital channels. It seemed like I had to tune both separately in the server then I end up with some channels appearing twice in the guide. Some of the channels are home shopping networks and I have no interest of seeing them in the guide so it is back to digging in the server.

Scheduling recording, seems I can schedule to record more channels than I have turners. Who know what result that is going to get.

Then while watching TV I wanted to skip back on the timeline to grab a still from something I noticed. I hit the timeline and nothing happens then the back button and got just a few seconds.

Then there are feature that I might be interested in, the weather, news etc but the basics of watching TV as so messy that I'd just as soon hide them. I need a really slick TV app more than extra messy features.

On the positive side I'm only crashed the application once and that was by pushing the graphics card to X8. What I've tried works well. It's the usability where it falls well short.

There is just no way I can recommend this app or any other app I've tested to any of my clients using Windows Media Center. It would be support hell.

My skills are in web design and graphics, some very limited programming skills. I'd be happy to put in some effort with a group involved in skinning this app. I do usability stuff for a well known graphics company so I'm not a total novice at this.

As my professor at uni would say... 'I hope this help'.

Yani
 

mm1352000

Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
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    Thanks for the feedback Yani :)

    I'm no good with skinning or design, but with regard to some of the TV issues you mentioned.

    My turner card accepts 2 digital channels. It seemed like I had to tune both separately in the server...
    No, that's not the case. You can tune one then link the channels to your other tuner(s). That's what the mapping section is for:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...Server_Configuration/03_TV_Channels/2_Mapping

    ...then I end up with some channels appearing twice in the guide.
    That is atypical. Without log files I cannot guess why you'd be seeing this.

    Some of the channels are home shopping networks and I have no interest of seeing them in the guide so it is back to digging in the server.
    The existence of a separate tool for channel management is an intentional difference from WMC. Use cases like ordering, numbering, renaming etc. benefit from the ability to use standard Windows UI controls and actions (eg. multi-column lists, drag + drop, multi select etc.) which are difficult or impossible to implement in a "10 foot" user interface and/or with controls that are designed for a lowest-common-denominator remote control.

    Scheduling recording, seems I can schedule to record more channels than I have turners. Who know what result that is going to get.
    You're too used to WMC's artificial one-channel-per-tuner limit! :p
    Yes, with MP you can schedule more channels than you have tuners. That's because a single tuner is physically capable of showing/recording all the channels broadcast on one frequency/MUX. For example, with one tuner you can view record all of the Channel 9 group (9, GEM, GO! etc.). WMC is pretty much the only "modern" DVR software that limits to one channel per tuner... and that's not a good thing.
    Oh, and MP will tell you when you attempt to schedule more recordings than can be handled with your tuners.

    Then while watching TV I wanted to skip back on the timeline to grab a still from something I noticed. I hit the timeline and nothing happens then the back button and got just a few seconds.
    True, we don't currently support "scrubbing" by clicking on the timeline. The UI is designed primarily for use with a remote, and remotes can't click on a specific point in a timeline. To skip around you can use left/right and/or up/down:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...diaPortal_Configuration/13_GUI/7_Skip_Steps_*

    Hope that this response illuminates a few things for you. :)
     

    akayani

    Portal Pro
    August 8, 2015
    76
    11
    Australia
    Australia Australia
    It does a lot. That you have a responsive community is a good start. :)

    There were many cases where I expected the mouse to work and it didn't. For a remote I've been using Hippo on the iPhone. In place of the mouse there is a touch pad like interface for the WMC template. It's not there on the MP template I guess that is why.

    I had no idea that you could record more than the 2. That's really kewl!

    I'll start reading up on the theme information tonight.
     

    akayani

    Portal Pro
    August 8, 2015
    76
    11
    Australia
    Australia Australia
    Then while watching TV I wanted to skip back on the timeline to grab a still from something I noticed. I hit the timeline and nothing happens then the back button and got just a few seconds.
    True, we don't currently support "scrubbing" by clicking on the timeline. The UI is designed primarily for use with a remote, and remotes can't click on a specific point in a timeline. To skip around you can use left/right and/or up/down:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/1_...diaPortal_Configuration/13_GUI/7_Skip_Steps_*

    Hope that this response illuminates a few things for you. :)[/QUOTE]

    That just doesn't rate as usability. When every application that plays media has a clickable timeline, not having one is seen by the user as 'what's broken'. It's not something that can be written off with an excuse.

    I don't think those remote controls are the most important thing. You would have to survey the user base to prove that one to me.The smartphone apps are $2, why would you want an unfriendly extra device?

    Unfortunately the Hippo Remote is likely designed for MP1 as it doesn't work 100%.
     

    mm1352000

    Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
    21,571
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    Hello again :)

    That just doesn't rate as usability. When every application that plays media has a clickable timeline, not having one is seen by the user as 'what's broken'. It's not something that can be written off with an excuse.
    If you interpret what I said as an excuse then I guess that's your choice. I wasn't intending to make excuses. Ultimately the point is that MP currently doesn't support a clickable timeline. We're also not able to produce that feature on demand.

    You mentioned you have some design and programming skills. If this feature is of significant importance to you, we'd welcome your assistance to make it happen. Otherwise, I guess you have to decide whether you're willing (or not) to accept MP as it is on its merits, same as with any other software choice.

    I don't think those remote controls are the most important thing. You would have to survey the user base to prove that one to me.
    With the greatest respect, I don't feel the need to prove anything to you. You can choose to believe me... or not, I suppose. :)

    The smartphone apps are $2, why would you want an unfriendly extra device?
    Indeed, who would want an extra unfriendly device? I know we don't! We're just a bunch of friendly folks working on this stuff "for love" in our free time. As much as I would like to be able to give everybody in your position a patch that gives them feature XYZ, I can't. It simply isn't practical in the real world.

    Regards,
    mm
     

    mm1352000

    Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
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    New Zealand New Zealand
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    The code is mostly c# with some sprinklings of c++. Skin designs are implemented with XML. Java and JavaScript are not used at all.
     

    mm1352000

    Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
    21,571
    8,218
    New Zealand New Zealand
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    That code is for Media Foundation. Our player is based on DirectShow. In short: that code is not relevant for us.

    My advice would be to start by looking at the existing video progress bar control and add the ability for it to detect click events. Those events can then be translated into skip requests. I mean, we already support skipping (left/right, up/down, mouse scroll wheel), so really what is needed is the user interface extension, not the actual implementation of scrubbing.
     

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