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Subject: Re: Useability concerns

Re: Useability concerns

From: Sam Pattuzzi <>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 20:50:42 +0000

Ok, I take your point with regards to the lack of example, this wasn't a
very well thought out email, I shall try to make notes as I've said. It
might be a bit rough but I'm newish to participating in the community so
please help me find my feet.

On Sat, 2009-11-21 at 13:23 -0600, Paul Louden wrote:
> Maybe if you listed some of the screens you feel the keymapping changes
> unnecessarily in, it might help.

If you open up a playlist, then use the menu button it shows a context
menu, it doesn't bring you back to the main menu.

> There is a great deal of logic behind
> the keymappings, and the fact that you simply disagree with the
> currently chosen mappings does not necessarily mean there's not "some
> level of logic behind it."

Sorry you are right, throughout most of the interface, yes, it's
consistent in that skip back/forward navigate; menu goes all the way
back to the menu; long menu starts the quick screen; long select shows
the context; etc...

> There is an attempt at having consistency in how you exit plugins,
> actually. But some plugins need more keys than others. It's a general
> feeling that Hold shouldn't be used to trigger actions unless it's
> absolutely necessary to do so.

It sounds fair to me that hold shouldn't really do anything but as you
said, some plug-ins use all the keys. Maybe as a plugin starts, if it
has some unusual exit pattern it should say so. I'm interested in the
current attempts at consistency, have you got any links?

> You might attempt to look at the manual
> rather than just trying to guess how to use Rockbox though, this
> might've shortened your two year learning process significantly.

I find that an unnecessary insulting statement. I don't think that a new
user (given that Rockbox is installed for them) should have to read the
manual to figure out how to use it, a process of trial and error should
be enough really. That is my interpretation of usability, yours may
differ. It's good to have a manual as a touch stone if you really get
stuck but my music player is a portable device, the manual is a bit
large to say the least.

> Again, they may be hard to discover... but they're in the manual. For
> the most part long-press mappings are context-specific functions, and
> throughout the majority of the UI boil down to "context menu" or "quick
> screen." Maybe again you should cite some examples of confusing
> long-press mappings.

I take the point that more key mappings are needed than actual keys are
available. I think at the moment Rockbox has it right in that only power
user stuff is on these long press keys. Maybe some visual cue could be
useful in letting the user know they activated the long key press.

> This requires coding effort. Are you volunteering to do the work here,
> or just saying "somebody should really make things look better" (which
> is something users have been stating for years now, without stepping up
> and working at it). Some effort has gone into improving the ability of
> the non-WPS UI to be themed recently, of course. Are you volunteering to
> update the default theme to use these new features perhaps?

I'm a fairly novice programmer but at some point (I'm not say right
away), I would love to contribute to Rockbox.

> > * I really need to get noting all the problems I find in a notepad
> > so that I can recall them at a later date.
> >
> Yes. Currently your post basically says "I don't like a lot of stuff,
> but don't have any specific examples of where I find it confusing or
> misleading."

Sorry about that, I realise that looking back at it. I will try and make
future posts more concrete.

> The fact is most people seem perfectly able to boot Rockbox
> and listen to their music after a short acclimatization (one that's
> often shorter if they've never used the OF)

Sorry, don't know what OF stands for.

> It
> benefits everyone to read the manual first, and there's never going to
> be a point where a user can reliably "guess" every control of Rockbox.

Maybe not all of them, but even at the moment it is not too hard to
guess most of them.
Received on 2009-11-21

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