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 Cars vs. Planes 
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:57 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Brazil
Post Cars vs. Planes
On December 22nd, 2006, in the discussion about window minimizing & maximizing, Leoram said:

"I want to throw my take about this, brother Costas, for the sake of clarification from a mere user's standpoint. In my opinion the GUI and the whole set of features (as they are now, and including probably the ones you have shared with us in announcements) as well as the overall concept of TW3 are not that complicated (in fact not complicated at all). It was a general concern for most programs back in the days of DOS and Win3.1/95, but now with the level of penetration of the computer world and information systems deep in today's society this has changed significantly.
Many, many more people today are becoming pretty much familiar with almost all kinds of GUIs. We are living in a world that is becoming full of laptops, palms, pocket and tablet pcs, etc.; we are seeing these everywhere. Many are now familiar with tool bars, menu bars, options menu, navigation panes, multiple windows handling, right click context menues, use of shortcuts, etc. Some model softwares have protagonized this trend. Contextual help in the form of tooltips have played a special roll in this familiarization.
To me TW3, as it is now, has impressed me for the ease of use, which is mingled with its power and artificial intelligence at the same time. Its just a study Bible software that takes the user in into a deeper level in the study of the Scriptures; and to me, more deeply than many out there. I praise the Lord for this.
We should be cautious in trying to oversimplify a GUI or in hiding features in a program. Some very known softwares have ventured into this trend and the result is frustration, as their users are now striving to locate very hidden features that should be at hand. I could mention some of them as this has happened personally to me.

..."


I agree with Leoram and would also like to share my point of view (though a bit late).


In a sense, using TW (v2 or 3) is like driving a car: some very basic knowledge and skills are needed, but almost anyone can do it!

Cars can also be improved with things link computerized speed control, four wheel drive and GPS (sattelite) guidance. Nevertheless, if you don't know how to operate these accessories, you can leave them off and drive around the conventional way. Softwares can be developed like cars... or like planes.

Flying an airplane requires you to know how to operate everything inside it with good knowledge and precision. You can't simply forget the flaps down or the fuel selector valve off. Without the required experience, you won't even be able to start the engine... just like some difficult programs made only for experts.

The point here is: there seems to be nothing wrong in adding advanced functions to TW3 if these new functions don't change the way basic operations are performed.

What do you think?

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Ericson L. Silva. Brazil


Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:43 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:09 pm
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Location: Corfu, Greece
Post 
I am not sure that this problem has a unique solution. My understanding on this issue so far is quite obvious from the way that TW is working. To be honest not many people have said that they find it complicated, but if they really did they probably didn't get in the trouble of reporting it.

Personally, i think that most of the features of the program should be easily accessible with one or two mouse clicks. For example, the new Bible view has dozen of options in the "Bible view options" dialog, but i decided to also add a popup menu in the vertical toolbar from where you can quickly switch on/off these features. In many cases, i duplicate the 'entry point' of several functions in order to allow the users to use what they prefer.

I agree with Ericson that if a function is 'hidden' deeply, it will not be used. This can explain the cluttering of TW's interface (too many icons perhaps?).

A solution i have thought about this problem, and will probably implement, is to add a 'welcome' window when TW3 launches for the first time to give the user the possibility to choose the layout he wants. I know that the beta starts up with a very complicated layout at this moment, but this was done since it targets primarily advanced users (as the site suggests).

Costas


Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:03 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:33 pm
Posts: 467
Location: USA
Post 
csterg wrote:
A solution i have thought about this problem, and will probably implement, is to add a 'welcome' window when TW3 launches for the first time to give the user the possibility to choose the layout he wants. I know that the beta starts up with a very complicated layout at this moment, but this was done since it targets primarily advanced users (as the site suggests).

Costas
I suggest that an eventual welcome window be a feature that could be set as an option, but packed as the default one for newbies. The reason for this is that many advance users (and probably also newbies once they become advance ones) would prefer not to have a welcome window as this would mean an extra unnecessary step. It is slightly clear that this feature qualifies for an option-set one, but would be nice to have it anyway. It is apparent that costas' phrase "launches for the first time" means a one-time and only appearance of the welcome screen, which would be a far better approach.

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Leoram


Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:04 pm
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Post 
Leoram wrote:
It is apparent that costas' phrase "launches for the first time" means a one-time and only appearance of the welcome screen, which would be a far better approach.

Obviously (with these nice check boxes at the bottom of the welcome screen that read: "Show this welcome screen every time TW starts" ...)
Costas


Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:50 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:57 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Brazil
Post 
Quote:
I am not sure that this problem has a unique solution. My understanding on this issue so far is quite obvious from the way that TW is working. To be honest not many people have said that they find it complicated, but if they really did they probably didn't get in the trouble of reporting it.

Personally, i think that most of the features of the program should be easily accessible with one or two mouse clicks. For example, the new Bible view has dozen of options in the "Bible view options" dialog, but i decided to also add a popup menu in the vertical toolbar from where you can quickly switch on/off these features. In many cases, i duplicate the 'entry point' of several functions in order to allow the users to use what they prefer.

I agree with Ericson that if a function is 'hidden' deeply, it will not be used. This can explain the cluttering of TW's interface (too many icons perhaps?).

A solution i have thought about this problem, and will probably implement, is to add a 'welcome' window when TW3 launches for the first time to give the user the possibility to choose the layout he wants. I know that the beta starts up with a very complicated layout at this moment, but this was done since it targets primarily advanced users (as the site suggests).


I can't tell how many times I needed a specific function on TW3 and was gladly surprised to find it right there. A few days ago I searched the entire Bible text for the word "spirit", and TW3 showed more than 500 occurrences. Then I wished to copy all those verses at once. The desired function was only a right mouse click away.

To me, it seems that Costas, although deeply involved in the programming, has been able to keep a user's point of view. And that's why, it seems, TW (either v2 and 3) is so easy to use. In fact, TW3 is as easy to use as Tw2 because is has kept the same general layout and basic functions. TW3 is only better because it has more 'advanced' features, which don't need to be used if the user doesn't want to or still doesn't know how to. Thus TW3 is still simple like a car (not a plane), although now much more 'equipped'!

In general, software users tend to search for new features as soon as they finish learning the basics. This can take from a few hours to some weeks, depending on the user's knowledge and ability. So, instead of placing the layout choices on a first-time welcome window, wouldn't it be better to have a menu item or a button on the toolbar for this purpose? By the way, TW2 has a menu item for a similar function (layout options).

On the other hand, tooltips on TW are well designed and written, and most users will probably learn more about the program as they use them.

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Ericson L. Silva. Brazil


Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:20 pm
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Quote:
So, instead of placing the layout choices on a first-time welcome window, wouldn't it be better to have a menu item or a button on the toolbar for this purpose? By the way, TW2 has a menu item for a similar function (layout options).

Oh yes, absolutely: this is supposed to be a 'once-only' welcome screen. The menu will be there as it was in ver.2 (disable temporarily due to incompatible changes)
Costas


Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:52 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:27 am
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Post One step after an other.
Hello everyone,

I think we all have a very similar idea about the "Welcome screen". It will offer certain options to choose from the beginning and on the bottom it will have a box with "Tick the box to switch off the welcome screen."

The hidden tricks and hints (mainly short-keys) need to be written down.

I believe the "Bible view options" should maybe be restructered. (We talked about it before Costas, and you said it's not a big issue.)
I also think that despite the good English translation it needs to be revised into an easier English. (I noticed that while translating into German.) - No offense, Costas. By personal experience I know that you always need somebody else to revise the translation.

NEVERTHELESS: There's a completely different task that has priority. You can read it in this forum. Costas is still thinking of the final format for the study view. Until he hasn't decided what would be the appropriate format for the bible view. Until this time TW2 will still be on the website, and TW3 will stay in a beta state. When the format is clear Costas would have the possibility to offer a TW3 Lite version with limited functions and later the full version.

To make a long story short: I agree with many things that have been said previously, but think other things need to be done previously.

Greetings from Singapore,
Core


Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:59 pm
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