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Old 06-27-2011, 11:55 PM   #31
neilio
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Glad I found this thread!

I'm a UI / usability designer by trade (app, mobile, and web) and have been wanting to improve the usability / integration of calibre on Mac OS X for quite some time. As others have mentioned, the current UI is slanted very heavily towards the power user and I'm convinced calibre could be the premier ebook app on the Mac with some usability and UI improvements.

I missed the mockups that luketheobscure posted, but I'm happy to contribute anywhere I can to help, whether it's working with luketheobscure to improve his initial concepts (which I need to reiterate I haven't seen), suggesting tweaks to the current UI, or going off in a completely different direction.

So, where's a good place to start?
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:55 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilio View Post
Glad I found this thread!

I'm a UI / usability designer by trade (app, mobile, and web) and have been wanting to improve the usability / integration of calibre on Mac OS X for quite some time. As others have mentioned, the current UI is slanted very heavily towards the power user and I'm convinced calibre could be the premier ebook app on the Mac with some usability and UI improvements.

I missed the mockups that luketheobscure posted, but I'm happy to contribute anywhere I can to help, whether it's working with luketheobscure to improve his initial concepts (which I need to reiterate I haven't seen), suggesting tweaks to the current UI, or going off in a completely different direction.

So, where's a good place to start?
luketheobscure went away.

To my knowledge no developer is willing to spend much time on this. I know that I am not, but then I am weird enough to actually like what is there.

If you are a programmer, then have at it. If not, then you will need to wait until someone signs up to do the coding work.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:39 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaley View Post
I am weird enough to actually like what is there.
I'm quite happy with the current UI as well. Since the UI design is the same across all 3 platforms, is the unhappiness with the current UI mostly an OSX issue - due to differences between Calibre and other OSX UIs, or is the issue more widespread and I'm just not sophisticated enough to be aware of why the existing UI seems inadequate to some?
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:43 PM   #34
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I don't mind the UI either, and I'm an OSX user myself. I think the reason OSX users complain is primarily because of QT, It's a bit clunky compared to fully native OSX apps/widgets. I think Windows users are more forgiving because of the huge popularity of dotnet apps, which is on par with QT in it's clunkiness (if not often worse).
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:59 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldolse View Post
I don't mind the UI either, and I'm an OSX user myself. I think the reason OSX users complain is primarily because of QT, It's a bit clunky compared to fully native OSX apps/widgets. I think Windows users are more forgiving because of the huge popularity of dotnet apps, which is on par with QT in it's clunkiness (if not often worse).
Is the "clunkiness" a comment on speed and performance or a comment on appearance? Calibre changes rapidly, yet there always seems to be a tooltip that pops up when I'm in doubt, a set of samples or examples when I'm not sure of the proper command structure, a link to the manual or API, lots of right click options and finally a Wizard for really complex stuff. Are all these options a) confusing people, b) not working well, or c) is the complaint that they just aren't laid out like other programs?
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:22 AM   #36
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By clunky I only mean appearance - i.e. the widgets, etc aren't as 'svelte' as native OSX widgets. Same is true in the windows world for both QT based apps and dotnet apps, which are extremely popular in the windows world. Hence the theory why Mac users whinge more...

Though Calibre being aimed more at power users does tend to have lot more options than a typical OS X app - I agree with you that for the most part things are pretty well laid out, good access to help, wizards, etc. About the only thing that is completely unintuitive for users of Apple devices is the 'Connect to iTunes' option, but I think that's more an issue of trying to find a safe path into Apple's walled garden than anything else.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:28 PM   #37
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Does anyone have the original attachment of the mockup? I'd like to see it.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:31 AM   #38
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Me too, only just found this thread.

shame the OP lacked the fortitude to take on the diehards.
In my opinion Calibre has many many Gui and aesthetic issues, it is really quite difficult to use/understand for most users, and not very intuitive at all.

What it really needs is a complete GUI over hall with emphasis on making it simple.
(Simple, not because users are thick, but for ease of use / looks. a expert mode could be enabled for when editing/sorting books.)

Saying that, don't take it that I have any issues with the program, as I don't, its free open source and very powerful with many options and a great community, which is all fantastic.


I'm almost tempted to learn a programming language and get stuck in myself, but probably wont.


Would love to see that mock up though
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:18 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitthis View Post
In my opinion Calibre has many many Gui and aesthetic issues, it is really quite difficult to use/understand for most users, and not very intuitive at all.
If you truly believe you've seen GUI issues, then you ought to list some and give suggested solutions. Even if you can't write code, you can help by defining the problems and exactly how those problems could be resolved. That's really the hard part.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:31 PM   #40
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I do try Starson,

Already suggested the ones I see,
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=140901
for example

By aesthetic Issues, I don't mean there are Problems, I just mean things that make it less intuitive to use, or are not constant throughout the program.

Take not being able to shrink the "size column" Its a very minor thing, but it uses up very valuable screen width. If you do shrink it your left with a very unaesthetic cut off text in the column heading.

Anyway its of no importance, Its just my opinion of how I find things as I work through the program.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:23 PM   #41
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Quote:
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I do try Starson,
Thanks for spelling out the issues you see.
Quote:
Anyway its of no importance, Its just my opinion of how I find things as I work through the program.
I disagree. It is of importance. You were polite and specific in the earlier post and in this one, and those are valuable contributions. It's not always possible to make changes people want, but it's useful to know what they are.
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