MM Modern Interface Feedback

Moderator: Gurus

MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby alirezanoori » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:02 am

Hi,
I just installed the Windows 8 version of the app. First I have to tell you, this is the best audio player for Windows 8 so far. The fact that it has the familiar concepts of the desktop version of the app, is awesome. The app is library-oriented which is awesome. The support for lyrics is fantastic.

However, I have some feedback for you guys. I know this is the first release and many features are going to be available soon, but I want to do my part.

Design:
I have watched all the conferences related to the Modern apps' designs. Also, I've read the journal papers which led to Metro interface. I know all about it. I think some parts of the design is against the Metro design and I want to share them with you.
-The MediaMonkey logo is too close to the top-left corner. There should be some margin there. All the Metro apps should have the exact margin to feel consistent with other apps.
-The gradient is not good. The Metro design is against using gradients. Also, the Metro interface usually uses sharp colors and apps feel live. There should be no difference in the background of app and the logo. Just put the logo on the background.
-Fonts in the app are a little small.
-The black background feels too lonely! I think putting faded album covers for the background with some animation would extremely improve the app's looks. (like the official MS apps).

Zoom in lyrics pane:
Just wrap the lyrics TextBlock with a ScrollViewer. Using Ctrl+Scroll or Ctrl+Plus would then help the user read the lyrics more easily.
Here's a sample:
Code: Select all
            <ScrollViewer Foreground="#FF777777" IsTabStop="True" HorizontalScrollBarVisibility="Auto" VerticalScrollBarVisibility="Auto">
                <TextBlock HorizontalAlignment="Center" TextWrapping="Wrap" Text="Lyrics..." VerticalAlignment="Top" x:Name="txtLyrics" FontSize="30" ScrollViewer.HorizontalScrollBarVisibility="Visible" TextAlignment="Center" Foreground="#FF888888" />
            </ScrollViewer>


Sync with desktop:
I'd love this feature. Imagine adding some media to the desktop version and they would automatically sync with the Modern version.

Move commands to bottom app-bar:
The top app-bar is for navigation. The commands should be in the bottom app-bar. Also, the global commands should be on the right and the content-specific ones should be on the left.
The "Home" button for example is exactly where it should be.

Semantic Zoom (for Artists, etc.):
For large libraries scrolling all the contents would be boring. I'd like to have a semantic zoom in all the views of the libraries (Artists, Albums, Tracks, etc.). Then I would Ctrl+Scroll up, select the first letter of the artist, then select the one I like.

Group albums by artists (Just like the desktop version):
The Artists view only shows the artists name. I'd like a feature to see the albums as well but grouped with the artist's name. The desktop version has this.

Immediate search for items in the list as the user types. (Just like Start Screen)
This is so crucial. In Start Screen of Windows 8, when you type "b", you see the apps starting with "b" such as "bing" immediately. This makes using the app a bliss.

Sometimes the back and home buttons don't work!!!
So far I encountered this once. I had to run task manager and close the app.

App takes too much memory:
The app is a bit slow to load my library and I'm seeing 1GB memory usage right now! Usually it's around 200MB. That's fine but there are GB picks.

Artists, Albums, etc. need more info:
Icons are static. Please use bigger live tiles for views. Also, the app's home feels so empty. There should be more content there.

Too much crash during scan:
During scanning my library, the app crashed couple of times. I had to run it again.

Great job.
Sincerely,
Alireza Noori
alirezanoori
 
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby alirezanoori » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:54 pm

BTW, i'd like to help on this project if you want. I am a programmer. I suggested this before but the team only assigned me to port the visualizer to DirectX which I don't have any experience in. If you'd like, I can work on the design, test, etc.
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby PetrCBR » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:15 am

alirezanoori, thanks for your feedback.

re lyrics: lyrics text panel is already on ScrollViewer
re sync with desktop: this is how sync should work ... user will select what to sync and on app start it's going to synchronize
app bars: this is how we've designed that .. maybe we can reorder that in future, but for now it's as is
semantic zoom: we had implemented that, but SZ have some problems .. it need grouped view, but grouped view isn't virtualized, is slower and crashes on large data sets ... so we have grouping enabled on small data sets and it will dynamically disable when needed (to prevent crash).
artists by albums: maybe in future build ;-)
immediate search: seems to be useful
back and home doesn't work: these two buttons are disabled when view is loading ... isn't that your case ?
memory usage: agree this must be fixed
dynamic tiles: every animation increase memory usage and have performance impact, we're trying to make fast and straightforward app
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby alirezanoori » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:14 pm

If the lyrics pane is on the scrollviewer, maybe you don't have IsTabStop="True". If you don't have this, it is not possible to click on the lyrics and Ctrl+Scroll (or Ctrl + Plus) to zoom. Please consider doing it.

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it when I get answers to my feedback.
I understand that this is your design but please consider the changes I mentioned. This would make a more consistent look for Modern apps.

Anyway, I want to thank you for your hard work. I'll be gladly post more feedback in the future if you'd like.

Thank you so much for this great software.
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby MiPi » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:06 pm

alirezanoori: we have implemented pinch to zoom for lyrics (as it is designed mainly for touch devices), it will be in the next release. But thanks for the point, will try to enable tab stop, if this will work better, why not :-)

edit: tried, but does not work. It could be conflict with non-system manipulation mode, which is needed for pinch to zoom functionality. So the only way is to do it manually.
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby alirezanoori » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:06 pm

Thanks.
I've created a lyrics app for myself which I used this technique for. I don't have a touch device unfortunately, but using the Visual Studio's simulator, I can confirm the app works perfectly with pinch zoom too. Although I'm using the control with standard settings.

If I got it right, you're using a UserControl with ManipulationMode="None" so that you get the pinch zoom events only on the lyrics area. If that's the case, I completely agree with you. Handling Ctrl+Scroll and Ctrl+Plus is far more easy to transform the origin of the touch/click and source of the element (which would be my initial suggestion).

Good luck on the app.
Wonderful job so far.
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Windows 8 Design Handbook

Postby alirezanoori » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:12 am

Here's an interesting link for designing guidelines created by MSFT.
http://www.windows8designhandbook.com/
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Re: Windows 8 Design Handbook

Postby PetrCBR » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:37 pm

MS should support developers in many other areas than design UI guidelines :-(.
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby Harlequin » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:28 pm

Loving it so far. One tiny change I think would be in the grouping listView like Album. Would be easier for the grouping if there is spacing between the groups, right now there is ABCDE and they are all tight together. When I do groups I like to leave 80px between the groups.

A <--80--> B <--80--> C....etc
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Re: MM Modern Interface Feedback

Postby PetrCBR » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:49 am

Thanks for your suggestion. It look fine with spaces between groups so it will be implemented in next release.
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