[ggo-discussion] Re: usability: X O ! , edit focus and players

  • From: Peter Strempel <zotan@xxxxxx>
  • To: ggo-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 02 May 2003 19:37:58 +0200

>Regarding the three button system (!OX), if you are unfamiliar with IGS,
>you can't know what they do unless you hover on them and see the
>tooltips.  I like the current implementation however because the tooltips
>are there, and the ! and X help teach the user how IGS shows a player's
>flags.  Given that IGS is inherently a text server and thus is pretty geeky
>by nature, it's appropriate to aim at a higher level of user attentiveness,
>shall we say.

I completely agree, exactly that is the point why I liked this X-O-! in 
Cgoban1 very much. I personlly prefer clients which dont offer too much, my 
favourites before I wrote gGo were cgoban1 and Jago, both are solid but 
simple. I added exactly these features I considered useful myself, like 
separating shouts, channels and tells from the main window, and a couple of 
few gimmicks that dont get in the way if you dont want to use them 
(friends-bozo-list as example). Else I basically mirrored the behaviour of 
IGS with a GUI, at least the important parts. I personally am familiar with 
those telnet interfaces, but I guess anyone who grew up in the Windows 
world is not. If you look at KGS, things are much easier to use and 
understand, because everything is GUI driven. I guess no IGS client can 
offer all and every IGS feature via GUI interface, but that would be 
overkill, it is better to reduce the interface to the relevant parts.

However, I am no good GUI designer, and I probably see it too much with the 
eyes of a computer scientist. In professional software development, the 
programmers do not create the GUI themselves, and that has valid reasons. 
So gGo ended up like I wanted it to be, no idea if that is good or not. It 
is how I like it. Not everyone does, I am certain. But then, you have the 
choice and can use another IGS client. I don't aim at dominating the IGS 
client scene.


>But that's not to say you should ignore those who lack the time or desire
>to figure such things out.  Maybe the answer here is to implement two GUI
>modes, "newbie" and "advanced user".

Sorry, that is too much work to implement for too little result. I tend to 
the opinion if people are not able to try out some things and read the 
provided tooltip assistance (tooltips are really great if used properly and 
can almost replace a manual to my experience), then those people have bad 
luck and I cannot help them. Many people are too spoiled by todays dumbed 
down standard software delivered by some large US company which should be 
known by all of you, software that sacrifices features for ease of use. I 
come from the Unix world, this is the other extreme, but I rather take some 
features and have it a little more complex to control. As example, take 
Word and Latex to produce a text document. Every dork can produce something 
with Word, but you will hit the programs limits quickly. On the other side, 
using Latex will provide the currently best printed document quality, but 
you probably need a week to understand how it works. I would place gGo 
somewhere in the middle of both extremes.


>Regarding the FAQ, don't give up on it, many many people do read them.  It
>is a bit buried in the Help system though.  Perhaps you can give it its own
>listing in the game's Help menu, above "manual", and move the revision
>listing to the bottom of the FAQ so it doesn't scare people ;).  And given
>that so many seem to be asking "how do I play", that seems like a good
>question to add.

I will. Although that is a little out of scope of a client FAQ, it is after 
all what a FAQ is about, answer most common problems. I guess I might 
either remove the non-FAQ manual pages (as they are useless anyways) or 
finally sit down and write something. It just sounds like some boring work 
Im not too thrilled to invest, especially as I rather work on the client 
itself.


>And now a tiny suggestion for the GUI:
>
>This is nothing major but it has always bothered me a little that you can
>highlight text in the main window, kibitz panel, etc. but there is no mouse
>shortcut for copy, as is fairly standard for most programs.  You can copy
>highlighted text with the appropriate OS hotkey (at least in windows) but
>it's kind of awkward.

Copy/paste does not work on OS X, I dont want to implement something that 
will not work on all systems that can run Java. On Linux and Windows Ctrl-C 
etc. works fine, and I find that more convinient than moving my hand to the 
mouse anyways. Plus, the Java textarea class does not provide this 
functionality by default, so I would need to implement it manually for all 
and every text panel. Possible but quite some work.


>Thanks for listening, and for your diligent responses to your users.

Thanks for giving your ideas! :) Although I won't and simply can't 
implement all and everything which is suggested, it provides me valuable 
feedback and more ideas than I can ever have myself. I take the freedom to 
select those ideas which are either really good and provide something 
additional, or those minor things I want to have myself. Also, the time I 
can invest is limited, so I want to make sure I invest it reasonable. 
Although this is a sort of filtering your ideas with not too objective 
rules I hope it won't stop you submitting them. (you in plural form, darn 
english language). Yes, I know that in professional software development 
customer demands have top priority and are usually more important than 
bugfixing, but there are no customers for gGo, "only" users, so I handle it 
a little different. :*)

Peter 



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