MediaStream - ::The wait is over:: - Printable Version
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- pletopia - 2008-08-10 04:51
ohh .. and for a wall view .. vertical i think is better vs horizontal scroll since you can scroll faster since you get more on the screen at one time
- michal - 2008-08-10 05:45
jmarshall Wrote:Please, no more views than are absolutely necessary. This is one place that many skinners go wrong. Don't just add them because you can. Stick to as few as possible that work well 99% of the time. Too many and both usability and design unity suffer.
While I agree that too many options can be a bad thing I'm curious why you think usability would suffer?
Under all normal circumstances wouldn't you choose a view you're happy with and then never change it again? In that sort of scenario having more options could indeed be a good thing as you're more likely to be able to find a view you can be happy with all of the time.
Having said that I agree that it's best to keep focus and only add the well thought out and polished views.
Oh, BTW. I think the skin is fantastic! I think the team has succeeded in combining form and function much more successfully than Aeon, but then that's still in alpha so hopefully it will make strides forward in usability.
- jmarshall - 2008-08-10 06:35
Usability suffers simply because it's harder for a new user to find the view they want to stick with. Choice is not necessarily a good thing. In many cases it can be detrimental.
3 great views are much better than 8 views, five of which are mediocre.
- michal - 2008-08-10 07:08
jmarshall Wrote:Usability suffers simply because it's harder for a new user to find the view they want to stick with. Choice is not necessarily a good thing. In many cases it can be detrimental.
How about 6 or 7 views all of which are great. It can be difficult to cater to different tastes.
On the topic of too much choice being detrimental I HIGHLY recommend this TED talk from a few years ago. Well worth watching.
- szsori - 2008-08-10 08:08
Michal, I suggest you go watch the video again, since Barry Schwartz actually lists all of the reasons NOT to give a large number of choices.
The problem with giving too much choice is that it requires the end user to understand all of the options they're given. Additionally, in a programming environment it adds to the workload of the developer and tends to increase the number of bugs while marginally adding to the value of the product. Finally, having more choices tends to water down the quality compared to a few choices.
An example: image formats for TV series banners, since I have lots of experience with it. The more image formats I add to my site, the more choice people have. However, it also results in more bandwidth, more confusion about the format requirements, more confusion in the API, and less quality in the banners themselves.
IMHO this applies to skins as well. Give a person a dozen choices and they'll be confused and overwhelmed since there's no way they will know which is the best possible one for that section unless they play around with each one for a period of time. Alternatively you can give them a couple of very distinct options and they'll have a much easier time deciding which one works for them.
Barry Schwartz says this in his speech as well by saying that the more choices people have, the less likely they are to make a choice (choice paralysis). He also says that people are generally less satisfied when they make a choice from a large set since that person tends to wonder what they're missing in the other choices.
So, 3-4 excellent views ARE better than 6-7, as long as those 3-4 are distinct and cover the most common use situations.
- michal - 2008-08-10 08:38
I'm fully aware he's arguing AGAINST a large number of choices which is why I linked it.
I'm quite happy with there being 3-4 great views (but only if they include one that I will be completely happy with ). I would have thought that the sort of people who switch skins looking for what they want will have a generally good idea of which of the views they would prefer. I agree however that more views increases the burden on the developers and potentially may reduce quality. Judging by what they've done so far I don't think that will have a problem managing to find a balance so it's probably a little early for us to be debating this.
I understand completely your example with image formats however I don't think it's a good comparison. It's much easier to objectively assess the pro's and cons of image formats and decide which are best than it is to do with skins which are much more subjective. As has already been demonstrated in this thread there are diametrically opposed views as to whether the background images should take centre stage or the foreground information, not to mention those who think there should be a balance (though I acknowledge this skin favours the foreground info).
I think most people will immediately rule out a few of the views based on their taste and only really be choosing between the remainder of views. I'd rather have a view added and then removed than to never have the opportunity to try it due to arbitrary limits.
I MOSTLY agree with what you have said, but ultimately it will be up to the developers.
P.S. I should disclose that my opinions are due to being the sort of person who is not completely happy with anything. It's a debilitating condition
- jmarshall - 2008-08-10 08:48
It was a nice video, thanks for posting it. Let's get back to praising MediaStream
- Hitcher - 2008-08-10 08:56
pletopia Wrote:I agree with the above that "more is not better" but for movies (especially large collections) the "wall" view is clutch
I've got a large movie collection as well but I use the PageUp and PageDown controls (which I've mapped to my remote control) to navigate them.
By the way, this is the only skin I've used that I've not disabled the scrollbar because it looks so damn nice.
- Reggienz - 2008-08-10 09:11
Congratulations Team Razorfish. Slick, professional and now my default skin. Even my wife is impressed - and that is saying something! Few individuals would spend so much of their own spare time to create something for the wider community and expect nothing back in return. Thank you for your efforts and soak up the praise - you deserve it.
It seems to me that the bar has been raised to dizzying heights!
- szsori - 2008-08-10 09:22
I just noticed the progress bar during video playback. It's by far the nicest playback GUI I've seen for XBMC. Very clean, properly formatted and spaced, and doesn't require that I stare at it for more than a second to figure out what's going on. It's the little things that make a skin great, and this is just one example of how you guys have nailed it.