One of the first things I think that could really improve a new user's experience would be a stable heading outside of the home screen. This might be a positive thing when in windowed mode, but in full screen or kiosk mode this is a major downfall...the right hand side of the main header from the home screen should be implanted (time, search, power, and a some new buttons such as a "now playing," a "back," and a "forward" function should be added to the header as well, this header should be shown on the right hand side of all menu pages.
Basically what I'm saying is:
- Include the header from the home screen (minus the XBMC logo to make room for a menu page title heading) on every menu.
- Add an option to switch to "now playing" (the button from mini player) next to search function on all menu pages
- Add a "Backward" and "Forward" button in the heading so that new users can navigate a bit more intuitively between menu pages as they do in their opperatings systems...I know there are ways to preform this with keyboard shutcuts and/or mouse clicks, but the new user will not understand that or might forget which button to press, so a more GUI option I think would be a great addition.
Here is a pic of what I am talking about:
I think the header would be great and could also be transparent
Next is the playback interface...The "Media" bar should take the place of the mini player during video playback (closer to the way it does in music playback). Either the "Media" and "Info" bars should be merged into one "Super Info" bar, or there needs to be more of a distinction between the two. I think the community would prefer to keep the two seperate bars, and if so, they must be further specialized to eliminate the major redundancies. Currently, much of it is redundant, redundant enough that the average person might forget how to find the few specialized features on the two seperate bars...right now, the only reason one has to look at the "Info" bar is to look at the Cast, Plot, or Chapter info, and all other info is found in the "Media" bar. So, the "Media" bar should be more of a control interface during video play back, and "Info" should be the information source.
- Remove all format tags from the "Media" bar, they are in the "Info" bar (maybe keep the resolution and rating tags)
- Add "Replay" and "Suffle" comands (from mini player) on the "media" bar during playback
- Move the "XBMC Subtitles" button into the "Audio and subtitles" menu to save room on the bar.
- Make the "Plot" and "Cast" buttons on the "info" bar bigger so they are seen easier by new users
And for fun, here is what the Superbar would look like:
Often I find myself needing to backup my Movie collection and not my TV library...what I do is export the whole video library and when it gets to the TV section I just hit cancel, but since XBMC sees these as two seperate libraries to begin with, I think there should be two seperate functions to export them, clearly marked "Export Movie Library", and "Export TV Library"...another thing that is very anoying is that there is no way to export video bookmarks...being as these have to be user created in the first place and are not scrapable (altho I asked for an add-on to do this a while ago and it could still be done if only someone would try ) But sice these are made by hand so to speak they are even more precious than the scrapeable information...and there really needs to be a way to export them...possibly save them into a txt or xml format so they could be edited by the user outside of the program...I did notice something about bookmarks and a watch counter in the NFOs, but I noticed that if XBMC is deleted and reinstalled (although the files are not touched) the play count resets.
- Seperate buttons to export Movie libary and TV libarary
- Add option to back up movie bookmarks
- Add option to export Watched/Unwatched list
Add option to watch a movie trailer in the right click/context menu
Also, just in case, here are the links to the psd files with layers for the above images: