Start Page Redesign

A subforum for research and development of the user interface of FreeCAD

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kkremitzki
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Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:15 am

Hi, I'd like to get the ball rolling on a start page redesign discussion. It's the first thing new FreeCAD users see so it's a key element of UX. I'd like to hear everyone's comments and ideas on making some changes.

I made some comments on an open discussion thread about a FreeCAD UI overhaul that I'll quote here:
kkremitzki wrote:In terms of impact, I think work on the Start Page would be most fruitful; it's worth considering the first impression someone new to FreeCAD gets when starting the program for the first time. If you look at the main page and see the 4 groups FreeCAD is supposed to be targeted for, hobbyist, experienced CAD user, programmer, and educator, only 1 of those will really care about latest commits, so I think replacing that with something else would be an easy win in user experience.

I think having some links to key web resources like tutorials, etc. from the wiki, the forum, the bug tracker, would make sense. The Recent Files having a preview like the Onshape screenshots would be great; every time you open the program you can feel like a boss by seeing all the cool things you're working on. It'd be great to have links to some sort of curated video resources, if the right Youtube videos were to be gathered.

The Example Projects probably shouldn't be on the very bottom.
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agryson
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby agryson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:01 am

kkremitzki wrote:Hi, I'd like to get the ball rolling on a start page redesign discussion. It's the first thing new FreeCAD users see so it's a key element of UX. I'd like to hear everyone's comments and ideas on making some changes.
Excellent, I'll just put this here.

To summarize the blocks you suggest (and add a few of my own)
  • Recent Files pane with previews (with 'create new' as the last tile in the list)
  • Learning Center Pane (wiki, tutorials, maybe have starter files here?)
  • Get involved Pane (Developer, dev wiki, forum, tracker etc. can go here)

I'll edit this list to add other items that come up.

Edits:
1: Updated what goes in what pane
Jee-Bee
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby Jee-Bee » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:01 am

agryson wrote:
  • Recent Files pane with previews (with 'create new' as the last tile in the list)


New not as first? sounds more logic to me...
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agryson
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby agryson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:20 am

Jee-Bee wrote:New not as first? sounds more logic to me...
Debateable, Adobe does what you suggest in the latest Photoshop CC.

My idea was that if you don't have any recent files the "new file" is super visible, but as you get more used to FreeCAD it starts to move down the list, weaning you onto the more typical "File > New" workflow.

It depends if we want to wean users onto more advanced workflows or not.
triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:27 am

This sounds like reasonable and doable project. Just don't feel it can be done properly without investing few months in it. And there is way to much words in this thread already. I would guess things needs to be visualised better. Therefore what i would expect to be done first. Diagnose what is worth improving. Always exchange ideas and suggestions. Test them and think about them and if they make sense acknowledge them. Do research and seek for feedback if suggestions are implementable. Finalize the proposal and lets see how it go after.

P.S: And don't propose great ideas or updated work in time frame less than lets say 14 days.
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agryson
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby agryson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:34 am

While I agree with you @triplus on the idea of not rushing things, I don't think it's fair to judge a project's worth exclusively on the time spent. Good work can be done quickly, and bad work can be done slowly.I think given that we work with git we shouldn't be afraid of incrementally bootstrapping ourselves to a final product.

But the core idea remains valid - let's focus on building things up gradually, try to work visually and go from there at a pace that allows everyone to contribute.
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:51 am

When you mentioned "create new as last tile in list" I imagined something like a grid of tiles which would fill up with recently opened files as you said. Here's a quick mockup I created with Pencil where I only have one recent project visible (imagine repeating that tile to the left and wrapping as necessary):

Recently Opened Files.png
Recently Opened Files.png (334.06 KiB) Viewed 387 times
triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:54 am

agryson wrote:at a pace that allows everyone to contribute


Exactly as we want to do that. Attract more contributors. Therefore lets say 14 days between great ideas for now. And in between work can be done if anybody wants to do some real design oriented work and evaluation based on the ideas already provided.

@kkremitzki

Where would you get such nice image from? Thumbnail if enabled and saved to the .FCstd file the resulting image is much smaller.
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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:20 pm

triplus wrote:@kkremitzki

Where would you get such nice image from? Thumbnail if enabled and saved to the .FCstd file the resulting image is much smaller.


Definitely, I just used that one as a placeholder since I was looking at the Art resources wiki page. The thumbnails would work fine for now. I'm curious, though; why is that setting (to create them when saving) not turned on by default?
triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:27 pm

kkremitzki wrote:
triplus wrote:@kkremitzki

Where would you get such nice image from? Thumbnail if enabled and saved to the .FCstd file the resulting image is much smaller.


Definitely, I just used that one as a placeholder since I was looking at the Art resources wiki page. The thumbnails would work fine for now. I'm curious, though; why is that setting (to create them when saving) not turned on by default?


I wanted to point out that good design idea can be challenging to implement. And if it is challenging it likely won't be done any time soon.

On why the thumbnail is turned off by default. I guess as not all desktop environments support thumbnail preview and therefore it is likely considered as a bloat from .FCStd file perspective. But that is only guess work and impression gathered from some past discussions.