Start Page Redesign

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

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kkremitzki
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby kkremitzki » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:38 pm

Your point is taken, indeed. For the record, here's a thumbnail from a fairly complex .fcstd file, the Lasersaur:
Thumbnail.png
Thumbnail.png (10.57 KiB) Viewed 256 times

That would be acceptable, even though a lot of the detail of the model in the link isn't obvious... but that would rely on people having that setting enabled.
That just means it'd be reasonable to somehow inform the user on the recent files section of the new start page, if they don't have the setting checked, that it can be enabled to have thumbnails. That seems like a good springboard and small incremental step that could be added to the start page in the short-term; something like the 14-day timeframe you mentioned.
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agryson
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby agryson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:42 pm

kkremitzki wrote: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.
That's exactly what I had in mind! I like how you added the file placement too.

I did a quick rework:
RecentDocs.png
RecentDocs.png (24.16 KiB) Viewed 256 times


Still quite heavy, I think the tiles could be much lighter, but it's only a wireframe for now.

Edit: here's the pencil file (zipped) if anyone wants to play:
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RecentDocs.zip
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triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:11 pm

OK therefore once user creates the file additional thumbnail is provided compared to current solution when only text is provided. This is therefore agreed as something that would be nice to achieve in the future. That is add thumbnail support to the start page and if that is achieved to enable save thumbnail to file by default. Now what about the rest. When user opens FreeCAD for the first time how to make it clear to the user where to go next based on his point of interest. As recent files list will be empty. Or better once user will choose his point of interest user will likely never see that start workbench page with thumbnails anymore. Therefore the whole initial emphasise on adding the thumbnail support to current Start workbench home page could end up as something not well thought in the first place?
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agryson
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby agryson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:29 pm

triplus wrote:Therefore the whole initial emphasise on adding the thumbnail support to current Start workbench home page could end up as something not well thought in the first place?
I think we're currently just knocking ideas around, brainstorming. When we have a few zonings of how the page would look and adapt to different orientations we'll have a better idea about some of those questions.
triplus
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby triplus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:19 pm

Anyway this is what Start page currently does and looks like:

https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/tree ... /Mod/Start

A lot of things mentioned already work and would likely just need some additional UI adjustments. For example Thumbnail support is already there. If some articulated suggestion will be made i am prepared to help out if on some specific implementation level help will be needed and i will be able to provide it.

But i have other FreeCAD related projects i need to finish myself. Therefore first work out what is the plan to do and start small. As i do imagine repositioning some elements and doing some color changes and a touch of design work will do it for now. But i still do imagine it could easily end up taking a month or two to do that properly and for result to be perceived as an improvement.
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NormandC
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby NormandC » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:28 am

Great idea to create this topic. I wasn't able to give my $0.02 until now.

agryson wrote: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)

But what happens when a user clicks on "create new"? What workbench is set active?

How about a dedicated "New project" pane?

Currently, the StartPage has links under "Create new project" which create a new document and sets a specific workbench. I think this should be kept. I'm always using it! But I'm not sure how many should be listed.

New project
  • New mechanical part (--> creates a new file and switches to the PartDesign workbench)
  • New architectural model (--> creates a new file and switches to the Arch workbench)
  • New part using primitives (--> creates a new file and switches to the Part workbench)
  • New Path project
  • New FEM analysis
  • ...
Later on, maybe a "New assembly" item will need to be added, when the Assembly wb is finally added...

Each selection could have a large detailed icon or a screenshot of an actual 3D model.

agryson wrote:
  • Learning Center Pane (wiki, tutorials, maybe have starter files here?)

Don't forget the forum. Would a featured Youtube video be a good idea?

Concerning the current content of the StartPage, I think the latest commits list should go. It takes up a huge chunk of the screen, but I never look at it! And to be honest, to newcomers and most end users it's not really relevant. A simple link to the Github commits page, at the bottom, would do I think. Maybe in that "Get involved" pane.
Jee-Bee
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby Jee-Bee » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:32 pm

Remove this if it don't check if it is the last version
Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 14.30.46.png
Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 14.30.46.png (19.8 KiB) Viewed 162 times
renatorivo
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby renatorivo » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:48 pm

Jee-Bee wrote:Remove this if it don't check if it is the last version


Add "Help -> Check for Updates"
Jee-Bee
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby Jee-Bee » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:02 pm

I know but it looks stupid that it says "up to date" while it isn't
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NormandC
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Re: Start Page Redesign

Postby NormandC » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:39 pm

Jee-Bee wrote:I know but it looks stupid that it says "up to date" while it isn't

It's probably checking against the latest release (0.16). Don't forget 0.17 is still in development. I agree it's confusing though.

renatorivo wrote:Add "Help -> Check for Updates"

That would be a good addition, but it's not in the StartPage. ;)