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Source Manager UI (the dinosaur sees some hope)

RM7 sources places research media

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#1 Vyger

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 02:04 PM

Whilst I resist touch screen and tablet functionality (probably my age) I have recently realized this may well have some advantages in encouraging programmers to adopt a more Top Level approach to development and information display.

 

The key areas that are affected in RM are Source Management, Place Management, Media Management and I would also add Research Management. Lists could be simplified into these "simple" selections with the additional selections on a delay drop down or similar functionality.

 

I would say these four main categories would each benefit from a new flat one screen multi pane UI much simplifying their use and also displaying much more information at a top level than presently available.

 

Sources

[Master Source List]+ for [Citations] [Media] [Master Text] [Detail Text] [Repository] [Where used (association)]

 

Place Management

[Place]+ for [Place Detail] [Online Map] [County Check] [Gazetteer] [Media] [Notes] [Where used (association)]

 

Media Management

[Media thumbnail] [Path] [Filename] [Tags] same as where used [Unlinked Media]

 

Research Management

[Research Logs] [ToDos] [Correspondence List] [Repository List] [Address List] [Source] [Tags] where used.

 

Some of the associations within the database would need to be created but this approach would provide a single flat UI with all available for the main lists within RM. All desirable sub information and where the item is linked (association) would be immediately available for drill down and very user friendly for touch screens and tablets.

 

I am sure I am late to the party, if the Rootsmagician is indeed involved in a complete rewrite then I would imagine he has already embarked on such a top level UI approach.

 

I look forward to the views of others.

 


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

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#2 Laura

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 03:51 PM

Since you are so resistant to touch screens, you may not realize it is easier to navigate between screens using touch not harder.
 
Instead of having to move a cursor to where you want it using a mouse or touch pad and pressing a button on a mouse or tapping the touch pad, you just touch the screen.
 
I navigate through RM much faster with touch than I ever could with a mouse or touch pad or keyboard.
 
Perhaps, you should use the argument that people are still using a mouse so RM needs a mpre top level approach.   :)


#3 Vyger

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 05:16 PM


Perhaps, you should use the argument that people are still using a mouse so RM needs a mpre top level approach.   :)

 

 

Do you feel a more integrated top level approach would be a step forward? regardless of the pointing device ;)

 

BTW, I use touch screens everyday and don't totally dislike them. My point here is that programming for touch screens presents very different needs and almost forces options to the top on a flatter UI which I would actually enjoy. Right click functionality diminishes so different ways of presenting those options has to be found, my one dislike of touch screens is that as screen size diminishes the digit becomes a pretty FAT pointing device.

 

I suppose I was looking forward to opinions on how users would imagine a 2020 version of Rootsmagic.


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#4 Laura

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:18 PM

2020 is much too far for me to speculate what features RM will have 8 years from now.
 
The variables in what may be possible then is too great.  Who knows what changes there might be in Windows and Mac. We may be working in RootsMagic online and not have the program saved to our computers at all.  And, we could be navigating and entering data by voice and not touch.
 
The only speculation I have done about RM 7 is the possibility that the one right click menu in RM will be done away with.  The way a right click menu is accessed in Windows and Mac are very different even by touch.
 
Since the features accessed in the right click menu can be accessed in other places, it wouldn't be that great of a loss except possibly for some of us oldtimers that know it is there. :)


#5 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 07:29 PM


 
Since the features accessed in the right click menu can be accessed in other places, it wouldn't be that great of a loss except possibly for some of us oldtimers that know it is there. :)

 

 

I would be profoundly upset by the loss of the right click in RM7 if it should happen.

 

I have had numerous conversations and debates with Mac users through the years about the lack of a right click on a Mac. (I'm fluent on a PC, by the way, and I can bumble around successfully on Mac, but only barely. So it's not like I've never used a Mac, but I'm surely no expert.) Mac users always respond that a Mac supports a right click just fine. All you have to do is plug a PC mouse into a Mac and it is supported just fine, including the right click. So I then ask the Mac user why doesn't Apple just deliver an Apple branded mouse with both right and left buttons.

 

This kind of discussion quickly could devolve into a PC vs. Mac debate, which is not  my purpose and these are indeed RM forums. But I'm sincerely hoping and wishing that the new RM7 which will support both the PC and the Mac will not degrade the RM user experience for PC users. But I fear that it will.

 

Jerry



#6 kbens0n

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:47 PM

I highly doubt the right-click menus will be removed. Macs have a number of ways to use the same capabilities:
http://www.wikihow.c...-Click-on-a-Mac

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#7 TomH

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:23 AM

I think most of the participants in this thread have advocated for a flatter UI at one time or another. I'm now ambivalent having now been exposed to tablets and smartphones: for large screens, yes; small screens, no. I don't think touch UI has anything to do with enabling a flatter UI. As I see it, a large screen is a prerequisite for a flatter UI with lots of information and controls. Touch UI is de rigeur for small mobile devices so that the carriage of an extra pointing device is unnecessary; small screens, large fingers and comfortable reading necessitate few controls and little information, hence, a deeper hierarchy and more drilling.

One size does not fit all devices. My banking app is optimized for a smartphone- on my iPad (9" screen?), it is gross; someone could read my password and account info from across the room! And I cannot do all the things that I can on their standard web browser interface on a larger display.

I have tried using RM on my 8" Windows tablet and found that to be really hard going. Conversely to Laura's experience, it is much faster for me to use a mouse because the controls are too small and too closely spaced for reliable and accurate touch, even with my relatively pointy fingers. And, as others have complained with even larger screens, uncontrollable font sizes for many things cause severe eye strain. A flatter UI would probably make things worse for that size screen.

I dare say that a touch UI is not a good idea for very large screens. Can you imagine the energy expended flailing your arms about across large spaces compared to the micro movements needed with a mouse to accomplish the same things? And touch-hold for functionality equivalent to right-click is clearly slower. Touch and handheld go together; touch ergonomics degrade with bigger screens.

So while I am for a flatter, faster UI for screens above, say, 11", a deeper hierarchy is mandatory for smaller ones. It would be an amazing accomplishment if RootsMagic could deliver a transmutable UI that "telescoped" between "flat" and "deep" depending on screen size and user preference, while preserving a consistent micro UI that works well for touch, mouse, and hot keys.

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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#8 Laura

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:04 PM

II have a 10.1 inch screen which I have locked in Landscape.  The Windows DPI is set to 132% so I can access the OK button on some RM screens without going to a full screen.
 
The three Display fonts in RM are set to Verdana (14 points).
 
To aid in navigation, I customized the Toolbar for large icons.  I also customized the Toolbar into more than one Toolbar rather than having only one Toolbar with all the icons in it, This actually takes up less room on the Toolbar line.  My Toolbars are on two lines.
 
Perhaps, Bruce could make some changes to the Toolbar buttons and the icons over the Spouses and Parents on the left top of the screen.  For instance, the button in the Toolbar for Research logs would open directly to the Research Manager instead of a menu.  If the person highlighted has a Research log, the button would show above Spouses in the top left of the screen and show the person's Research log name.
 
I don't think I would want to work in RM and some other Window's programs by touch on a 8" tablet.  If I did have a 8 inch tablet, I think I might create separate Toolbars for each button I wanted on the Toolbar and separate the Toolbars a little.  I would have to decide on how many rows were too much and take some of my lesser used buttons off.  I would probably use my third party USB touch pad to navigate and, perhaps to type on the virtual keyboard in RM. 
 
I agree that there is a limit to the size screens touch is effective for RM.  8 inch is too small as Ram is now. 12 inch would be about as large as i would want to go for a handheld touch screen tablet.
 
I don't envy Bruce needing to accommodate touch screen, mouse, touch pad, and keyboard technologies and please most of the users.  :)
 
I just found another right click menu by accident.  Customize the Toolbar.  Right click on a button on the Toolbar and a menu comes up with choices of how to display the button on the Toolbar.


#9 Laura

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:42 PM

I just got a chance to try out a new Windows Surface Pro 3 with a 12 inch screen.
 
I plugged in my jump drive and ran RM 6 and database from a jump drive.
 
I didn't change any setting in Windows, but I would definitely need to change the Windows DPI and possibly lower the resolution to read some of the screens in RM.  Even with my small fingers, it was hard to navigate.
 
I expected that as the higher the resolution the smaller things are on the screen.
 
I did like the touch right click in Windows 8.1. Touch and hold brought up a box and then the menu.  I didn't have to quickly release as I do in Windows Pro 7.
 
I was right about my feeling that a 12 inch touch screen would be my limit for a handheld computer on size especially with my small hands.


#10 TomH

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:05 PM

We have veered off into a Windows tablet discussion but it has been useful to me. Thanks for your comments, Laura. That got me looking into more things. I, too, use 14pt within the RootsMagic display options but Segoe UI instead of Verdana because it is narrower.

 

I discovered a Windows display setting that also had benefit for some areas that the program settings don't touch, e.g., menus and some dropdown lists such as Spouses, Parents in the upper left of the main screen. Under screen resolution in Windows 8.1 is a link "Make text and other items larger or smaller". Under "Change the size of all items", I use 125%, having found, as you, that more would lose a control or message outside some message boxes. What I just found to my surprise, was that "Change only text size" > Menu setting affects the RootsMagic menu and some other areas. Simply choosing bold with the default 9pt size increased the touch zone size for the menu to be more comfortable.

 

Your discovery of the toolbar button by button customisation showed me that selecting "image and text" or "text only" is a way to improve touch reliability. But getting at that Note icon over the Spouses dropdown is downright difficult because it is so small and crowded to the edge of the screen.


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#11 Vyger

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

I discovered a Windows display setting that also had benefit for some areas that the program settings don't touch, e.g., menus and some dropdown lists such as Spouses, Parents in the upper left of the main screen. Under screen resolution in Windows 8.1 is a link "Make text and other items larger or smaller".

 

I was never sure if Gene Roddenberry foresaw the future or if everyone just tried to fulfill his vision, which only goes to show what can be done   :D

 

http://forums.rootsm...y-dialog-boxes/


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root