SpringLobby hard to use??

SpringLobby hard to use??

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koshi
Lobby Developer
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Joined: 14 Aug 2007, 16:15

SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by koshi » 16 Aug 2009, 15:41

I would really like a more verbose description of the why and how, from anyone really.
I'm not interested on comments on the look and feel.
If your post would include the word intuitive, please take http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2002/08/nipple.html to heart before posting.
If you're unable to formulate criticism without attacks and insults, just leave now please, thx.
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smoth
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by smoth » 16 Aug 2009, 16:00

There are some things I would like to see changed and made a constructive criticism. Namely, put all the buttons on the left or right, not one on the left and some on the right.


Other thoughts:

- save my layout changes.

- good things to steal from tasclient
-- please put the hosted game list on the bottom of the screen and separate it out fro the multiplayer tab.
-- add a refresh mods list button to the host new battle

I know it isn't a lot but these things are ones that I would personally love to see and I feel would help usability.
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ZellSF
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Joined: 08 Jul 2006, 19:07

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by ZellSF » 16 Aug 2009, 16:03

There is an options tab, yet game options are found in the Tools menu and language options are found in the Help menu. Confusing. The menu seems pretty pointless in itself and its contents really should've been placed in tabs.
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Caydr
Omnidouche
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Caydr » 16 Aug 2009, 16:17

I frequently right click and say "download map" or "download mod" and find that nothing at all has happened in the download tab. So I try to actually join the game and it informs me, uh-oh, you're going to need that mod. Shall I download it for you? YES! And voila, it starts downloading properly.

Similarly, sometimes I have to click "download map" like 40 times before anything seems to happen.

And even when I get it in the download tab, it's not necessarily going to start soon. The only map I was able to download quickly was DSD, the rest I mostly had to get via http sources.

HTH. For what it's worth, it's still a hundred times better than what we had a few years ago.
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Master-Athmos
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Master-Athmos » 16 Aug 2009, 16:39

I always found the "Multiplayer" screen - i.e. the server list not very intuitive. The main problem here imo are too many tabs and probably the worst way possible of splitting them. So what are the most important information one might want here? It's the game status (open, locked, ongoing etc), the mod, the map and the number of players (plus maybe rank limitation)...

In Springlobby all of those are spread along the entire row: Status is on the left, player number is on the right, map / mod is in the middle. Inbetween you'll find all the pretty much "unimportant" info of who's hosting or how the session is called...

That needs a rework imo and at the same time you also should combine lots of things: You already did get rid of the "nonsense" descriptions for players which once just said something like "a, p, s". You now do have an at least understandable way of giving a spec, player and max player column. I still don't think that's the best way of handling it though: To my mind TASClient did a very good job here by simply doing it 12+5 / 16 style. One column, three numbers, totally understandable. So instead of having seperate columns for each of those which a user also has to move next to each other if he doesn't want huge gaps between them this would be way easier and more clean. I'd also do the rest of this like in TASClient which is put the server status together with the rank limit sign and put that left to the player numbers. On the left of that there should be mod & map and host and sever description should be on the very left...

I guess I also can do a small bug report here:
Go to the singleplayer tab and choose a map. Then check the "spectate only" option - it'll make the green standard map start position you were on dissappear. Move yourself away from that and check the spectator box afterwards will keep all the default starting points...
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Caydr
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Caydr » 16 Aug 2009, 16:58

If you can figure out some more effective way of laying out the battle screen/game list screen/chat screen, it would be great. I would like to always have the chat window open so I don't miss people pretending to be excited to see me.
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Hoi
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Hoi » 16 Aug 2009, 17:25

- Double clicking on a name should do the same thing as in tasclient: start a pm window where you can write a message.

- When a player joins a channel it's name (on the tab) becomes green. It's better to only make it green when someone says something in that channel.
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lurker
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by lurker » 16 Aug 2009, 18:32

Hoi wrote:- When a player joins a channel it's name (on the tab) becomes green. It's better to only make it green when someone says something in that channel.
It does have two different highlights, with is nice, but I find them hard to tell apart unless I look closely. The join/leave change should be subtle, and very far away from the said color. And ideally it would follow your color scheme, but I understand that could take more work.

Join and leave should be able to have different colors.

I should be able to move inner tabs wherever I want, not just the outer giant tabs. I can't put battle chat next to normal chat and battle info below it all, etc.

I can't agree enough about putting restore and apply next to each other, they are extremely related functions and need to be advertised as a group.

Your about screen is horrible, why does it have giant buttons to click to make a sentence appear?

If I want to switch to switch to chat or multiplayer when not logged in I have to click it twice, dismissing the popup window in between.

Why is download widgets a popup window instead of a tab? The same with the list of known files.

I just had to tell it to start the torrent system twice, it said it couldn't connect to anything, did 5 seconds later...

Why in the world is it sorting by hash? Why does it even have the ability to sort by hash? And it's screwing that up, too. 4000 does not come before 900. WHAT. When I actually click on that column to sort, it does a signed int sort, from 2 billion to 1 billion to 0 to 4 billion to 3 billion.

Side note, why did you change your version scheme so extremely?
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KaiserJ
Community Representative
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by KaiserJ » 16 Aug 2009, 19:35

i don't find it particularly hard to use

my main issues would be that the chat is within the same interface as the battle window; i really liked the separation that TASclient gives you in this respect; i've used springlobby a ton and this is something i still haven't gotten used to.

also another little thing... i was used to TASclient showing me names in blue for people who are ingame; i realize the swords icons can also show this status but to me the blue lettering was a nice touch.
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MelTraX
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Joined: 02 Jan 2007, 16:18

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by MelTraX » 16 Aug 2009, 20:33

Saving the layout is of course one of the biggest problems..

And the current torrent system is really nearly unusable. Is there maybe a completely different torrent library you could try since the latest version of this one doesn't work? It's just so sad since the system itself works so well. SpringDownloader shows just how easy it can be: You join a game, the download of the map starts immediately at full speed (the immediate download should at least be an option in SpringLobby btw).

If SpringLobby had the same support for the torrents and a nice little progressbar directly on the minimap (replacing the two buttons), it would be so much cooler. Progressbars directly in the battle list mod/map columns would also be very cool.

And I would love to have the auto-update/auto-install widgets from SpringDownloader integrated. :)
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CarRepairer
Cursed Zero-K Developer
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Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 21:48

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by CarRepairer » 16 Aug 2009, 20:53

I am a fan of springlobby and I'm not sure my suggestions fall in the category of "easier to use" but they would be nice to have.

1) Don't close the battle window if host closes. It's good to see "hey everyone I'm closing this battle so we can join X."

2) Like in Tasclient and Trillian, upon joining a channel / opening a message window, show its chat history in light gray.
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Joined: 17 Nov 2005, 02:43

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Forboding Angel » 16 Aug 2009, 23:16

Ribbons make me sad in pants :-(

Now that I'm finally used to SL I can make my way through it fairly well.

I have to say, the thing that bugs me to no end, is the chat windows. You have this massive window of whitespace, and then a little itty bitty typing bar at the bottom. It's ridiculously unwieldy.
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EXit_W0und
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by EXit_W0und » 17 Aug 2009, 01:18

It would be nice to be able to change the font colour for unselected tabs. Grey on nearly grey is pretty hard to read.

I do quite like that I can sort the list by number of players ignoring the number of specs, due to the separate columns for spectators players and max players. That's something we can't do in TASclient - so please keep that.

Also having the battle window as a separate entity, I agree with the others would be an improvement.
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R-TEAM
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Joined: 22 Jan 2009, 19:25

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by R-TEAM » 17 Aug 2009, 03:07

Hi,

on mods with many options,the options window cant scroll down
full to the end,musst first resized and THEN all options reachable ...

On TASClient the bad maps was shown with widht/hight 0x0 so it can
be sortet out or fixed - on SL it not shown at all, so you only get him
if you know this map musst be here ...

This is ATM all i miss from TASClient...

(oh .. and a better newbee guide, most dont know long time who is scrolling in the map selection window [now it is a help text here ;) ] and the same is going IMHO with the nice scroling with the mousewheel on the map thru the different map displays [color/metall/hightmap - with calculating time], it is not wide spreeded..)

Regards
R-TEAM
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YokoZar
Posts: 883
Joined: 15 Jul 2007, 22:02

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by YokoZar » 17 Aug 2009, 14:30

First, thanks for being open minded about this. Usability isn't easy. So, please take my comments with an open mind ;)


The icons for receiving a message seem to be the exact opposite of what I expect. An offline user is a yellow smiley face, someone who just sent me a message is blacked out. I can't figure out what the different colors on the chat tabs mean either, but I suspect they're similarly backwards. I suggest you copy what Pidgin does here (even using their icons), both for consistency and because it's a better idea to begin with.

As far as overall design, it's a bad thing that I find myself constantly switching between tabs and sub tabs. I go to the battle room to chat on the multiplayer tab, and then to the chat tab to chat in my private room. I think some of these could be merged.

Which brings me to the Autojoin Channels window. This is just horrible. Autojoining a channel should be as simple as right clicking the channel and selecting a "autojoin this channel at connect" checkbox. That checkbox should also be there when I click join channel (why is that in the "tools" menu?) There should be a channel password option in the join channel menu -- otherwise users have no idea how to connect.

When I updated a fresh install I got a completely useless message about how my tab settings may have been lost on upgrade. Why should I care? I'll either see it immediately or not notice - popping an error box just confuses.

Chatting itself is a pain. The Springlobby Autoscroll method broken - reading old chat messages is impossible as it keeps jumping me to the bottom. This problem has long been solved in chat programs -- only autoscroll if the user is at the bottom of the scroll bar, and otherwise don't move the text around at all.

Tools->"Open Private Chat" should have a better name that matches what it does, namely "Send a private Message" -- otherwise it's easy to mistake it for the secret way of getting into private chatrooms (which is secret, as there's no obvious place to put their password).


And this is before we even get into game setup. There's more to improve there, too, especially if you're a new user. Anyway the above is just what I remember from memory, there's likely far more subtly annoying things like bad defaults for column widths and window size. I'll be happy to provide more suggestions if you like :)
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lurker
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Joined: 08 Jan 2007, 06:13

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by lurker » 17 Aug 2009, 14:54

YokoZar wrote:Chatting itself is a pain. The Springlobby Autoscroll method broken - reading old chat messages is impossible as it keeps jumping me to the bottom. This problem has long been solved in chat programs -- only autoscroll if the user is at the bottom of the scroll bar, and otherwise don't move the text around at all.
Bug in the text control that they can't get the scroll position, and apparently nobody can fix it. At least I think they tried to fix it. Not sure.
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Regret
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 19:04

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Regret » 17 Aug 2009, 15:19

koshi wrote: I would really like a more verbose description of the why and how, from anyone really.
It is too different from TASClient.
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koshi
Lobby Developer
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Joined: 14 Aug 2007, 16:15

Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by koshi » 17 Aug 2009, 15:40

First of all thank you all for the input.
Let me start with a few pics showing the configurable layout, since some seem to be unaware of that:
http://gnomre.net/sl/aui.png
http://freshmeat.net/screenshots/1e/81/ ... 1249039303
The big drawback here being ofc that custom layouts cannot be saved atm, which is a toolkit limitation. There is GSOC project that will remedy this in the foreseeable future.
smoth wrote:Namely, put all the buttons on the left or right, not one on the left and some on the right.
I haven't forgotten that, but have been putting investigating that off since.
smoth wrote:-- add a refresh mods list button to the host new battle
Done.
ZellSF wrote:There is an options tab, yet game options are found in the Tools menu and language options are found in the Help menu. Confusing. The menu seems pretty pointless in itself and its contents really should've been placed in tabs.
That's cause SpringSettings was a standalone app before it got emrged into SL. Integrating it further into the Options tab is possible tho. I'll make the language choice available in general options too.
Caydr wrote:*torrent system*
http://springlobby.info/issues/show/1046
Master-Athmos wrote:not very intuitive
Sorry, most of what you said there are design choices we're not likely to change.
Master-Athmos wrote:I guess I also can do a small bug report here:
Please use http://springlobby.info/projects/springlobby/issues/new in the future
Hoi wrote:Double clicking on a name should do the same thing as in tasclient: start a pm window where you can write a message.
It does and always has.
lurker wrote:I should be able to move inner tabs wherever I want
see GSOC project.
lurker wrote:Your about screen is horrible
http://springlobby.info/issues/show/731 (currently it's what wx' default)
CarRepairer wrote:2) Like in Tasclient and Trillian, upon joining a channel / opening a message window, show its chat history in light gray.
http://springlobby.info/issues/show/416
lurker wrote:If I want to switch to switch to chat or multiplayer when not logged in I have to click it twice, dismissing the popup window in between.
Sorry, don't see the point of switching if you're not online.
Forboding Angel wrote:I have to say, the thing that bugs me to no end, is the chat windows. You have this massive window of whitespace, and then a little itty bitty typing bar at the bottom. It's ridiculously unwieldy.
I'll see if aking the text entry box user sizable is a viable option.
EXit_W0und wrote:It would be nice to be able to change the font colour for unselected tabs. Grey on nearly grey is pretty hard to read.
http://springlobby.info/issues/show/644
R-TEAM wrote:on mods with many options,the options window cant scroll down
full to the end,musst first resized and THEN all options reachable ...
I get scrollbars just fine, did you check with current version? As for broken maps, we opted to simply dismiss them as teh other way round created even more confusion with users.
YokoZar wrote: The icons for receiving a message seem to be the exact opposite of what I expect. An offline user is a yellow smiley face, someone who just sent me a message is blacked out. I can't figure out what the different colors on the chat tabs mean either
The icons are overlayed with the color you set in options.
YokoZar wrote:I think some of these could be merged.
Which ones, how? Have you been aware of the configurable layout?
YokoZar wrote:Autojoining a channel should be as simple as right clicking the channel and selecting a "autojoin this channel at connect" checkbox.
You should actually try right clicking.
YokoZar wrote:When I updated a fresh install I got a completely useless message
When I did that change, I handed the build to a few people who were utterly confused about the change w/o notice. Either way it's a one time thing.
YokoZar wrote:I'll be happy to provide more suggestions if you like
Sure.
lurker wrote:Bug in the text control that they can't get the scroll position, and apparently nobody can fix it. At least I think they tried to fix it.
exactly. We tried a couple of different ways and best thing we came up with is the right click option to temp disable text appending.
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lurker
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by lurker » 17 Aug 2009, 16:31

koshi wrote:
lurker wrote:If I want to switch to switch to chat or multiplayer when not logged in I have to click it twice, dismissing the popup window in between.
Sorry, don't see the point of switching if you're not online.
It's not about switching, it's about a ui inconsistency. When I click any other tab it switches to it. Here, I click and nothing happens. Then I click again and it magically switches tabs. Completely unexpected and hidden.
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Jazcash
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Re: SpringLobby hard to use??

Post by Jazcash » 17 Aug 2009, 16:35

Maybe I'd use it if it had all the sextras that TAS Client has. Also, if it worked with my unitsync.dll file I guess that would alter my choice quite a bit.
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