How do you use Logos? How can we improve it?

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This post has 98 Replies | 14 Followers

Posts 809
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2017 7:12 AM

I took the survey too.

Better searching ability that didn't take a Ph.D. to figure out.  (But no surprise there!) Wink

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

Posts 737
Armin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2017 8:42 PM

Cynthia in Florida:

Better searching ability that didn't take a Ph.D. to figure out.  (But no surprise there!) Wink

I can confirm that even with a PhD in Software Engineering, I struggle with searching in Logos. Although I can understand the syntax, I cannot remember it.

Posts 3192
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2017 9:13 PM

Armin:

Cynthia in Florida:

Better searching ability that didn't take a Ph.D. to figure out.  (But no surprise there!) Wink

I can confirm that even with a PhD in Software Engineering, I struggle with searching in Logos. Although I can understand the syntax, I cannot remember it.

It's difficult to understand (the reason for) it, so you're doing better than many of us.

I imagine that more and more got crammed into a design that wasn't meant to support as much as it does today. I suspect if the developers redid it completely, we'd have something far easier to use that we wouldn't have to struggle to understand or remember.

I wish that FL would see an improved search UI as a marketing benefit (instead of focusing exclusively on new features), but they probably would lose out on search training video revenue.

Posts 26303
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2017 9:47 PM

PetahChristian:
I wish that FL would see an improved search UI as a marketing benefit (instead of focusing exclusively on new features)

I consider both the Bible broswer and the Morphy query document as improved search UI. Am I missing something?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 3192
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2017 11:13 PM

MJ. Smith:

I consider both the Bible broswer and the Morphy query document as improved search UI. Am I missing something?

When I think "search," those tools don't come to mind, probably because I'm not a power user.

I've never used Morph Query at all. The right-click menu lets me search for a lemma (and I've never had to do anything more complex than that), but I'd have no idea how to construct such a search string on my own, if it wasn't for the program doing it for me.

I've probably opened the Bible Browser twice, and once was this evening after you mentioned it. It's interesting, but I can't see the search it's performing behind the scenes, so I don't know if it's doing what I think it's actually doing or not. For example, I assume it's using "AND" rather than "NEAR."

Don't get me wrong. I like being able to "filter" things and I think that's preferable for those types of searches. But when I think of performing a search, I've mostly been doing it through the context menu, and occasionally by the search box/bar. In that context, an "improved search UI" would have to do with the search box/bar (syntax and/or UI), rather than an alternate tool for searching.

If the Bible Browser is everyone's new/improved search they've been asking for, then I'd suggest it suffers from "out of sight, out of mind" by being hidden on the tools menu. I don't think of using it, or learning how to use it.

In terms of the menus, I open Documents about 90% of the time, Guides about 10% of the time, and rarely open Tools. I'd be hard-pressed to name 1/2 the tools on that menu, and probably only open it for Settings now (because Factbook, Highlighting, and Courses tools are already open for me).

Posts 26303
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 12:15 AM

At the moment the Bible browser gives you access to:

1. Either a pericope or a verse search unit (Bible search gives you only verse; basic search gives only chapter)

2. Predefined Bible text spans (less flexible than Bible search)

3. Factbook searches: Person/People; Place, Thing, Event, Topic, Sense (limited), Literary typing,

4. Labeled data searches: Reported Speech

5. Search extensions: Speech acts, Figurative language, Miracles, Parables, Intertext, Discourse, Propositional Outlines, Grammatical Constructions, Syntactic Force

Yes, the UI currently does not support logical operators or proximity operators but it does provide a basic search requiring no search syntax knowledge for a broad swath of searches - including the powerful searches based on specialized datasets. One uses it's faceted selection much as a common user builds a Google search.

No, I'm not saying it is the final answer to improving the search UI ... but it is a major step forward and strong evidence that Faithlife is aware of and working on solutions to the problem. I also consider the running of preset searches through the Context Menu to be part of the solution to the search UI - you merely need to click on the item to run the Search ... you don't need to know how to build the search. I often use it to save time in entering the search argument even when I do know how to build the search especially when "SECTION" may or may not be appropriate (I haven't adjusted to all the changes this entailed).

Your sequence of learning features does not match mine which dived in initially on Guides then added in the tools that provided what the Guides did not ... documents was (and still is) the poor step-child - but I know I am not a typical user. I agree that directing people to the correct resource or tool is a major problem. How many threads do we have on the forums asking for NT use of the OT for which the answer is "Open the interactive and slect on facets ..."? And trust me, I've given a great deal of thought into how one might built a decision tool to guide one to the correct tool or resource.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 148
Victor Ulloa M. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 8:41 AM

I wish: "No new features for a year, only speed, speed, speed".

Posts 506
Daniel Yoder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 8:45 AM

My preference would be for more and better resources.  I have all the features I need.  

Posts 10126
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 10:08 AM

PetahChristian:

Armin:

Cynthia in Florida:

Better searching ability that didn't take a Ph.D. to figure out.  (But no surprise there!) Wink

I can confirm that even with a PhD in Software Engineering, I struggle with searching in Logos. Although I can understand the syntax, I cannot remember it.

It's difficult to understand (the reason for) it, so you're doing better than many of us.

I imagine that more and more got crammed into a design that wasn't meant to support as much as it does today. I suspect if the developers redid it completely, we'd have something far easier to use that we wouldn't have to struggle to understand or remember.

I wish that FL would see an improved search UI as a marketing benefit (instead of focusing exclusively on new features), but they probably would lose out on search training video revenue.

(my emphasis)

I wouldn't doubt the issue of loss of training revenue, though to an early agreement to contract it out.

And I'd suspect rationalizing said training and no-manual-policy, along with ask-the-forum as the primary UI, drives the intended difficulty in their designs.

Trotting out two new tools and calling it an improved UI design (no offense to MJ) looks a whole lot like Libby in her final days. 7 years later, I think there's 4 searches in Libby, all small varients of each other and all poorly designed (even at the time). I can never remember what each does that required a new varient.


Posts 1938
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 11:14 AM

Survey done.

Many have responded. You should have good feedback.  For me, I do not need more bells and whistles. I would like improvement of what already exists...drop down menus to improve interface, easier way to organize library....

Posts 259
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 11:49 AM

Armin:
I can confirm that even with a PhD in Software Engineering, I struggle with searching in Logos. Although I can understand the syntax, I cannot remember it.

My contention is that I, effectively, do not want to have to learn another language.  And the taskmaster is harsh!!  As in, I might have the right squiggle but not the correct # of spaces before or after it.  With this schmozzle, I'm under the hood.  I do not want to be under the hood, but I want to be still understood.

I do not want to have to remember it, nor populate a cheat-sheet in honour of its recalcitrance.

Posts 1938
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 12:28 PM

scooter:
I do not want to have to remember it, nor populate a cheat-sheet in honour of its recalcitrance.
scooter:
My contention is that I, effectively, do not want to have to learn another language.

I agree 100%.  This MUST be improved.  Or you lose the interest of a lot of people in the program.  I wonder if anyone would disagree.

Posts 7983
LogosEmployee

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
Everything Search recently changed to show 1-100 results in Library section, which is a bit distracting (would rather just see the first 100 results without 1-100 status message, prefer total number of results found).

It sounds like you may have enabled the (experimental) new search engine. Please read the release notes and known issues for it here: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/133612.aspx 

Posts 10126
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 5:45 PM

Mark:

I wonder if anyone would disagree.

I think you have to separate casual use (easy, menu-driven, visual) from serious use. The latter wants no confusion, and so, by necessity, must be a precise language ... just like coding. And its power is in its complexity ... simple preciseness usually isn't the goal.

The former (support for casual use) is the missing piece. Oddly, that's the part that impresses humans ... not precise gobbledigook. Somehow, Logos doesn't sell that (without a subscription, of course).


Posts 2041
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 3 2017 6:24 PM

Denise:
(support for casual use) is the missing piece. Oddly, that's the part that impresses humans ... not precise gobbledigook. Somehow, Logos doesn't sell that

Lesser priced competitors sell (or give away) that. I think that is the cheapest fastest thing FL could do to get more customers and make gobs of customers happier. Given the apparent drive for FL to appeal to lots of new, small buyers, wouldn't the option of a squeaky clean, zoomin' fast interface, not bogged down by the internet, make sense?  Does to me. That goes for mobile apps as well.  I know the younger generation well enough to know that if you hook them on the mobile app, you got 'em, hook, line and sinker.  

My kids all have Logos, a nice base package, but seldom use it.  Why?  They keep saying, "Hey, Dad, when you get back, maybe you can teach me how to use this!" I know the cure.

Posts 115
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 8 2017 4:55 PM

Victor Ulloa:

I wish: "No new features for a year, only speed, speed, speed".

Amen - I'd love to see Logos run nearly as fast as that other Bible program for the Mac...

Posts 666
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 9 2017 6:44 AM

I'm another one hoping for performance improvements above anything else. To be able to simply read a single open resource and scroll the text without any pauses or stuttering would be a real improvement.

Posts 147
Willie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:21 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

We'd like to understand how you use Logos (the desktop version) and how you'd like to see us improve it to meet your Bible study needs better.

Thank you for the survey which I've completed with my feedback.

I use Logos for personal Bible study using the methodology I learned from LearnLogos.com.  I agree with the need for program speed and search capability improvements; however, my #1 request would be for Faithlife to create user controlled options which would allow users to customize the appearance of the workspace according to their own visual needs in the following specific areas: Resource Panel Toolbar, Bible book cover icons, and Link Set.   

The following paragraphs provide further explanation and are based on UserVoice suggestions I’ve previously submitted:

Resource Panel Toolbar

problem:  With each new feature button that is added to the Resource Panel Toolbar, the likelihood increases (depending on a person’s individual eye sensitivities) of one or more of these buttons visually distracting a user from focusing on the resource text below it.  This has been the case for me with L-7’s Multiview Resources button which was so distracting to my eyes that I had to return my purchase of the L-7 Full Feature Set and cancel plans to purchase a Logos Now subscription as well as an L-7 base package.  The feature itself would have been nice to have but my eyes could not tolerate its toolbar button which visually dominated the panel area and prevented me from comfortably focusing on resource text. 

I am aware of the Reading View mode.  I often use it when my only intention is to read a long article or passage, but for any other purpose a normal multi-tiled workspace is necessary.  Therefore, the Reading View mode does not adequately address this issue.

solution:  Provide a user controlled option to hide either the Resource Panel Toolbar or the entire row of Resource Panel elements located beneath the Panel Tab and above the locator bar (Book Cover Icon, Reference Box, Resource Panel Toolbar, Back/Forward Arrows, History Drop-down, and Info Button) while working in a normal multi-tiled workspace (non-Reading View mode).  This could be accomplished through a single mouse click on the Panel Tab of any opened resource.  A corresponding keyboard shortcut could also be added. 

Hiding the Resource Panel Toolbar would be very helpful, but hiding the entire row of Resource Panel elements would be even more helpful because in addition to hiding the visual distraction, it would noticeably increase the panel reading space within a normal multi-tiled layout while keeping the functionality of all Resource Panel elements only one click away.

Bible Book Cover Icons

problem:  Several Bible book cover icons that were changed for Logos 6 (especially the ESV and LEB) are so bright and annoying they prevent me from comfortably focusing on Bible text.

solution:  Provide users with a program setting to hide or "turn off" all book cover icons (Bibles and non-Bible resources) when a resource is opened.  (The Panel Tab already identifies the resource.) 

alternate solutions:

  • Allow users to add their own Bible book cover icons and to share the icons they add with other users.
  • Allow users to individually switch to a generic grey Bible book cover icon if they prefer (such as currently used for several clause visualization resources).
  • Allow users to hide the image of a Bible book cover icon and instead select “show label” which would reflect the Bible translation’s standard initials (ESV, LEB) as is currently available for shortcut buttons within the shortcut toolbar.

Link Set

problem:  The extreme bright orange color currently used for the Link Set indicator box is very distracting.

solution:  Allow users to customize the color of the Link Set indicator box as well as the font color of the letter inside.

alternate solutions:

  • Replace the Link Set indicator box with a visual indicator within the Link Set section of the Resource Panel Menu.
  • Change the Link Set indicator box's default appearance to a more neutral, less distracting color (such as grey).

Posts 270
Kelvin Niblett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 19 2017 3:06 AM

MJ. Smith:

I'd like to see a somewhat different survey - one on what we need to move Logos into the general congregation.

Yes I agree with you totally MJ.

Even when I reflect on how I use Logos outside of my study.

1) On my I phone I prefer to use e-sword to read the Bible, because it is quick, simple and easy to navigate to different bible books, chapters and change translations.

2) If there was a low-cost start up library in the price range of $20-50 this may be all it takes to get people in my congregation to invest into the logos ecosystem. 

The other main improvement that would improve how I personally use logos would be speed.

3) Speed, I have a mid sized library (13,361)  and it can be slow loading reports and searches at times.

4) On the amazon kindle web interface there is an option to bring up a hyperlinked list of popular highlights

Posts 4919
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 19 2017 4:17 AM

Kelvin Niblett:
2) If there was a low-cost start up library in the price range of $20-50 this may be all it takes to get people in my congregation to invest into the logos ecosystem. 

They did this in the past with Libronix may years ago..  I bought half a dozen copies and couldn't give them away at church, 

There was also the Thomas Nelson Ultimate Bible Reference Library that went for around $20 and included 60 unlocked resources.

https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Bible-Reference-Library-CD-ROM/dp/0785249958 

So this has been done before. Reality is average person in the pew does not get as excited about bible software as us die hard users.

And FL is really missing the point with their current offering...https://www.logos.com/product/55923/lexham-intro-collection , the average person in the pew is going to look at that and say I don't need a Greek New Testament and they have all but admitted that by including everything in this collection except the GNT as part of Logos 7 Basic.

The trouble with Logos 7 Basic is the average person in the pew is going to say I'm not familar with LEB or Faithlife Study Bible.  They will want a basic collection that includes either ESV and ESV Study Bible or NIV and NIV Study Bible, as examples, because that is what they know and use, if you are going to have any real chance of getting them interested in bible software. Offer them something they dont' know or seems languages orientated and they are not going to be put off.

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