Logos Staff: A Story to Give you something to think about

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This post has 211 Replies | 9 Followers

Posts 715
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jul 20 2018 11:35 AM

Two days ago I was at church having a meeting with two IT guys.  They bought a new sound board, and while I'm not a sound techie person, I need to know how to use it on the most basic level since I use  the computer, three screens, speakers, and a couple of microphones for my class.

Anyway, I was explaining to them something that I was trying to do through PowerPoint and I wanted to know if it was something I would be able to do through my ipad as I walk around my class and make annotations on the screen from anywhere in the room.   They said yes but...blah blah blah...it would be better if you did it through ProPresenter because ...blah blah blah.  They then said that our church is really giving a push to use ProPresenter but that the challenge is the learning curve.  Off the top of my head I said, "Have you ever used Logos Bible Software?"  They both said yes.  I asked, "Is it as difficult to learn as that?" and without skipping a beat, they both commented, "Absolutely not!  That software is so difficult I only use it to read some resources and that's it." 

Okay, so I know I've spoken about this before and perhaps you're sick of hearing me say this, but when you've got two IT guys make a comment like that, you have GOT to do something to make your software more user friendly.  Since it is BIBLE SOFTWARE, then just like the Bible, I'm assuming you want to make it accessible and usable for all Christians. 

After my conversation with the IT guys, I realized that my first "go to" response was to contrast ProPresenter's software learning curve with Logos' learning curve. I feel like I've come far, thanks to help from the message boards and the tons of money I've spent on live classes and videos courses made available through Logos and other third parties.  It just saddens me that most people won't have/don't have the time nor resources for that, and therefore Logos' reputation has become one where you need tons of both to use it. 

I know that you have been working hard at dropping the prices on introductory materials and giving little videos to teach how to use various parts of the software, and I commend that.  But I'm rallying again for the little guy.  Great resources like Logos should not be for the spiritual elite, but like Scripture, for the common man who chooses to open it and read it.

Just my .02 for the month.

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

Posts 562
Dale E Heath | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 12:21 PM

I agree with you Cynthia, but it's more than just Logos. Our whole society and culture, worldwide, is just too busy and trying to do too many things. I had a long career with IBM and know quite a bit about hardware, software, training, budgeting, teaching, etc. I thought when I retired, I'd have plenty of time to learn all this stuff and use it. I find that all my time is spent volunteering and helping others. I need to learn how to budget my time and juggle my priorities. I also need someone to keep me on track that I'm accountable to. It was easier when I was working. I've started many of the Logos courses, but have gotten sidetracked after just a day or two. I need to retire from my retirement volunteering activities. My age isn't helping, either.

And yes, Logos could and should be much easier to use. There is just way too much stuff on the homepage and it's not intuitive. Too many categories, windows, menus, submenus, and names I don't understand. Add my 1c to the pot.

Posts 5745
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 12:41 PM

I agree also! One thing, though, I’m not a power user, but learned enough to carry me through my studies just by playing with the software and watching mini videos made by FL.  I’m still debating whether to sign up for MP’s all access subscription to learn more, but I feel I’m ok with what I know. However, I know Bob has said in the past that even Microsoft Word, Excell, etc. hires third party companies to help Microsoft learn to use their own software. My take on it is this, “It doesn’t have to be the same with Logos.” I think something different should be done, because, as Cynthia mentioned, it should be accessible to the common people, not just the elite. It’s a Bible study tool not some huge corporation making money machine.  Yes, some are paid for full time ministry, but many of us are not because we are bi-vocational ministers or some are part time ministers that support themselves because the church can’t afford to help.  So, a big yes to making learning Logos Bible Software more accessible for everyone.

I have spoken! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

DAL

Posts 241
LogosEmployee
Adam Borries (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 2:07 PM

Hi, Cynthia,

My name is Adam, and I'm the product manager for the Logos desktop app. We haven't met, but I've long since come to really appreciate your voice in the forums. Thank you for so diligently advocating for the everyday user. I for one am definitely not sick of hearing this chorus from you. Big Smile

Cynthia in Florida:
I asked, "Is [ProPresenter] as difficult to learn as [Logos]?"

Well, no, ProPresenter is easier. But so is Proclaim; presentation software is a simpler tool for a simpler task. 

But I realize that's beside the point. Logos is incredibly complex program, and I agree we could do a lot more to guide the average user through their study. We already have some ideas on how to improve this, but I would love to hear your suggestions. 

Adam Borries | Product Manager, Logos desktop application

Message me on Faithlife.com >>

Posts 1789
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 2:41 PM

Adam

You now have Logos Fundamentals.  It seems wise to channel efforts into making this package a user friendly package...

If new users can learn Logos Fundamentals and not be overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles, then they would be willing to put their feet deeper into more advanced features.  This would be my suggestion.

Posts 25203
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 3:14 PM

Adam Borries (Faithlife):
I agree we could do a lot more to guide the average user through their study. We already have some ideas on how to improve this, but I would love to hear your suggestions. 

The issues I run into most frequently:

  1. People used to working only with a Study Bible who need a quick start layout with a study Bible and information panel striped down to Bible dictionary/Bible handbook level information
  2. People get frustrated because they don't understand what they are looking at. A mouse-over or pointer type way to see (a) the definition of the data they are looking at and (b) where that data comes from [or would come from when there is no data]
  3. Because it is difficult to create reading plans, standard reading plans such as the annual ISSL (International Standard Sunday-School Lessons) - see Standard Publishing, David Cook & Abingdon in Logos - should be provided in "lectionary" format.

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

Posts 715
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 3:19 PM

Adam Borries (Faithlife):

Hi, Cynthia,

My name is Adam, and I'm the product manager for the Logos desktop app. We haven't met, but I've long since come to really appreciate your voice in the forums. Thank you for so diligently advocating for the everyday user. I for one am definitely not sick of hearing this chorus from you. Big Smile

... but I would love to hear your suggestions.

Hello Adam:  Thank you so much for your response and kind words.  I do have some thoughts.

You know how Wordpress has a wordpress.com and a wordpress.org site?  Basically, you can use wordpress.com for free and before you know it, you have a blog set up.  It's easy to use and I don't need to know any code or fix any errors.  It's all done through them.  Mind you, I have limited functionality, but I have a pretty decent blog set up in a relatively short time.

Wordpress.org is an entirely different story.  With that, depending on how much I want to do, I need some type of knowledge for setting up a blog from scratch.  I need to know, at the very least, the basics of codes and errors, etc.  Further, I can choose to start from blank or purchase a template and build from there.  The more functionality I want, the more "bells and whistles I purchase."  Year ago, I started with a free wordpress.com account.  Now, I have a wordpress.org account, and I add functionality at my own pace, when I'm ready and want to spend the money.

I kinda think Logos needs something like that.  I know that Logos "doesn't sell the program engine" but sells books.  However, lately, all the purchasable (is that even a word?)  functionality add-ins are designed and appealing because they make Logos EASIER, leaving individuals without them struggling to use Logos.  I think Logos needs to make a few "level program packages NOT BASED ON BOOKS alone but based on functions that come with those resources.  For instance, at the basic level, if you create a package that has really great standard resources everyone needs, in a base program that is easy to use, without all the bells and whistles, at a great price, I think that's the "wordpress.com" hook. When I first started REALLY using Logos, I watched Mark's Logos 4 videos, and the best thing I learned from him that made Logos usable for me immediately was layouts.  He taught me how to build my own, which took a really long time.  However, if Logos included things like layouts, reading plans, etc., in user friend screens with a link to videos that explain how to use them, that would be like Mark sitting right there next to you!  Then, offer enticing additional functionality upgrade modules THAT COME WITH VIDEO LINKS embedded somehow next to the function key or whatever, so people don't have to look too far for help.  My son's online high school course came with something like that, so certainly you all can do that too.

Anyway, that's what comes to the top of my mind, but trust me, I have other ideas...I just don't want to sound too pushy! LOL.

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

Posts 562
Dale E Heath | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 4:14 PM

Cynthia, perhaps Logos training, helps, and tips could be more, what's the word I'm looking for? Inductive?Wink

Posts 25203
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 4:54 PM

Cynthia in Florida:
I have other ideas...I just don't want to sound too pushy!

Come on, sound pushy. I'd like to hear some of your other ideas.

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

Posts 715
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 6:12 PM

Dale E Heath:

Cynthia, perhaps Logos training, helps, and tips could be more, what's the word I'm looking for? Inductive?Wink

Dale, thanks for the chuckle.  I thought my wordpress.com and wordpress.org masked my inductive partiality.  :)

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

Posts 18244
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 8:17 PM

I agree. Logos is too complex for newbie users. I know that some software (like Wondershare Video Editor, which I use) comes with a startup option to choose whether you want to start it in "Easy Mode" or "Full Feature Mode" or some such. Logos could do something like that. Provide a stripped-down bare-bones "Easy Mode" with just the bare minimum of features and menu options to get people started, and let them graduate to "Full Feature Mode" once they're more comfortable with it. It could be an option in the Login screen, set to Easy Mode by default.

In Wondershare, Easy Mode is a much simpler UI with a wizard-like approach that steps people through what they need to do to use it.

Posts 25203
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 8:22 PM

Good idea Rosie

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

Posts 100
Jonathan Ray | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 11:45 PM

Adam Borries (Faithlife):
Logos is incredibly complex program, and I agree we could do a lot more to guide the average user through their study. We already have some ideas on how to improve this, but I would love to hear your suggestions. 

For what it's worth, there are my two cents.

With each new release, I am convinced that LOGOS is going to address the two long-standing issues, and with each release, I am left scratching my head. Note: I am a Mac user using a quite new MacBook Pro with an SSD and maxed out RAM.

1) LOGOS is slow. The indexing process makes my laptop's fans spin so hard I almost worry the machine might short circuit. It's borderline unusable for a slower machine. I try to onboard friends and family onto LOGOS all the time, and this is a major problem. 

I am a database engineer, and I understand that reworking the underlying architecture would be a major undertaking. But then I see all of this investment in features like the Interactive Media (Miracles of the Bible, Names of God, etc.), Faithlife TV, Mobile Ed, Sites, and Proclaim to name a few, and I think, Hey what about your flagship product that is running as slow as a city bus going uphill? The snappy speed of the LOGOS web app shows me that LOGOS could be sped up if it were a priority.

2) The Hebrew font in the interlinear pane is simply unreadable. I have 20/20 vision but cannot decipher the vowel pointing and sometimes even the letters themselves. I look at this as a bug in the software and can't understand how this has not been resolved, especially because this has been a known issue for Mac users for years.

The thought has not escaped me that I might be eating my words when L8 comes out! I will be happy to eat crow if these issues are addressed.

What Cynthia is talking about is improving the product--making it intuitive. That is sorely needed. I want to back up and say Before you consider further innovation, please fix the existing product.

I want to add that even with the longstanding problems I've described, I will still be singing LOGOS' praises and will still be recommending it loudly. There is no software like it, and I can't begin to tell you how much it's helped me. To Faithlife employees, please take this as constructive criticism. 

Posts 2299
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 20 2018 11:53 PM

Thanks Cynthia, for voicing out some of my thoughts.

I struggle most with the search functions. It's just cryptic. The B company nailed it.

Posts 4393
Forum MVP
Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 21 2018 1:39 AM

Adam Borries (Faithlife):
Thank you for so diligently advocating for the everyday user. I for one am definitely not sick of hearing this chorus from you. Big Smile

You may well be sick of my chorus though... 

New to Logos what do you want to do?

Read the resources that you have just invested in!

What do you find?

No workable reading plans for most resources other than bibles. It was my biggest disappointment on starting to use the software and remains my biggest frustration over the years.

Working Minister etc.

What do you want to do?

Prepare sermons!

Lectionary resources and integration pretty poor.

My second disappointment.

Posts 14
Adam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 21 2018 3:53 AM

Mark:

Adam

You now have Logos Fundamentals.  It seems wise to channel efforts into making this package a user friendly package...

If new users can learn Logos Fundamentals and not be overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles, then they would be willing to put their feet deeper into more advanced features.  This would be my suggestion.

Totally agree. A great move by Logos on the Fundamentals but I'm also wondering, what about making how-to resources cheaper? I'm in Australia so certainly can't make an MP Seminar & a Camp 1 & 2 Video Collection is WAY out of reach price wise at $400US & yes there are manuals & so forth that are cheaper but it's money that could be spent on book resources to fill our libraries maybe? Yes, I am aware of the free videos & training material that appear in the blogs & value those highly, I just think they only scratch the very deep surface

I want to use Logos in all its glory but without solid instruction, I feel like a small fish in a deep pond & know I'm missing out on some amazing features partly through my own ignorance I guess. I love logos though & thank everyone on the team for the hard work they do

We just bought a new car 7 months ago & the instruction manual was free. Not as complex as Logos of course plus I already knew how to drive, but knowing how to turn the heater on in winter has made huge benefits Stick out tongue 

Posts 715
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 21 2018 4:34 AM

Rosie Perera:

I agree. Logos is too complex for newbie users. I know that some software (like Wondershare Video Editor, which I use) comes with a startup option to choose whether you want to start it in "Easy Mode" or "Full Feature Mode" or some such. Logos could do something like that. Provide a stripped-down bare-bones "Easy Mode" with just the bare minimum of features and menu options to get people started, and let them graduate to "Full Feature Mode" once they're more comfortable with it. It could be an option in the Login screen, set to Easy Mode by default.

In Wondershare, Easy Mode is a much simpler UI with a wizard-like approach that steps people through what they need to do to use it.

Rosie!  I haven’t been here in a while so it was a wonderful surprise to see you!  

Your post is exactly what I was talking about.  Easy mode would be “wordpress.com” and full feature mode would be “wordpress.org” in my analogy.  Then, in the full feature mode, they could either offer add on features like they do now, or they could offer the full feature at a lump price or whatever.  Also, I think it’s important that in easy mode and in full feature mode, support is available as a hotkey.  In other words, I shouldn’t have to go hunting for support on a function.  You can’t “google“ something that you’re not even sure what it’s called.  They could even make an option “turn on/off tips” like I’ve seeen in other programs so that the user can grow into the program.  

I recognize that I’m talking from a perspective where I have no idea whatsoever what it takes to make some of these options available.  However, the great minds at Faithlife have proven they have the ability to create an incredibly powerful program. and so I have got to think that the elves who work so hard to make the magic happen “under the hood” can figure out a way to simplify it enough so that the average user can make the magic work on the screen.

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

Posts 919
JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 21 2018 4:56 AM

Adam:
what about making how-to resources cheaper?

More resources do need to be employed at creating "How to" material.  Different members of the Logos family travel at different speeds, some needing very detailed material whereas others flourish on much briefer material. The material needs to be easily accessible through a help menu system (quality fuzzy search?). Have past three score and ten I can sympathise more with my wife because I forget things more readily. I would love to be able just to click on a help menu and be able to remind myself of something I have not used for some time - for instance in creating a PB (although I have created hundreds)!

Yes I can get that from the Wiki pages but I need to know how to access them to be able to use them.
Creating clear simple instructions is a gift both spiritually and professionally. The materials need a panel of slow learners to test materials. Almost be definition these would have to be non-staff members.

There are plenty of examples for simple instructions for (say) MSWord tasks on the internet because MS dont provide the material. We do not have the number of users to provide that internet help system. 

IF we had an on-going help menu system being created, virtually any and every question on the Forums could/should result in a new easily accessible entry on the help system for future users - possibly even based on the answers given by other users!

We need both a large number of answers prepared and an easy way to access them. Possibly produce a small number of questions and then build the help system and test, test, test. This should be done before creating too many answers to ensure the tow sides key into each other.


I like the idea of different views of Logos. Photoshop Elements has Beginner, Guided and Expert. accessed at a click of a button. Where Photoshop falls down is their help system. Although I work in Expert mode I don't find that their help system really helps me.

We all love Logos and want to be able to boast more about it and encourage everyone interested in the bible to be able to use it. My wife occasionally makes constructive comments on my attire, not because she hates me but because she wants to be proud of me.

Posts 715
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 21 2018 5:00 AM

John B! 

Fabulous!!!!

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

Posts 715
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 21 2018 5:06 AM

Lee:

Thanks Cynthia, for voicing out some of my thoughts.

I struggle most with the search functions. It's just cryptic. The B company nailed it.

Lee:  You and me both!  It is very frustrating...and as you said, cryptic.  Of all my frustrations in learning Logos, this is at the top of the list.

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

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