Logos A4 UI - Doesn't Match PC Version

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This post has 56 Replies | 1 Follower

Posts 55
Scott Criswell | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Nov 21 2009 10:29 AM

I know that this is an alpha release and that the UI is still very much in development so take these comments with a grain of salt. My early impression of the Logos A4 build is that the UI is not as clean or as easy on the eyes as the PC build  -which is stunning!

Are there plans to add some additional visual polish to the core UI objects/controls to better match the PC twin? For example the PC versions color palate is softer than the stark flat grey of the mac version. Also, little things like odd drop shadows on every container element (tabs, panels etc...) seem out of place and are not present on the PC version.

Other core differences may be platform specific. For example all options and tools on the mac version are located in the top system application bar. This follows Apple's Human User Interface guidelines so is not technically a bad choice in any way and is arguably correct but it's not as handy as the PC versions UI implementation where the core features are all easily accessible via the main application window itself . Maybe this will be duplicative functionality in the final UI build and the application chrome and UI will be updated to match the PC version?...

My last thought pertains to the gaudy standard mac scrollbar controls. Ug, I've never liked these from a UI perspective. I know modifying them is not as clean a process as working within Microsoft's WPF framework, that said many mac applications are modified to reduce the eye strain of apples default scroll controls. Apple even does this on their own pro apps! My question then is will we see the superior UI design of the PC versions custom scroll controls or a similar variant for the mac? I really like how the scroll bars on the PC version fade out a bit and that they don't dominate the page when not in use. This is very helpful when reading a lot of text. It cleans up the multi panel layouts considerably and reduces eye strain.

Those are just my random nerdy thoughts. On the positive side, I appreciate the strong efforts of the Logos team to make a solid mac product, and I'll be excited to finally have feature parity with the windows version when the mac client is done. Great business move in my opinion even if it caused the Logos team to start from scratch. Your Internal development efforts for the mac platform are a much welcomed change of strategy!

Thanks and God bless

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

- Psalm 19:14

Posts 1931
Donovan R. Palmer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 21 2009 10:48 AM

Scott Criswell:
Are there plans to add some additional visual polish to the core UI objects/controls to better match the PC twin? For example the PC versions color palate is softer than the stark flat grey of the mac version. Also, little things like odd drop shadows on every container element (tabs, panels etc...) seem out of place and are not present on the PC version.

I mentioned the same thing on Alpha 2. I know we are a long way from the Gold version of Logos Mac v.4, but I did voice the same concerns.

Posts 55
Scott Criswell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 21 2009 12:48 PM

Donovan R. Palmer:

I mentioned the same thing on Alpha 2. I know we are a long way from the Gold version of Logos Mac v.4, but I did voice the same concerns.

Good to know I'm not the only one. I think they will polish the UI, they have the talent do it. Since I was a happy logos 3 user on the PC (and then honestly less than happy on the 1.0+ mac releases) I know that Logos cares about UI. Their PC version of the application has always demonstrated an extremely high competence for designing efficient and polished user interfaces. This new development model is exciting. That and the fact that the mac client is now being built in house on a shared core platform with the PC version shows me that Logos is dedicated to providing the same level of UI polish and refinement for mac users.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

- Psalm 19:14

Posts 235
Stephen Ashton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 21 2009 1:43 PM

Donovan R. Palmer:
I know we are a long way from the Gold version of Logos Mac v.4, but I did voice the same concerns.

What worries me is how far we are from the Gold version of Logos 4 for the Mac. Once again I feel like a poor relation ...

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Posts 55
Scott Criswell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 21 2009 5:05 PM

Stephen Ashton:

What worries me is how far we are from the Gold version of Logos 4 for the Mac. Once again I feel like a poor relation ...

I think it's more of a case of a new relationship as apposed to a poor one. I'm willing to let them deliver on this version. I really have confidence that having the mac dev staff in house will make a world of difference. They will have a learning curve to feel at home developing for the mac, but I suspect that many lessons were learned with the development of the 1.0 mac engine/codebase and that those lessons are being applied with this very forward thinking new version. It really is remarkable.

Now that the development staff is in house they will be working side-by-side with the Windows dev team on new features. Because of this I expect this to be the last major version of Logos we will have to wait longer for than our PC using friends. I suspect that many of these new mac developer were already involved in major feature decisions for the version we are testing now.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

- Psalm 19:14

Posts 221
Karl R B Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2009 12:22 AM

Not wanting to start an argument, but, the last thing I'd like to see is the Mac version looking like a PC clone/port. I prefer Mac software to look like Mac software with all its character and peculiarities. Personally I find the Mac Beta version much more pleasant than the PC version. Just another opinion ;-)

 

karl

Posts 30
Jordan Tatom | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2009 9:38 AM

Karl,

I agree!  It is my opinion that Logos4 should have the same functions and abilities as the Windows version but in a very noticeable Mac way, which is shown in the UI.  I do like the fact that I will eventually be able float my windows, because then I can use expose to see what I have open ... similar to what I do in Logos for Mac 1, not to mention that I use multiple screens.

Just between you and me, I like the stark grey because it makes it feel more Mac-like.  It might even be a lighter grey than Safari.  The basic Mac feel is this steel grey, if you will.  I say keep this feel.

It was my understanding that they are making a Mac version to DO what you can DO in the Windows version but not necessarily to be twins in UI, even though they will be quite close in UI it seems.  Again, this is my opinion, but I feel it important to voice both sides, as you did.  You are not alone Karl!

--Jordan

Posts 55
Scott Criswell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2009 10:00 AM

Karl Jones:

Not wanting to start an argument, but, the last thing I'd like to see is the Mac version looking like a PC clone/port. I prefer Mac software to look like Mac software with all its character and peculiarities. Personally I find the Mac Beta version much more pleasant than the PC version. Just another opinion ;-)

No worries here. :)

I agree that you always want your applications to be targeted for your platform in their design. I would argue however that this new version of logos is neither strictly a PC or mac UI design. They are trying many new things that are not common to the standard user experience for either platform. Much of that I think is good for the software industry if done well. They are charting new ground but they are doing it carefully as apposed to Adobe for example which has been rolling out new custom UI for their app suits for the last few years but has not had great execution. I only want the product that Logos puts on the market to be equally polished for both platforms (as far as execution of UI elements). They are already bringing a unique windowing system to the mac platform with this new product but I for one think it is a very good design. the windows are not distracting and they have been very careful to put content (i.e. digital books) first and application UI second in regard to visual prominence. Notice that the PC version has nice subtile touches even with the scroll bars. When not in use they fade out of prominence a bit so that they do not distract the eye from the task of reading. To me this is very important since several books can be opened and "docked" in so many varying configurations. My comment/concern for the mac version is that the standard mac UI for this is very busy. A screen full of bright blue scroll bars is not ideal when reading so much copy. The other main concern is the general polish of the UI. Rough shadows and odd font rendering for content abound on the mac build of the product. I think they will refine this before the final launch but I figured I might as well add to the conversation.  ;)

But seriously Karl, I understand your concerns. One gripe of mine (though minor) that I think goes with what you are saying is the placement of the close window (x) on each of the panels found on the mac version. Mac users are used to having these close window controls on the left not the right (not speaking of the main app window but the content panels). Also I would like to see them as part of the tab UI element and not the tab bar itself. I think it would be clearer to the end user what tab they are closing if that change were made and it would allow for a simple UI change for both platforms. the PC version would have the close window/tab control on the right of the tab, the mac version would have it on the left. Microsoft made this change recently for Visual Studio (a development tool) the old version had the close tab UI on the tab bar in previous version but with the new 2010 release of Studio they are on now on the Tab UI. Similar to how most web browser tabs have functioned for years.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

- Psalm 19:14

Posts 55
Scott Criswell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2009 10:09 AM

Jordan Montgomery:

I agree!  It is my opinion that Logos4 should have the same functions and abilities as the Windows version but in a very noticeable Mac way, which is shown in the UI.  I do like the fact that I will eventually be able float my windows, because then I can use expose to see what I have open ... similar to what I do in Logos for Mac 1, not to mention that I use multiple screens.

Just between you and me, I like the stark grey because it makes it feel more Mac-like.  It might even be a lighter grey than Safari.  The basic Mac feel is this steel grey, if you will.  I say keep this feel.

It was my understanding that they are making a Mac version to DO what you can DO in the Windows version but not necessarily to be twins in UI, even though they will be quite close in UI it seems.  Again, this is my opinion, but I feel it important to voice both sides, as you did.  You are not alone Karl!

Karl, All good and valid points. Especially on the use of expose. As far as color of the main chrome. Sure grey is fine. I would only say that the polish is not as nice as other well none mac apps. At least not yet. For example Safari has subtile gradients on every control. If you don't look for them you won't notice but they add visual contrast were needed and help to provide a more polished final UI. The PC version has this in many places where the mac version does not. At least not yet.

I like this point-counter-point. :)

Blessings!

 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

- Psalm 19:14

Posts 1706
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2009 9:28 PM

We're very interested in your thoughts on this subject.

Our goal on Windows is to follow usability guidelines where it makes sense (we follow many Windows guidelines, from standard keystrokes and mouse behavior to capitalization), while still doing what's right for our app. (Which is just what Microsoft (and Apple) does -- after publishing "do it this way" guidelines, they feel free to modify Office or any other app to be right for that app.

On the Mac we need more direction. We understand that Mac users can be, um, enthusiastic... about "the Mac way". So our present plan is to use our basic application framework -- and our windowing system -- while adopting Mac standard controls and patterns wherever possible. But I share your concern that putting a bright blue scrollbar in 6 tiles could be overwhelming and get in the way of the content.

Apple seems to "break the rules" whenever it suits their needs, and we're willing to as well. We'd love to hear your thoughts and when and where we should.

(We've got artists on staff, who are working on the design now, but feel free to post mockups -- or screen captures from other apps -- showing what you think we should do to keep the best of the Logos 4 elegance while being right for the Mac platform.)

Posts 102
shane blyth | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2009 10:01 PM

I understand the UI is not in place in the alpha and frankly it shouldnt be in an Alphe there are other things to sort out first at this low a level of development. 

I do like the basic look of the PC version Home page I the ribbon is ok only on the home page and i like that it scrolls away when i click something like the reading plans.

Alpha 4 seems basically ok as a layout. I have several panes in a single unified window which is the way I like it. 

 

Posts 44
Sam Shaw | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2009 10:54 PM

Bob Pritchett:

We're very interested in your thoughts on this subject.

(We've got artists on staff, who are working on the design now, but feel free to post mockups -- or screen captures from other apps -- showing what you think we should do to keep the best of the Logos 4 elegance while being right for the Mac platform.)

Thank you for your interest in user input!

Please look at the following picture: http://www.apple.com/macosx/refinements/images/overlay_quicktime_02_20090608.jpg

One direction that Apple seems to be going with certain kinds of content is controls that disappear when not in use. And as a Mac user who's enthusiastic about "the Mac way", I would like to ask your artists on staff to consider if implementing controls that disappear when not in use (like how the black bar on top of the video in the picture is designed to disappear when your cursor is not hovering over it) seems like a good idea. In other words, please consider resources showing up as borderless pieces of paper (perhaps with rounded edges like Apple has it's content done in the picture) if your mouse is not hovering over those resources. Please consider it (I think it'll look good)—that's all I ask.

Thank you for your time!

Posts 55
Scott Criswell | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2009 8:55 AM

Mr. Pritchett,

I'd be honored to work on some UI mockups. It will take a few days due to the Thanksgiving weekend but I'll post a few mockups as soon as I complete them.

What an exciting time to be studying and learning from Gods Word!

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

- Psalm 19:14

Posts 103
Jason | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2009 9:57 AM

Another interesting Mac UI question is whether or not Expose will reveal individual windows in Logos 4.  In Logos 1.2.2, since each is a different Window, triggering expose lets you see every open resource (albeit sometimes overwhelming).  In Logos 4, would that still work with the tabbed windows being part of one larger window? 

Just a quick thought.

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Posts 2793
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2009 10:11 AM

I would like to see L4mac take advantage of the Mac Desktop system so I could assign certain windows to the desktop of my choice.  So maybe one desktop is for language study, another desktop is commentaries, etc..

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Posts 33
Mike Melloy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2009 9:13 PM

Bob Pritchett:
We're very interested in your thoughts on this subject.

I have struggled for years with the "consumability" (is that a word?) of content on a computer. Not just in Logos, but in almost every application. Visionaries talked about the "paperless office" over 20 years ago, yet paper is more prolific today than ever because people want to see words on a page. I find that to be true with books as well for many people (me included). I am sure that you have heard many times, "There is just something about having the book in your hands". While there is something to the portability of a single book, I suspect that the issue is more related to seeing the page than to holding the book. We can process information by scanning and flipping through pages more effectively than we can by scrolling through a book. Now obviously, this is not about finding information in a book. Logos is the perfect tool for that already. I am thinking more of when I have tried to actually read the books that I have in my library. It just isn't pleasant in the current format. Even with Reading View found in L4 Windows, the feel is not of a book page. It is still scrolling through line after line (or section after section) of text.

I would love to see the Mac have the ability to display book content in a way that provided the ability to flip through the pages of the book. The Apple application Preview does a decent job of this with PDF documents. I am sure that your team could come up with something as good or better for Logos books. It would also be great to have the ability to use gestures with the track pad on the newer macbooks to navigate.

Thanks for asking.

Logos saved me hundreds of hours in seminary. It continues to be a great tool for research and lesson prep. I love the product.

Thanks, Mike.

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 27 2009 5:13 AM

Windows user alert! Windows user here.... Big Smile

thanks for mentioning the "Expose" feature...I saw this in a video and thought it was incredibly cool...alas...no Win feature like it.

I have to say..Macs have style....

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 2793
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 27 2009 9:40 AM

If you think that is cool, try this.  Use the power of Expose (here I just have Safari and Mail open)

with the power of multiple desktops (here I have Safari and Mail on Desktop 1, Logos 4 on Desktop 2 and Logos 1.2.2 on Desktop 3 and 4 is open.  

If mac users could organize types of books, collections or selected windows and place them by default on various desktops, that would be like having multiple monitors while using only one.

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Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2009 4:34 AM

Joe,

don't you know it's wrong to cause a weaker brother to covet?Tongue Tied

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 10741
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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 29 2009 5:56 AM

Robert

You are always welcome to leave the darkness and come into the light Big Smile

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