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Topic: Toolbar redesign

GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
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Posted at: 2016-11-23, 10:18

Design for less buttons:

  • What looks like buttons on top of the bottom row represent dropdown (dropup?) menus.
  • Moved census + statistics buttons away from the fieldaction, since they are a global option and don't really belong there.
  • Objectives are now a tab in the messages window. The common theme here is game state, so I think it fits. If we need the visual separation, it will be no problem to move the buttons in the message window to the bottom.

I disagree with making the help button less visible - this game has a steep learning curve at the beginning, so it needs to be readily accessible to new players.

Edited: 2016-11-23, 10:20

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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
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Posted at: 2016-11-23, 18:12

In the picture it looks a bit messy because all 'pop-ups' are popped-up and the buttons are not equal in design.

If we use this kind of buttons, some of the intermediate windows could be omitted, e.g. Statistics window. That's a plus, imho.

Needs a rework of the buttons...

How does a potential background react if one clicks on a Main button and the 'pop-ups' appear (i guess this is how your Idea behave)?


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Notabilis
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Joined: 2016-11-03, 20:37
Posts: 32
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2016-11-23, 18:34

I prefer the current small button layout over the proposed version with big tool bars, too. While it could look nice, there isn't much often used functionality to put there. Most of the controls happen with the landscape/buildings directly, different from other games who have e.g. unit controls in their tool bar. So I would prefer to keep the visible area of the terrain as big as possible. If the only reason for the bigger bar is visual cohesion than I think a small tool bar, not much higher/bigger than the buttons, should be enough.

The dropup menus are nice, though. It is always so much work to go through the statistics-menu just to open the statistics for a short glance. Maybe even automatically open the drop-up menus when the cursors hovers over them? But it might well be that this will become annoying.

I like the idea of integrating the objectives with the message window. Is there even a reason to create a new category for them? Since its possible to filter for "scenario" messages I would have added objectives as simple messages. Probably the "status" column could be extended with "todo" / "done" options for objectives. Or maybe change the title of the message when done.

And since we are talking about the menus already: Is there a reason why the ingame "main menu" is so empty? In other games there are options like "new game", "load" or the regular options menu which I am missing in Widelands.


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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2016-11-24, 07:50

I am intrigued by the idea of drow down menus, though I am worried that these are a UI element we have nowhere else and that the user has to learn it first. Also I do not see a clear advantage compared to the quick-menus we have for example when you click on a flag (where the cursor already jumps to the first element).

I like the idea of integrating the objectives with the message window.

I am not so sure about this. In my mind, objectives are quite different (at least in scenarios), since some of them track progress, e.g. build 2 farms shows that 1 is already done. And you can have many objectives at the same time active. So they are different to messages that are static, like emails. I think putting them into the same menu removes some distinction there. Maybe this needs experimentation - I wish we had an experienced UX designer at hand face-smile.png

And since we are talking about the menus already: Is there a reason why the ingame "main menu" is so empty? In other games there are options like "new game", "load" or the regular options menu which I am missing in Widelands.

Two main reasons: loading from in-game was awkward to implement since the UI gets handed the game pointer and the map in many places and swapping out these pointers is a lot of work and error prone. If the UI could easily be restarted from in-game, this would be easier. The second reason is that we would then require a new set of menus that need designing and be kept up to date with the fullscreen menus for loading/new game.


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2016-11-25, 18:28

The reason that we don't have many dropdowns is that I have only finished programming he element a few weeks ago. I think we should have dropdowns anywhere where we have repeating buttons right now, which is mainly the game setup screen.

Design-wise, they could look like new language and win condition dropdowns, plus an icon.

Regarding the options, I also think that we should have the whole lot available in-game - we could filter out/grey out the options that are hard to switch in-game. The programming work isn't that much, actually, we only need to get around to doing it. It's not as difficult as loading a game from in-game.

Edited: 2016-11-25, 18:29

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MostlyHarmless
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Joined: 2017-07-07, 21:47
Posts: 5
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Posted at: 2017-07-10, 23:17

I recently joined the forum to post a new suggestion for creating buttons for changing the game speed. I think it's related to this thread so I'm adding a link.
https://wl.widelands.org/forum/topic/2898/?page=1#post-20793

The reason why I'm requesting it is that I want to play with my Surface Pro 3 and only use the pen. The only feature I'm missing is changing the game speed which I cannot do in any other way than Page Up / Page Down. Imho changing the game speed is a prominent feature of the game and should be present in the UI and not hidden behind a hotkey.

Otherwise I'm loving the game and it certainly scratches the Setllers itch I suddenly came up with face-smile.png


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2017-07-11, 11:38

Good idea - I have created a bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/widelands/+bug/1703570

Welcome to the forum face-smile.png


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2019-04-12, 09:42

Work in progress screenshot:

WIP

We need to decide what to do about the seafaring entry. There are 2 options:

  1. Remove it on non-seafaring maps. Advantage: no unusable entries. Disadvantage: other entries shift their location
  2. Deactivate it on non-seafaring maps. Advantage: Everything always has the same position. Disadvantage: Unusable entry

I personally hate it when menu items shift their position, so I'd prefer option 2. I am open to suggestions though face-smile.png


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Nordfriese
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Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
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Posted at: 2019-04-12, 10:47

Nice face-smile.png

Suggestion: The toolbar buttons should somehow indicate that they open a dropdown menu. Perhaps make them wider and add an arrow next to the icon?

Since availability of the seafaring stats doesn´t normally change during a game (except some scenarios), I´d personally prefer not to have a button that will never be enabled.


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stonerl
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Joined: 2018-07-30, 00:03
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Posted at: 2019-04-12, 15:44

GunChleoc wrote:

We need to decide what to do about the seafaring entry. There are 2 options:

  1. Remove it on non-seafaring maps. Advantage: no unusable entries. Disadvantage: other entries shift their location
  2. Deactivate it on non-seafaring maps. Advantage: Everything always has the same position. Disadvantage: Unusable entry

I personally hate it when menu items shift their position, so I'd prefer option 2. I am open to suggestions though face-smile.png

3: Change sorting of the menu and go with option 1. No location shift & the most important entries are the closest to the mouse cursor.

[https://fosuta.org/pics/toolbars_wip.jpg]


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