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Discussion Some usability suggestions

Discussion in 'GameMaker Studio 2 Community Tech Support' started by immortalx, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. immortalx

    immortalx Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Posts:
    295
    I understand that everyone has his own workflow and there are people who can easily navigate the IDE blindfolded. I personally find it a bit hard and would like to suggest some minor things which are probably not too hard to implement and could, hopefully, benefit all:

    Here's a mock-up of an additional entry in the right click context menu, in which you can select an existing event of that object, right from the resource tree.
    [​IMG]

    I'm aware about other means to get to an event, like the workspace overview (CTRL + TAB), which comes to my second point. Both the workspace overview and the code tabs, list events as "Create" or "Step" without the object name. It would be nice if there was the whole "obj_name - Event" in there.

    Feel free to suggest other things too.
     
    csanyk likes this.
  2. csanyk

    csanyk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    821
    More shortcuts and more ways to do it can seem like a good idea, but it actually makes the UI more complex. With so many ways to do the same thing, different users will learn one way or the other first, and tend to stick with what's familiar to them or what works best for them. While that sounds like a great thing, it has the downside of making it harder to explain to someone how to do something since you now have to figure out how they prefer to work based on what they already have learned, and tailor your instructions to their preferences.

    After a few decades of working with software designed to be ultra-customizable and work in whatever way the particular user happens to wish to configure it to work, I've found that I actually prefer more simplified UX where there's fewer ways to do things, resulting in a simpler UI with less clutter and confusion about how to do things since there's only one, well-designed way to do most things. Web apps and mobile apps tend to follow this approach, while desktop software tends to favor the more complex, more customizable approach, unless the product is young enough to have been developed with more modern UX principles in mind.

    In GMS, we already have multiple ways of doing a lot of things:
    • A menu option
    • A tool palette option
    • A keyboard shortcut
    • A right-click way
    I tend to learn one way and stick with it, and I prefer the way that I learn to be quick and easy. I'm not saying that GMS shouldn't have multiple ways to do things, but it should consider the design carefully when providing multiple paths to accomplish the same exact end. The more pathways that are added, the more there is to test and support, and this exponentially increases the load to develop the tool. I prefer a leaner approach.

    And more generally, I'm in favor of YYG fixing stuff that's broken, then adding new features, and then adding polish to the existing paths to those features, before creating more new paths to the same features. Currently YYG has a lot to fix, and I would vote for focusing all effort there, and on process improvements with their development life cycle to enable them to deliver higher quality at better velocity.
     
    immortalx likes this.
  3. immortalx

    immortalx Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Posts:
    295
    Believe me, I'd take a much simpler UI any day, as long as it's "well-designed" as you said in your own words. People have expressed their dissatisfaction numerous times in the forum and that's a sign that (at least in some departments) it's not that well designed.
    That's why I asked for things that wouldn't change anyone's workflow. One of the things is already there and only needs some minor polish (having the object name displayed in code tabs and workspace overview) and the other thing is just a menu entry, which I wouldn't call some shocking change.

    I, like you, have 3 decades experience of using desktop software and tend to like the simple stuff. But I realized that the majority of users wants their own way. That have brought a revolution in UI design, in the form of customization. I can refer to Modo as a good exaple of an application which you can transform to your heart's content. The good thing is that you can leave the interface untouched when you're learning and follow along tutorials with no problem. But when you master the thing, you can do all sorts of crazy stuff to the UI and the speed of doing operations cannot be compared.

    I completely agree with your last point. Bug fixes and stability is where all the effort should go. I merely suggested things (and encourage others to do so) that YYG could squeeze sometime in their roadmap.
     
    csanyk likes this.

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