ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
Appreciate what you say Steve about the lack of frequency that this page will be used. However I have to agree with previous posters about the layout of the 5 steps for Page 1. My first impression is that it is cluttered and confusing. As a player familiar with the game I'm sure I would have no problem navigating it, but for a newbie's first impression of the game, it strikes me that it would be confusing and somewhat daunting. And sorry, the flags are also an added confusion factor.
If you wanted to have a clear progression perhaps you could do it by a tabbed form perhaps- with a final big red button to set you off on the game. The tabs would show the number of steps and gives you a linear flow as you flip from page to page, its a format that people are familar with.
Just a suggestion and sorry for a negative post!
Not so keen on the tabs, even though I have two possible interpretation of what you mean.
1 - A large page with tabbed sheets, only 1 sheet is visible at a time. That is how the Scenarios and Optional Rules are laid out. I find it annoying that all the optional rules can't be seen at once. You have to keep flipping back and forth using the tab to see what the settings are. But that is a function of there being 81 optional rules. I would find it more annoying if that is how the 5 steps were presented.
2 - Press the Tab key and the form advances to the next step. I see at most marginal gain from this. Windows has this as part of its standard interface and many players will be familiar with it, including the use of Shift Tab to reverse direction. As a programmer, I get to see Delphi automatically assigning Tab Sequence number to every component on the form - there are hundreds of them. Encoding this would require the tedious disabling or numbering of all those tab sequence settings.
On the plus side, I agree that the final button that sends the player off into the program starting should be shown more clearly. I'll think about how to do that.
P.S. - Wasn't it standard practice in the American Civil War to shoot at the guy carrying the flag?
I meant option #1. It seems to me that a folder like progression from 1 to 5 along the top of the page would make the form more clear.
Jimm is acute to point out that you are invested in this version of the form ... this reminds me of the adage that authors need to be ready to murder their children, i.e. edit out their most cherished flights of ingenuity.
In usability testing, it's always important to remember 1) you can't test everything -- in fact, you can only test a few things 2) testers aren't users and 3) users are dumb. (the first two are fairly canonical, but #3 is my own addition).
Actually, the issue here is priorities. I am loathe to go back and redesign anything that has functioning code.
Thoroughout this project I have gone through design phases where I am open to a lot of suggestions from forum members, but once that is past and the design has been turned into code, revisiting the design requires enormous justification.
Remember McClellan who always want to buff and polish his army some more rather than actually send it into the field?
I think I may have voiced similar thoughts during that phase, but am too lazy to go back.
I would suggest that it is a true (although perhaps totally academic) statement that there are some usability issues that are severe enough to be worth the cost of recoding. This form, which is the first thing the user sees, may possibly fall in that category. But I agree it is not the right time to redo it.
I would suggest that you add a "UI refresh" task later in the schedule where we can review, estimate, and prioritize those few interface changes that may be worth a few days of schedule slip.