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      Poweramp v3 Project Update   04/24/2017

      As you may be aware, the Poweramp developer has been working hard on an updated material design user interface for Poweramp v3 which required a full ground-up rebuild of the code. It is hoped this will be ready for final beta-testing by the end of the May/early June. See forum thread for more details and to discuss.    
Industrial

Why is the GUI and UI and ergonomics so bad ?

17 posts in this topic

I have one and only gripe with Poweramp, and I'm sure I'm not the only one : the UI and the global egonomic of the player.

Let's be honest, it's over complicated and overloaded.

What a surprise on this alpha to see a swipe menu on left, alleluja I said !  But I was even more suprise (and cried a little) to see they kept the bottom and top menu too !  

As if it was not already overloaded and over complicated with menus, submenus and icons everywhere, now we have a side bar we can't even customise and reorganise. Seriously, what's the point ? Is this a joke ? I want one and only one menu, let us hide what I don't need.

I still love the load of options but onece again, a cleaner UI could be a solution to lot of rejecting this app that, from a casual user, is a white elephant, unwieldy and unnecessary complicated.

What totally boggles me is that there are tons of players with great UI, great ergonomics on the store, why not simply taking exemple from them ? It's not a shame, you can't be good everywhere !

So please, clean or revamp this bloated UI, it's a mess, really.

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Got to agree in some ways. I dont like that "search" button in the player UI. Should have a option to clear all the top/bottom icons of the album art. maybe in future updates. Still alpha.

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There used to be an option to do this (i.e. make the icons only appear when you tap the album art area) but Max removed it with the v3 alpha builds for better compatibility with the new skin interface I believe. I actually reported it as a bug at the time (oops!).

Personally (and this is just my opinion) I don't like the edge-in swipe menus as they stand at the moment. Not only are they a bit cluttered, but they are easy to get muddled with side-swiping on the album art area. I'd be much happier with just a nice simple menu button to call them up (and ideally just one menu button, not a Menu button and then a separate 'Overflow List). But then I'm old-school.

Andre

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What exactly bottom and top menu do you mean exactly? For main screen, there is top action bar and no any other menus.
For Equ / Playlists, the action bar is moved to the bottom, and no top menus. I think it will be possible to hide action bar from main screen completely if I find a good shortcut for search and overflow action (or just make it auto-hideable, as other panels).

As for bottom-focused navigation, it will stay this way - smartphones screens grow, but fingers don't.

 

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I wanted to report it myself but thanx OP fir this thread. I find it extremely frustrating when if you are one those people who used to switch tracks by swiping across album art and right menu keeps getting pulled by accident. I personally  barely find any point in the right one for myself (visualization stuff is not really what many of us cant live without) so i would appreciate if there was an option to disable left/right/both menus (even if now settings are only available from that left menu and only from there it seems, i think it needs to be reorganized for that option, like really, settings is the only reason i would open that menu)

Another solution that came to my mind is that both of it could only be pulled from the bottom, the area not higher than from where album art begins

Also hope you will bring back an option to make rating stars semi-transparent/not transparent instead of completely transparent/semi-transparent when interracting, just like it was back then in v2

Thanks

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6 hours ago, Raein said:

Another solution that came to my mind is that both of it could only be pulled from the bottom, the area not higher than from where album art begins

I agree with everything you've said (this is a personal comment, I'm a forum moderator not the dev!).

There was a thread a while ago where a user (@Brainscollector) came up with a possible interface concept, and even coded a demo which showed the use of a swipe-up gesture in the song title area to slide in the Library/Folders screen (instead of tapping on the title area). I thought that was a great idea, and much harder to activate by accident when trying to adjust the progress bar. Also it was very easy and intuitive to get back to the Player screen by simply sliding the screen down again. It just seemed a really elegant, clean and simple solution (and very modern, which is actually an odd thing for me to like but it just seemed a great concept).

The thread was at http://forum.powerampapp.com/index.php?/topic/8560-proposed-material-design-style-interface-discussion/ if you want to read it, and the latest concept that Brainscollector designed looked like this (the colours were just for show, this was his idea for a light theme but he also did a dark one):

c8P1MY8.gif

(Reminder, this was just a concept, it is NOT Max's plan for the new interface - I just think a few of the design ideas might be worth implementing)

Andre

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6 hours ago, andrewilley said:

I agree with everything you've said (this is a personal comment, I'm a forum moderator not the dev!).

There was a thread a while ago where a user (@Brainscollector) came up with a possible interface concept, and even coded a demo which showed the use of a swipe-up gesture in the song title area to slide in the Library/Folders screen (instead of tapping on the title area). I thought that was a great idea, and much harder to activate by accident when trying to adjust the progress bar. Also it was very easy and intuitive to get back to the Player screen by simply sliding the screen down again. It just seemed a really elegant, clean and simple solution (and very modern, which is actually an odd thing for me to like but it just seemed a great concept).

The thread was at http://forum.powerampapp.com/index.php?/topic/8560-proposed-material-design-style-interface-discussion/ if you want to read it, and the latest concept that Brainscollector designed looked like this (the colours were just for show, this was his idea for a light theme but he also did a dark one):

c8P1MY8.gif

(Reminder, this was just a concept, it is NOT Max's plan for the new interface - I just think a few of the design ideas might be worth implementing)

Andre

I'm 150% with that interface. If we could get even just a drop of that concept in Poweramp I would be satisfied. Any issues I've ever had with Poweramp has been solely UI. The new side menu is a welcome update in an ever growing app environment, but I do believe the UI could take hints from a concept like this 👍

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I think the key things I liked about @Brainscollector 's eventual concept were:

  • Vertical swipe gesture from the bottom of Player screen to get to the libraries page (and to go back again, reverse the action by vertical swiping again on top of the libraries page).
  • Tabbed folders/libraries/etc, with clearer tab titles at the top (so less easily muddled with the bottom Android buttons) replacing the current drill-down menu structure for Libraries to get to the sub-pages.
  • A more visible progress bar.
  • A new 'Now Playing' tab, which shows both the recent and the upcoming tracks, regardless of what mode you are listening in (currently, if you are listening in Albums mode and have come to the last track, you can't see what tracks PA will be playing next).
  • Although not visible on this demo, the library tabs were intended to be user adjustable (just like the current library menu options) and the order could be tweaked too - so for example if you mostly use Playlists and sometimes Albums, but never Folders, you could set that as your preferred order for the tabs.

Personally by the way, I don't like the side-gesture access method for menus from the Player screen, as it's far too easy to get mixed up with album art gestures. That's what God created Menu buttons for, even if Satan came along and tried to persuade us that they really should be Overflow Lists. :)

Anyway, it was fun to get feedback on what users thought, but I think Max probably already had his own definite ideas for the UI which we'll see in the first beta release of v3. Maybe some of the above might make it into the design anyway (I'm not especially bothered about colours and icons, as they can all be skinned later anyway, it'd be more updated operational features that I'm interested in).

Andre

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9 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

@Brainscollector

  • A new 'Now Playing' tab, which shows both the recent and the upcoming tracks, regardless of what mode you are listening in (currently, if you are listening in Albums mode and have come to the last track, you can't see what tracks PA will be playing next).

I actually used to make the next track displaying in metadata row, which is set to display bitrate by default, it was possible to change that in settings. Not sure if it is now. It was pretty much ok with having nothing more than that.

This is a great concept for sure

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Yes, I have next track displayed in the player screen too, but that 'Now Playing' tab in the concept interface would allow you to look backwards and forwards through the current playback sequence (whatever mode that might be, even in Shuffle play etc) which quite a few people had requested in the past. Just seemed a clear and elegant way to view the current songlist without extra fuss.

Andre

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I utterly love @Brainscollector UI mockup. If that ends up in Poweramp there won't be, IMHO, a better audio player out there. Right now the only thing I don't like about Poweramp is the user interface. I'm already familiar with it, but this year (and it's only April) FOUR of my friends have tried and disliked Poweramp ONLY because the looks. Sound quality is amazing, but frankly if you have a pair of cheap headphones and 128kbps MP3, the main difference between players is the user experience. My friends didn't want to spend the time required by Poweramp's current learning curve, and at least two used Neutron instead. In the end, four sales lost just because of an overcomplex UI.

I'm not going to stop using Poweramp even if the UI gets actually worse, because I love the program, but frankly a more modern and more practical UI would get quite a lot of users, and @Brainscollector design is great.

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There are tons of possibilites when talking about UI and ergonomics, the concept above is really good, and for I personnaly like the UI of the preloaded Samsung Player, it's incredibly simple and efficient ! Sadly I have to stick with Poweramp that has a better audio output on the store (soundstaging is the best, don't know the dev(s) secret to achieve that lol).

I wish the dev(s) would give us some feedback about an hypothetical UI revamp, because it really bothers me to have to suffer those terrible ergonomics everytime I have to access an album or an artist :(

Once again, you cannot be the best everywhere, audio is on top, now focus on ergonomics, don't forget most people go to the nicest looking and simplest software.

 

 

 

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well I want the bottom action bar in the player back. there was once an option to have the action bar on top or bottom for both player and everywhere else but now the actionbar is on the bottom for everywhere else but top n the player which is REALLY annoying.

 

also I agree with the op that it's somewhat overloaded before there were 4 buttons on the right (EQ, other audio settings, menu and navigation, although I dont need that menu button as I already have one on my device)

I would prefer search, audio settings (including EQ, it was weird to have 2 butons that go to essentially the same UI part) and visualisations (and for those who dont have one, additionally a menu button)

you could go for even more if you moved that bar to the bottom

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I don't know for sure, but I think Max's logic is that controls which you need to use all the time on the current screen are at the bottom (playback/track controsl, etc) and lesser used things (menus, settings, etc) are out of the way at the top, over the album art area in the Player screen. Personally I prefer the old system for decluttering by hiding all the extra control icons (the stuff over the artwork area) until you tap the screen.

Andre

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well nobody stops from making that default but please keep settings that existed.

I want to say that this post is pretty much my experience back then:

I wanted to ask some stuff (iirc including this) on the forum but back then I couldnt really get in because iirc it was admin-approval and I never was approved despite trying at least 2 times. with the same email address and username I have now. I even have the registration emails from back then

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There was a bug with the forum registration spam-domain blocker a while back, should be OK now.

Andre

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no wonder I couldnt get in. I thought that the admins have something against new users.

it was back in november 2013 (on the 4th and 6th to be exact).

but back to topic I really want that option back.

especially considering the new left sidebar it is a lot more helpful to reach especially on devices that are called "Samsung galaxy Note (number)"

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