Feedback/Issues with the 2.0 beta

I’ve been holding off on posting these to see if anyone else flags them up. I haven’t seen anything so far, so I’ll go ahead and point a few glitches or things that I would like to see improved.

Appearance

  • Labels aren’t great to look at. I’ve never liked the “apply colour to document icon” approach, which I think is rather anachronistic. Those little pdf/rtf etc., icons are already busy enough, without being red or green too. While I don’t think it’s ideal, I prefer the “apply colour across the row behind the text” approach that most PIMs (e.g., Together) take, and that DT’s “Label” toolbar button suggests.

  • Tabs could also do with some visual polish, though I’m assuming that’s what this is in reference to: “Graphical glitches of navigation bar, tabbed browsing/viewing/editing, and of image views.”

  • Some of my user-created Smart Groups retain an “open” arrow, as if they contain subfolders.

  • The “Create a new rich/plain text document” toolbar icons look a bit like an afterthought, compared with some of the other (very good) icons.

Overall, the appearance of the new beta is a massive improvement on previous versions. The look is clean and sharp, and none of the changes seem to interfere with the usability of the app.

Miscellaneous things

  • I would like an option for default behaviour to be move, rather than copy, files when dragging from Finder.
  • The checkbox for “Show at Login” in the Sorter’s Prefs panel doesn’t stick, though the desired outcome is achieved.
  • The Sorter seems a tad sluggish.

The reason most of the things I’ve brought attention to are either little visual things, or somewhat nitpicky, is because apart from this, I find the application to be absolutely superb. It easily meets the demands of my current workflow (undergraduate), and I can see that it will easily scale to the additional requirements I have of it as I progress.

thank you for the feedback!

Smart groups which could (!) contain subgroups are expandable. The second beta will improve this but to prevent this, just add “Type is Any Content”.

On this point, I could not disagree more strongly.
I find that when an entire row is highlighted, my eye tends to skip over that entry. On the other hand, when only the icon is tinted, my eye is drawn to it. I think those bubble highlights Apple uses are among their biggest GUI mistakes. FWIW.

Mark

Seriously. I wrote a similar post on that very issue a couple years ago when someone else suggested the bubble thing – it’s a UI misstep… at best.

Point taken. I’ve never looked at it that way before, although I have to say it doesn’t work that way for me. Nevertheless, (and I realise there is a debate here to be had over the relative importance of visual polish vs functionality), I think the current implementation of labels looks a tad outdated. I wonder if there is any alternative/compromise position to be found? Maybe a colour bar that only spans one column, or is a paler shade, rather than those bright, default colours.

This is far from a serious concern for me, and I’m happy with whatever DEVONtech choose to do. I just thought it was worth at least mentioning, as, although DT’s value to its users is in its power and functionality, there seems to be a clear move to update the appearance (and take a little of the PIM market?). A few of the visual features seemed to me to be lagging behind other changes. I’m sorry to have wasted any time if it’s been debated before.

I’ve suggested once or twice that labels be replaced with the ability to set the title’s font color through metadata. That way, you have unlimited labels. I’d like to be able to do other things – set the title to bold/italic/underline, even conceivably change the size/font of the title (I think it’d be hideous, but you never know what some people might like). So why not the background? It’s not like your personal preference bugs me or anything :slight_smile:

DEVONtechnologies generally resists any suggestion to add a preference item, no matter how upset the user base gets about a particular behavior (see the rumpus over the “Create New Group” command). I can understand this… but I think it is solvable much the same way Firefox implements a lot of its advanced features: through about:config. In a document management app, it would seem normal to do this through the metadata for each document/group… so I push heavily for more control of the application through metadata and through some system of class inheritance.

Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that I don’t hate your freedom or anything – just that DEVONtechnologies is extremely unlikely to put in a preference item for this, and I like my labels more or less the way they are, so as long as it’s either your way or mine, I’ll have to fight you tooth and nail :wink: