Saturday, 2 June 2012

GSoC Update 1: New Sudoku UI

I began working today on writing the new UI (User Interface) for the Gnome Sudoku game, it follows the design set out here. It includes updating the applications menu to use the new style (using GMenu), and providing an interface that is more suitable to touch screen devices.

I was unable to work during the last few weeks because of University exams, now they are now finished. However I did do some work, submitting some small patches before the start of the coding period that:
There are some problems with the current code, I believe this is because of the modifications I have made to the menu, but not updated the toolbar to match. I believe the toolbar is going to be removed, so these will probably be fixed when this happens.

Depending on the feedback from my mentor, I will probably continue updating the UI, this is somewhat matching my proposal, but instead of the number picker popup, there is now a separate entry location to the top right.

9 comments:

  1. Nice design. Sudoku is one of my favorite GNOME games.

    --
    J5

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    1. In case this was crediting me with this design, I believe it was the creation of Allan Day of the Gnome Design Team (https://github.com/gnome-design-team/gnome-mockups/commit/dfb9128b7c5f25a08e87f11e4cd066214b75c59d ), not me.

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  2. Looks nice.

    I wonder though -- it seems this is a step down on a big screen with a mouse (perhaps a shrinking use case, but the use case I designed GNOME Sudoku for). The previous design (though ugly) was much easier to use, since the buttons to press would be right next to where you clicked (ease of clicking is a factor of both target size and distance to target -- I optimized on "distance to target").With the new design, it will be much harder to use if you're using a mouse on a big widescreen monitor since you'll have to drag the mouse across. It also will be less obvious which square the buttons are going to control.

    On the other hand, I imagine the little tiny boxes of the GNOME Sudoku I designed would be unclickable with a finger on a tablet.

    I wonder how we can optimize for both use cases...

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    1. Yeah, I see what you are saying, I can see the above design working well with two hands on a touch screen. This could be a preference option, that can be automatically selected based on the input methods available (if possible).

      This is something I will probably consider in the coming weeks.

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    2. I wasn't just thinking about touch when I did these mockups.

      One issue with the current design is that the popup number picker is that it involves extremely small click targets - these are problematic on a range of input devices, not just touch. They also result in the number grid being obscured.

      There are a few things that we can do to help with this, imo. The first is to make sure that the UI works well with keyboard input. The second is to pay attention to how the UI scales. It should be possible to change the window size in order to establish an ergonomic layout.

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  3. Hey Chris,

    Great that you're working on this. We should get together to talk about the design - there are plenty of details that still need working out (or just communicating). Also, we probably need to get someone to do hi-resolution mockups...

    Allan

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    1. Sounds great :) Also, why is the Sudoku grid in the above design 4x4 (big squares), normally its just 3x3, or is this just a mistake?

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  4. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

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