Difference between revisions of "Comments and Suggestions about eComStation User Experience"

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Since the nefarious Windows 98 (and before Windows 95 with an special Internet Explorer 4 component) the market had seen that the GUI had evolved  from the opening windows on the screen to see directories and files, to a navigator to go inside the folders structure.
 
Since the nefarious Windows 98 (and before Windows 95 with an special Internet Explorer 4 component) the market had seen that the GUI had evolved  from the opening windows on the screen to see directories and files, to a navigator to go inside the folders structure.

Revision as of 16:34, 8 March 2013

Author: Martin Iturbide
Date: 2011 – July
Version: A1
Location: Quito, Ecuador

Contents

1.0 Introduction

This document is an analysis and recommendation for improvements of the user experience on eComStation.

For this document I had compared:

  • eComStation 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Apple MacOS 10.6.6 and 10.7
  • Ubuntu 11.04

What is the reason for creating this document?

At the end of 2010 there was a discussion on the OS2World.com forum about what improvements you will like to see on OS2-eCS on 2011. It was no surprise that a lot of eCS-OS2 users posted that wanted to see improvements on the GUI. So I started this document to try to suggest the parts where eCS-OS2 can be improved on this subject. Warning: "It is not possible" People that know OS/2 and eComStation after reading some of the recommendations will say "It is not Possible", and may have their reasons like, "we don't have the source code for this component" or "the way OS/2 is designed does not allow that".

This document is based on comparison with other OSes on how they improved their user experience, without worrying about the OS technical properties, legacy functions or user cultural background. In other word this document only describe "What to do" and not "How to do it"

Why Open Source?

If there is a thing in that I always insist is that we (the eCS-OS2 community) need to always try to replace the close source components of OS/2 for open source ones (Open Source under an OSI approved license).

One of the advantage that has the open source software is the independence of the main vendor or the developer. So, if the programmer stops the development of an specific software, it is complete legal to use the source code released and continue it. This reduce the risk of software becoming abamdomware in the future.

I strongly recommend that all of the improvements on the eComStation user experience will be released as Open Source under an OSI approved open source license.

About this document

The text of this document is released as Public Domain. You can use it in any way you want. The pictures of the Operating System belongs to their respective copyright owners.

2.0 Recommendations

After comparing the operating Systems and with the goal to see improvements on eComStation GUI, I had written the following recommendations on a very informal and light way.

I'm not an User Experience expert the recommendations are not in technical or UX specification language. This recommendations are based on basic observation of how other Operating Systems GUI behaves against eComStation 2.1.

The following recommendation I took the liberty to analyze first other operating system and include screenshots and compare them to eComStation 2.1.


Recommendation #1 - The "quiet" boot.

Windows 7, MacOS 10.6 and Ubuntu 11.04 has by default a quiet boot. During the boot procedure the user is not shown any message information about the components that is loading and its status.

Win7-QuietBoot.png

Windows 7 shows the "Starting Windows" animation.


MacOS-QuietBoot.png

MacOS shows a very clear logo as start up.


Ubu11-QuietBoot.png

Ubuntu also has a clear boot without any messages or loading information.


There is also a good idea that offers some linux distribution, that was making by default a quiet boot only showing the boot logo. But if the user press “ESC” it it can see all the verbose and messages that are being generated at that moment.

Suggestion for eComStation

On eComStation you can try to get a quiet boot, without any message, but you can't accomplish it completely and it is not set by default.

You can try to disable a lot of boot messages by tweaking the config.sys, and enable the /Q mode of several drivers like:

  • ACPI
  • APM.SYS
  • etc.

But there are some message that can not be removed :

  • Number of Processors message
  • Unicode message
  • GenMAc messages

Following a standard like the “Sugestion for OS/2 and eComstation Drivers Arguments” may be useful to try to obtain a complete quiet boot and have more structured on the verbose mode.

The suggestion (nice to have) will be to have a complete quiet boot as default for start up. Also having the options to press ESC to see what is going on (verbose mode) on the boot procedure will give more value to the technical users.


Recommendation #2 – The Boot Logo Animation

Actually eComStation 2.1 has the same standard as OS/2 Warp 4 when referring to the boot logo. Currently is supports a special type of bitmap format that is an static graphic, which is part of the OS/2 legacy of the OS.

If you manage you get a complete quiet boot like recommendation #1, you need to show some kind of animation to show that eComStation is loading and it had not stopped on the boot startup.


Windows 7 Mac OS 10.6.6 Ubuntu 11.04
Win7-BLogo.png
MacOS-BLogo.png
Ubu11-BLogo.png
Windows 7 show its start up animation. MacOS shows the waiting icon at start up. Ubuntu show animation


Suggestions for eComStation

An animation to show that the machine is actually working during the quiet boot will be desirable too. If the animation will be a common open standard and that will be easy to replace and custom change it will bring more value to the user.


Recommendation #3 – GUI – The Navigator

Since the nefarious Windows 98 (and before Windows 95 with an special Internet Explorer 4 component) the market had seen that the GUI had evolved from the opening windows on the screen to see directories and files, to a navigator to go inside the folders structure.

The navigator has the "back", "forward" and "reload" buttons inspired on the internet browser. Plus it always shows you the directory path where you are located, like the browser URL box.

Windows 7 Mac OS 10.6.6 Ubuntu 11.04



Every OS I’m comparing, Windows, MacOS and Ubuntu has this feature embedded on the GUI to navigate between the files of the computer and set by default.

Here are some example of the navigator in the full context of the window:

Windows 7

The file exploration in Windows 7 has a navigator style by default.


Ubuntu 11.04

Ubuntu also has a navigator to surf the files and directories inside the hard drive.


Mac OS 10.6

MacOS 10.6 shows the name of the window at top, which match with the path.

Suggestions for eComStation

The navigator seems to be an standard for all OSes today. It needs to be included to eComStation. Possible as a default or as a option inside the "View" menu.

Which seems also to be an standard is to include on the left of the window a section where you can include your "Favorites" folders, and also include a way to navigate inside the OS hard drive files.