I'm trying out a new queue design and a new style for the progress/volume sliders. Let me know what you think.
Full version: http://forrst.com/posts/Sonora_Take_3-Pg2
If you want to test the app, give us your email at http://getsonora.com
about 2 years ago
Not feeling tabs at all. I actually may be the minority, but I think the original design was the best.
YES, I love this. Much preferred to the old style.
I think these opposite reactions show the kinds of dilemas I face while making design choices for this app :P.
Kyle, I'm not sure if you are referring to the original-original design where it was dark and had a queue pane instead of bar, or the previous shots I posted where the queue bar was just on top. There are so many things a music app needs to feel complete, and I think I've ended up with the bar-style of queue at this point it because it feels more streamlined than having a whole other pane in the app.
I really just hope that by the time we release the app, it makes the music-listening experience as fun and simple as possible. As people test the alpha, I'm trying to see if they are getting a better experience from it than iTunes.
OKAY. THAT'S SUPER AWESOME. CAN I HAZ IT?
CJ, submit your email at http://getsonora.com and we'll send an invite soon.
It's a really interesting idea, and the execution is brilliant, but I'm worried about the usability aspects of the tabs here. Tabs are typically used to stack multiple windows into one and to allow easy switching between them, but I presume clicking a tab here will advance to the song that is in the queue? And then doing that in turn, the content in each and other tab will change too? I think my problem with it is that it'll be changing the user's perception of how tabs work which you would of course want to avoid.
I really love the queue idea, and it's one of the things that will make users switch from iTunes and I think placing it under the controls is the way to go too looking at the previous designs, I just think it shouldn't look like a typical tab. I'm not a huge fan of the "Twitter sidebar" although it looks nice, but that's more of a personal issue as opposed to a usability one. :P
Tyler: I guess I was referring to the first beta I used with the play/pause buttons in the same horizontal line as the queue.
I'm not feeling the tabs much at all because they don't control the content below, which makes them feel super out of place to me. Kinda feels like you went with a comfortable visual rather than something that makes sense for the problem.
That is to say — the first design was brilliant an immediately made sense to me. I loved everything about it, and I'm not sure why it was changed :)
I see what you are talking about now Kyle. I am sorry you don't like the newer design as much, I am constantly trying to improve it and I am trying a bunch of different styles.
I changed that initial alpha design for two reasons: I really wanted to get album art in the queue, and it was hard having a pause/play button and album art both before the now-playing song. The other reason was that a lot of people felt that the queue bar felt kind of "weird", with the playback controls broken up and the button form of volume. I kind of got that feeling too, and now I think it feels a little more solid.
Chris, I agree with you. I used the Safari-style tabs originally because they just seemed to make so much damn sense with the queue. I especially liked how it make the now-playing song/tab connected with the bar of playback controls. I am trying to change it up by making an arrow point at the now-playing song from the top toolbar instead of having a whole tab come down and encapsulate the song.
Hey Tyler, I've been using Sonora for a little while now and though I love the visual design of Sonora, the queue is not the best design in terms of usability. I have both a Magic Trackpad and a 4 button trackball I use at my desk (plugged into a docked MBP 13). The horizontal queue design works great on the trackpad but not at all on the trackball or any device without a scrolling functionality. Also, pressing Esc to clear the song queue? Not a fan, I've accidentally cleared my song list when trying to exit Full Screen mode (which Esc does in many other apps).
How about a Queue tab to the left of Popular / New / Artists tabs where the queue is a list with album art to the left of each song and the title to the right, with artist and info horizontally below the title? I'm sure it's probably way too late for design suggestions now but having just found Sonora a couple weeks ago and your dribbble page today, that's the earliest I could get my comments to you.
almost 2 years ago
Do you mean a queue that looks more like this: http://dribbble.com/shots/146421-Playback
A pane with songs listed vertically? If that is what you mean, know that I went back and forth a lot between the vertical and horizontal queue designs, and that both have their benefits, and hopefully I will be able to improve upon the queue design in the future.
I am already doing concepts for future versions of Sonora, and if the app does well enough in the Mac App Store, they will hopefully get to see the light of day :D
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