Mistakes in the user guide

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Svengali
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by Svengali » 29 Aug 2017, 03:11

Ever since I first started reviewing the online user guide, there was something frustrating about using it... somehow so annoying! Yet, I never stopped to identify what that was, until now.

The current layout makes sense:
left side, a scrolling column = a clickable list of chapters, with nested topics and subtopics.
right side = a display of the selected topic's content with text, diagrams, illustrations and some animations.
But it is unexpectedly difficult to use. Why?

The Interface Mechanics are simply wrong:
Every time you choose a new topic and subtopic, the right side of the display is updated with the newly selected content starting at the (top) of the subtopic page.

But what also happens, simultaneously, on the Chapter/topic/subtopic list on the left side? It ALWAYS resets to the top of the list? :evil:

That's simply counter-intuitive, disorientating, and a serious loss of time.


Independent Scrolling:
The way I feel it should work is the left side (Chapter/topics/subtopics) and the right side (content) should scroll and update independently.

On the left side, the currently selected chapter, topic and nested suptopic should NOT SCROLL. It should stay where it is until the user explicitly moves it up or down.

On the right side, as now logically happens, new content should display at the top of the new, subtopic content AND that information should be separately scroll-able, as you review the multiple pages of information there.

That way, you don't have to remember where in the left hand scrolling list your last selected Chapter/topic/subtopic was AND you can immediately move to the next topic/subtopic in the list and have the right side of the screen update with the new content.

Streamlining the browsing process in this way would encourage the user to quickly jump-to, and scan through, chapters, topics and subtopics to locate the exact content for which they are really searching.

Sven
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o0Ampy0o
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by o0Ampy0o » 29 Aug 2017, 05:50

Svengali wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 03:11
Ever since I first started reviewing the online user guide........edit........

Sven
I agree with Sven regarding the suggested change to navigation of the online manual.
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Elodie
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Elodie » 29 Aug 2017, 11:22

Thank you Sven. It would probably explain why I do also have trouble using the online guide (when I have to look at something, I only use the search engine for I get confused with the numerous menus).

However, I know that changing the behaviour of the left menu won't be easy, for it's the same behaviour as the normal website. I also think we miss "next / previous" page buttons. :roll:
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Svengali
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Svengali » 29 Aug 2017, 12:41

Elodie,
I suspected it might NOT be an easy fix. Sorry. :(

Guess what? A temporary work-around that kinda works - using the browser back arrow returns you to the last selected location in the Chapter/Topic/Subtopic list. That will do me, for now. :D

Sven
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o0Ampy0o
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by o0Ampy0o » 29 Aug 2017, 18:51

Svengali wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 03:11
...That way, you don't have to remember where in the left hand scrolling list your last selected Chapter/topic/subtopic was AND you can immediately move to the next topic/subtopic in the list and have the right side of the screen update with the new content...
The left side resets with 0. Introduction at the top of the column but the place you were at remains highlighted with its sub-folder expanded. All that you have to do is scroll through the left column to get back there. You do not have to remember where you were. (I suppose you could forget but with this spot remaining highlighted and exposed it remembers and would remind you.).
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Svengali
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by Svengali » 30 Aug 2017, 01:20

o0Ampy0o wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 18:51
... All that you have to do is scroll through the left column to get back there ...
(At the risk of belaboring the issue...)
I guess it is the "all you have to do is scroll through the left column..." part that gets frustrating because your attention should be focused on the content in the right column, as you try to absorb what it is teaching.

The root problem in our manual comes from the way BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT columns always scroll TOGETHER: when you are studying and scrolling the right column of content up and down, the left column (which identifies the Chapter/topic/subtopic) quickly scrolls out of sight, sometimes up, sometimes down.

I maintain that if each column scrolled separately, you'd always know at a glance what Chapter/topic/subtopic you were FOCUSED on, and what subtopic you might want to explore next (or refer back to for review).

Interface design is a subtle thing, even in an interactive user's manual. It needs to successfully manage your FOCUS AND ORIENTATION while you construct a useful mental model of the software you're trying to learn.

Sven
Last edited by Svengali on 30 Aug 2017, 02:21, edited 1 time in total.
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o0Ampy0o
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by o0Ampy0o » 30 Aug 2017, 01:43

I just pointed that detail out in case you did not realize it worked like that. I am in agreement but I would say interface design has a dramatic effect on a user's ability to get the most out of a product.

Fortunately, at least in my perception, TVPaint 11 is at the stage of fine tuning.

Thus far I have only recently acquired TVPaint Pro 11 and have barely scratched its surface.

I noticed that the offline version relies on an internet browser and therefore behaves exactly like the online documentation.

I am probably going to construct a fully interactive PDF from the TVPaint documentation for my personal use when I am ready to focus on the software.

I have a Mac Mini on one side of my desk dedicated to manuals and other supporting material.
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Fabrice
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Fabrice » 30 Aug 2017, 12:51

We also have something like that in our mind (having both a html and PDF downloadable manual)
The manual was PDF in the past, but much more tedious to update since included within the software installer.
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by D.T. Nethery » 19 Sep 2017, 17:07

I really hate to be a bother about this , but even apart from the important issues Sven brought up , the User Manual still needs some attention to be more user friendly and not confuse new users. Some of these user friendly fixes should not be too difficult to implement.

Just one example :

I sent a student to this page about the Light Table to better understand how the Light Table works -
https://www.tvpaint.com/doc/tvp11/index ... ight-table

On this page the student reads these instructions :

"Load the "Bob" project and display only the current layer."


"Ok", the student replies to me: "what and where is 'the Bob project' " ?

How does anyone find this "Bob project" to load it in TVPaint and follow along with the demonstration of the Light Table in the user manual ? (I'm not asking for myself, I know where it is , in the Contents & Examples folder , but why confuse new users by instructing them to load a project file they can not easily locate on their own ?)

This doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to do some quick edits on the user manual pages to add a hyperlink that someone can simply click on to download the referenced tvpp project file directly from that page in the user manual.

In the video tutorial that covers the Light Table , couldn't there be a link included to download the Bob_project.tvpp or a link to download all the "Contents & Examples" files ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4AE97QdykI

------

While I am at it, would someone please fix the wording on the page about the Multiplane camera where it says: "a traditional multiplane camera setup often referred to as an editing table. " No, as I pointed out some time ago (https://www.tvpaint.com/forum/viewtopic ... =45#p99063) , in English a multiplane camera is not often (or ever) referred to as an "editing table" . There is some sort of mistranslation with that phrase . The reference to "editing table" does not make sense and it makes the user manual seem less credible to have such basic errors in discussing motion picture terminology.

An editing table is a different piece of equipment than an animation rostrum camera stand (multiplane or single-plane) .

.
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Elodie
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Elodie » 20 Sep 2017, 05:30

Thank you for your feedback David :)

* About adding downloadable links :
It's actually "more complex" than you think (well, not complex but longer than you assume), for it requires to edit both the localisation (all translations are separated from the doc / website structure) and php files (in order to add the link).
Plus, we should obviously do it on all the pages.
Hopefully, with the team growing up, we should be able to assign that task to someone.

* about multiplane camera :
I did not remember this post ! Indeed you're right and this will be easy to change.

BTW, we've recently changed all the "wrapping grid" into "warp grid". :mrgreen:
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