A pretty face doesn't improve usability

Discussions around the Android version of the Gospel Library application.
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:14 pm

A pretty face doesn't improve usability


Post by btphelps »

I can see a lot of hard work has gone into the latest update. I like the ability to see my notes and annotations separately with this latest version and the added colors.

But i think the grid layout is overdone. I'd rather see a list of magazines, books and a list of chapters rather than an icon for every magazine, book and chapter. While the icons are nice to look at, it takes longer to scroll down and find things on my Galaxy 3. Now I have to carefully scroll down 3 to 5 times on my phone. For General Conference talks it's 13 or 14 screens. Before I could touch the screen once or twice to find the item I wanted.

The pretty pictures in the grid don't add much to findability and slow down navigation. I still have to read the small text label under the picture in some instances to be sure I've found the right one. The summary text from the intro paragraph of each chapter on the chapter icon in the BOM does not add to findability. The words on the BOM chapter icons are not useful as finding aids, and are too small and truncated in any case.

The Old and New Testament chapter icons are blank except for the chapter names. Now they've just put padding around the chapter titles for the sake of uniformity, sacrificing usability and findability. Why? :confused:

The icon used in the top level grid to represent all of the scriptures is confusing and misleading because it says "Old Testament". The word "Scriptures" is required underneath to verify the icon indicates all the scriptures, negating any value in adding a pretty picture.

If I want to move from the BOM to the OT, I have to navigate all the way out to the page with all the scriptures icons. Why can't I click on the navigation link at top and select a drop down menu to open the other scripture I want to read?

Lastly, it's nice to have the maps added, but once again their usefulness is limited. A pretty picture that isn't legible when zoomed is relatively useless.

I vote for an efficient navigational system over a pretty interface. I wonder how much usability testing was done on this release.
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Re: A pretty face doesn't improve usability


Post by GreyWolf68 »

It is possible to use List Mode in the new version ( of Gospel Library. I also find that hiding items I haven't downloaded except when I actually want to download something makes navigation easier. If you regularly switch from one item to another, such as the Old Testament to The Book of Mormon, it may also be useful to use the multi-window functionality.

As far as testing goes, I believe there was and is a great deal done. The Gospel Library BETA page on Google+ has been and is still very active. You might consider going there to read about the issues and get advice from those with more expertise than I have, as well as emailing the developers with any suggestions.
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Re: A pretty face doesn't improve usability


Post by cdw3423lds »

I have to agree. The icons slow things down and in some cases it is just stupid. Really an icon for each chapter? As a computer programmer myself, I know it wouldn't be hard to have the option for a text only list view. For chapters in the scriptures, why would you want an icon at all? It serves no purpose. In that case I think a text only list view should be the default. A text only list view is faster and you can see more items are on the page at a time, less scrolling.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when all you need is one word, the picture just wastes space and can't add anything but confusion.

I recently heard of someone having a hard time finding the New Testament because the icon for the scripture collection is the cover of the Old Testament. So instead of reading the text below the icon, they just kept looking for an icon for the New Testament on that screen and couldn't find it.

Chris W
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