Locus Map 4, discussion (alpha)

Started by Menion, December 06, 2019, 14:57:45

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Žajdlík Josef

The most difficult thing for Menion will be to find the simplest insight, while preserving the possibilities typical of Locus. If Locus simplifies a lot, it gets into direct competition with Google Maps, Mapy.cz and other applications. The development of these applications is based on large teams of people and applications are provided free of charge. If Locus is to be a paid application, it must not lose existing users and these are mostly technically-based users. Therefore, you will need to keep as much user-friendly settings as possible. Also, control logic should not change. The new look is nice, but perhaps irrelevant to me, I appreciate the application because of other things. But I understand that it is time to modernize the interface.

Tapio

Quote from: menion on December 27, 2019, 19:13:19@tapio
And what is a problem with the screenshots? Order of items in function panels? They start from the main menu to right and then to the top along the right side.
Yes, and in the config screen they start from top to bottom. It's OK, I can live with it.
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Saturo



Quote from: tapio link=topic=6817.msg58067#msg58067
Yes, and in the config screen they start from top to bottom. It's OK, I can live with it.

I also find this very confusing. Why do you do things like that?
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Joska

Quote from: tapio on December 27, 2019, 18:03:15
I'm usually rather speechless. I think it is quite common that nobody looks what an app/the os is capable of.
@tapio: You're right. But for such "normals" and for these friendly "nerds",  discussing in this group, it should be a win, to get a comfortable using interface on the one side, and a high featured app on the other.

If I'd understood right, menion said, the extraordinary features won't be forgotten,  the main application-lookout is the aim of the first discussion.

For me, it is diffucult, to remark a "red/common thread". I would like to get a clean map view, only added with a few (i.e.2) buttons for main features. The rest could stay in buttom/sidebars, or floating buttons (!), configurable and hideable.
Given that fact, it would be interesting to see the result of the voting from menion's earlier post. https://forum.locusmap.eu/index.php?topic=6817.msg57917#msg57917

Joska
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luxcalor

#109
Wow, this is great!

Used the Locus 4 alpha version today, and those are the things that came to my mind:

- GPS in Map center button. Crosshair is brown when searching for signal.  Crosshair turns green if GPS is locked. Long tap brings options to hold map center, turn off gps, go to GPS/compass screen. Would make all the location functions/indication in one place and accessible.
- Integrate Map center button into Bottom panel (lower it), OR, even better, move it outside the panel and to the left/right (a la gmaps). Too much screen space is wasted now and is akward to use. Also when adding more than 4 icons to the bottom panel the fifth one appears outside the panel and under the location button, which is not nice.
- Slide up bottom pannel to access menu (similar to gmaps, app drawer in android). Intuitive. :)
- Right pannel realized in a way of small round floating buttons, the same as Map content button, with each function in its separate button. Would make the interface much more elegant, modular, light, tapable and consistent with the circular theme. Will add possibility to elegantly add functions to the left too, on top of the Map content button. Will add possibility to make each function a button with different states (on/off/color/etc), would be amazing for the track rec button, for example (make it red while rec).
- Make Map content button blue, it's a Locus design trade mark in a way :), looks nice and everyone is used to ıt (i guess).
- Opacity (opaque) slider for the Overlays layer directly on the main map screen. İndispensable when overlaying satellite maps, comparing different maps, or anything layer wise, really. Currently, when adjusting this setting the Map content and overlays menus are always in the way, so the map is not even visible.
- possibility to add a point directly from an address popup screen/menu (long tap on any place on the map).

I am really liking this design language so far! Will test more.

All the best to you Locus Dream Team
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michaelbechtold

This whole complexity thing is unsolvable - in principle. Male/female - beginner/advanced - personal tastes - add some more aspects and you end up with 100s, or more.
Hence I agree with Menion and most others in this thread that offering an easy start setup, while preserving the power under the (first glance) cover.
Now, how to GET to the fancy features ?? Hierarchical menus are the traditional approach, but suck fundamentally, killing a beginner's experience and patience.
Hence, a prominent feature like "What do you want to do?" would help tremendously (just one more (floating?) button "?").
How to implement ? Full text search across embedded help, with many (!!) synonyms, stemming and alike. There should be "slim" approaches on github or sourceforge. No need for full Google power in an offline app for such purpose. Just list the first 10 or so hits based on some simple ranking. Pushing a list entry invokes the function. Where this is not possible because of missing context, information is given how to get there. Takes some thinking, but nearly squares the circle, I think.
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luxcalor

Quote from: michaelbechtold on December 28, 2019, 11:43:51
This whole complexity thing is unsolvable - in principle.
how to GET to the fancy features ??

The concept of an android phone launcher works great, I feel. You have the basic desktop with essential functions like phone, messages, calculator, etc, which would be map, positioning, navigation and track recording in terms of Locus. And then you have the app drawer with all the bells and whistles, which is menu in Locus. If we think of functions as apps, which could be put on the desktop the way users need them or want them, then it becomes easier.
That is the power of locus for me - well thought out functions that I can easily make accessible from the map screen and then put under the hood everything I don't currently need.

One way to simplify the menu is to place functions as icons in the grid, as done in the new menu before you tap "more fuctions".

There also could be a short description of what each function does in the menu. On long tap, or under the icon and title.

"Did you know?" kind of notifications with function descriptions and smart tips while setting up tasks is another way to educate out of the basic use scenarios.

Search bar on top of the menu, where notification center is now, would be great for those who already know what to look for.

Drag and drop of functions directly from menu to the map screen would also make things more intuitive. Current panel management is ok, but not exactly straightforward.
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michaelbechtold

I think your approach, luxcalor, and my proposal are not mutually exclusive, but rather could be combined.
Both support scenarios that the other one does not.
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luxcalor

Quote from: michaelbechtold on December 28, 2019, 21:27:00
I think your approach, luxcalor, and my proposal are not mutually exclusive, but rather could be combined.
Both support scenarios that the other one does not.

Absolutely 👌
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Andrew Heard

#114
Quote from: menion on December 27, 2019, 14:07:51
"show view" > interesting. Same problem in Pro version? If so, this bug must be in the app for many many years ... and compass is ok? Weird.
@menion - where is this feature in Pro for my testing? I've never seen it before Locus4! Recall there was a northern/ southern hemisphere bug in search nearest points a year+ back I found.

Quote from: menion on December 27, 2019, 14:07:51
"magnifier" > understand. Same problem as with "Scale lock" and "Show view" functions. All were in the bottom panel, useful for a tiny part of users, but ... when needed ... available right under fingers.
exactly - no one is going to use a magnifier that takes 6 taps to toggle, so provide via Function Panel & Presets for those tiny # users to decide whether important to them - similar to discussion from the other people in this topic over the last few days.

PS. also suggest for each Locus4 release users are asked to reset their preferences so the behavior is what a new user would experience.
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Menion

Hi guys,
nice discussion. I'll comment only important (from my point of view, sorry) points.

@luxcalor
- coloring of centering button > I've already tried this, but the color was not perfectly visible, anyway I would like to color it somehow or I was tinking about small animation of icon ... you will see.

- slide up bottom panel > since Android 10(11), because of the new gesture system, every slide from sides or bottom became pain and not useful anymore, unfortunately.

- the right panel as small circle buttons > ah, no sorry :). My graphical feeling has big problem with this idea.

- blue "map content" button > I would like to stick with max. two background colors per screen. SIngle blue button won't look good.

- improved setup of map overlay > planned

@michaelbechtold
This whole complexity thing is unsolvable > depends on what you consider as a solution. For me, best solution is compromise, nothing more. I also of course do not expect ultimate one-fit all solution :).

Anyway "ultimate" search over app features, settings etc ... really nice idea, I'll keep thinking about it, thanks!

@Andrew Heard
"Show view" should be under the rotate button at the bottom bar.

And reset > during the update to final LM4, I'll reset only necessary settings that affect changes we made, not all. It is not necessary to lost settings of all other screens I believe.
- Official help (ideas, questions, problems): help.locusmap.eu
- Advanced topics, sharing of knowledges: you're here!
- LM 4 Beta download, LM 4 final download
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jonny.blue

I think its difficult/impossible to find a satisfying start screen for all users.
Maybe for the first steps a single defined system can lead to believe this ... but after some usage its clear to have special requirements. And this have to be easy too.

Maybe you can start the map with a set of ready defined map views for different activities.
And for examble use top bar to swipe threw ...
Each activity could have a set of predefined settings.

If a biker/hiker/townsman/... can easily find his predefined view he can start very quick ... and even after some usage he doesn't need to jump into a huge customization system.
Second effort would be a fast and easy switch between activities  ...
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freischneider

Quote from: menion on December 29, 2019, 09:03:01
@luxcalor
- coloring of centering button > I've already tried this, but the color was not perfectly visible, anyway I would like to color it somehow or I was tinking about small animation of icon ... you will see.

I think the idea of coloring of centering button is good. Crosshairs are difficult to see. But you show a wide colored ring on the centering button. So you always have the GPS status in view and do not have to put it in the sidebar (save space).
Now all that is missing is access to the "GPS / Compass screen". A long tap brings up the selection, hold GPS. There could also be a button here for access "GPS / Compass screen"
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luxcalor

Quote from: freischneider on December 29, 2019, 11:08:32
But you show a wide colored ring on the centering button. So you always have the GPS status in view and do not have to put it in the sidebar (save space).
Now all that is missing is access to the "GPS / Compass screen". A long tap brings up the selection, hold GPS. There could also be a button here for access "GPS / Compass screen"

This would be nice! 👍
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luxcalor

Quote from: menion on December 29, 2019, 09:03:01
- the right panel as small circle buttons > ah, no sorry :). My graphical feeling has big problem with this idea.

The panel design is nice, but with this new interface it makes a lot of sense to have the panel at the left side. I tried alpha on a bigger screen and phone in my left hand - and yes, the placement of map center button starts to make sense, but the right panel is then difficult to reach. So, it seems, the panel on the side of menu and map center button plus option to mirror the interface for right handed use would make sense. It would also look aesthetically better that way, in my opinion.

Also the way the map center button drops and aligns with hamburger menu when the bottom panel gets hidden seems a bit akward. Bu that's me nitpicking. :)

The small glitch with fifth icon going under the map center button is still there even on bigger screen phone.
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