[RCD] too late to offer feedback on larry?

Thomas Bruederli thomas at roundcube.net
Sun Jul 29 16:07:44 CEST 2012


On Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 5:28 AM, Benjamin Connelly
<ben at electricembers.net> wrote:
> I hear 0.8 is almost ready to be released. Exciting (and anxiety producing
> ;)

Thanks! Also it's never too late to offer feedback. The upcoming
release isn't the end of the world but we have to draw the line
somehwere.
>
> I really love the new artwork/icons, but below is a list of things I'd love
> to see improved with the skin before feeling comfortable rolling it out to
> our users. (I'm testing code grabbed daily using
>
>  git clone https://github.com/roundcube/roundcubemail.git
>
> Is this the best way to test the latest changes?)

That actually is, yes.
>
> 0) I have a 1024x768 display, and if I reset the zoom level (ctrl+0) in the
> browser, then the mailbox view (with or without preview pane) does not fit
> on the screen. A horizontal scroll bar appears, but who want's to have to
> scroll right just to see the "Settings" and "Logout" buttons, half of
> "Address Book" button, columns right of Date etc.? It takes two zoom out's
> (ctrl+-) to get to a point where the horizontal scroll bar goes away, but at
> that point the text is uncomfortably small. At 1280 this is not a problem.

There was a recent request to explicitly add a minimum width which
triggers a horizontal scrollbar. Of course that's not very nice but
even worse is the situation where UI elements don't fit on the screen
and overlap each others. 1024 has been a default for long time but
nowadays screens become wider and therefore we increased the minimum
size. Making everything fit into 1024 would probably affect the
general arrangements of the UI elements and thus be a drawback for
users with higher resolutions (which I believe is the majority).
>
> 1) In "Settings" at this 1024 resolution, a lot of the various sections
> create a horizontal scroll bar in the third (far right) pane. I think they
> layout of 3 columns is nifty, but also a lot of screen real estate gets
> wasted and all the content feels cramped to the right. Especially true with
> more complicated areas like the managesieve plugin's filter form. I actually
> prefer the old "tabs" for the first level of hierarchy in settings, then a
> two column view with plenty of room to work with the actual content in a
> wider right column.

See answer from 0)
>
> 2) I really like that Larry shows who you're logged in as, but that top bar
> with just "about" on the left and these items on the right also seems to
> consume a bit more real estate than it actually needs.

Ack.
>
> 3) The next bar down is even thicker, and seems to create a big void of
> unusable space top center, pushing everything down.
>
> 4) With the status messages moved to the bottom of the screen means there is
> yet another blank bar down there most of the time, instead of sometimes
> using the empty real estate top center as the old skin did.
>
> 5) I actually prefer the way the old skin had a soft fading dividing line
> between the "Mail, Address Book, Settings, Logout" buttons, instead of being
> hard all the way across. And the gradient of this new "Mail, Address Book,
> Settings" button bar seems messy between the gorgeous light and dark grey
> linen textures (especially the way the active button has it's gradient
> reversed.) Couldn't they all just be the ligher grey linen texture?

Lines, colors, gradients, fading, etc. all belong together to the
overall appearance of the screen design. It was the designer's choice
to draw them the way there are drawn and that of course is a up to
personal taste. We'll not go into any color discussions here unless
there are strong concerns from a usability perspective. No matter how
we design the UI, there are always people who like it more and some
don't like it. That's why Roundcube offers you the possibility to
create your own skin.
>
> 6) The folder actions icon seems inordinately large. Also in Settings ->
> Folders and Identities, those similar icons (new identity, add a folder,
> folder actions) seem big to me. And in addressbook.

That again is a design element which I accept in the way our designer drew it.
>
> 7) In composing messages, the body box seems cramped, and almost a little
> hard to know it's there, or where it is. (Old skin had nice thin black lines
> and clean white. Now I find myself squinting to make out subtly greyer areas
> around the various rectangles.) Is it possible to not have the attachments
> column to the right, unless the user has actually clicked the button above
> to "Attach" a file?  (it also adds a redundant redundant "Attach a file"
> button.)
>
> 8) The new feature of having the addressbook contacts appear to the left
> seems nifty. Is it possible to expand them by default? Without clicking
> "Personal addreses", folks might not know how useful this can be ;)

It would be possible, sure. The reason not to do so was the fact that
there might be more than one address book and even the "personal
address book" could be replaced by a corporate LDAP directory listing
50K contacts. In order to avoid unnecessary network activity and CPU
power we wait for the user to say "I want to see this specific list of
contacts here". Of course the just described situation doesn't apply
for all installations for Roundcube and it would indeed make sense to
expand the first address book by default.
>
> 9) The various blues and greys and just aren't doing it for me. It feels
> branded but not in our company's colors. Any hope for configurability, or
> something a little more neutral (whiter?) (Or perhaps we can just tweak the
> CSS to use different colors?)

This is again a color discussion which I'd like to avoid. However,
there won't be any color configuration in the future. If you want to
adjust colors, you simply create your own skin. That's why we created
the skinning system in Roundcube.
>
> 10) "threads" vs "list" buttons are not super obvious to me which is active,
> and when clicked they seem to leave a dotted blue box around them going all
> the way to the left edge of the screen, until I click elsewhere?

I recently got similar feedback and we'll try to improve that.
>
> 11) when viewing a message not just in the preview pane (but by double
> clicking it) the "Back" button creates a strange vertical line to the left
> of it in the linen texture -- much like the "Reply All" and "Forward"
> buttons have to their right, but that's because they have drop down list
> options. This is a super duper minor critique.
>
> I feel terrible laying all this on what has been a tremendous effort! I just
> wanted to share my honest opinion / impression.

Please don't feel terrible! We appreciate your feedback and improving
the new UI is an ongoing process which won't end with the upcoming
release.

Best regards,
Thomas


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