Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

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Watsong
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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Watsong » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:31 pm

Put completed research in a "Completed" tab, so that they are offscreen by default. At the moment it's like one of those RPG games with quests. But all the completed quests are piling up on the same list as the ones in progress. Too many icons, (and mods often add more). Completed quests in games get put on another tab with good reason. I feel that the same should apply here with completed research. There's rarely a need to reference the research that you have already done, when selecting the one that you will do next. And for when those rare situations occur - a "Completed" tab would allow easy access to a list of completed research.

(Also would free up the colour green for other use, if needed.)

Another example: The popular "Civilization" series of games puts completed research offscreen by auto positioning the scrollbar, when all preceding research in the tree has been completed.

It's a matter of scale and I feel that the game has enough research icons on the left hand list to need some level of categorisation, in relation to the number of icons to be listed.

To take it further, an "Unavailable" tab could have all the researches that have unresearched prequisities. This would make the remaining researches shown on the screen by default - the ones that are available to be researched now. Players can then either select the next research from the list provided, or utilise the rest of the research screen interface to research their research plans. At the very least, this reduces the information impact for new players. It's an important aspect of game design to trickle the information rate to new players, in order to not overwhelm them during the learning process.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by skyyy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:39 pm

I'm not a fan of Queued being another color (orange). It's pretty hard to tell the orange "Queued" apart from the yellow available, which has the text "Queue" (especially for red/green colorblind people. The states should have a way to tell them apart that's not color-based.) Also, could you queue an unavailable research? Would it be orange or red? It's not obvious from these designs.

Instead of having queued be an alternative to available/unavailable/researched, I think it should be an independent field. It can be available/unavailable/researched, and it can be in the queue or not. Cards that are in the queue gain some sort of badge or overlay or some other indicator, instead of losing their yellow/red color.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by zebediah49 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:49 pm

daniel34 wrote:
FFF #238 wrote:I personally had problem understanding, that the Queue button is actually a button on a first glance.
Agreed, I actually had to read the FFF a second time (this time thoroughly and comparing the images) to find the Queue button since it's visually not very distinguishable from the other states. Also the text seems misleading, "Queue" could mean the queue itself (noun) or the action of queueing the item (verb), it might be better to rename it to "Add to queue" or similar to make the intention clearer.
I actually scrolled up after reading the Kovarex part, didn't see a queue button, and gave up assuming it wasn't shown in the screenshots. Only after reading your post there did I re-open the FFF and find the button.

-------
Yes-Man wrote:Still no love for the colorblind (red-green, mostly)?

Wikipedia tells us that about 8% of the male population are affected. And by just taking a wild guess I'll assume that most of your playerbase is male. So by sticking to the green, yellow, orange, red colorscale (research dialog for example), you're more or less neglecting about 8% of your players.

Please, have a heart and think about it. There are other colors available, or even better, you could express the different states by also using icons/graphics at the same time.
I'm not colorblind myself, but I do do some publication work (where being both colorblind and black-and-white-printer friendly is important), and that's the first thing that jumped out at me. I would invite the devs to play with http://www.color-blindness.com/coblis-c ... simulator/ . As an example, when set to Protanopia mode, we get this:
FFF-Protanopia.jpg
FFF-Protanopia.jpg (428.35 KiB) Viewed 663 times
Yikes!

My recommendation would be to both follow the recommendations of other people, toning down the colors so they're not so bright (*lowering* contrast, but making it easier on the eyes), as well as adding a separate effect to further accentuate state. For example, Red (locked) technology could have a relatively light hashed overlay (basically angled gray tinted stripes), which conveys "you can't get to that". Queued technology could have a white desaturation-and-lighten overlay, which conveys "this object is a ghost and only partially exists" -- it only partially exists because the "Real" version is up in the queue area (in normal colors). I don't have any particularly good ideas for green (researched) technology, except perhaps rounding the corners of the boxes. When you research you go from "unknown" to 'friendly and understood", which makes the box less pointy.

IMO, I should ideally be able to look at a greyscale print-out of your research screen and still cleanly and quickly be able to tell what's going on. That type of distinction means that you are guaranteed to cover any and all types of colorblindness, and also gives you the freedom to pick your colors for aesthetics, rather than accessibility.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by boksiora » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:07 pm

i dont like the colors :( especially the shade of yellow , the current colors are better

please make it no so much in contrast

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:12 pm

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:As you can see, it's almost impossible to figure out what is needed without being aided by a tree that displays the steps. And, no, alt-tabbing out of the game to go to the wiki is NOT fun.
Is it the dev team's job to "fix" incredibly convoluted mods that have poor documentation? Personally I don't think so.

But they've already said there will be more in game resources for looking up recipe chains and it's in the roadmap.
It's on the roadmap? That's AWESOME news!

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Oktokolo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:28 pm

zebediah49 wrote:FFF-Protanopia.jpg
That looks like a nice amber screen GUI theme. Reminds me of the days where computer screens where monochrome and came in either green, amber or white. Science packs are partially hard to tell apart but otherwise it looks quite accessible.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by apriori » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:36 pm

Blueprint preview: Left Right click to remove, Right Left click to restore.
Because I build using Left click and remove using Right click.
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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by pleegwat » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:24 pm

skyyy wrote:Instead of having queued be an alternative to available/unavailable/researched, I think it should be an independent field. It can be available/unavailable/researched, and it can be in the queue or not. Cards that are in the queue gain some sort of badge or overlay or some other indicator, instead of losing their yellow/red color.
How about overlaying an icon containing the numbered position it's been queued in?

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by <NO_NAME> » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:52 pm

I like the new look, mostly for additional features that go with it but it also looks nice enough. (Although the colours are a little too eye-melting.)
I can see two problems though:
1) Icons of technologies have very low contrast but the background is burning my eyes with the strength of million suns. This makes the icons very hard to read.
2) As you mentioned, it is totally non-intuitive that "queue" is in fact a button. Although, this is not because it is in a wrong place. It is because it is in the same place as the status. After seeing a few statuses in this placed, you just start to assume by default that in this place always will be a status.
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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Panderturtle » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:25 pm

The standard grey GUI looks way better then a with rost or mettal designed one. As well it brings up the neutrality of the game and a smooth look.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by kovarex » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:31 pm

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote: Could you please Please PLEASE with sugar on top have an item crafting tree like the research tree? Especially if you try mods like Bob's mods the amount of steps required to create something is insane.
It is in the TO-DO list for 0.17, didn't we mention it somewhere?

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Yair3231 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:49 pm

The two buttons - "Queue" and "Queued" - should have different colors, so you could see the differance between them (sorry, bad english)

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Loewchen » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:55 pm

kovarex wrote: It is in the TO-DO list for 0.17, didn't we mention it somewhere?
Its in FFF #235.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by pauliunas » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:05 pm

I totally agree that the queue button doesn't look like a button at all. Moreover, the color of research items with the "queue" button is almost identical to the items that are already queued. Please juat make it a gray button like everything else.

As a side note, all those new buttons seem very narrow and hard to press. It may seem like a far shot, but what about touchscreens? They're getting more and more popular, and maybe one day you'll want to support playing on them too... If so, I think you might then appreciate if you don't have to redo the GUI design again (that is, if most buttons are already big enough). All the buttons in Factorio right now are quite big and comfortable for touchscreen usage. But the new ones are really narrow - isn't that a step back?

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by pulzar » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:05 pm

daniel34 wrote:
FFF #238 wrote:I personally had problem understanding, that the Queue button is actually a button on a first glance.
Agreed, I actually had to read the FFF a second time (this time thoroughly and comparing the images) to find the Queue button since it's visually not very distinguishable from the other states.
It's funny, I went back the second time to find it, and still couldn't. I concluded that it wasn't in the picture at all until I read your post, and went back the third time to find it, and then finally did :).

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Omnifarious » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:36 pm

IronCartographer wrote:
Omnifarious wrote:Where's this confirmation button? I still can't see it.
It's the green checkbox in the top right of the blueprint window screenshot, not on the tech tree mockups.
That's not the button I was talking about. After reading a whole lot of different things people have said about this, I have the growing realization that somehow the tech item itself is a button with a very subtle graphic indicating it's pushed and a state change from 'Queue' to 'Queued' and a slight color change?

I would never have, in a million year, guessed that's what you were supposed to do. I would've been fumbling with that GUI forever if I encountered it cold and would've resorted to Google to try to figure out what to do. Though, perhaps in my attempt to drag the tech item into the queue (which would've been what I would've first thought to do) I might have then clicked in the right place an inadvertently queued it. That would've been a surprise.

No, that GUI choice for handling queueing up tech items is very broken. It should not make it into production. It will confuse an enormous number of people. It's the wrong choice. Buttons should look like buttons.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Wubinator » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:43 pm

Took me a couple of minutes to figure out what the "Featured Technology" is, but got it :)

Am I correct to think that you now always see the complete tech tree on the right side? If so will the tree jump / slide to the corresponding box when you hover over / click one of the boxes in the index?
Would be nice because you'll quickly be able to see what that technology will open up in the tree

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by Kryzeth » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:02 pm

I'm really liking the new research queue and tech view. The colors are subject to change for sure. Just a couple things I'd like to see added, one is right-click to queue functionality (and matching right-click to unqueue functionality). And the second is the ability to filter technologies by science pack requirement, so like show technology that requires just red, or just red and green, etc etc. That would reduce the clutter in the technology menu, which just seems like a random mish mash of technologies. And finally, the ability to filter out completed and unavailable technologies, again to reduce the clutter on the right hand side. Maybe the search could override the filter, I dunno.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by ratchetfreak » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:41 pm

The queue and Queued state representations are a horrible design decision for various UX reasons:
  1. the words are far too similar which means that it's easy to misread
  2. the colors are also far too similar again leading to easy misreads, you had a paragraph about contrasts, apply what you preach everywhere
  3. and parhaps the most important one: the word in the "queue" state represents the action you take by clicking (it doesn't even look like a button). In contract to the other states where the word represents the actual state it is in now. This makes it very confusing. Pick on or the other and apply for all.
Going "locked", "available", "queued" and "researched" are much better terms. All of these have distinct word roots with very little overlap between the letters used. None of them have a negating prefix so less brain power is needed to figure out what is being shown.

I'm not entirely sure about how to fix the colors though, adding blue in there might be a better option.

Will there be options to rearrange the queue? If so take care that later research doesn't get moved to before the research that unlocks it.

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Re: Friday Facts #238 - The GUI update (Part II)

Post by QGamer » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:19 am

Philip017 wrote:adding a deep tech should add all prerequisites of course. and removing a tech from the que will also remove everything that requires it.
This actually raises a few interesting issues...

1) If I queue a technology that is deep in the tree, it should add all of the prerequisites to the queue. But what if there are more prerequisites than the maximum queue length? In this case, I think it should gently tell the player that he/she should try queuing a technology that less deep in the tree.

2) If I remove a technology that is deep in the tree, what happens to its prerequisites? I may have wanted to keep some of them, but not all. Or I may have wanted to keep none of them. What happens in this case? Does the queue remove only the deep technology, or does it remove its prerequisites as well? Or does the queue remove only the prerequisites that were added because of the deep tech, and keep the ones that the player had previously (explicitly) stated that he/she wants to queue? This is a tricky question that I'm not sure how to put into words.

As an aside question, what is the maximum length of the queue? I think the ideal maximum is around 8 or so...
As someone mentioned earlier, it's not the best idea to let the player plan out the entire game (i.e. queue all of the technologies) at the very beginning. One of the most important elements of the game is uncertainty about the future. In this case, the player shouldn't know which technologies he/she will research 10-20 researches down the line.

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