Kdenlive/UI Review

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Randa meeting 2015 report

During UI review with a professional video editor user and UI designers, we highligted several UI issues. We gathered these issues by topic.

An organized task view and current progress can be seen on KDE's project management tool: Kdenlive Phabricator

Finding functions without even looking for it

  • Toolbar standard actions are not so pertinent : New/Open & Copy/Paste not often used (see kate: no toolbar)
    • Designer note: (toolbars) add space in the layout even if not so useful...
    • rather offer to navigate between project steps: import clips, add transitions & effects, export (Première: changes layout, eg popping the color grade panel or the export panel)
→ What we plan to do:
Rework toolbar and tool placement - remove uncommon actions and emphasize most useful tools. For example, main toolbar could contain following actions: Save/Undo&Redo/Add Clip/Add Effect/Add Transition/Export, Bringing clip properties on double click not so useful?

For newbies: common habits of any software

  • Beginner layout : make timeline larger ; don't use tabs? ("Combine Classes of functions in combined views")
  • Import ? (not in toolbar, nor file menu, but Project / Add clip)
  • Drop transition from a list?!
  • Effects => preview. beginners need some help (experts will like filter); Pan & Zoom should stand out
  • Publish : Render => "File / Export" (render is sometimes "calculate effects") + should stand out in toolbar (cleaning the latter)
  • Render widget should only show codec & presets + start(queue), all other options hidden. Preview quality à la HandBrake?
  • Direct send to youtube etc?
  • Merge Effect Stack & Transition settings
→ What we plan to do:
Workflow: find a more intuitive way to add transitons (similar workflow to effects)
Export widget (previously called Render Widget) should by default propose a list of 3-4 most commonly used formats with only 1-2 adjustable params, advanced settings not displayed by default
Make Effect Stack & Transition Settings use the same "Settings" widget - showing transition or effects depending on the item selected in timeline
Add image preview to effects (Should be easy to write a script generating thumbnails)
Reorganize effects categories - maybe by default separate audio from video tracks


For users of competings apps: habits in the video field

  • Usual layout : effects list behind project bin ; effects stack behind Clip monitor or on Timeline side
  • Start playing project clip in monitor: Double click? Space bar OK
  • In/out zone OK, but then a shortcut to queue on timeline + pbm to put at 0 time !!
  • Resize : roll edit tool (move touching clips ends simultaneously) or resize one end + delete gap
  • Transition on track (ctrl-T) ?
  • Adding titles: hard to find, should appear in project toolbar
→ What we plan to do:
Implement same track transition
Make title clip creation easier to find

Making the workflow smooth and efficient

  • Zoom
    • factor too sensitive? Linear not most effective (frame / clip / project)
    • should keep center on playhead (except fit all)
  • Thumbnails allover timeline clips?
  • Video scrubbing on bin thumbs hover !?
→ What we plan to do:
Dragging clip from bin at 0 position is difficult (clip disappears if you are a few pixels on the left)
Reintroduce frame by frame thumbs on max zoom level
Feedback in clip monitor of which clip is currently displayed
Fit zoom to project should rewind scrollbar to zero

Removing visual glitches

Proper sizes on any screen dimension

  • Monitor & Timeline toolbar tiny on highDPI (tools should be on top or on the left side rather than bottom, which is for status?)
  • Balancing panels sizes (=> sidebars?)
  • Splitter to adapt timeline height hard to see & catch
→ What we plan to do:
Review tools & icon sizes on high DPI
Make sure timecode is displayer in a large enough font

Having everything properly aligned

  • Always display tabs as titles => better alignment between panels, drag tabs
  • Align texts in project bin table (should filename be a different field from description? could be the default description)
  • Indent effects stack top line to lower sections
→ What we plan to do:
Review UI details

Informative feedback for tools state and possibilities

  • Timeline: use more informative cursors
    • resize: green blinking arrow uggly + shows only 1 direction => use splitter cursor (2 directions)
    • over clip : 4 direction or hand cursor (ready to move)
    • Point for fade too small => rather use hover icons in corners (à la Dolphin)
  • Ctrl+Wheel (zoom) & other mouse shortcuts: should be noticed in status bar when pressing special keys?
  • Track labels ("Video" and "Audio") give wrong info (both are generic... except for split audio !)
  • Bin properties surprizing, how to close?
    • add a info icon in prj toolbar (hover icons on thumbnails? no if we add scrubbing)
  • Project search/filter => Label (HIG) ?
  • Effects stack: header could be more informative
    • "effects for [source]" is the same for all cuts => add track & timecode
  • Effects list
    • Click on group name should expand
    • Right click should popup context menu with "add to current clip", "bookmark"
→ What we plan to do:
Small UI fixes: Right click should bring useful context menu (Project Bin and Effect List)
Fix searching effect list using group name shows undragable group name and nothing else

Centralizing Customization

  • Wizard => more frigtening than helping
    • check install? => popup in case of important miss
    • default profile? => rather always adapting to clips! (keep raw material quality) + add project bin action "Adapt profile to this source"
    • in case of profile overriding (project close yo your target) & export settings, give more explanations (eg FrameRate by country?)
  • Get Hot New Stuff: not in download menu but in Settings
→ What we plan to do:
No more First Run Wizard. Just warn user on first run if something is missing from the install
Choose most useful settings by default (activate auto-save, etc)
No more default project profile format ? Always try to deduce profile from first added clip?
Move Download options from configure menu to a more context sensitive place (Download profiles from profiles dialog, etc).

Adapting UI for touch

  • Getting leaptap controller from Shotcut
  • Achieving precise actions with taps ? 1st tap to focus area, then...
→ What we plan to do:
Nothing decided yet...

This page was last modified on 13 September 2015, at 15:32. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.