Kdenlive/UI Review

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

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)

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?

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

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 !?

Removing visual glitches

Proper sizes on any screen dimension

  • Monitor & Timeline toolbar tiny on highDPI (tools should be on top rather than bottom, which is for status?)
  • Balancing panels sizes (=> sidebars?)
  • Splitter to adapt timeline height hard to see & catch

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

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"

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

Adapting UI for touch

  • Getting leaptap controller from Shotcut
  • Achieving precise actions with taps ? 1st tap to focus area, then...

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