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  1. #1
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    Improve default "Now Playing" layout

    Apart from the bugs that currently plague the Radio, my biggest issue with it is that I can barely read anything on the display at night without my glasses apart from the clock screen saver. The "now playing" display has too small title/album/artist info, a completely unreadable time and wastes precious space of the (a little too) small display.

    I created two mockups (middle and right) to show what I would imagine to look the "now playing" display like. Excuse the primitive design, but I think they show the idea.

    The basic concept:
    1) move the "playing" bar to the bottom
    2) move the picture to the left to get usable space on the right
    3) Display large time and date info on the right side.
    4) Use a larger font and scrolling for title/album/artist info

    The 2nd Mockup only differs in having only one scrolling line for title/album/artist info. Indeed this would be my preferred solution as this works great for me on my squeezebox classic.

    As a side note, while my mockups also leave a border of unused pixels (as I'm lazy), I don't see any reason to do so on the Radio as there is already a black frame on the display. IMHO the display is too small to waste any pixels.
    Last edited by 0xdeadbeef; 2009-10-16 at 04:22.

  2. #2
    Fantastic. Would love to see the layout changed to this. Would really improve things
    Squeezebox Boom - dining room
    Squeezebox Radio - bedroom
    Squeezeplay on a Joggler - kitchen

  3. #3
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    One last mockup to show an idea regarding programmed alarms.
    This would mean that today it's Monday and there are active alarms for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, but not for Saturday and Sunday.

    I'm not quite sure if I'd like this design myself, but I think the concept has some potential. At least it packs a little more information in about the same space than the display of the weekday plus the alarm clock. Also there's some place for improvement, e.g. by using different symbols/colors/block sizes for different alarm settings. So could e.g. see that alarm 1 is programmed for weekdays and alarm 2 is programmed for the weekend. Again, I was too lazy to work this out

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0xdeadbeef View Post
    One last mockup to show an idea regarding programmed alarms.
    This would mean that today it's Monday and there are active alarms for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, but not for Saturday and Sunday.

    I'm not quite sure if I'd like this design myself, but I think the concept has some potential. At least it packs a little more information in about the same space than the display of the weekday plus the alarm clock. Also there's some place for improvement, e.g. by using different symbols/colors/block sizes for different alarm settings. So could e.g. see that alarm 1 is programmed for weekdays and alarm 2 is programmed for the weekend. Again, I was too lazy to work this out
    I like this a lot, except I would lose the date, and possibly the days that the alarm fires, and just show the next 1 or 2 set alarm times.

  5. #5
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
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    Nice ideas Oxdeadbeef. Moving the cover to the left is an especially "easy kill" to get more screen space. The only thing I don't like is the big fat progress bar -- this is something I think they got right with the current UI. The dot on the skinny line is plenty visible (for me), so it's very clear where you are in the track, especially if as the range is the full width of the screen. I'd leave it just as it is in the current UI: bright dot on a skinny bar sitting between the title(s) and the cover art.

    Oh, and the more detailed alarm info is not a good idea imho. Trying to crowd too much info onto the screen again.

  6. #6
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    During the beta the cover art was initially on the left and progress bar was at the bottom. IIRC there are two groups of users
    - those who want cover art and minimal text
    - those who want more text details and less art

    It was suggested that there should be two styles of NP.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aubuti View Post
    The only thing I don't like is the big fat progress bar -- this is something I think they got right with the current UI. The dot on the skinny line is plenty visible (for me), so it's very clear where you are in the track, especially if as the range is the full width of the screen. I'd leave it just as it is in the current UI: bright dot on a skinny bar sitting between the title(s) and the cover art.
    I see the point, yet I still like my suggestion better
    Then again, there are probably lots of ways to design this without wasting too much precious vertical space without looking too crowded.

    Quote Originally Posted by aubuti View Post
    Oh, and the more detailed alarm info is not a good idea imho. Trying to crowd too much info onto the screen again.
    Yeah, I tend to agree. Yet I wanted to show the concept. Maybe with a little fine tuning this could still work. E.g. imagine the grey a little darker (or less opaque).

    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    During the beta the cover art was initially on the left and progress bar was at the bottom. IIRC there are two groups of users
    - those who want cover art and minimal text
    - those who want more text details and less art
    The cover art is only a little bit smaller in my mockups and with some fine tuning, it could be the same size as it's currently. Anyway, with a square cover, you will always have empty horizontal space. IMHO it just doesn't make sense to waste it with emptiness and then have a clock that uses a font with about 4 pixels in height.

    Anyway, I think the problem with the current design is that it neither takes the size of the display nor the typical use case into account. The current "now playing" layout is ok for a mere player and the clock screensaver is ok for a mere clock, but a Squeezebox Radio that is designed to be used as alarm clock should have a display that combines both aspects. This is what I tried to achieve with my mockups and while the details and the design are discussible, I think the basic idea is right.
    Last edited by 0xdeadbeef; 2009-10-16 at 07:44.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ModelCitizen's Avatar
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    Have you copyrighted the layout?
    :-)

    I do hope not. I'd love to see this adopted by Logitech. It is obvious that no thought has been put into the current interface and that it has been very much rushed out to far-too-tight deadlines

    MC
    Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known
    Last.fm/user/ModelCitizen

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModelCitizen View Post
    Have you copyrighted the layout?
    :-)
    Assume them to be Creative Commons

    Quote Originally Posted by ModelCitizen View Post
    I'd love to see this adopted by Logitech.
    This was the intention of posting them. Or maybe an applet creator takes over the idea. I guess if the Lua source of the current screen savers was available, it wouldn't be much too difficult to modify it to reflect the first or 2nd layout suggestion.


    It is obvious that no thought has been put into the current interface and that it has been very much rushed out to far-too-tight deadline.
    Quite obviously. Also note that the "now playing" screen on all the official product pictures is either a mockup or maybe from the beta phase. At least it doesn't reflect the actual display at all.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 0xdeadbeef View Post
    Quite obviously. Also note that the "now playing" screen on all the official product pictures is either a mockup or maybe from the beta phase. At least it doesn't reflect the actual display at all.
    Same as the Boom then. You can't get it looking like the display on the box it comes in without using a 3rd party plugin!
    Squeezebox Boom - dining room
    Squeezebox Radio - bedroom
    Squeezeplay on a Joggler - kitchen

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