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Re: [Bug-gnubg] GNOMEify the user interface?

From: Øystein O Johansen
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] GNOMEify the user interface?
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 13:14:27 +0200

> I have been giving this some thought as well. Cross Platform is ideal
> (but not always possible). But I wonder - Should we first consider
> *designing* a GUI that is user friendly. My point would be - GnuBG has
> been evolving, however the User Interface is very adhoc. In some cases
> I even have a hard time what I am looking for on the menus, or in the
> multitude of preference screens.

Yes, you are right. there is still a lot of interface issues to be
solved. Integrating the window improved a lot, but still there are a
lot of menu items that should be clearified. Part of the reason why I
started this thread, was that I think the GNOME user interface
libraries and design standards can give us some good ui design for
free. (or maybe not?)

> My Question is this. Who are we defining as our target audience now.
> Power Users (Good and bad players)? Advanced BG players who may not
> be computer Savvy? Or Novice users who need their children to turn
> the PC on? (Just kidding).

Good point, again. I think the target audience have change over the
last two years. Two years ago our target audience was players, which
already was familiar with Snowie or JellyFish. Players who knew a
bit about backgammon and knew a bit about computers and knew a bit
about backgammon software. I think the target audience have change a
bit. The users now are often backgammon beginners, who often doesn't
know much about computers. This users will find the user interface a
bit clumsy and non-intuitive. (This is based on what I hear from

> I get many question from people who play on MSN's site (Don't make
> fun of that. Some of the future world champions may just come from
> there). But Gnubg is spreading quickly by word of mouth. But the
> GUI experience is imho our biggest downfall.


> I think we should define who we are writing this for, and then
> attempt to design a GUI for that. The tools and libraries we use
> are the next question. I think GnuBG's interface is now an
> improtant part of the product.

Yes, let's start with the definition of who we are writing this for.
I think we must agree that we now write this for intermediate
players, with a intermediate computer savvyness.

Then: What does the GNOME or KDE or whatever mean for that user?
I don't think it means that much. Some may think it's important
that all application uses the same interfacing tools for sake of
the overall desktop design. (even I can live with Mozilla written
with XUI). What the user really cares about is design and how
effective she can use the program, and that it's easy to understand
what's going on.

In that case, I think we maybe have what need. The GTK libraries is
strong enough to give ut the features we want. We just have to clean
up for the average user.

And, *YES*, the interface is now an important part of the product!


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