Kolf: Internal cleanups and a new “New game” dialog

August 3, 2009

Over the last weeks, I’ve put together a new tiny component framework for Kolf, which degrades the main window to a kind of interface server where games insert their UI components. Today, I was finally able to kill all the old components and port everything to the new system. This is not exciting because it does not show off yet, but here’s something screenshot-friendly: I’ve killed the “New game” dialog and built a “New game” widget instead:

The new "New game" widget

As you see, all interface in Kolf is now concentrated in the mighty tab widget in the center (with the only exception being dock widgets). If a game is currently in progress, the “New game” widget also opens as a tab, allowing you to continue to play your game if you decide not to start a new game.

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2 Responses to “Kolf: Internal cleanups and a new “New game” dialog”

  1. TuringTest Says:

    Just a quick comment. The layout should be:
    – The “start game” should be the size of half the screen.
    – The “add player” button should be the other half.

    While the above advice is a hyperbole, I hope it shows what’s lacking in your design. If you’re taking the effort to redesign the whole dialog, try to enhance not just its technical underpinnings but also its usability.

    You should highlight the most important and frequently used elements in the dialog (the “start game” being the top one), by providing them with the highest size and contrast. The other elements should be placed around, showing their relative importance with respect to that primary goal of starting a game.

    Learn some easy principles of design on how to accomplish that:

    http://creativecurio.com/2008/09/enhance-your-designs-with-the-principle-of-emphasis/

    • Stefan Majewsky Says:

      I’m well aware that the design of this dialog is nowhere near final. The “add player” button has already moved to the button, forming a row with “start game” and “open course for editing”, like in most dialogs (consistency is also an important design principle). I’m planning usability testing for the whole game when it has moved further in the development process.

      Considering your hyperbole, I’m not going neither to cut features, nor to hide them. Of course, I pay attention to what I place at this prominent place, but the interface contains only the bare minimum functionality.

      Then, in reply to your link: This is not an ad, this is software. It’s not about being fancy, it’s about getting the job done (even if the job is just to start a game). What we really need is consistency. There is no need for blinking green buttons on a pink background when the user simply knows where he has to continue. (By the way, I find the layout of the linked site simply awful. There’s too much that distracts from the real information. I wonder why the author of this blog is writing about how to avoid distracting design.)


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