OSMC skin usability

Hi EMJB,

I appreciate your concerns.

As you say, we’re software developers – and this does put us under quite a lot of pressure! This is a problem however, that works both ways. As software developers, we endeavor to support as many as well as the most popular use cases possible. Users, conversely, are understandably only concerned about their specific use-case scenario.

We are already working on this – providing more documentation for our skin, as well as visual demonstrations. We are completely redesigning our skin as well, which makes us reluctant to invest greatly in documentation for it at the present time.

I have however, contacted you and we’ve had a discussion in another thread on how we encourage users to work on the documentation. I invited you to edit our Wiki as you saw fit however you did not seem wiling and have produced some alternative documents instead. Documents which our staff have done their best converting to markdown format for this forum.

Your link does not load at all. I have received a message from you with some instructions, as well as read your TV set up guide, where I gave some advice on how we should include TV firmware rather than make it a user set up step. We already bundle TV firmwares and WiFi firmwares and we are more than accommodating to add support for more devices this way. Your current methodology actually fragments the current OSMC documentation and software by splitting resources and fixes into links users must find for themselves.

Going back to the user case scenario vs software developer scenario. I have outlined how you can improve the project’s documentation, but you only seem to want to improve it to benefit yourself, and failing that, to publicly finger people who are spending their own free time on the project to make it great. While we don’t ask for user contributions, we do ask that when vocal users say we are lacking in a certain area, they undertake to improve the project in such area themselves or respect that we understand the gaps in our project and are doing our best to improve them ourselves.

If you are serious about contributing to the Wiki, please contact me personally for my direct line.

S

I’m sorry you feel I am trying to improve the documentation to help myself, when actually I am trying to improve it for people with the same limited experience as myself - if it was just for myself why on earth should I go to the trouble of writing it up with that level of care?

I’m glad to see Sam say that you are working on documentation for the OSMC skin, in spite of ActionA’s remarks.

To be honest, I am reaching the point where I feel that OSMC is not for me. I would not have started had I known the level of expertise expected of users, but was prepared to struggle on documenting my problems and solutions in the hope of helping others.

EMJB

Hi,

I would appreciate it greatly if you could point us towards a software package that provides the documentation you need, or even a list of topics we should look at expanding, so we can get a more complete idea on where we need to improve.

Sorry – but yet again I have offered to sit down and have a discussion about how we talk about improving the Wiki, but you have decided not to.

S

Sorry to see my thread has generated conflict rather than collaboration. I’d like it to revert to a place where the OSMC skin developers would either address what we users feel are usability concerns or point out where we can know about plans that point to either a future direction for things that are not there right now.

In an attempt to steer back the discussion on usability:

I’m a little puzzled as to why some settings are under settings while others are under my OSMC, just as an example I’d love to have the network setting under the former and not the latter.

Thank you all.

Yep I agree with you.

See

S

I see. Thank you

@ Sam

Have sent you answers to your questions by pm.

EMJB

I’m pretty sure that’s coming. @HitcherUK right?

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Would it be possible for us users to have visibility in what features are being worked at ? This would avoid some unnecessary load on the burdened developers.

Maybe in the future. Almost everything is being worked at and made better with more features. But I get what you mean. I like a good roadmap myself.

I’ll see if I can make some kind of solution after the stable release and get the other dev’s on board. Getting a stable release out with a good baseline is the focus right now.

I’d rather spent what little spare time I have actually working on the skin rather than telling people what I would have been working on if I wasn’t writing about it. :wink:

2 Likes

Well, I think such a guide needs to be developed from the point of view of a consumer-focused product - at least, I assume that’s what Vero is intended to become.

So, look at products like Tivo’s user guide, perhaps the Roku boxes.

I love the look of the skin … until … there’s dumb stuff like a left/right white/grey toggle switch for binary options like ‘enable subtitles’. Somebody needs to go back to UI school, that sort of mysticism just isn’t appropriate.

Its a very poor skin, more time should be spent on osmc, and give up on the skin, bet most people change it anyway.

I wouldn’t call it “poor skin”, I would say it is simplistic and I have not changed it and happily use it everyday. But with >400,000 Users there will always be people using different skins and that is the freedom they can enjoy.

How can we make it better?

It’s easy for us to scrap it but we’re not interested in doing that

Sam

I actually think it’s a great skin, hence my frustration at a few (for me) deal-breakers (the on-off switches I mentioned). It’s a masterpiece of simplicity, but I recall Einstein’s “Everything should be as simple as possible … but no simpler”.

In trying to find a really elegant simple checkbox representation, it’s got too simple - so simple you can’t tell which side is off and which side is on without trying it! The sliders in the audio menu ought to be like the check boxes in the settings menu. Niggles aside, ceteris paribus, I prefer the OSMC skin to Confluence and will be changing back if/when these are fixed.

I agree, it was actually the skin that got me into OSMC, I extracted the skin from the repo and used it on my android device. In it’s current iteration I do find it some ways off from being fully usable. Mainly some bugs (seeing which items are selected in lists, library update overlay showing on video among others) which I presume will be ironed out.

But not regarding bugs, just looks: I think the skin now is a too dark, needs a bigger and lighter font, fanart background on the home screen.

All of these could be options on the skin settings page.

Except for these small adjustments I’d love for the home screen to be more dynamic - Hitcher’s ftv skin is the leading skin in this area, but this skin could go in a different direction, maybe more text based stuff (easier on the cpu(?)) - For example in the default submenu of the movies section, going down to year, waiting there for more than say 100 ms (so as not to trigger while scrolling through) would reveal a submenu below it with years in a horizontal menu - Allowing you to go directly to that year (or genre or whatever)

2 Likes

I generally like the OSMC skin but very much dislike the guide in the LiveTV section. I’ve never used kodi for LiveTV in the past so I don’t know how other skins handle the EPG but OSMC’s approach seems sorta clumsy. When pressing to the left, options pop up but the text overlaps the EPG which makes it very difficult to read.

Also, if it would be at all possible, can you add an option to return to the Favorites menu rather than the main menu after exiting an addon that was launched from the Favorites menu? Not sure if that’s possible in Kodi but it would save me a lot of clicks.