[sword-devel] User Interface design for Tyndale STEP

Chris Burrell chris at burrell.me.uk
Tue Apr 27 12:07:59 MST 2010

> Re:
> - Tabs in the cross-reference box at the bottom: We could fit about 5 tabs
> in there... Or we could have several rows...
> - Good idea about the [-] option. we could have that in the box, leaving
> the tabs at the bottom/top of the box.
> - in terms of the inline scrolling, how about using the page flow, so long
> web pages, but the bits at the top and the bottom would always be visible
> (so we're using the browser scroll bar, but always have the header and
> bottom visible (like a status bar in a window). Then the side bit can follow
> as it scrolls up and down, so it's always there.
> Possibly the next step is to create all those bits as features in JIRA and
> come up with a working model, albeit with mock data where we don't have
> something yet.
> Then we'll be able to play a bit with it and see how it feels.
> Chris
> On 27 April 2010 13:49, David Instone-Brewer <Technical at tyndale.cam.ac.uk>wrote:
>>  Dear Chris
>> Yep - these responses sound good.
>> A few comments:
>> Tabs for extra views - I think the "bookmarks" already provide this.
>> Unclicking tabs - people are used to unclicking a button or a radio-button
>> selection. Could the tab stand out like a button? But a simple [-] or "off"
>> would work too
>> Inline scrollbars - I don't see what's wrong with these. They have gone
>> out of fashion on web pages but merely because Google doesn't like frames.
>>    - I much prefer an inline scrollbar to a long webpage, cos you can't
>> see everything at once. Eg, you might be looking at the bottom of a chapter,
>> while trying to read the top of a lexicon definition, or a popout with a
>> list of names, or the first verses of a different chapter.
>> Hover display - overlaying the search box and title sounds OK. I agree the
>> middle area is narrow.
>> David IB
>> At 13:13 27/04/2010, Chris Burrell wrote:
>> And few extra comments
>> + To increase space allocated to seeing the passage, it would be good to
>> be able to expand downwards
>> + Mobile devices would probably default to one pane with a smaller set of
>> icons on the side
>> + A pin on the sidebar would allow you to collapse the sidebar further
>> (using smaller icons as David Haslam was mentioning)
>> + Someone mentioned workspaces/virtual desktops. My flatmate mentioned it
>> as well. It would be good to find an intuitive way of saving the view, or
>> creating a new view. So that users who want to see more than two panes can
>> start flicking between their views... Maybe tabs on the top of each pane? or
>> at the very top, a banner with a tab ( a bit like Google Chrome has)
>> Chris
>> On 27 April 2010 13:06, Chris Burrell <chris at burrell.me.uk> wrote:
>>  My comments below, prefixed with >>> (and in bold if that comes through)
>> On 26 April 2010 13:00, David Instone-Brewer <Technical at tyndale.cam.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>  Chris, these are great!
>> (David, I've copied you in for your creative 'eye' - links to screenshots
>> are here<http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnQsGWsoI/AAAAAAAAADs/t2ijJOFqFPc/s1600/tyndale+step-750569.PNG>,
>> here<http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnQEI12uI/AAAAAAAAADk/Qxp-v2p_QEM/s1600/tyndale+step+with+popup-747928.PNG>,
>> here<http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnaPNzSBI/AAAAAAAAAD8/npX67PYsUqc/s1600/tyndale_step_description-788925.PNG>,
>> here<http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnaI4ERiI/AAAAAAAAAD0/XL_u75zTlkE/s1600/tyndale_step_with_popup_description-788049.PNG>,
>> here<http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SpdQ5XfBI/AAAAAAAAAEM/3Rw7bs3AQ6k/s1600/tyndale+step+no+bookmarks-713151.PNG>,
>> & here<http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9Spc_NlF3I/AAAAAAAAAEE/EF3stgSdQ18/s1600/step1_green-711941.PNG>).
>> * I love the tags along the top of the text panes, which don't take up
>> much room and dropdown to list the versions
>> * I love the footprint logo at the bottom middle.
>> * The Tools menu at top right is a great idea.
>> * The big friendly buttons down the left are nice. They look a bit
>> mysterious to start with, but are quickly learned.
>> >>> I think we can easily add some "alternative text" to let the user know
>> what the button is in a non obstructive way
>> * The popout of People etc,  overlaying most of the text panes works well.
>> * The people list - starting with a list at Aaron, Abaddon etc, with
>> "more" looks good as a quick way to pick the person you want
>> * The idea of starting typing and filtering the results is very intuitive.
>> * I like the idea of intelligence for searching, with the option of
>> telling it what to search for. So if someone looks up Aaron, they can decide
>> if they want the People database or a concordance search.
>> * the Bookmarks in the middle look perfect - intuitive, and don't take up
>> much room.
>> * Using the space between the panes for "Timeline", "People" etc is a
>> great idea. The "Bookmarks" could be simply one of them. - ie click on one,
>> and it turns into a list of the People, Maps, Bookmarks etc which are
>> available.
>> * I like the idea of Green as a colour scheme - it fits nicely with the
>> logo and looks friendly.
>> * I agree we need a config page but it can be separate
>> * I agree we can use Browser back buttons
>> * I too have misgivings about menus at the top. Personally I like them,
>> esp for providing keyboard shortcuts, but they make applications look dated.
>> If we have it, perhaps it could be an option.
>> Some minor suggestions (most of them are further ideas which you may
>> already have in mind)
>> * The bridge would look more intuitive if it touched both sides and looked
>> like one of those bridges which lift up to let boats under (ie the
>> connection between the two sides is broken)
>>   >>> Yes, I couldn't find a proper bridge like that. I think that a
>> chain might be better (link / unlink). One of the problems is that the
>> picture needs to be so big since the two panes are relatively speaking quite
>> far from each other...
>>  * We need some indication of what version we are looking at. - ie when
>> you click on the dropdown for "English" versions and pick ESV, then pick KJV
>> on the other pane, we need to see somewhere that that these are what we have
>> selected.
>>  >>> Yep, so perhaps something like Matthew 8:2-13 [ESV] in the title?
>> * I'd prefer tabs on the bottom boxes instead of an options button. This
>> would indicates that all those tabs remain 'live' and available, and
>> unclicking the one which is clicked could minimise the box.
>>  >>> I'm not sure unclicking a tab is very intuitive? or are you thinking
>> of having a tab called "No info"
>> * perhaps we could indicate "manual"  or "personal" bookmarks (ie ones
>> which the user especially wants to remember) by highlighting them or making
>> them a different colour. Or perhaps "personal bookmarks" could be a separate
>> list.
>>  >>> Yes, agreed. So part of the idea on one of the buttons (in a later
>> screenshot) was to have a bookmarks option so that people could get to them
>> very quickly when they come back.
>> * It would be nice to have to option of opening a box at the bottom of
>> both text panes, even if they are linked, so someone could see (say) both
>> crossRefs and personal notes at the same time.
>>  >>> Yup. Good idea.
>> * I think we could reduce the size of the search options by simply having
>> a dropdown from the binoculars. Most of the time, there won't be any need to
>> specify the kind of search, because a Reference, or Strongs# is unambiguous,
>> and we can set the default to a concordance search for most other things. If
>> they have the sidebar open at People or Places we can change the default to
>> that. So most of the time people won't have to choose the search database.
>> >>> Yes, although I don't understand the comment about when the side bar
>> is open. The idea is to make the side bar a temporary helper to the
>> application, which "disables" most of the application behind while open.
>>  * Do we need a search box inside the side popouts? The main searchbox
>> could be used. Perhaps the sidebar and popout could start higher up, so that
>> the main searchbox could be incorporated into the popout.
>>  >>> I think we do. I think it would confuse people if we only have 1:
>> one of the search boxes is to carry out a one-off search, the other one in
>> the popout is to filter search results according to what module is selected
>> on the toolbar.
>> * Could we use the bookmark space for our hover-over information? I'd
>> really like to avoid the usual problem of overlaying the very text you are
>> trying to read.
>>  >>> Good idea (although it's kind of narrow...). I was going to suggest
>> using the notes field at the bottom, but that wouldn't work because of my
>> comments down below. Another option is to use a overlay on the top header
>> part (covering the search boxes)
>>  * One of the trickiest things is typing a reference. Could we give the
>> user some help? Perhaps, when they start typing in the search box, we could
>> have an initial dropdown of Bible books (ie type "G" and get "Genesis 1...
>> /  Galatians 1..." at the top, then a horizontal line and other options such
>> as "Gad  / Gadara  / Gideon... etc). This will esp help those who don't know
>> the Bible books well, or who type "Jud" for Judges and end up in Jude.
>>  >>> All very feasible
>>  * Could we add some kind of chapter selection? Perhaps, when "Genesis
>> 1..." is selected the dropdown could change to "Genesis 1 / Genesis 2 /
>> Genesis 3 / Genesis 3 / ..."
>>  >>> I think you mean "Genesis "  would come up with Genesis 1, Genesis
>> 2, etc. Genesis 1 would come up with Genesis 11, Genesis 12, etc. I think
>> also the Bible function on the left (maybe we only need one) could server
>> that purpose, as a drill down. So your side popup would appear, you'd click
>> Genesis, then get a list of all the chapters, then click a chapter...
>> * AND / OR we could put a Bible icon by the side of the Search box with a
>> drill-down Bible book & chapter selection.
>> * When we implement Browser functions (like extending the page downward,
>> or using child windows, we have to remember that not all Browsers are equal,
>> esp on a phone or an iPad. We can't rely on extra space and extra windows
>> being available.
>>  Agreed, a comment from my flat mate however was that if we're squeezing
>> the Bible into these two panes, and they are not linked (ie. different
>> versions/passage/content) we may need to expand them downwards like a proper
>> webpage for fear of not displaying enough of the passage. I'd rather avoid
>> inline scroll bars...
>> * I like the big popout area from side bar, but perhaps it should cover
>> only the left-hand text pane (and it could cover more of it) - so that the
>> user can arrange to have the passage they are looking up to still be visible
>> on the right-hand pane. Eg someone may be looking up "Jehoshaphat" and
>> they'd want to see the name while searching for it.
>>  - this would also help with smaller devices, on which we can display
>> either one text pane or the other, but not a wide area spanning both.
>>  >>> Good idea
>>  * That makes me think it would be nice to be able to swap the right &
>> left text panes. Can the "bridge" icon serve double purpose somehow?
>>  >>> Maybe dragging and dropping the pane onto the other side?
>> * What about putting the left-hand buttons on the right-hand side? I'm
>> thinking about how this will be approached. Most users start at the left and
>> the big buttons make them think that this is what they want to choose first,
>> whereas we want the Bible text to be the center and the other things to be
>> spokes or offshoots. So if the big buttons are on the right, their eyes will
>> be drawn first to the main searchbox, which is where we want them to start.
>> And if there is a Bible icon to the left of the search, this should lead
>> them to drill down to a Bible chapter. Also, if the popout is on the right,
>> it is less likely to cover the very text they have selected.
>>  >>> Possibly. I'll try that and post a screenshot.
>> * If the popout is covering the complete right-hand text pane, we should
>> make sure that IF the two panes are linked, we temporarily unlink them so
>> that a user can scroll up and down through the complete text in just the
>> left-hand pane which they can still see, while the popout obscures the
>> right-hand side.
>> * The Bible icon in the big buttons should perhaps lead to commentaries
>> rather than Bible books - ie keep the theme that these buttons are all
>> adjuncts to the text.
>>  >>> Yup, I was thinking that as well... Maybe a little Bible icon next
>> to the search, which would just populate the auto-suggest search box at the
>> top.
>> This is really taking shape!
>> David IB
>> At 21:57 25/04/2010, Chris Burrell wrote:
>> Some mock ups from me are now on the Tyndale Programming blogs:
>> http://tyndalestep-prog.blogspot.com/<http://tyndalestep-prog.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=50>
>> Comments are welcome, whether good or bad!!! I think whatever happens, the
>> icons would need to be harmonized (colour an style) and thought through a
>> bit. And obviously the colour scheme would need to be chosen carefully  (do
>> we also want to make colour blind people have easy access, etc.?)
>> The first two screenshots go together:
>> http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnQsGWsoI/AAAAAAAAADs/t2ijJOFqFPc/s1600/tyndale+step-750569.PNG
>> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnQEI12uI/AAAAAAAAADk/Qxp-v2p_QEM/s1600/tyndale+step+with+popup-747928.PNG
>> where the second one is when the user has clicked a button on the left
>> hand side.
>> And then there's the explanations of some of the layouts if need be:
>> http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnaPNzSBI/AAAAAAAAAD8/npX67PYsUqc/s1600/tyndale_step_description-788925.PNG
>> http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SnaI4ERiI/AAAAAAAAAD0/XL_u75zTlkE/s1600/tyndale_step_with_popup_description-788049.PNG
>> Finally, there's a couple of extra screenshots:
>> The first showing an alternative of the bit in the middle of the book:
>> http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9SpdQ5XfBI/AAAAAAAAAEM/3Rw7bs3AQ6k/s1600/tyndale+step+no+bookmarks-713151.PNGwhere it would list the content we have about a particular passage
>> and then one that looks particularly green (the green from one of the
>> logos that was on the blogs a few weeks ago:
>> http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4q-hr4DqduU/S9Spc_NlF3I/AAAAAAAAAEE/EF3stgSdQ18/s1600/step1_green-711941.PNG)
>> A few other remarks:
>> 1st: we're going to run this thing in a browser (whether online or
>> offline), so we can make use of the browser buttons (back and forth), most
>> naturally to capture content change, similar to the bookmarks, going back
>> and forth through the passages we've visited. (that is stateless, i.e. if we
>> came back tomorrow that history would be forgotten about).
>> 2ndly, it's a browser, so we can expand the page downwards (by inserting
>> content at the top), or at the bottom. We can also use internal links to go
>> between one screen and another.
>> 3rdly: we could include some sort of menus at the top to make it feel more
>> desktop-like. Not sure what I think about that.
>> 4th: we do need a place of general configuration and user preferences
>> (things like proxy settings, installing more sword modules/bibles, etc.).
>> Generally most of that can be done on a separate page, but we need a way of
>> accessing it, even if it's just one button at the top right, or something
>> like that.
>> I think that's it from me for now...
>> Please do let me know what you all think!?
>> Chris
>>  At 22:38 22/04/2010, Chris Burrell wrote:
>> Just thought I'd share a few sites that have cropped up recently from
>> various people in the listings and outside. If we could pull ideas off those
>> interfaces, I think we could end up with something really good.
>> 1- http://my.offlinebible.com/index.php 2-
>> http://code.google.com/p/xulsword/ 3- http://www.bibleglo.com/
>> Chris
>> I like lots of things in XulSword. What I liked about OffLineBible: *
>> Bookmarks - click on it, and it displays the ref it is marking. *
>> different formats (no Strongs; inline Strongs, interlinear Strongs, columns *
>> the line along the top where you can pick a chapter (a bit fiddly to use,
>> but an interesting idea) BibleGlo * all the bling. OK, it isn't
>> necessary, but it looks cool - well, impressive. * the add campaign (now
>> that advertising can be free, who says it doesn't pay?)
>> OK, Here are some positive ideas:
>> I like the idea of two panes of text, as in the prototype, and in
>> XulSword, with a wide tab area for navigation on the left as in XulSword,
>> * the XulSword tabs are in two columns with a narrow left-hand column of
>> OT/NT,    and a wider right-hand column which lists of books for OT or
>> NT    but I think we can develop that further:     Instead of having just
>> OT and NT in the narrow left-most tab, we can have other things,
>> which bring up more things in the wider right-hand tab:   - OldT -
>> listing OT books   - NewT - listing NT books   - Geog - listing
>> placenames   - Hist - listing periods   - Lit - listing significant
>> extra-biblical books   - Lang - listing languages   - Who - listing
>> people   - Find - a search box listing results
>> With some of these, we will have to display a cut-down list, perhaps with [+]
>> at the side to open up the item into more detail, eg for people: [+]
>> Aaron [+] Baalam [+] Caanan - giving just 26 entries displayed. For
>> Languages I'd suggest an interface like 2LetterLookup.com
>> The equal sized panes of text could be like in XulSword, ie:
>> * each pane can show a different chapter of the Bible   or the same chap
>> in a different version, or they can be   linked to show more of the
>> chapter, flowing from one to the other. * a raisable bridge icon  (like
>> London Tower Bridge?) can join or separate them
>> * both panes have an identical set of tabs across the top * these tabs
>> need to be in two layers, classifying them into   - English (ie PD
>> versions)   - European, (ie other language groups)   - African   -
>> Eastern  (etc  as needed)   - Online  (ie IFrames to NIV and other
>> commercial version websites)   - Ancient (ie Greek, Hebrew, ancient
>> versions) * at the bottom of each pane, there's a box which minimises
>> when not in use * below this box is another set of tabs determining what
>> these boxes show    (and when the box is minimised, they remain as a set
>> of buttons) * These tabs include:    - footnotes (ie all the footnotes of
>> verses in that chapter)    - cross-refs (ie all the crossrefs of verses
>> in that chapter)    - personal notes (for that chap)    - names  (ie all
>> the people and places named, with links to dictionaries)    - timeline
>> (ie a minimised view of the time represented by that chapter)    - vocab
>> (ie all Greek, Hebrew and English words which occur in the chapter)
>> * between the two text panes put a column of bookmarks,   with an arrow
>> in both directions, so you can open in either pane * at the top are
>> "manual" bookmarks and at the bottom are "automatic" bookmarks  - add a
>> manual bookmark by clicking on an arrow at the top middle of each text  -
>> an automatic bookmark is added everyone a pane moves away from a chapter
>> by any means other than scrolling * the two sets of bookmarks accumulate
>> vertically in order of setting them   and when they run out of room,
>> there is a scroll function to see older ones * a "back" button at the top
>> of each text pane keeps a history of what was displayed on that pane
>> * when you hover over a tagged word, definitions etc appear as a hover *
>> this hover does NOT appear next to the cursor, but always in the Tab area on
>> the left,    because this area is not being used once a person has gone
>> where they want to go,    whereas an overlay by the cursor obscures the
>> exact text being studied *  hover works within the text panes, and also
>> in the boxes    - hovering over a cross-ref shows the verse,    -
>> hovering over a Greek word in the text pane or a box shows a lexicon entry
>> - hovering over a place name in text or pane or a box shows dictionary entry
>>    etc * when you click on a ref (rather than hovering over it), the
>> left-hand text pane   goes to that chapter and highlights the verse
>> clicked on * when you click on a word or place or date (rather than
>> hovering over it),   the right-hand text pane shows a full lexicon or map
>> or timeline.
>> * A Search box is permanently visible at top left, above the Tabs   and
>> results appear in the wider right-hand Tabs area   - this searches for
>> English, Greek, Hebrew, numbers (for Strongs) and Refs     working out
>> for itself what it is searching for.
>> We have LOTS of data to display, but we want to try and accommodate small
>> screens - big problem! Let's assume that phone screens will get bigger. My
>> Toshiba G910 has 800x600 pixels in eye-watering 2.5"x1.7" size, which is
>> great for those under 40, but as soon as your lenses harden, you need +3
>> glasses to see the details. I think phones will go in the way of
>> high-density screens, though laptops may not follow. But I don't think we
>> should assume that we will have this much space. Although  we can display
>> a lot, people can't see so much detail.
>> On small screens, we can treat the three areas (tabs on the left, and two
>> text panes) as separate screens which you drag into view as on an iPhone.
>> With small screens, the hover area will have to be near the cursor, as in
>> most systems.
>> Can someone with artistic skills make a visual of all this?
>> David IB
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