Setup UI - a suggestion

I’ve been struggling with the UI in setup, not because the underlying concept is too hard (multidimensional matrices are relatively familiar to me with a background in software engineering and an interest in faceted classification systems), but because the UI makes it opaque as to what is actually going on. I continually found myself getting lost, first in setting up the assignment of Players, Flows and Layouts to each other, then in finding out what I had set when coming back to this later.

I would like to offer an alternative UI that’s more visual, based on grids, which would probably help some people to understand what’s happening when they tick or untick all of those checkboxes. This would involve three new extension panels which can be activated by new buttons on the Players and Layouts panel headings.

This suggestion:

  • tries to make the underlying concept of a multidimensional matrix clear to the user
  • can be added to the existing UI as extension panels, rather than having to replace it completely
  • allows the user to see at a glance the full state of their setup, instead of having to click on lots of things to see the effect

Click on the image for the full-size version:

As you might notice, the checkboxes in the original Flows and Layouts panels for Flutes 1 and 2 follow the status in the new grid panels, and vice versa. The column headings in the grids allow changing all the entries in a column at once, behaving in exactly the way that many such applications work - see, for example, Gmail’s implementation. Importantly, as an arranger, I can see which players are part of a flow immediately, while simultaneously seeing which players are in which layouts.

The double-ended arrows show that the widths of the panels can be adjusted to suit the user or project.

Thanks for the suggestion, which Ant and I will consider. I must say my initial reaction is that I’m not a fan, but I will let this sit with me for a while.