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Fixing the UI


Chimichanga

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Hey everybody! My name is Manuel i am a 17 yo graphic designer. I thought the app was great! but the UI wasnt as good. So i fired up photoshop and made a mockup :) anyways heres how it looks. Not completely done! but i thought it was good enough to post. I hope you guys take this in consideration, I am willing to work with you guys to make the UI look nice!

9z49

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What contrasting would you see employed? Apparently there are limitations to the OS X GUI. I just want alternate line coloring back :P

Chimichanga, how is your picture different than the current interface?? I'm sorry I don't have the specialization in UI design... but I do think something should be done about the Details/Info pane's background and gradient. (brought up elsewhere)

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about the mockup: I like the idea of General/Files/Peers being more like folder tabs instead of buttons that hover in the middle. But otherwise, the mockup seems more windows-like then mac-esque.

@thelittlefire: You don't need to specialize in UI to spot differences in programs. Look at 20081129-pfw7p4ku7qqhfqfyau7uw1y8w.png. If you can't spot the differences, then you're blind. I can spot at least 15 in under 10 seconds of looking at the side by side comparison.

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@thelittlefire Are you kidding? The UI in uTorrent 0.9 for Mac is utterly hideous. I really hope the developers think about it and realize how ugly it is - between the awful glossy info pane at the bottom, the ugly blue text, the horrific progress indicators, and obviously many other horrific UI elements. The developers should really take some cues from Transmission, because if they want Mac users to switch from Transmission to uTorrent, it had better look pretty damn good.

Just my 2¢.

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Transmission doesn't offer the same presentation. Comparing them is unfair. Transmission prefers a long view whereas the uT scheme is more wide. It is much easier to see more data at once in the uT layout than Transmission.

The developers aren't sitting on their hands. I know they'll make it look better than simple buttons, which is why the layout looks fine for now. If it doesn't do anything, noone will care what it looks like ><

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@Connor Cimowsky: You cant please everyone all the time. If a majority of the people like the UI, it's probably going to stay similar to how it is now (with improvements such as progress indicator). And more people have commented saying they like the UI then dislike it.

Also, if you're seeing blue text, you might want to have your monitor calibrated - there is grey and white and black text. but only blue icons or gradients. And white on dark blue is fairly legible, so there's no issue there.

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The blue text is used for the amount of files in a torrent in the name column.

I don't think it's common to mix text colours in a cell, so I think it should be black as well.

And there's no reason to highlight it, it doesn't contain inherently more important information than the other cells.

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If a majority of the people like the UI, it's probably going to stay similar to how it is now

I don't think you realize the number of people who don't like the very non-Mac interface. True, it could be much worse, but, as Connor has stated, uTorrent will have to look amazing—as Transmission does—to lure people.

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The UI does need more work as this is a MAC app and not a WINDOWS app and for that it shouldn't look anything like the windows version

it should have a MAC look and feel to it

So yes the UI does need work but this can be done later

Right now they need to get the features put in than deal the the looks of the app

just my 2 cents

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@Powerdrift: I've seen more people going "uTorrent has an amazing mac-esque UI that fits in with itunes/finder perfectly" then "i dont like uTorrent's UI".

And i personally thing Transmission looks horrible and pretty sure i've told the devs as much. It all goes back to the "you cant please all the people all the time" thing.

@bhast2: It *is* a mac app. It's all cocoa and follows apple's HIG pretty well. The basic outline is the same as the windows one because the basic outline is a good outline that works incredibly well.

@eisa01: i see the blue text now. Not the best choice, but i can see why its there. Perhaps placing it under the "Files" making it "Files (number of files)" or something in the General tab would be better. Or just removing the blue coloring..

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@NoOneButMe Don't you think can come to realization of how much better looking this mockup is than the original included in the beta.

-The glyphs on the upper button are much more contemporary and "Leopard-esque" then the original.

-The tabbed Info area at the bottom is much easier on the eyes and copies the interface used when an iPod is connected in iTunes.

-The bottom bar of the utorrent window is really quite unnecessary and could be done away with as is in the mockup.

I don't think people think the current uTorrent UI is really that bad, this mockup is just that much better. Just take a little bit of constructive criticism and don't be so defensive about it.

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@AppleLegal:

-Tiger support is a goal of uTorrent for mac. Looking leopard-esque on Tiger is bad. Whereas the current icons fit in well with Leopard.

-I already said i liked the tabbed area instead of how it is now if you didn't notice.

-Having the ul/dl/ratio/router status down there is convenient and easy to spot. And the Mockup adds a new bar on the bottom that doesn't fit in with the rest of the UI & serves less of a purpose then the current bar does.

-I'm not a dev of uTorrent for mac, so what i think is ultimately as relevant as what you think. I merely said i don't like the mockup. Don't read into it.

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I see there being 2 separate issues, regarding the UI. 1: presentation, 2:style.

Presentation is how things layout on the screen, what information, is where, what information is in each tab,pane, menu, toolbar, etc. As far as presentation, I would like the program to be as much like the windows version as possible,

Style is how the menus,toolbars, buttons, tabs, progress bars look. Which I believe should be as mac standard as possible, so long as style doesn't limit the benefits of good presentation and functionality.

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@AppleLegal

I really dislike the mockup, to be frank. I tried avoiding having to mention it, in case Chimichanga took it personally, but now I am left with no other option. It seems pretty unpolished and inconsistent to me (I work with graphics too, so my point of view may be more strict than of others). People were complaining about the current look being too sterile, the mock up is even more dumbed down as far as vividness and color style go. I do not like the mockup icons, the lower tabbed interface (as it is presented at least) or the progress bar. All of these are done much better in the uT beta.

And uT certainly looks better than Transmission, maybe it isn't so compact, but that is a separate issue.

Going further on about the current UI, I really like the colorful style of the arrows denoting if you are seeding or leeching (and notice here the color scheme of uT is similar to Transmission: green and blue).

The blue text noting the number of files is questionable (not ugly!), I will agree with that, maybe if the text was the same color as the arrow, it would seem more logical?

The progress bar is completely fine. I would maybe omit the shadow under the check when you have 100% completed but otherwise no gripes with that.

As for the issue of better contrast in the General/Files/Peers tab, the problem is with the grey (not white) text in the General part. I see it, but can readily imagine a person could have problems with it, especially in the lower part, where the background gradient gets lighter.

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mistywillows hit it very thoroughly, even if it's difficult there is still the opportunity for the user to customize the STYLE of the application through \Contents\Resources ... though it's more difficult than the simple tabs/tstatus/toolbar.bmp or main/tray/maindoc.ico for Windows ... 47/63 items in there are the graphics for uT/Mac but the fact remains it's there. The developer has sole control over the PRESENTATION.

Honestly if the developers lose too much sleep over what it'll look like... or want to please too many users as is the argument here, it's just eye candy. Make up mockups if you want user submitted feedback. It has to work before you can look at it... now that uT/Mac is no longer vapor-ware :P

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I think the moderator in here is being a bit arrogant. Just because you don't hear people saying they don't like it, doesn't mean they don't. I tried it, and trashed it. I was ready to move on until I read how the moderator defended by saying "everyone loves it!". Critique is good. Analyze it and learn from it, instead of being all defensive.

A thing to remember about the Mac is that in this ecosystem, finish and polish are _very_ important. You should keep in mind that most Mac users are very good at telling what apps deserves their time. If an app "looks" and "feels" bad, it's generally safe to assume that the developers haven't invested enough time into it. They haven't taken the time to work out the small things, and settled for; "well, it works, doesn't it". If you want to be successful on the Mac platform, that won't cut it.

I realise that this is a beta, but there's a lot of things that aren't Mac-like and just plain ugly and wrong about it. To start off, the application icon is too big. You should look closely at the shapes of Apples own apps (that uses circular forms in their icons.) Safari, iTunes, Quicktime et cetera. You can read an article on it on The Art of Adam Betts (tho it seems to be down for the moment,) and previously on the IndieHIG. I don't know if it's still up.

weightheavy.png

utorrent-icon.png

The icons in the sidebar are off too, they look too blurry and fuzzy. They should have _clear_ and defined edges. The ones in the mockup are more along the lines of what is to be expected. The text inside the badge showing the number of torrents have the wrong weight, the numbers should be bold. Look at any other app that features this (I've used iTunes in my example.)

uTorrent

utorrent-sidebar.png

iTunes

itunes-sidebar.png

The sidebar button on the bottom has the wrong style too. Compare it to any other app that has this type of buttons.

uTorrent:

utorrent-bottom.png

iTunes

itunes-bottom.png

The details panel is very odd too. The colour combination used in the files tab looks very strange, and to be blunt; ugly. The same goes for the peers tab.

utorrent-infotab.png

You should also change the appearance of the detail panel when no torrent is selected. At the moment there's a bunch of titles with no data. Look what other apps do. Take Coda for example.

uTorrent

utorrent-tabbar-empty.png

Coda

coda-empty.png

Just tell the user that no torrent is selected, hide it or something. Use your imagination.

Some other small notes are that the red/green network light in the bottom right corner also looks very misplaced. Usually, buttons in the bottom of the app are gray, unless they are toggle buttons. But then they are still contained within a grey metal button. Like someone mentioned, the blue text is also a no-no. The speed indicators should probably be enclosed in grey buttons as well to look right. Really, what you should do is use a cogwheel icon with a dropdown on the left (for the settings) beside the sidebar toggle and move the speeds to the bottom of the blue sidebar. They just don't belong down on the bottom.

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+1 with the last post! btw I am not offended in any way with the negative posts, so you guys can critique it all you want.

i was hoping more people would like it and encourage the developer to take this advice and free help though. That "new bar" is what apple and other great apps put on there ui for changing a setting quick just so you know :/. Just look at mail! anyways i hope uTorrent notices that the UI isnt as nice as other apps and can be better.

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I think the moderator in here is being a bit arrogant. Just because you don't hear people saying they don't like it, doesn't mean they don't. I tried it, and trashed it. I was ready to move on until I read how the moderator defended by saying "everyone loves it!". Critique is good. Analyze it and learn from it, instead of being all defensive.

I'm not psychic. If i see more people going "i like this" then "i hate this" then i'm going to assume that people like it. It's pretty simple to work out if you read the rest of the forums. Outside this one thread, there's not many UI complaints. This isn't called "being defensive". It's called "being rational".

You have to remember about people who use Macs: We like to complain about everything possible. Especially UI related since Macs have the image of being "for designers". It's nearly impossible to please everyone that uses a Mac.

@elsa01: What are you comparing the dots to? The bubbles in Mail.app are different from the bubble sizes in NNW, which are different from Colloquy's bubble sizes, which varies from pretty much every other app out there. The real issue here (if there even is one) is with the font inside it.

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Sheesh, come on everyone. You are dissecting uT like it were a dead fly. Of course there are differences that set it apart from other software, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The main thing is if it looks good, which it mostly does; not if it is an iTunes look-alike. I you want uT to look exactly like iTunes, ask Apple to add a torrent downloading function to their media program.

@elsa01: noting "The dots are also the wrong size," what do you mean by 'wrong size'? It isn't too big to fit on your screen or too small for you to see it, so what is you point exactly? That it is different. But different is not wrong.

Besides, you are in the Feature Request section, and saying "I don't like the look" doesn't have anything to do with requesting a feature. So please leave the UI 'style' to the developer team's graphic designers. Apart from it actually being their choice, they are the ones who understand graphic design. And developing uT for Mac I'd say they are Mac users and have their own experience with the Mac UI 'style'.

If you want to comment on the 'presentation' of the UI, fire away, that does include feature requests. But please do keep it constructive.

Please refer to mistywillows' post if you don't know what I mean when I differentiate between 'style' and 'presentation.'

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@elsa01: What are you comparing the dots to? The bubbles in Mail.app are different from the bubble sizes in NNW, which are different from Colloquy's bubble sizes, which varies from pretty much every other app out there. The real issue here (if there even is one) is with the font inside it.

I know it's very minor, but I just noticed it the first time I saw it. I'm comparing it to the size of the dots in Mail and iTunes.

I just want µTorrent to be as perfect as possible ;)

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Haha, you guys are so fucking ignorant. People will NOT USE uTORRENT if it looks the same shitty way when it's released as it does now! There's literally not a *single* reason to switch from Transmission (or any other Mac torrent client for that matter) to uTorrent the way it is right now! Maybe if it was a visually attractive, Mac-like app people be tempted to use it!

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