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rob
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Old March 15th, 2020, 10:55 AM
A few users have commented in other threads that HLO's phone interface falls short of what you'd like. So the purpose of this thread is to solicit CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions for how to improve the phone interface. To that end, please consider the following:

How should information be better presented or laid out?

How should we revise the controls to manipulate a character?

What would you like to see us do differently at a fundamental level on the phone?

Please note that not all of the feedback we receive will be something we can readily incorporate. And since I'm assuming we'll be getting a fair bit of comments here, please don't expect a response to everything. We'll be watching the thread and taking your input into consideration as we continue to revise and evolve the product.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!
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Joe
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Old March 16th, 2020, 04:34 PM
Just as important in my mind are some of the following:

What do you find hard/annoying/time consuming (but possible) to do on the phone? When have you started to do something on the phone, only to give up and do it on a larger device?

What did you think the phone COULDN'T do that you only recently discovered was buried somewhere, but is extremely valuable to you?

What are you partially or completely unable to do on the phone?

What do you WISH you could do on the phone that would be more convenient than doing it on a larger device (if it worked well enough)?

How do you use the phone differently than other devices, if you use more than the phone? (e.g. building characters/campaigns on a desktop/laptop; using a phone to play characters at the game; GM from a laptop, play as a player via phone; Use the phone as a hand-held assistant while walking around the table as a GM, etc).
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WatersLethe
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Old March 18th, 2020, 09:49 AM
Tangential Background:

My partner is a UI/UX designer. One of my players is a near-sighted UI designer. Another player went to school for graphic design. They all find the user interface to be extremely unapproachable, and essentially a laughing stock, especially the menus to get around outside of a character. I don't know if you've got the budget for it, but getting a UX designer to at least provide direction would be a huge step.

Actual Feedback:

First Page After Login:
1. Why do I have to click "Characters" to find "Campaigns" as a drop down?
2. Why does the Navigate button only allow me to look around the character folders and not go to "Campaigns"? The Navigate button should be used for more, it's a good size and consistent location.
3. Popups can't be swiped away, have to click a tiny X in the corner.

In a Character "Play" Section:
1. Not sure why skills is an Eye icon
2. Switching between tabs has a jarring amount of lag, about as much as reloading a page, but annoying all the same. Sometimes I'll hit the back button twice because I'm waiting for something to happen.
3. Hitting Navigate, I sometimes double tap and collapse the "Play" section in the Navigate pane. Might be nice to make them harder to collapse.
4. Some buttons are too small (Oneplus 6) and there's no obvious way to increase icon/font size
5. Hitting the dice icon immediately rolls, which I guess is okay, but instinctively I expect a dramatic "Roll" button to pop up so I'm sure it's a new, discrete action.

In a Character "Character/Classes/Etc":
1. These all are pretty good and easy to use on a phone, except for the "+" button in the corners sometimes being hard to see/hit

"Campaigns" Screen:
1. Navigate button doesn't do anything here?
2. No way to organize campaigns?
3. "Campaign Theater Public Beta" banner and info confused my players, didn't know they had to scroll down after joining my game to find it again.

Inside a Campaign:
1. I literally only care about using Campaign Theater to share my licenses with the group. Can there be a way to default to the PCs and Players page?
2. Why can't I view/print characters that other players are controlling without transferring control?
3. Why does clicking the little people icon on the top right take me out of the campaign?

Inside a Character that is inside a Campaign:
1. Stage functions on the right panel pop up for me, do they pop up for my players?
2. The right panel is sort of confusing in any case. There's a summary and a profile icon that show similar info?
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WatersLethe
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Old March 18th, 2020, 10:43 AM
Q. What do you find hard/annoying/time consuming (but possible) to do on the phone? When have you started to do something on the phone, only to give up and do it on a larger device?

A. Editing HP is so much easier with a pencil and paper, that we didn't even consider using our phones for it. I tried once, and gave up after one hit because I had to navigate to HP, tap, wait for it to load, type in the numbers, then close. Also, frequently debuffs don't last long enough for it to be worth punching in, and we just use a condition card to remember and apply on the fly.

Q. What did you think the phone COULDN'T do that you only recently discovered was buried somewhere, but is extremely valuable to you?

A. I didn't think it was going to be a good enough resource for looking up skill/ability info, but it often is quicker to tap an ability and get the full description than going to Archives of Nethys.

Q. What are you partially or completely unable to do on the phone?

A. I haven't found something I *can't* do on the phone, but almost everything is significantly easier to do from a PC. Helping a player build a character means I dash over to the computer, load em up, and blast through everything rather than looking at each other's phones.

There is also the fact that the GM is on an Apprentice account, and definitely can't make use of the Campaign Theater features yet.

Q. What do you WISH you could do on the phone that would be more convenient than doing it on a larger device (if it worked well enough)?

A. Voice commands (Herolab, add a serum of healing to my inventory. Herolab, apply Shaken to my character. Herolab, bring up the death and dying rules.). Voice commands would be helpful for the visually impaired player.
Taking a picture of a mini and using it as a profile pic within the app.
Starship tracking (doing shield rebalancing is a major pain with pen and paper)


Q. How do you use the phone differently than other devices, if you use more than the phone? (e.g. building characters/campaigns on a desktop/laptop; using a phone to play characters at the game; GM from a laptop, play as a player via phone; Use the phone as a hand-held assistant while walking around the table as a GM, etc).

A. I only use my phone for looking up specific rules at this point. It's too small and cramped feeling to swipe through, wait for pages to load, click tiny buttons... I feel like I'm holding the game up when I do that. The number of clicks and motions and loading times to get to various options needs to come way down before I will feel comfortable using the phone as a character sheet.
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Joe
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Old March 18th, 2020, 10:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by WatersLethe View Post
They all find the user interface to be extremely unapproachable, and essentially a laughing stock, especially the menus to get around outside of a character. I don't know if you've got the budget for it, but getting a UX designer to at least provide direction would be a huge step.
FWIW, it's not that we can't see the many, many issues our UI/UX has. Our internal bug tracker/feature planner is FILLED with a lifetime's worth of fixes, improvements, and outright overhauls. We have in-house UI/UX talent, but we don't have the budget for someone dedicated to that job alone (although that would be nice). Those people have to wear a lot of other hats and don't always get to dedicate nearly as much time to UI/UX as we'd like. The phone UI especially often gets the short end of that stick. We're not (especially) bad at our jobs, just spread fairly thin.

Mainly what we're looking for is for you guys to guide us to the items that are the most annoying and negatively impactful on your games. That way we spend our limited time solving the issues that actually matter, and don't spend time polishing things that no one cares about (That said, your actual feedback seems to be great for that purpose, so thanks for that!)
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alientude
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Old March 18th, 2020, 12:09 PM
I would argue that UI/UX is the most important thing you can focus on, except maybe continuing releases of Paizo content. Taking people's focus away from it is a huge mistake.
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dacoobob
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Old March 18th, 2020, 04:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by alientude View Post
I would argue that UI/UX is the most important thing you can focus on, except maybe continuing releases of Paizo content. Taking people's focus away from it is a huge mistake.
Agreed. No matter how capable a program is, if the UX is bad, users will have a negative impression of the product even if they can't articulate why. And vice-versa-- Pathbuilder 2e for example is WAY less powerful than HLO and has a lot less content available... but the UI is slick, well organized, and pleasant to use even on a phone. It's easy to navigate and quick enough to not slow down the game, so users are willing to overlook the limited functionality. Maybe it's illogical, but that's just how most people are wired.
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rob
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Old March 19th, 2020, 07:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by alientude View Post
I would argue that UI/UX is the most important thing you can focus on, except maybe continuing releases of Paizo content. Taking people's focus away from it is a huge mistake.
Excellent point, and we are very guilty of making this exact mistake. We began putting corrections in place a few months ago by finally treating the assorted UX issues within HLO as a major priority. We've made significant progress in a relatively short span but still have a ways to go, with the phone clearly lagging behind other areas.
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