[Sumover-tech] Usability issues with "vic"
j.bell at cqu.edu.au
Thu Feb 14 05:25:50 GMT 2008
G'day Sumover Colleagues
I hope this is the right forum to discuss some comments for the "vic"
software. If not, please disregard my email below as I only subscribed
to this mailing list today.
For those who don't know me, my name is Jason Bell and I am heavily
involved with Access Grids within the Australian Region. I am also
involved with Quality Assuring Australian Access Grids and have been
using the AG software with differing versions of "vic" now for over 6
years. (My first introduction to the AG was to simply run vic and rat
manually via the command line.)
The purpose of this email is to provide a discussion with a number of
issues that has been raise to me in regards to the "vic" software.
Now, I will apologize in advance if many or all of these issues have
already been highlighted, but I was hoping to get some responses.
Most of the issues I would like to discuss are simple usability issues
in which "I think" could easily be fixed or improved. Note: I
personally don't have any issues with the software, but I think the
reason for this is that because I have been using the software long
enough, I know the tips and tricks to get the best performance out of
Anyway, a number of these issues were highlighted to me recently when
installed a "portable" AG node in my supervisor's office and some of the
following issues occurred:
1. To resize a video window, the key (S, M or L) have to be pressed...
Since there is no indication on how this could be done, ie, no menu
option within a video stream or whatever, my supervisor had to ask me
how to do this a number of times. Now, I know that by pressing these
keys, resizing will work, but for those who are new to the software,
this isn't an intuitive function to use.
2. Another issue that was highlighted is if video streams come and go,
then they get displayed lower and lower within the video thumbnail
screen within vic (with blank spaces being left). If a number of
streams appear and disappear, the new streams are no longer displayed on
the screen. Now, I know personally if I hit the number 1 - 8 the vic
application will "re-sort" the streams and re-arrange the thumbnails in
the appropriate tile columns. Again, this is not an obvious function
nor is it institutive. My supervisor initially to overcome this problem
restarted the AG software every time he wanted to resort the vic
3. Similar to the issue above, there is no indication from the display
thumbnail screen if any addition video thumbnails exist by a Vertical
Scroll bar or the likes.
The reason why the issues above (I believe) are quite important, is
because I am seeing a number of researchers using the AG software (which
includes the sumover media tools) as a tool for video collaboration.
Generally speaking, researchers do not want to have to learn new
software, they simply want it to work and not be overly complicated.
Unfortunately, the feedback I receive on a regular basis is that this
currently isn't the case!
Therefore, with the issues mentioned above, it is my opinion that some
very basic solutions could be implemented that coule resolved these
issues. These being (solutions as numbers to the issues above):
1. The issue for me here is that I wouldn't like to clutter up the
video streams with addition menu options, like an old version of the
openmash version of vic, but it would be useful if a user could somehow
have a menu option (or whatever) that allows them to resize, or other
vic "shortcut" key options... (How many people know that by hitting the
"<" button on a video stream, they can scroll through the video streams)
2. This issue I think could be resolved by having a "menu/button"
that allows the user to "refresh" thumbnail placement and it would even
be better by having an option that they could select the column tile
placement directly on the "front" of the vic application.
3. Again, by having some form of scroll bars in use, this would
make things a lot simpler.
Please don't take the suggestions above has what "has" to be done but
rather a commencement of a dialog about the best potential options for
making "vic" more usable.
I do apologise if this isn't the "right" forum to discuss these issues,
is it just that I am personally involved with the usability issues for
the Access Grid and it's use of the Sumover media tools and would like
to be involved with making this software more user-friendly.
I would be happy to discuss many more issues and possible improvements
and be involved with any testing. I am not sure if I can be involved
with the actual "coding", but that is always a possibility as well.
Thanks for your time,
Jason Bell, B.I.T.
B. Info. Tech. (Honours)
High Performance Computing Support Officer,
Information Technology Division
Central Queensland University
E-mail : j.bell at cqu.edu.au
Work : 07 4930 9229
Mobile : 0409 630897
Patience is a virtue.
But if I wanted Patience,
I would have become a Doctor.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Sumover-tech