Hello everyone here in @Speckle_Insider!
Something we’ve been working on recently is a total rebuild of the desktop client UI. We’re ditching CefSharp (farewell to the resource hog) and are building a new and improved UI in WPF. It will be much more lightweight and hopefully more enjoyable to use Initially, this UI will be just be implemented in Rhino and Revit - Grasshopper and Dynamo will retain UIs similar to their current ones for now.
With the redesign, our priorities have been to simplify the experience for new users (while retaining all the advanced features that power users need) and put collaboration and sharing front and centre. We’re knee-deep in this at the moment and I am coming to you with some updates, some sketches, and a call for help : if you have time for a live user test, please reach out!
This is all very much a work in progress and nothing here is final. That being said, I’d like to lay out where we’re at right now and ask for your feedback (both positive and negative!) to help shape the development of this new UI. Skip to the bottom if you’d just like the TL;DR
New Pages: Inbox & Feed
The “Home” page of the UI is where all your streams live. The two new pages here are Inbox and Feed (names are up for debate). The inbox is where you’ll get your notifications such as when someone shares a stream with you or adds you as a collaborator.
The Feed will be what you think of as a typical newsfeed: a chronological list of recent activity in the streams, projects, or servers you belong to. I’d be interested to know what you think about this idea and if you’d find it useful in your day to day!
The SpeckleManager will likely be how most people manage their accounts as well as their installations. However, this UI should at minimum allow you to switch your default account. I’d like to know what method for switching accounts is most intuitive and preferable to you. Additionally, do you like the idea of separating account management to a different app or would you prefer to be able to add and remove accounts within this UI?
When you first open the UI, you’ll be greeted with a prompt to create your first stream. We’d like this to be as simple as possible for someone trying out Speckle for the first time. The idea was to have a simple stream creating “wizard” that will diverge into two paths
- A big “Send” button that by default sends your selection to a new stream with default settings.
- An “Advanced Settings” button which will allow you to customise the stream by selecting your account, adding collaborators, and adding objects with more control.
You’ll be able to share the stream or open it in the web app right there from the same window.
The Streams page is the home page of the UI. Streams can now both send and receive, so this page will contain a flat list of streams related to the file you have open. This list will include streams from multiple accounts if you have them. A share button will be embedded right there in the list making it super quick to add collaborators and get a shareable link.
I’m curious to know: What information is most important to you when you’re looking at a stream? Do you like the combined sender / receiver streams or do you prefer the separation we had before? Do you like the one-page view of all the stream information, or would you prefer to separate this out into different tabs?
The button on the bottom right corner reveals additional buttons on hover. If this isn’t clear from the drawing, here’s a gif of what I’m trying to convey:
That’s my big brain dump for ya I would really appreciate any feedback, ideas, criticism, questions, etc so please start a convo down below!
And if you’d be willing to help with some hands-on user testing in the near future, please let me know
Here’s what’s changed:
- Sharing is quick and easy
- The experience has been simplified to make it more beginner friendly
- We’re adding an Inbox for notifications and a Feed for recent activity
- Streams can now both send and receive
- More detailed stream information is exposed
Here are my questions:
- Thoughts on the Inbox and Feed?
- What account management functionality do you need? How would you like it to be presented?
- Would the stream creation wizard make things easier for you? Any other functionality you’re looking for?
- What information is important to you when looking at a stream?
- Does the combined sending and receiving stream make sense, or do you prefer the old way?