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Author Topic: Simple Mode needed  (Read 72999 times)

arlo

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2018, 09:36:52 am »
By the way, a problem with going straight to a preselected set list and layout is that users wouldn't be able to get to the set list share functions -- so they wouldn't be able to print their own set lists or songbooks if they want to. Would that function be missed?

A less brutally reductive approach is that clicking Repertoire would take you to the list of set lists, and clicking a set list would take you to the list of layouts, where the share functions are. But you would bypass the repertoire menu (songs, custom fields, tags, etc).

Uwe

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2018, 04:30:47 am »
Sounds great.....

People always want more and often more than they can carry.
Perhaps a way is to say: This mode/app/whatever can do that and thats it.
Works more often than not.

Looking forward to it.
Thanks.

Zionplayer

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2018, 08:04:03 am »
Uwe - I have recently started using the "Update" notification in Bandhelpr, so when I save a change to setlist it sends an email and/or SMS text.  The message has a link in it, and that link will open Bandhelper program and goes to the setlist in question...automatically.   Would that type setup help your guys - here guys, click this link for the setlist?

Uwe

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2018, 04:26:27 am »
Hi,
Thanks.

Looked into this but it’s not what I need.
There‘s still the login page first.

A self generated link that sits on the desktop and leads directly to the named page would be fine though.

Cheers
Uwe

arlo

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2018, 08:46:49 am »
Quote
Looked into this but it’s not what I need.
There‘s still the login page first.

Actually if your users are receiving in-app or SMS notifications, and they view those notifications on the mobile device, the link will open to the set list view in the mobile app.

If you want a link to the set list on the website, you can just copy and paste the URL. If the recipient isn't logged in, they'll be presented with the login page and then taken to that set list.

Uwe

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2018, 12:39:46 am »
Thanks Arlo.
I'll try that and see.

the concept of having a fav list on a starter page still strikes me as one of the best solutions.
L8

JerryK

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2018, 05:29:12 am »
Streamlined workflow.
I suggested Shortcuts/Favourites a long time ago.   The menus are great, it's all there but there's so much navigating of them required to use the many product features well.

I notice that, before and after choosing a Project, the right side of the screen is empty.  This is the perfect place(s) for Favourites and Recents, either in a list or in named icons (a choice).  Existing Icons could be used (smaller if in a list format).
It would contain items that go directly to almost any BandHelper endpoint (usually a chosen Setlist with a given Layout) and you could choose what items go there with a "Add to favourites" star on the top toolbar.
Available items should include Finance | Transactions; Contacts | Contacts; Schedule | Events; Schedule | Calendar etc..
Plus a list of the last 5 or so endpoints not included above, such as the last layout or recording edited, midi parameters etc..

Perhaps Icons are too difficult to name effectively, as they might often need to show 
            ProjectName/Repertoire/SetLists/ListName/LayoutName
It may be possible to omit "/Repertoire/SetLists" from the descriptor, as this may be obvious from the icons in a list format.  Maybe headings per endpoint type is another solution.
ProjectName is also unnecessary if chosen after the Projects screen.  In this case, a 2-line name under the icon (in Icons format) containing SetListName<BR>LayoutName is practical.

The 'Back' button would return you to the Shortcuts page, from where the standard menu structure is available, as always.
I'm loving it already.

Thanks for all your work Arlo.  It's so good to have a developer who uses his product in anger.
Jerry

JerryK

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2018, 05:00:58 pm »
Arlo seemed to be wondering how 'most people' use the product. This is how we roll: maybe a typical BH band.

Two of my guys only ever use 2 or 3 setlists, in Split layout.  One of those puts all the paper copies next to his tablet.
The bass player usually arranges the sets, but otherwise uses BH as above.
I'm the techie and input most of the lyrics, chords, arrangement instructions and all the recordings (for 2 bands and a duo).
The drummer drives the live show and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty with Accounts and personal lyrics and setting up other folks' tablets for the router and remote control.
Keyboard player has a tablet with BH, rarely looks at it and makes a number of now-familiar mistakes.
When all the tablets are working properly and we 'follow' the drummer, it works like dream!

chris@katsukurimedia

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2018, 04:37:48 pm »
first off, BH is an absolutely required app for me and it does everything i personally need. i can't gig without it, literally. there's no way i could have 500+ songs/lyrics available to me with the ease and feature-set that BH provides. i've used this app for many years now and have enjoyed the intense amount of work put into it. thank you so much!

but since this topic has come up, i do believe that the usability has a possibility of being improved for new users. i've used the app with 10+ bandmates over the years, and almost everyone needs me to get them started each time we gig. here are my thoughts why:

even though i'm completely familiar with all the functions of the product, it takes 5 clicks from opening the app to get to the appropriate Set or Smart list.

open app
choose Project
choose Rep
choose Smart/Set list
choose correct list
choose layout
now i can perform

depending on multiple accounts or projects, it can be +/- 1 more click from that explanation. that's a lot of clicks. if you don't do that process all the time, you're real-time reading each option, deciding which one and hopefully choosing correctly every time you use the app. i think anyone would agree that's a lot of clicks to get to "performance mode."

that said, i do understand WHY it takes that may clicks - you need to choose the appropriate options as you go. though people ideally want to open the app and perhaps just choose the setlist they need, if they do have other options setup (projects, type of list, etc), they simply need to choose the right thing.

when Layouts became a thing a while ago, although the options increased, so did the complexity of the app. you now have to choose the preferred layout - yet another step before getting to Performance - and honestly the Layout editor i feel is the most difficult part of the app. the Layout choice being another step has somewhat been improved now that you can quickly tap the title of the List you're in and choose from recent Set/Smart lists - i believe i suggested improvement in that area a while ago.

however, i feel that Default Layout installation isn't always consistent. just last night i installed BH on a new bandmate's iPad, and there were Zero layouts. maybe it's because i deleted them from my Master account a long time ago? but regardless, i had to quickly set one up at the gig for them, and there are so many steps and options available to setup for how i want to run the app.

again, having all these options are great, but it just takes time to learn them and remember them when you're setting up a new user. double-edged sword for sure.

the most success i have with bandmates using this app is for me to personally setup all their devices myself - then it's consistent and if they ask each other "where is this button" or something, it's all the same, rather than "oh i put this here, but you didn't" etc. (i believe you can share layouts, but that's not the point i'm trying to make). then after i set everything up the same (which takes time in bands of 5 or more), when we're at the gig, especially if it's a week or more between gigs, i have to go to every device and get them to the appropriate list that we're using that day. the 5+ clicks to get there is just too confusing for people who are primarily focusing on setting up their music gear, and getting ready for the performance.

once we're all in the same list, THEN it's a piece of cake for everyone. click the song, scroll the lyrics, etc. easy. (sorry, screenshare or linking just doesn't work all the times i've tried, for various reasons - tech and preference.)

so how can this be improved? hard to say. again (again!), the options provided are amazing and i wouldn't change them or remove them. but as with anything, more options means more setup or complication along the way.

--
one initial idea (without much thought on implementation) is perhaps to have a sort of "Master" account and then have "band-member" or somehow "non-master" accounts attached to it when we make users. this would primarily help bands or someone who is the leader that works with various musicians. let's say i am the Master account. i have access to all the current options, screens, controls, etc. i add the songs, i assign tags, i make set-lists, i create smart-lists, etc. i do all of that. (i do it all anyway!)

but for a "band-member" account, their App goes like this. let's assume they've logged in already and this is just at the gig:

open app - see a list of Set Lists and Smart Lists curated by Master account
Choose the appropriate list
List immediately loads with a curated/designated Layout

so that's 2 clicks to get to the set list - way easier already.

for some details, let's say that the Member Set/Smart list screen shows Set Lists on top, divider, Smart Lists below. maybe at the very bottom of this Set List page is a button for Settings/Options, but maybe this isn't even needed. creating Layouts for different devices could be a challenge if the Master only has an iPhone and not an iPad for example. but maybe the Master can somehow create the Layouts on the band members devices the very first time, and then push the Layouts up to the database for use later. if iPad 10.5, use ___; if iPhone XS Max, use ____; something like that. (i know that thought isn't hashed out much right now). all i know is that i don't want band members responsible for making their own layout.

in my experience, my bandmates typically all want to see the same layout. i've never had anyone want something other than a very basic list of songs, document viewer (chords and lyrics) and perhaps some control like scroll start/stop, and key change. and within those few things, i've never needed to make different layouts due to preference among band members. they almost always view it as "that's where this button is, that's where the list is. this is simply how it works." and even when i explain that they COULD put anything anywhere for themselves, most of the time everyone wants it to be exactly the same for ease of use.

i definitely can understand the desire for a drummer who doesn't sing to only want to see the setlist large on the screen vs the singing guitarist who wants chords and lyrics. so that part may need some adjustment. still, i think it should be open app, see available set/smart lists, open directly to set list - very direct.

so summarizing this idea:

Master Account - all the options available, curates and sets up the available Set/Smart Lists and Layouts for all other band members. has all editing privileges, etc.

Member Account - easy to use "sub" user account of the Master account. once logged into the app the first time, opening the app immediately shows Set/Smart Lists curated by the Master, Layout is pre-determined by the Master as well and doesn't need to be selected after choosing the Set/Smart list. potentially no editing privileges at all.

again this is a loose concept so there are many details to discuss and decide. potentially there could be minimal options on the "member" apps, but i think most band members do not want or need such individual and fine control over their BH experience. if they do, they too can start a "Master" account and learn everything. but the typical guy wants to open the app, see the set lists and go. there is already probably a "Master type" guy in every band already who has brought this app to the band, so that is already taken care of.

ideally changes can be made on the fly from the Master's app, and all other phones/ipads can be updated at the gig (assuming internet connection of course). just in case changes need to be made - which they always do. i think this simplifies the process in many aspects.

--
i had some other loose ideas before typing above, but as i typed, this seemed to me to be a really strong idea. one setup that pushes out to all connected apps. so maybe i'll stop there for now and think of some other ideas later regarding the app in general, even for the "master" user as referenced above. i just think the typical "band member" doesn't need to see layouts, midi presets, recordings, etc.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 04:57:53 pm by chris@katsukurimedia »

arlo

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2018, 09:08:30 am »
Quote
just last night i installed BH on a new bandmate's iPad, and there were Zero layouts. maybe it's because i deleted them from my Master account a long time ago? but regardless, i had to quickly set one up at the gig for them, and there are so many steps and options available to setup for how i want to run the app.

That shouldn't happen. If this is the first device in the band with that screen size, it should install a default set. If other devices already have that screen size, those layouts should be shared with this user. If for some reason the device has no layouts, you can either click Help > Utilities > Load Default Layouts, or edit the Users for some existing layouts of the same screen size to share with this user. I'll double-check the logic for that.

Quote
it takes 5 clicks from opening the app to get to the appropriate Set or Smart list.

open app
choose Project
choose Rep
choose Smart/Set list
choose correct list
choose layout

Okay, but for something you do one time at the start of the show, I believe the number of clicks isn't as important as the difficulty in deciding what to click. So here's what we have:

choose Project: Assuming your project name is your band name, this shouldn't be difficult. If you only have one project, this step doesn't exist.

choose Rep: This could take a moment to figure out, but it should be clear that you want Repertoire instead of Events, Finance, Contacts, etc. For Basic accounts, those other options are disabled.

choose Smart/Set list: Could be an issue ... I've seen people choosing Songs because that's the first item, but they knew what to do after being told once. In any case, I'm planning to move Songs below Set Lists and Smart Lists in the menus.

choose correct list: Depends on how you organize your set lists. If you are dating the set lists, they would select the one for today's date. If you're drawing from a number of undated set lists, I imagine a short interaction with bandmates ("What set list are we using today?" "Big Rock Show") that would be about as easy as the old interaction of "hey guys here's your (paper) set list" "okay thanks."

choose layout: I assume this is the least intuitive because layouts don't correspond to something that musicians are already used to doing. But you can rename your layouts as needed (e.g. "Supersonics Layout") or disable all the layouts but one so there's only one choice to select.

In short, is it really a problem that someone gets to one of these menus and doesn't know which item to click? If so, which menu are they getting stuck on? And once they see what to do, do they know the second time, or do they get stuck every time?

If we did have a simple mode that took you directly to a preselected set list and layout, that would bypass all the other app modules -- Events, Finance, Contacts -- which wouldn't matter for Basic accounts but would somewhat defeat the purpose of a Pro account. It would also bypass the share functions, for printing hard copies of set lists or song pages. It could even prevent your bandmates from using the app to practice at home, if they need to select a different set list or layout to practice from. It would basically reduce the app to a song viewer for live shows.

If that's the goal, an option already exists with the screen sharing function. That goes even further in that direction by putting the "master" in complete control of what is displayed, and requiring no app interaction from the other bandmates. They just watch what appears on their screens. You could still mix and match so that more ambitious users could use their own interface, while the rest of the band uses screen sharing.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 09:17:15 am by arlo »

chris@katsukurimedia

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2018, 01:14:25 am »

Okay, but for something you do one time at the start of the show, I believe the number of clicks isn't as important as the difficulty in deciding what to click. So here's what we have:

choose Project: Assuming your project name is your band name, this shouldn't be difficult. If you only have one project, this step doesn't exist.

choose Rep: This could take a moment to figure out, but it should be clear that you want Repertoire instead of Events, Finance, Contacts, etc. For Basic accounts, those other options are disabled.

choose Smart/Set list: Could be an issue ... I've seen people choosing Songs because that's the first item, but they knew what to do after being told once. In any case, I'm planning to move Songs below Set Lists and Smart Lists in the menus.

choose correct list: Depends on how you organize your set lists. If you are dating the set lists, they would select the one for today's date. If you're drawing from a number of undated set lists, I imagine a short interaction with bandmates ("What set list are we using today?" "Big Rock Show") that would be about as easy as the old interaction of "hey guys here's your (paper) set list" "okay thanks."

choose layout: I assume this is the least intuitive because layouts don't correspond to something that musicians are already used to doing. But you can rename your layouts as needed (e.g. "Supersonics Layout") or disable all the layouts but one so there's only one choice to select.

In short, is it really a problem that someone gets to one of these menus and doesn't know which item to click? If so, which menu are they getting stuck on? And once they see what to do, do they know the second time, or do they get stuck every time?
i'm just sharing feedback from 10+ band members over the years. some are good with apps/phones, some aren't. both have shared the same sort of feedback. it just feels like a lot of clicks to get to where they want to get.

yes, once into that list, they're good for the show, so yes, perhaps it ultimately doesn't matter much. but also, yes, even after showing a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc time, even those good with apps get a bit confused with all the options and forget where to go to get to our current show.

as mentioned, i was just presenting an idea that i thought about briefly. for me, screen sharing has never worked too reliably, but also sometimes band members want to have access to the same list, yet look at a different song as they prepare to sing their song while finishing mine, for example.

this is such a powerful app. i definitely am not asking for things to change, as i use many of the amazing features. i'll try to think of some other suggestions in the future for ease of use. i help many people on some other forums as well, and i do get similar feedback. once they figure it out, they're on it. but if they don't use the app for a week or two, they tend to forget things. *shrug*

arlo

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2018, 09:13:46 am »
Here's a question. I'm talking here about improving the workflow for everyone, not adding a separate navigational structure.

I'm guessing most of the frustration here comes from the menu between the list of set lists, and the set list view, where you can either select a layout or select the set list edit or share options. I could potentially add the edit and share options as buttons in the list of set lists, so you could get to them directly from that list. But then how would you select a layout? I considered eliminating multiple layouts and having just one customizable layout, which would eliminate this step, but multiple layouts seem widely enough used to keep them:

http://forum.arlomedia.com/index.php/topic,2015.0.html

The set list view now has a layout edit button, which could easily be expanded to also switch layouts. So when you select a set list, you'd go to the last-used layout, and you could use that button to switch layouts if needed. But then the question is, how would people know that multiple, customizable layouts exist? I expect that in this setup, almost everyone will just use whatever I designate as the default layout and will never move beyond that. I'll get lots of app reviews saying, "I'd like this app if I could make the song list smaller" or whatever. ;-)

This is how the app worked when layouts were first introduced a few years ago, and layouts were unknown by many users. I added this extra menu to make the layouts more visible (and to remove the edit and share buttons from the set list view), but I've heard regular complaints about the extra click since then. So what's a better solution? How can I let people see the layout options without requiring them to select one? This could be as simple as a hint text that appears the first time someone views a set list, or as fancy as ... ?

arlo

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2018, 11:34:31 am »
however, i feel that Default Layout installation isn't always consistent. just last night i installed BH on a new bandmate's iPad, and there were Zero layouts.

On a side note, I just did some testing on this and couldn't find any problems. If you see further problems, please submit a help ticket so I can look into it.

Mykimus

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2018, 05:08:47 pm »
I'm guessing most of the frustration here comes from the menu between the list of set lists, and the set list view, where you can either select a layout or select the set list edit or share options. I could potentially add the edit and share options as buttons in the list of set lists, so you could get to them directly from that list. But then how would you select a layout? I considered eliminating multiple layouts and having just one customizable layout, which would eliminate this step, but multiple layouts seem widely enough used to keep them:

http://forum.arlomedia.com/index.php/topic,2015.0.html

I remember the magical moment when I found the old-school layout editor, before the change that added the extra menu after selecting a set list. It was like a whole new world of usability was opened up to me. And I personally have six different layouts that I use regularly for different situations.

  • Home Practice which is landscape (since I'm often sitting, so my face can be closer to the device) and includes the document viewer on one half of the screen and notes and recording controls on the other half for listening to reference tracks while I'm learning new songs
  • Rehearsal New Tunes which is portrait and includes a large document viewer with some recording controls along the bottom for when we're working together in a rehearsal to learn a new song
  • Rehearsal Full which is mostly just a document viewer that takes up most of the screen, with next song/previous song buttons at the bottom and a layout action that shows/hides the song list via a three-fingered tap.
  • Performance (iPad) which is similar to the Rehearsal Full but without the navigation buttons at the bottom. (I use this in tandem with the following layout)
  • Performance (iPhone) which I use on my iPhone in tandem with the Performance (iPad) layout. It has custom fields that show which guitar and tuning I'm using on this song and which guitar and tuning I'm using on the next song, plus large next song and previous song buttons. I use Device Linking to connect the two devices so that my iPad is following the remote control actions on the iPhone. It makes it super easy to move to the next song without needing to monkey around with swiping or selecting from the song list, and it saves the screen real estate on my iPad so that I can make the document viewer bigger.
  • Verification which is a layout that I use to flip through the songs in a set list the day before a show just to ensure that everything is in place. It includes the song list, a small document viewer (since I don't really need to read it...I just need to know that something is there for each song), the notes field, and a few custom fields.

But I've also been in situations with a bandmate who struggles with technology. When I'm faced with this situation, I will usually sit down with them (maybe go for coffee or whatever) and show them some of my custom layouts to see if anything jumps out at them as "hey - that's pretty darn cool!" I have even been known to go as far as creating a layout for them on their device with only the bare minimum that would be useful for them (such as a large document viewer, a next song and previous song button, and maybe nothing else!) I name this layout "Tap Here to Start the Show" and then make sure their user is only associated with that layout and no others. That way, whenever they pick a set list in the app, it takes them to the layout listing which now just says "Tap Here to Start the Show." Once they know to tap the band name (for the project) then Repertoire then Set Lists, that usually sticks...and if you're careful about organizing and properly naming your set lists, it should be pretty clear which one of those to select.

It's worked well for me, anyway...

arlo

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Re: Simple Mode needed
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2018, 08:41:58 am »
Another question from me. Does anybody think that the term "Repertoire" in the main menu isn't clear enough? Does anyone get stuck at that first menu containing Repertoire, Schedule, Finance, etc.? If "Repertoire" were renamed to "Music," would your bandmates while setting up for a gig know automatically to click that?