I meant to hit reply all.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dragon Wisard <dragonwisard@gmail.com >
Date: Oct 6, 2005 2:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Neuros 442 Linux Main] 442 menu organization idea
To: Nathan True <natetrue@gmail.com>

Radial menus are much more efficient than list menus so it is a good idea in theory. However, my experience has been that they are usually less elegant in implementation than the idea would suggest. I have seen some very good examples (Like the RadialContext extension for FireFox) but they are rare. Probably because radial menus are more complicated to program than a simple list, though in our case I'm not sure if that would apply. On a device like the 442 is should be just as easy. I guess the trouble would be if you add a new function later on, you would have to totally redesign the menu to incorporate it, where as with a list you can just add it to the end.

On 10/6/05, Nathan True < natetrue@gmail.com> wrote:
Visualization attached

Playing with my 442 and noticing how awkward the menus are, I came up
with an intriguing idea for a menu layout.  It's not intuitive to have a
cylindrical menu layout where you must scroll past many options you
don't care about, each time checking whether the option you're at is the
one you want (cylindrical menus loop back around, and make it difficult
for the brain to memorize any ordering, since the function you want is
at any time both to the left and to the right of what's currently selected).

So I thought perhaps if the menu was two-dimensional and non-looping it
would be far, far easier to both navigate to what you want and remember
where each function is.  For example, from the "home" screen you would
press Up for video, Left for photo, Right for audio, and Down for
Setup.  With the large 442 screen you would have no problem visually
conveying these mappings to the user, and a scrolling action would make
it very obvious to the user what the direction arrows are doing -
navigating through 2-d space.

Once the user has pressed a direction to indicate the desired function,
a consistent pattern then appears.  Pressing in the opposite direction
will move them back to the Home screen.  Pressing the direction
clockwise to the one they pressed will go to some sort of Recording
application for that particular function.  Pressing the direction of the
function again (a double-click from the home screen) will take them to
the Library for that particular type of media.  Pressing in the
counterclockwise direction would be some related function (for example,
grabbing photos off of an SD card).

For this menu system to work effectively, I suggest that the 442 perform
its own organization of files and abstract them into Libraries - I can
see many users not bothering to use the confusing "DSC" and "PVR"
folders and just dumping all of their files into the root.  It would be
wonderful if the 442 automatically indexed and categorized the files for
them.  This might end up being implemented in the 442 client software if
we decide to go in that direction.

All comments and feedback are welcome - I know the 442 is really in the
hardware stage right now, but software is an important issue that cannot
be overlooked.

Nate True

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