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Author Topic: Workflow / UI / UX issues and suggestions :)  (Read 964 times)

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Workflow / UI / UX issues and suggestions :)
« on: August 26, 2019, 02:15:47 »

I've been using Milky for a while and I *LOVE IT*.

Here's some requests/suggestions regarding usability:

- There's currently no way to deselect -- and many ways to select. This is very wrong for lots of reasons, but it's a real pain since most edit commands (copy, delete, etc) seem to favor the selected block over cursor position; however once there's no selection everything seems to work using the cursor position. Yes, you can click to remove current block selection, but this also moves your cursor (in default behaviour) and may select the clicked position by mistake.
All this is ambiguous and very unintuitive.
For example, sometimes you think you're deleting what's under the cursor when you're actually deleting whatever row you selected 5 minuted ago, in another pattern.
I suggest deselecting the current block in any arrow-keypress, or any cursor movement: usually selection becomes irrelevant once you move away from it, because you copied its contents / interpolated its values, etc.
Or please at least add a shortcut to deselect the current block :)

- Sample editor: enable a looped mode by default for short samples: it's obvious that something under 512 samples it's going to be looped. And if it's not, you can tell right away and turn it off; better that getting a weird click or no sound at all.

- Some windows open and close by using their shortcut again (like Sample, Instrument, Configuration) while other doesn't (Open, Record, Transpose). In particular the Open/Load window becomes really annoying since it impedes any user input outside of it, like instrument / sample operations that are crucial.

- Make volume commands relative to instrument value. I guess if this is not implemented yet it has to be for a good reason. But it would be very nice indeed.

- Better docs. See below.

Here's some (secondary) requests/suggestions regarding user experience:

- I love the sample editor, specially the new ext-paste options in the last versions. Drawing samples is super fun too, and it really makes Milky stand out.
However, you can't undo/redo/copy/etc with a shortcut, even when out of edit mode. The functionality is there, why not the shortcut?
I'd also would like to see a consolidated contextual menu (when you right click on the sample) because, who cares if [Boost] is a feature inherited from [Protracker]? I just need sensible info like [Boost Vol.]

- Related: "Patn." and "Len" in the main menu displays hex values even when your config says otherwise. Minor issue, really.

- Rename some options. Lots of stuff is very unintuitive and focused on legacy soft. Lots of inconsistency too. To name a few in the main screen:
"SEQ" = "NEW", "MORE" or at least "ADD" pattern.
"Add" and "Sub" = "More" and "Less" channels.
"Disk Op." = "Load/Save" (the FLIP version of this menu should be the default one since it's the most useful and versatile)
"Zap" = "New" or "Erase" or whatever. This won't happen, I know.

- More straight-forward default settings. The first thing you have to do after downloading Milkytracker is spend 10 minutes in the configuration screen. Proof: about 75% threads and posts on the internet regarding Milkytracker are about screen issues.
There's lots of options that most people will turn on in their 5 minutes messing around. To name a few: Resampling-No interpolation, Jam channels ON, Edit mode-milkytracker, etc.
Ditto for displaying Peak levels instead of filename, that is either obvious or can be seen in the window title.
Please make it start at 2x zoom (or at least provide a config file for desktop users).
Why not making these defaults?

- Again, please defaut to display Peak levels. It's a visual way to remove lots of confusion when you don't hear any sound for whatever reason. Plus it's super useful when tracking.

- Use the same color hue for the cursor / cursor line and the menu selections. This makes the user understand that you're either in edit mode (red cursor shows up in pattern) or out of it (red cursor is now in menus above). It's a simple thing but does wonders.

- Decimal values -- for everything. Crazy, right? I know this will never ever happen, but it would make Milky a super intuitive, newbie-friendly tracker. I dream with inputting commands in a 0-99 scale.
It's just another way to display underlying data, after all :)

- Better docs*. I find the manual both daunting and incomplete.
Right now the effect list is ordered alphabetically, not by usability. Lots of overlap in functionality, spread across a long, dry list. Worst than that, there's listed effects that aren't even implemented. Right now the docs seem more focused on what's emulated/compatible and differences with other, legacy software.
It would be nice to have a short, concise list of usable effects - sorted by function or usability. For example, list under Volume all effects that deal with that parameter such as volume slides, tremolo, tremor, global volume, etc. When I refer to the docs I'm usually working and I go "how do I do THIS?", not "let's search the docs until I come across something then crossreference with a legacy effect then find out it wasn't implemented".

Besides, the manual isn't actually *that* exhaustive; there's a lots of super useful functionality it doesn't list (example: alt+space playback, all the buttons in the main screen, sample editor functions, etc).

I also find confusing that some effects are labeled "finer" (E1x, EAx...) when they work on a row basis; they look more advanced when in fact most people and specially newcomers tend to think in rows, not ticks -- and tick-based effects are ones that offer a "finer" control. Very counter-intuitive.


I don't know how active is the dev team, or if I'm suggesting changes that are too deep or too complex. I've simply fallen in love with Milytracker and I think it would be an awesome program to ease newcomers into tracking with just a few changes :)

*Again, sorry if I'm asking for too much! I can't code but I'm willing to help with the docs.

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Re: Workflow / UI / UX issues and suggestions :)
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 16:59:33 »

I also find confusing that some effects are labeled "finer" (E1x, EAx...) when they work on a row basis; they look more advanced when in fact most people and specially newcomers tend to think in rows, not ticks -- and tick-based effects are ones that offer a "finer" control. Very counter-intuitive.
This is basically "tracker speak" that you will have to get used to - MilkyTracker just adopts the terminology of other trackers. The slides are finer in the sense that the change is finer (for example you can adjust the volume by an amount of exactly 1, which you cannot do with regular slides), not that the update frequency is finer.

If you want to contribute to MilkyTracker in any way, including documentation, the place to do so is
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