Assorted Suggestions From New User

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar bilegene 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #7252
    Avatar
    peetly
    Participant

    I'm trialing FW at our church and had a few suggestions.  But first I want to say thank you and how awesome this software is.  Being a software developer myself, I understand that you've done a lot of hard work and some small usability tweaks can really improve the user experience.  Most of these are probably very easy to do.

    Please let me know if there is a better place to submit these…

    Video & Powerpoint Stage Display (DISREGARD THIS – See 3rd reply below)

    Ideally, Presentation Display content would be displayed on Stage Display as well.  This prevents speakers from turning around to see if the desired slide is being displayed.  A count-down on videos would help a singer / speaker prepare to resume singing / speaking.

    More realistically however, perhaps there could be a mode switch for making Stage Display clone the Presentation Display?

    Or maybe multiple screens could be targeted simultaneously as the Presentation Display? (not just one)

    Video Launch

    Currently, when a video is promoted to Live, it starts to play despite the Black, Logo or Background being displayed.  This means that multiple clicks are required to launch a video, and the first few frames are lost.  One can use an empty song with black background to achieve the single click launch however this is not ideal.

    Perhaps video could begin playing only when the Show Content mode is activated?

    (Unless Show Content is already active, then the video will play upon going Live)

    Space Between Buttons

    I sometimes move the mouse a fraction as I click (especially when I'm nervous).  Perhaps there could be a margin around the buttons to avoid accidents? (at least for a clutz like me ;)

    Streamlined Song Choice

    When I type in the name of a song, the search result almost always has a single song.  Unfortunately I must reposition my hands to the arrow keys in order to choose the song.

    After I select the song I must use the mouse to click back in the search field and then delete the search term.

    Perhaps choosing songs could be streamlined so that a touch typist could enter a song title, press enter, and then immediately start typing the name of the next song?

    EG: If there is only one song in the search result then pressing enter adds it to the service.  And when a song is added to the service then the entire search term is highlighted and focused so that subsequent keystrokes will replace it.

    Header Clarity

    The headers are a little difficult to distinguish.  Perhaps the font highlights of the song editor could be used?

    Dark Skin Label Colour

    The colour of a number of labels remains black when the Dark skin is applied, making them hard to read against the dark background.  EG: Registration and Edit Song screens.

    I really value the Dark skin; it's perfect for dark venues and is less tiring on the eyes.

    EasyWorship 2009 Import

    We were not able to rely on the results of importing EW songs.  It seems the importer was trying to detect repeats and was making lots of mistakes.  Perhaps it could avoid looking for repeats?

    Free Worship XML Song File Import

    We have two sites for services with separate computers.  Perhaps there could be an option to import FW XML song files?  This would be as simple as verifying and copying the selected files to the Songs folder.

    This would enable us to import new songs from backups taken from the other computer.

     

    Thanks again for your efforts and considering these suggestions.

    Pete

    #7734
    Avatar
    andrewlee1982
    Participant

    I fellow software developers. Let me offer my personal insights of using the software.

     

    Streamlined Song Choice

    When I type in the name of a song, the search result almost always has a single song.  Unfortunately I must reposition my hands to the arrow keys in order to choose the song.

    After I select the song I must use the mouse to click back in the search field and then delete the search term.

    I had the same issue as well. But if you are a keyboard guy, after typing the name, naturally we want to hit the "Enter" key to select the song on the top of the list. The workaround is to hit the "Down" key to select the song, and then hit the "Enter" key. No mouse intervention!

    Space Between Buttons

    I sometimes move the mouse a fraction as I click (especially when I'm nervous).  Perhaps there could be a margin around the buttons to avoid accidents? (at least for a clutz like me ;)

    Ever thought of touch-screen? It worked wonders as long as I don't fat finger the screen.

    Also, if you are a keyboard kind-of-guy, there are keyboard short-cuts to eliminate the mouse-related accidents

    https://www.freeworship.org.uk/support/faq#n28

    Free Worship XML Song File Import

    We have two sites for services with separate computers.  Perhaps there could be an option to import FW XML song files?  This would be as simple as verifying and copying the selected files to the Songs folder.

    This would enable us to import new songs from backups taken from the other computer.

    I use Dropbox to save the "Data" folder and contents, which is the library folder name for FW. I sync up multiple PC's that way :) I add a song/file/picture, and boom, they're available on another PC's FW. 

    #7735
    Avatar
    peetly
    Participant

    Thanks for your input Andrew.

    • Streamlining song choice isn't a deal breaker, I just think it would be easy to improve
    • Space around the buttons would reduce the risk of fat fingering on a the touchscreen
    • The 'projectionists' at our church are not computer experts and are unlikely to:

      • remember / use shortcuts
      • copy XML files to 'secret' folders

    • I'm using Dropbox to disitribute the backup area however I stopped short of putting the data folder in Dropbox.  Putting data in Dropbox is risky because the 'master' copy inside Freeworship can be altered by [accidental] activity on another computer.  Keeping the master copy 'upstream' is simpler IMO.

    Pete

    #7736
    Avatar
    peetly
    Participant

    Please disregard the first suggestion 'Video & Powerpoint Stage Display' and forgive me for the misinformation.

    I have just done a test with both Presentation & Stage display and everything already works as hoped.  Both video playback & Powerpoint are shown on the Stage display.

    Details of the test…

    Hardware

    Core i5-6500 with 32Gb RAM (Asus H170M-Plus MoBo)

    nVidia GeForce GT 730 2GB Video Card (fanless, not fancy)

    Primary operator display 1280×1024 (5:4 aspect)

    Stage & Presentation display 1920×1080 (16:9 aspect)

    Software

    Windows 10 64-bit Pro

    FW 3.0.22

    PowerPoint 2016

    Procedure

    With either a VLCVideoPlayer or WPFVideoPlayer I was able to:

    • get simultaneous playback on the stage display
    • turn off stage display and duplicate the Presentation display (via Windows settings) while the videos were playing
    • undo the above step while the videos were playing

    I also repeated the above test with a complex PowerPoint presentation.  The Stage display did not have any transitions etc.  It had a number at top-right to indicate the transition phase within the current slide.

     

    Finally, for any administrators that need to test this at home, I used 2 separate HDMI inputs on my TV and switched between the two using the remote control.  You'll also need a DVI to HDMI adapter.

    #7737
    Avatar
    andrewlee1982
    Participant

    • I'm using Dropbox to disitribute the backup area however I stopped short of putting the data folder in Dropbox.  Putting data in Dropbox is risky because the 'master' copy inside Freeworship can be altered by [accidental] activity on another computer.  Keeping the master copy 'upstream' is simpler IMO.

    This is where our practice differ. In essence, Dropbox is for shared collaboration, not for storing the master copy.

    The primary benefit for Dropbox is the convenience of auto-syncing songs/images/service files so that all operators and those preparing the service content can collaborate in a distributed environment. As the admin/leader/manager, I would manually back-up the master copy in a different location, say Git (Gitlab, Atlassian BitBucket), so that master copies are not accidentally altered. It is a little extra effort, but there is a bevy of file/folder-comparison tools to minimize the pain. In practice, I can go for a month or two without finding significant changes between the shared copy and the master copy. 

    Humbly, this is merely "best practice" on my side, or what works well so far. So far, so good. I can certainly understand that different teams have different variables to factor–technical proficiency, exposure through training or repeated use, accessibility to members, etc.

    My solution sounds like a pain to keep track of two locations–Dropbox for sharing and a hosted version control solution for master copy. However, since you are also keeping the shared copy separate from a master copy, our principle is the same while our practice is different.

    #7738
    Avatar
    peetly
    Participant

    FYI, we're now using a common Data folder shared between multiple computers via Dropbox.  It's super convenient for making sure songs words are available for service.

    #7739
    Avatar
    andrewlee1982
    Participant

    Way to go!

    #9947
    Avatar
    bilegene
    Participant
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