I’ve been spending some time over the past week drawing up a few new wireframes for MarcEdit. Part of this is because I’d like to update the program’s look and feel, part of it is that I’m moving some code around so if I ever get a Mac mini for testing, I can start working on a native build for OSX (still .NET, but using a .NET UI layer specifically written to interact with OSX.) These UI refreshments will slowly be rolled out over the next few builds as I work through them, and I’m starting with the MarcEdit Start page. Right now, the main window hasn’t changed in close to 4-5 years, looking generally as it does today.
It’s worked well, but I have to wonder if the items that I’ve chosen as the Frequently used tools actually represent the lion’s share of the user community. I know folks use MarcEdit for different things, sometimes, for very narrow purposes, so in re-imagining how the start screen will work, I’m also rethinking what be on that main page. To that end, I’m currently leaning towards something like this:
In refreshing the UI, I’d like to move towards a little more graphical component, large buttons, and start to de-emphasize the text (though it won’t go away since I know some folks like it). However, in addition to moving towards a more graphical interface, I’m also looking at allowing users to customize the Start page so that they can select the tools that they use most often and have them right on the home screen. I see it working something like this:
Users will have the option to select the customize button down on the right hand corner. This button will allow users to swap out any or all of the four rightmost icons and replace them with pointers to their most frequently used tools. This of course means that I’m currently building graphical representations for all the items available from the Main Window under Tools and Add-ins, but I’m hoping that this will make the front page a little more relevant for users, considering how often a user would see it.
In addition to changes to the Start Window, I’m also currently working on new Wireframes for the MARC Tools area and some of the ancillary tools like the Delimited Text Translator (which hasn’t been updated in some time).