Roadmap for impactful UI/UX changes

As part of another thread there was a discussion about the big changes coming up, and the fact that they would be too big to land all in a few steps for users to keep up.

Based on discussions in different threads (Home, Inbox, Episodes/Queue), I proposed the following list of screens:

With the following notes:

  • Episodes screen: no more New tab (replaced by new Inbox screen) - will only have All, Favorites, On device
  • Downloads screen to be dismantled
    • ‘Completed’ tab is replaced by the ‘On device’ tab in the Episodes screen
    • ‘Log’ tab is moved under the settings (possibly accessible also via a button in the On device tab, and of course via the notifications)
  • Playback history screen would put behind an action bar button in the Queue and/or full Player screen (less accessible, but still good enough I think, major actor Spotify has the history behind an action button too, but on their Home screen, which could also work)

To which @ByteHamster replied:

To keep the other discussion in the other thread focussed and on point, I’m creating this thread for the discussion on longer-term planning of big changes.

We’re now at version 2.2 - biggest UX/UI change was the introduction of the tabs on the Player screen (previously: dots too subtle for visually impaired).

Version 2.3 will introduce an updated Player screen that will remove the just-introduced tabs (#5075) - at least I’d propose to introduce it asap as to avoid users getting used to an intermediary solution.
It would be great if it would also include the updated episode selection mechanism/screen (#5130), as it greatly enhances the experience without disrupting the UX too much (we’re moving to a widely applied/recognised pattern).

After, I would go about it in this order:

  1. add Discover screen. It can be helpful especially to new users. (And might create some PodcastIndex buzz.) But no work on this has started yet, and I don’t believe anyone has indicated interest in its development, yet.
  2. add Inbox screen, which would also imply a change to the Episodes screen (removal of New tab). It adds an extra entry in the sidebar menu.
  3. remove Download screen, which would also imply a change to the Episodes screen (adding of On device tab). (Also it moves the Log to the settings, but that’s less impactful UX-wise.) It removes one entry in the sidebar menu.
  4. add Home screen. Helpful to new users as well as existing, but relies on implementation of other screens
  5. move Playback history screen to somewhere else (Home, Queue, and/or Player screen)
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I agree, i dont think user should learn a way to use the app only for a few month, and then relearn, might just as well relearn now.
Of course ideally good changes to UI/UX stay longer, but theres no point in sticking with something just to be consistent. Also i think users also enjoy improvements and like to see that the app is evolving.
Surly, and sadly, only unsatisfied users will write a negtive review, but for each of them there are hundreds that appreciate the improvements, i’m sure.

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Sorry for being off a few month, I would like to reference what I wrote on another thread
null - Brainstorming bottom navigation (for bigger screens) - #12 by ueen

Is there any progress on this? My PRs Inbox and Home are still open on github, I would like to merge them, on the other hand, I’m using my debug version for month now and are pretty happy with it, so I’m not willing to put to much more time into them (they are pretty much done though)*.
I thought about bottomnavigation, without finding an adequate solution, the sidebar is just to powerful, especially with the quick acess to individual podcast feeds. Also I didn’t find an alternative to my quickfilters, they are just very useful for my usecase.

Best way ahead IMHO would still be to focus on Home as the central and customisable screen to solve navigatibility.
In the end I think the big question is to what extend we should keep different workflows or just streamline the UI/UX. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy choice but as stated in the reference above, there is great potential to streamline the userflow and reduce screens.

So what’s the game plan? Do you want to get home done first or think about bigger changes first?

/ *
as much as I understand the QC intention, especially from ByteHamster, I found it a very tedious experience, so I would love to contribute further but we somehow need to make the process more efficient and somewhat faster, maybe we could somehow also do more tests/betas instead of debating on the forum for hours - I hope you understand this as warm and constructive as it is meant :slight_smile:

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The problem is that the PRs mix together quite a bit of different stuff. That makes it hard to review and merge them. It would be easier if they were focused on a single thing per PR. I started working on a version of the inbox feature that is only focused on the inbox itself: Renamed 'new' screen to inbox by ByteHamster · Pull Request #5460 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub. Unfortunately, I had not much time recently. End next week I will take a few days off from work, so I think I will be able to continue working on the Inbox.

Yeah, I also think the home screen should come first. Then we can later think about whether we still need the bottom navigation or not.

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Sure, I hope the home PR should be independent from Inbox, I guess it does need a bit of tweaking, but I hope my work wasn’t useless altogether :sweat_smile:

Quickfilters for the EpisodesScreen are still not resolved, my solution, which I love, unfortunately wasn’t received so well by you guys, but just the fact that we reduce three screens into one is a huge benefit, I guess favorites and download screen could also just be removed without replacement, it is somewhat useful though to have it at times - maybe it’s just a design question… @keunes ?

Any progress so far? :slight_smile:

Uhm, sorry. Not really. I see the issue basically every day but there are just so many things to do :smiley:

Using my quickfilters for a few month I noticed I barley use them, if I use them it acts to either toggle unread/all or favorites so I thought maybe it could be simplified to a action button that hides on scroll down and that displays only one switch that can be turned on off and on longclick reveals other popular filter options (favorites, downloaded) and a pen for the full dialog, the action button then will switch between filters on/off and keeps the latest configuration for on.
Hope this was comprehensive, how does this sound to you? It could be added to episodes screen and podcast screen as well, it would simplify filtering and make it more noticeable (for new users as well), what do you think? :slight_smile:

Sorry, I still haven’t worked on finalizing the Inbox screen. If you are interested in either simplifying your PR or fixing mine, that would be awesome :slight_smile:

Ah i remember, so what’s the game plan here?
If I remember correctly I removed the tabs/pager and simplified to a parent class with toolbar and recyclerview that powers both epidodes and inbox.

It removes the tabs and adds the quick filters. I would rather discuss one step at a time (inbox first, then home screen, then maybe quick filters). Doing everything at once is a bit much.

I think we need to have the big picture first and then (of course) do small manageable steps.

So the big picture forward may look like this:
reduce screens and therfore complexity
empower a easy, yet flexible userflow

concrete this would look like this:
Home as the main page, everything can easily be accessed from here and is customizable. (maybe this replaces the sidebar)
There should be an easy subscription feed (episodes) that can be filtered (allows swipe actions).

So in my mind the first step is to do inbox, which inckudes modified episodes (as the new tab goes away), so it only makes sense to remove the favorite tab as well, therfore enable swipeactions and introduce a simplified filter solution. Thinking about it this may actually be the first step, make a simple filter FAB for the podcast feed that then can be reused for episodes.

The next step would be to do Home and here i think there is some discussion needed on how this should be done.
In my draft i simply implemented the mockups from @keunes but thinking about it, i think its not the most functional way to do it, accessing the overview of all podcasts and the episodes feed need to be more clear and easy to allow for a better userflow, than the sidebar may be replaced (i know this is a huge change, but maybe its for the best?).


So here would be the todo:

  1. simplifed filter for podcast feed
  2. inbox & episodes
  3. HOME

Do you agree on the big picture, does anything need to be adjusted?

Sorry for yet another late reply. I’m not sure we need a filter FAB on the “single-podcast episode list” screen. It covers the download buttons and is pretty prominent, considering that filtering on that screen is probably not a very common action. So maybe it would be better to directly start with the inbox

In case you have not seen it yet, there is currently some planning for a video call: Next community call? That would probably speed up the process with these rather big decisions.

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@ueen my stab at the inbox is now ready for merging. Recently, I also modified the filter dialog slightly to be a bottom sheet instead of a pop-up dialog, and it also filters in real-time. While it is technically still the same number of clicks to change the filter, it feels a lot quicker.

The next step would probably be the home screen. Would you be interested in working on this? The PR contains a pretty large number of unrelated changes, so I am not sure how easy it is to decouple only the home screen changes. Maybe starting with a new branch and copying over the files as needed could be quicker.

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Awesome, sounds good, i would be interested, although I’m not sure if I have time in the near future, but you have basic concept in my home branch, maybe use it as a starting point, there are still some issues with the toolbox and the recyclerviews scrolling some time.

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