‘Clock’ and progress bars

Ive just updated my apps and saw the change log includes a clock on the guide. Great and not before time. Also added are progress bars for shows which is interesting, I think.

However, it feels to me that there is a more simple UI that could be implemented here. From what I can tell, the clock as implemented is a tiny dot that moves across guide timeline. Beneath that, the shows that are currently showing have a thin line that progresses from left to right.

Because the guide doesn’t let you scroll backwards in time, for long shows, this show progress bar doesn’t align with the small ‘clock’ dot at the top. Similar issues occur with really short shows. I think this is weird and makes it look confusing.

I would suggest a better UI would be for the guide to allow scrolling backwards. This would be really handy anyway to see when shows started and something I’ve wanted for a long time. A simple drop line from the ‘clock’ dot would be a much more clear indication of how far through a show you are.

It would be fewer UI elements, it would be less confusing and it would make the clock much more legible.

As they are currently implemented, I don’t find the progress bars especially useful. I would find it much clearer to scroll back, see when a show started and spatially relate that to the current time, ideally with a drop line to make it visually bolder than the tiny dot.

The progress bars denote percent completion, not time.

I appreciate that, and 0% seems to start from the leading edge that's visible rather than the start of the actual show start time?

I have to say, it's really visually confusing to include a % completion graphic UI element along a timeline. A drop line would be so visually clear and elegant.

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Yes, the progress starts from a program's "block" in the guide. And the tick mark/dot between the grid and the time legends indicates the current time.

I have to say it's trying to be way too clever by half

Yeah, it's the block that's visible rather than the actual full block for the show. If we could scroll back to see the whole guide 'block' for all currently showing shows, then it would work clearly and the % complete bar would, I think, track the current time as a result. At that point, you come back to my main point that it would seem much better to have a single drop line than hundreds of individual % complete bars.

A single drop line would communicate only the current time. This is already apparent from the clock and the little marker on the timeline.

The progress bars are displaying entirely different piece of information, how far along the program is regardless of the time. You are not meant to compare the line across programs because it only tells you if that particular program has just started or is about to end.

The progress is based on the visible portion on screen so the scrolled back portion is not relevant.

For example in your screenshot, Dom Digs In is almost over and Ramsay's Kitchen has just gotten started.

The whole reason I've suggested scrolling back is so that a simple drop line immediately, visually and spatially (how we understand the world as creatures) allows a user to understand how far through a show is.

I really think this is a muddled and poor UI design. There is a really simple and elegant solution that clearly communicates the time and how far through a show you are. All it needs is to be able to scroll back to see the whole block for a show.

The dot is too small. It's almost apologetic. It kind of looks like a spec of dust on the screen. It doesn't want to be there.

A % complete bar that runs in the same axis, along a timeline based UI is confusing.

Okay, your feedback has been received. We tried a number of things including what you've suggested and this is where we've landed for now.

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I have to disagree. The fact that the progress bar was relative to a program's block on the screen was immediately evident to me. I find the extra information, and its compact/minimal display great.

It just goes to show, you will never please everyone. Perhaps making the progress bars optional would be better, for those who would rather not see them.

The clock dot should extend the full height of the guide, scroll back to the start of current shows added.

Two very simple things that would negate the need for hundreds of individual bars. Simple design is almost always far better than needlessly complex.

Could you explain what the reasons were for discounting what I'm suggesting? I'm struggling to see what the negatives would be but maybe there's something I've missed?

A line down 10:34 in your screenshot above would not communicate these facts:

The goal is to communicate this information to the user without requiring them to scroll around and click into programs.

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Now that you have a clock....just add the actual show start/stop times to the description block.

While I personally would love to see that (perhaps immediately the episode number), this information is available if you long-press on an entry to bring up the program's full detail modal dialog.

It does if you can see the start of the show block in the guide.

Scrolling around is a natural gesture in the touch interface era.

I don't get why going back in time to see the start of a current shows isn't possible, I always find it jarring. Just nipping back in the timeline a bit to see the start of a show just feels very natural to me.

When you think of the block as an object that has a size and you want to understand where in the current timeline it started, seeing the start is just what comes naturally to me. It would be surprising to me if I was unique in this.

It feels like there is a mixing of design languages. A percentage complete bar makes a lot of sense in an on later UI, where shows aren't already arranged in a spatial way relative to the time. I get that and it is great. That is a different mental model and it is really clear because a thumbnail doesn't have a bit to the left that is obscured by the way the UI is or isn't displayed.

The guide blocks are very different. They have a start and an end. And currently we are prevented from seeing the start of them which is awkward. Then the % time bar starts from an arbitrary point to the left (wherever the UI of the guide currently starts) and progresses to the right end of the block. Conceptually, the left hand side of the guide UI is in a different part of the UI hierarchy and shouldn't be interfering with UI elements that describe something specific and spatially tied to the child elements like the show blocks.

It's not the first time it feels like you guys could really do with a designer on the team. Sorry for the harsh criticism, but I really feel this needs work.

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Thank you for your feedback.

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Na, It’s fine. Don’t change it.

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One of my biggest gripes had been that there was no way to know for the first block in the guide whether it just started, start a 1/2 hour ago, 1 hour ago, ????

This is a unique way to try and convey that info.....but it is a completely different paradigm from what every other guide uses. Sometimes a change like this is not the best thing, even if you could make an argument that it's 'technically' a better solution.

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I personally feel that the suggested scrollback would be confusing in appearance... I like where the UI landed... and probably would have designed it the same way myself, had I been the developer. UI/UX design can be very difficult, and as previously stated, you cannot please everyone... some things are far more difficult to accomplish than others, and the costs have to be weighed into the design.

There are three elements to consider in any project: good, fast, cheap

You get to pick two of them. If you choose good and fast, it won't be cheap. If you choose good and cheap, it won't be fast. If you choose fast and cheap, it won't be good.

I've always used this analogy to non-developers while designing a project to get the point across that development isn't waving a magic wand and stuff just happening...