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Feedback on a Simplex inspired skin.

marshallhinesmarshallhines Posts: 26Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
I really love the Simplex skin, and have been using it almost exclusively. I have felt that the list approach and layout is most conducive to navigating large media libraries. That said I have been tinkering with the idea of adjusting some parts of Simplex to better suit the way I use Plex. I am hoping for some feedback from the folks that also use Simplex, mainly because my assumption is that since you guys are already using this skin you will have a similar aesthetic preference and interact with Plex in a similar way as myself.

I tend to find the list layout most beneficial when viewing all TV Shows, or Movies, but that a similarly laid out list does not suit looking at individual episodes. I tend to want to move through those more slowly, reading blurbs, or giving some thought to the show before choosing an episode. Obviously this is less relevant on currently running shows where I am just picking up where I left off.

Here are some mockups:
Main Screen
plex_new_main.jpg
I love the main screen in simplex, its effective, attractive, and clean. I don't really suggest much here, I do think making the text a little larger doesn't hurt, and I have removed the textual title of the item highlighted below its poster. I find that usually I know what I am looking at from the poster. Thoughts? The existing menu in Simplex sits dead center of the screen, and I find that many images from the TVDB and other DBs usually have at least one image that suits the "top half" flavor of Simplex, but many times the person cropping the photo can't take into account that anything below this half way mark instantly becomes severely reduced in visibility. You could of course add custom fanart, or Simplex Energized solution would work, to simply reduce the opacity of the "bottom half" of the interface. I have chosen to lower the menu fully below the half way mark, which provides more space for the fanart, but I have made the Posters and menu fully opaque so that they are not distracted by faint fanart behind them.

List View
plex_new_list.jpg
Here I have given a lot more space to the poster for the film or TV Show, but I have removed the fanart. I tend to find that lots of people love having fanart in as many places as possible but I think in this layout you often have to sacrifice the overall usability of the interface just to get a small sliver of fanart, or you wind up laying text and images over a very low contrast version of the fanart. Thoughts?

Episode View
plex_new_episode.jpg
Generally most shows are observed by us in linear way. They come one after the next in the fashion of a timeline. Of course not all shows are serialized, but they are generally broadcast in a specific order. So having them horizontally laid out seems efficient to me, the relationship between the 3rd and 19th episode do not need to be visible in one screen. Because I don't think it hurts the users experience to have it and because I think it lends itself to letting you know what you are looking at quickly, I think the fanart does suit this layout well.I do wonder how well this would work for larger shows, like news shows where you may have hundreds of episodes from a single season.

I hope that this generates some discussion on the optimal navigating experience for a Media Center. Positive or negative input is welcome.

Comments

  • joesoesjoesoes Posts: 396Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Looks awesome! Please do the skin :)

    Mac Pro, MBPr 15" 2013, Mac Mini 2010, iPhone 5, iPod Shuffle 3 gen

  • smoldersonlinesmoldersonline Posts: 283Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Agree, looks great!
  • hstamashstamas Posts: 570Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Love it! I particularly like the overall larger font size and bigger thumbnails. I sit further away from my tv than is optimal and I sometimes have trouble seeing what episode is selected. I found that Simplex had the most readable screen and your tweaks seem even more readable!

    hstamas

  • MartinAylaMartinAyla Posts: 848Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Looks great, I'd love to use it :)

    /Martin

  • replicantreplicant Posts: 26Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    any other work on this? definitely looks great and continues to add to the usability of the Simplex skin. can't wait for your release.
  • marshallhinesmarshallhines Posts: 26Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    I am slowly working my way through learning the coding side of skinning. It's going slower than I had hoped, but I will keep you guys updated.
  • thomasbrucethomasbruce Posts: 146Members
    Look great!!
    I really want this skin :)
  • MartinAylaMartinAyla Posts: 848Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    marshallhines, if you like, I could take a look at trying to code this... If you have abandoned the skin, maybe you could post the images/fonts you have used in the screenshots above and I could work on it?

    /Martin

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