Comments on: FlexTime 1.1 Official blog of Red Sweater Software Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:11:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: Daniel Jalkut Sun, 03 Dec 2006 16:23:18 +0000 Jim: that’s a fair point, but I figure the redundancy of the color with the symbols should probably at least buy me some forgiveness, there. For instance Apple’s “window bubbles” have been criticized because they don’t show the shape until you hover over them. But in this case at least somebody with color blindness could tell them apart by looking at them.

By: jim Sun, 03 Dec 2006 00:44:07 +0000 i wonder if someone with red/green colorblindness can distinguish the colors on the new and delete buttons. (i’m not, but have gotten dinged for that sort of thing before.)

By: András Puiz Thu, 30 Nov 2006 18:59:13 +0000 OK, I’m late to this comments game, I was reading Dan Benjamin’s blog and that linked here.

Without actually using your software, merely judged by the screenshots, I think your old design was better. I first thought, “Wow, what an improvement!”, but then I realized I had gotten it wrong. The second screenshot is the earlier. D’oh!

I think the colors are too much and distracting. Whereas the old look was tame, professional, elegant, understated and subdued, the new design is a bit on the campy side. Those colorful, shiny buttons cry for attention. Maybe if they were smaller, their exhibitionism would be more forgivable.

There may be more contrast, but what is that contrast needed for? To separate the idle, content-free area from the rest? It only draws attention to the overblown dimensions of the former.

And finally, lack of borders. I know this is an old OS X trend, but it’s one I’ve never agreed with. Just like margins in a book, borders are needed to separate your window contents from the background. It’s simply bad typography to skimp on margins. Even if Apple does that (in apps like Safari or TextEdit, where it’s the most obvious), it won’t make it right. It’s ironic how this all was inspired by a “HIG is dead” speech…

Seeing that everyone likes the app’s new look, I’m sure my criticism won’t make you feel overly bad about your product. If you were asking for my advice (which I noticed you weren’t :)), I’d say, add at least a left margin, and drastically reduce the size of the toolbar. Or make the icons less prominent. Or use that space better, these six left-aligned buttons leave a vast empty space on the right-hand side.

Oh, if I release an application one day, please feel free to give it hell in return… Keep up the great work, including the blog.

By: Uli Kusterer Sat, 11 Nov 2006 18:09:12 +0000 One suggestion: Change the toolbar buttons. Giving them all the same 3D box reduces the ability to recognize stuff by its outline. Maybe just turn that into a thick colored border around the actual icons or so?

Just a suggestion.

By: Daniel Jalkut Thu, 09 Nov 2006 15:55:17 +0000 Hi Ilya – the toolbar buttons are all also available as selections from the “Routine” menu. This is a pretty standard way of presenting functionality in a Mac app, and I wouldn’t want to limit users’ ability to hide the buttons if they don’t use them. Many users will for instance just use the keyboard shortcuts from the menu items to control FlexTime.

By: ilya devers Thu, 09 Nov 2006 07:24:56 +0000 I like the new design better then the old one, so points for that.

I would like to know you opinion on the following: Why did you choose to put the most important buttons on the part of the “head” of the application that you can collapse (with the oval top right button).

if one does collapse it he cannot do much with the application anymore. Isn’t there a way to turn off the collapsing of the head?

Curious about your point of view.
ps. i gave flextime a spin in its old form, but are not a regular user of it…

By: Daniel Jalkut Sat, 04 Nov 2006 15:40:57 +0000 Hi Jesse – more great suggestions. I will have to ruminate on the “open file/script” thing for a bit, but I agree I gotta figure something out to let that feature shine better.

For Growl, if you go into the Growl System Preferences pane, and click on the “Applications” Tab, you’ll see FlexTime in the list. Go down to FlexTime and click it to show the notifications for it. You’ll see just one for the “Show Text” cue. If you click the checkbox for “Sticky” I believe this will make all the messages displayed from FlexTime require a click to dismiss.

A full screen display mode is totally in the works. It would basically zoom the big timers as they are now to fill the entire screen. I’m also considering some kind of themed plugin format for letting users design their own graphical feedback.

For long titles, I think I’ll fix it so it truncates instead of wrapping. I thought about just shrinking the text, but that would lead to text fonts of different sizes, which could look really awkward. Remember that you can resize columns in a FlexTime routine, and then resize the window. When everything looks great like you want it to be forever, choose “Remember Layout” from the Window menu, and then save the document. It will now look just like that when you open it again.

The difference calculation idea is interesting, but probably too confusing for the default behavior. Maybe I will consider supporting some basic math, so if you edit it to say “3:12-2:37″ it would put the difference in.

Thanks for your encouragement and postiive feedback. Glad you appreciate the blog and the user/developer interaction here.

By: Jesse Perry Sat, 04 Nov 2006 07:37:52 +0000 Daniel! You are excellent my man. These great replies and the fact that you’ve posted twice on your blog since I visited this morning. haha Good stuff. You definitely have me a registerer as well, keep this great support up!

– For some reason, iCal splits this up into two separate commands, “open file” and “open script” – then the ‘open script’ only allows scripts to be chosen in the box. This may be the best solution, or just a simple “open file/app” would cover everything.

– Cool, thanks for that! I’ll incorporate that into my launching script. Awesome.

– Yeah, as far as I know – there’s no way I can set the Growl notification to only dismiss when I click it. That’s what I liked about the FlexTime notification, otherwise I’d totally use Growl.

– I’ll keep a look out for the negative time bug reappearing. As well as anything else, of course.

– OK, Cool. That’s totally what I was talking about. Fixed before I asked for it! :)

Also, if you don’t mind – a few more things? Haha, sorry if this is too much.

– You probably have this on your “to-do” list, but a full screen countdown for the activity/routine would be excellent

– When changing the title of each activity, if the title is too long, it just cuts the next line in half. Would it be possible to have the text automatically get smaller to accommodate the larger title? This is a petty issue, just merely cosmetic – so not that important.

– Also, (and finally :) when changing the duration through the list on the left hand side by double clicking this would be a cool feature; For instance, it’s 2:37, if I typed in 3:12 – it would calculate the difference in minutes then put that as the duration. Just an idea.

Ok, thanks for reading this and keep up the good work!

By: Daniel Jalkut Fri, 03 Nov 2006 21:38:58 +0000 Excellent – only 5 million Mac users to go :)

By: Tim Altman Fri, 03 Nov 2006 21:18:30 +0000 Dude, you rock! You’ve convinced me to register FlexTime. :)