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User interface is very awkward! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hello guys!

Before I mail this to the support Ninjas, I'd like to hear your opinion in this matter.

The thing is that I - after two years of use - still struggle with the user interface in OF. It doesn't behave much as anything else in Mac OS X and it drives me nuts. This is also very strange because Omni tend to create extremely user friendly applications, and also very "Mac:y" applications.

I am talking about how you navigate and create new things in the standard list view. This is due to the thinking that everything you see in OF is part of the same text body, or so I heard.
Well, I think this is wrong, and not very user friendly.

Some examples:
- If you are in an Action and press the up arrow you go to the Action before. This is very stupid, in all other Macintosh applications you go to the beginning of the field when you press up arrow.
*None of the arrow keys behave as in normal Mac applications.*
My solution:
If you are IN the text field, let the arrow's behave as in a normal field. If the Action is marked, but you are NOT IN the field, use the arrows to move.
Also, let different combinations of COM and ALT move the action up and down in the list.

- To show the note of an Action, you use the shortcut "COM+'". To me it's more logical to use the right and left arrow, that should display/hide the note. As in the Finder List view for example.
Of course this would apply only when you are'nt IN the field.


Maybe I am the only one that think this is a huge minus to OF...?

Tia,
/andreas
 
Hmmm, can't really say I agree with you. If you live in it enough, you'll get use to it with no worries. I'd try using dashkards; it really helped me to learn all of the shortcuts quickly. And yes, it's free.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsson View Post
- If you are in an Action and press the up arrow you go to the Action before. This is very stupid, in all other Macintosh applications you go to the beginning of the field when you press up arrow.
We must have different sets of Macintosh applications, because I haven't managed to find one yet that behaves that way. Up arrow moves to the same spot in the previous line (if possible). The Omni apps operate this way, Pages, TextWrangler, TextEdit, Script Debugger, DevonThink, Stickies, Mail, Notational Velocity, etc. The only app I found on my system that didn't seem to behave this way is Things, which apparently won't let you jump from editing one item into another using the arrow keys.
Quote:
*None of the arrow keys behave as in normal Mac applications.*
How do the arrow keys behave in "normal Mac applications"? I spend nearly all my time not in web browsers in various Omni apps, so maybe I just don't know what normal is :-)
Quote:
My solution:
If you are IN the text field, let the arrow's behave as in a normal field. If the Action is marked, but you are NOT IN the field, use the arrows to move.
Also, let different combinations of COM and ALT move the action up and down in the list.
I think the arrow keys do function as in a normal expanse of text when in a text field. If a row is selected (oval goes around the entire thing), the up and down arrows move up and down by a row per press, selecting the new row and deselecting the old. If you hold down control and command while using the arrow keys, they move the selected row(s) correspondingly. It seems more natural to use the arrow to distinguish the direction of movement than the modifier keys! Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you meant in your last sentence...
Quote:
- To show the note of an Action, you use the shortcut "COM+'". To me it's more logical to use the right and left arrow, that should display/hide the note. As in the Finder List view for example.
Of course this would apply only when you are'nt IN the field.
A subtle distinction here: the function is Edit Note, not Show Note. The note is opened, if necessary, and the insertion point put in at the end of the note.
Quote:
Maybe I am the only one that think this is a huge minus to OF...?
Oh, I doubt you are the only one (I know there's someone who complains about the behavior of delete once the beginning of a row is reached). Personally, I like the fluidity of treating the whole document as a giant text field, rather than a list of discrete islands, and would find it very annoying to have to click the mouse or use some other keyboard command or gesture to move to a different action or project. 30 years of using EMACS makes that fluidity seem quite natural. I might feel otherwise had I always used a field-based system. Fortunately, I didn't fall in with the wrong crowd during my formative years :-)
 
Thanks for the opinions folks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
We must have different sets of Macintosh applications, because I haven't managed to find one yet that behaves that way. Up arrow moves to the same spot in the previous line (if possible). The Omni apps operate this way, Pages, TextWrangler, TextEdit, Script Debugger, DevonThink, Stickies, Mail, Notational Velocity, etc. The only app I found on my system that didn't seem to behave this way is Things, which apparently won't let you jump from editing one item into another using the arrow keys.
I wasn't very clear. The thing is that I am used to work with databases where every "Action" would be a separate entity. And if you think of it that way, every action should work as in all Mac dialogue boxes, where up arrow take you to the beginning of the field (if you are in the topmost line of the field of course), and so on.
As I read further down your comment I understand it that you like the "This is one big pile of text" function. To me that's horrible. And since we don't agree of that basic functionality it will be hard to discuss this further... ;)

Lets take this reply as an example. I am now in a text field writing this. Pressing the up arrow takes me to the line above. Natural and logical. When I reach the top of this text field, the cursor is at the end of the first sentence (ie after the proclamation mark).
So, what happens now when I press the up arrow once more?
- The most logical thing for me (because all Macintosh fields behave this way) is that the cursor goes to the beginning of the sentence - since there is no more "up" because the field ends here.
- In Omnifocus the cursor goes up to the field above this one, which is totally weird.

Do you follow what I mean?

This is of course doable with the shortcuts you describe, but I don't want any shortcuts to do what other applications do without shortcuts. To me, it would be better if you use a shortcut to jump between the actions. Why should OmniFocus all of a sudden change the "normal" behavior of how the Mac works?


Quote:
Fortunately, I didn't fall in with the wrong crowd during my formative years :-)
I did, obviuosly. :D
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sworks View Post
Hmmm, can't really say I agree with you. If you live in it enough, you'll get use to it with no worries. I'd try using dashkards; it really helped me to learn all of the shortcuts quickly. And yes, it's free.
Dashkards is great.
But I don't want any shortcuts to do what other applications do without shortcuts...

:)
 
You might not want to hear this, but you can use emacs-style CLI input in any text field in OmniFocus just like most other Cocoa applications (with a few exceptions).

If you're in an input field, ctrl-a takes you to the beginning of the line, ctrl-e to the end, ctrl-b moves you back a character, ctrl-f moves you forward, ctrl-k clears to the end of the line, ctrl-d deletes the current line, you get it.

Up and down is ctrl-p(revious) and ctrl-n(ext) as you'd suspect ;)

I don't like moving my hands to fiddle with arrow keys and find using the emacs-style editing shortcuts a G-dsend, though my personally preference in the editor wars is for vi(m), I'll take what I can get.

Alternatively if you're really enraged about this you can use Keymando or something and create your own hotkeys that will intervene on your behalf when you use OmniFocus or other applications that are Doing It Wrong™.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsson View Post
But I don't want any shortcuts to do what other applications do without shortcuts...

:)
Actually, you want OmniFocus NOT to do what it IS already doing without shortcuts...moving easily though a sea of text!

I think you should remember to breathe about 15x per minute while waiting for it to change :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsson View Post
Maybe I am the only one that think this is a huge minus to OF...?
No ... I very much agree ... personally, I'm only using OmniFocus for Mac to create activities by copy'n'pasting text from other apps (and it's awesome that this works so easily). And to sync with Pomodoro. And to reorganize my projects and contexts (I haven't figured out how to re-arrange the hierarchy with the mobile versions).

For all the rest I'm using OmniFocus for iPad and iPhone which I think are awesome and very user friendly apps - very much unlike OmniFocus for Mac which IMHO looks like a tool designed by programmers (I'm not saying programmers can't design user interfaces - but there's the cliché of what a programmer-designed app looks like and OmniFocus matches that pretty well in my point of view).

I've posted a thread on this before and got similar answers. It seems that some people eventually get used to it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jashan View Post
And to reorganize my projects and contexts (I haven't figured out how to re-arrange the hierarchy with the mobile versions).
But you have figured it out with the Mac version....discuss :-)

Rearranging the hierarchy on the iOS apps isn't too difficult. If you want to move something to a different level (or folder) in the hierarchy, tap on the item you want to move, go to the Info screen in the editor, tap the Move button, choose the new destination. If you simply want to reorder items in the same level, tap the Edit button, use the handles at the right end of the rows to drag things into the desired places, then tap the Done button. The iPhone/iPod version is similar, except instead of the Move button you use the button that has a file folder on it.
 
I agree here. I love the interface and overall look and feel of the iPad version, especially, and also the iPhone app as well. I wished the interface of Omnifocus for Mac could be change to look like the iPad app. The Mac version seems old and outdated compared to these newer iOS versions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jashan View Post
No ... I very much agree ... personally, I'm only using OmniFocus for Mac to create activities by copy'n'pasting text from other apps (and it's awesome that this works so easily). And to sync with Pomodoro. And to reorganize my projects and contexts (I haven't figured out how to re-arrange the hierarchy with the mobile versions).

For all the rest I'm using OmniFocus for iPad and iPhone which I think are awesome and very user friendly apps - very much unlike OmniFocus for Mac which IMHO looks like a tool designed by programmers (I'm not saying programmers can't design user interfaces - but there's the cliché of what a programmer-designed app looks like and OmniFocus matches that pretty well in my point of view).

I've posted a thread on this before and got similar answers. It seems that some people eventually get used to it.
 
 


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