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Kdenlive UI names brainstorming ("Effect list", etc.)

User avatar qubodup
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Do you feel like UI elements in Kdenlive have strange or inconsistent names and do you have suggestions for changing them to improve the aesthetics and usability of kdenlive?

I think we should consider the perspective of newcomers, technically inexperienced people and people who have experience with other video editors too. But basically this is a brainstorm thread.

Image
Image: All /View tabs active with names in latest git version

"Effect List" -> "Effects"
Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X use "Effects", so let's join the simplicity club.

"Selection Parameters" (Effects Stack + Transition) -> ???
In recent git versions, "Effects Stack" and "Transition" are merged and called "Selection Parameters" which seems very programmer-speak.
I think "Effect / Transition Stack" would be better but it's too long. Anybody got any ideas?

Do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Last edited by qubodup on Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
TheDiveO
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Some serious questions that came to my mind when reading the original post. I would like to really understand the post. I generally see also the need in many applications to avoid unnecessary technical jargon, where not exactly necessary. Aside from this, your questions left me with a lot of my own questions, especially your "postscript" in italics.

Why is it important to you that other Kdenlive users need to take on the perspective of users who use other video software? Are you maybe afraid that other video software users aren't able to use Kdenlive? Or shoed away by "alien" terminology?

What would happen if other, say I, don't take on this perspective of other video software (maybe because I don't used other NLVEs so far)? Would this make me not understand your questions or efforts?

Do you find the existing Kdenlive terminolgy confusing? Why: because you learnt a different term for the same concept or because you find the Kdenlive term totally unintuitive? Or do you see a completely different reason? (I'm seriously asking because your original post left me in the dark. I may be slow-witted but I would like to learn.)

Do you dislike having multiple words in different applications for similar or even the same concepts?

Why is it so important to you to have the exactly same word as every other software in this application domain? Or did I misinterpret you here?

Does the software in this domain you are aware of use the (exactly) same words?

Does Kdenlive become unusable to users because it doesn't use the exact same word as some other application in this domain? Again, I may be misinterpreting your intentions here, so please correct me if I'm asking along a path you don't have in mind.

In case you are thinking along unifying terminology: where can I find a list of those words that are commonly the same in other video software? Is this some domain expert terminology knowledge?

How can I learn the proper terminology?

Last edited by TheDiveO on Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TheDiveO
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Adressing your question about effects, transitions, tools: personally, I don't see how the term "tool" here would improve usability. To me from a pure user perspective, a tool is a brush, scissors, fill buckets, a screwdriver, some film glue, and so on. If you look at The Gimp for instance, these are tools. And then there are filters. So The Gimp does not lump different concepts into the same word.

Now back to Kdenlive. When I look at clips and what I can do to them, then the term transition clearly conveys to me the meaning: use this to change from one video to another video. It would never occur to me that I would need to find these things that allow me to switch from one video to another video under the word tool instead. Now for effects, as I draw the parallel to The Gimp: effects is a natural term for me as a former non-video user.

In fact, when I came into editing video I had no existing experience with commercial or other video editing software. Yet, I found the timeline and the transitions and effects quite easily to understand. I would have difficulties understanding what "options" really aims at. In fact, to my ears, "options"
sound extremely tech-like, but not focused on my own work. Parameters, settings, ... would be more to my user perspective. But then, we're talking about the "stack" tab here. I always wondered if "list" could be of more help, but I don't think so. The reason? Because the order of effects is of importance. "List" would never convey this. I doubt that "sequence" could do better.

So what would be a tool stack now? To me, a tool stack is a metaphor gone awry: it's like a messy workplace with all tools just lying here and there, and it's difficult to find the right tool for work. I would never associate a set of effects with a tool stack.

The most difficult thing I stumbled across so far in Kdenlive, as probably many other new users of Kdenlive also stumble across, is that tracks are not layers. That is, where the developers now stride to cross the division between layered-oriented compositing and tree-like compositing. But this is something where renaming some words don't help.
User avatar qubodup
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I rephrased my first post, it was a mess and I was way too tired. "Tools" was a useless suggestion since there are selection/razor tools already. I thought I had included a note about this.
I can think of only one term that is probably identical everywhere: "Timeline".
Let's just throw ideas around and not get defensive just yet. :)
TheDiveO
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Thank you for clearifying your ideas. If I sound defensive, this is not my intention or goal; I really want to understand what the reasons behind suggestions or ideas are. In my day job we often then are able to drive ideas forward on that basis, and we're able to better detect dead ends.
User avatar ttguy
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I don't have too many problems with terms in Kdenlive. However, we expect the Widget for editing Transition properties and Effect properties to merge in Kdenlive 15.12. And the merged entity is currently called "Selected Properties". It was news to me that this was happening and I could not see how to make the effects settings appear. The "Selected Properties" window option did not jump out at me as being what I needed. I don't think that name is quite right. But I had a hard time thinking of what it should be called. I think qubodup had the same uneasy feeling about this name.

And then I thought maybe both transitions and effects should be known as "effects". Then the widget would just be "Effect Settings".
You would call what we currently call "Transitions" "Transition Effects". I mean both produce "Effects" in the final video.

So the terminology would speak of "Effects" and "Transition Effects". But I guess you need a way to distinguish when you are just talking about what we currently call "Effects" rather than both types.

How about ?
Effects -> Single-Track Effects and Transitions -> Multi-Track Effects

And the widget is "Effects Settings"
User avatar qubodup
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ttguy wrote:Effects -> Single-Track Effects and Transitions -> Multi-Track Effects

I don't understand what this means. You are suggesting to add subcategories to the "Effects List" so that transitions can be added from there? (I am aware of two methods on how to add transitions: left click a clip corner in the timeline or right click/Add Transition a clip in the timeline.)

ttguy wrote:And the widget is "Effects Settings"

The old widget names were "Effect Stack" and "Transition". Conveniently, we could just keep "Effect Stack" if we decide that Transitions are now a subcategory of Effects.

I took a look at how other video editors structure transitions and the transition editing interface:

  • Camtasia has a context-sensitive Properties Pane.
  • Final Cut Pro has a context-sensitive Inspector.
  • Lightworks has rightclick/settings windows for transitions.
  • In Premiere Pro, effects are configured in its Effect Controls panel.*
  • In Avid Media Composer, effects are configured in its Effect Editor*
*In Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer transitions are categorized as effects.

I think "Settings" might conflict with the menu section "Settings", which is mostly dedicated to global settings.
Should it be decided that Transitions are a type of effect, I would suggest keeping "Effect Stack".
Alternatively I think "Properties" is a good generic option.
TheDiveO
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I personally find Properties and Inspector to be better than Selection Properties.

I agree with ttguy that simply lumping up everything into effects may cause even greater confusion than staying with effects and transitions ... maybe "transition effect" and "clip effect" might be a way to differentiate?
User avatar ttguy
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Effects -> Single-Track Effects and Transitions -> Multi-Track Effects


I merely meant that we rename what we now call "effects" to "Single-Track Effects"
and we rename what we now call "Transitions" to "Multi-Track Effects"

But these have too many words in them.

Diveo's "transition effect" and "clip effect" are a better idea. Less jaring of a change in terminology.

And then have the shared widget/tab called "Effect Properties"

The "Effect List" tab/widget becomes "Clip Effects" tab
TheDiveO
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ttguy wrote:Diveo's "transition effect" and "clip effect" are a better idea. Less jaring of a change in terminology.

It only now occurs to me that this would also go in line of logic with "bin clip effect" for effects thrown at a clip in the project bin. (I still struggle as a non-native speaker of English to remove my association of "bin" with "trash bin"). However, it breaks down with respect to track effects; this would need to be track clip effects, which doesn't exactly easily rolls of the tongue.
ttguy wrote:And then have the shared widget/tab called "Effect Properties"

Yes, this should now hopefully naturally fall in place. Just a minor nit: maybe making "Effects" a plural may be helpful to signal there can be multiple effect? But only in case of clip effects, but not transition effects. >:D
ttguy wrote:The "Effect List" tab/widget becomes "Clip Effects" tab

Similar for "Transition Effects".
User avatar ttguy
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TheDiveO wrote:ttguy wrote:
The "Effect List" tab/widget becomes "Clip Effects" tab

Similar for "Transition Effects".


Yes - currently there is a "Transition List" tab/widget. Could be renamed "Transition Effects"

TheDiveO wrote:It only now occurs to me that this would also go in line of logic with "bin clip effect" for effects thrown at a clip in the project bin.
However, it breaks down with respect to track effects; this would need to be track clip effects, which doesn't exactly easily rolls of the tongue.


Current git implementation also uses the merged "selection parameters" tab/widget to display effects that are added to clips in the project tree - sorry - project bin. And here they are called "Bin effects". You get a heading in the tab saying "Bin effects for <clip name>" So this is kinda already covered. I think it works - don't need the "bin clip effect" designation because you can not have transition effects on bin clips - since they stand alone.

So TheDiveO and I are getting near a consensus on this. Qubodup, how about you?

And how about vpinion, jb - the guys that count ? ;)
User avatar ttguy
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TheDiveO wrote: maybe making "Effects" a plural may be helpful to signal there can be multiple effect? But only in case of clip effects, but not transition effects.

Sure. That would help.

TheDiveO wrote:I still struggle as a non-native speaker of English to remove my association of "bin" with "trash bin"


Think of "storage bin" instead :)
vpinon
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Hello,
Thanks for pushing this reflexion.
I don't really have an opinion, not having worked with latest git (shame).
(wouldn't "Properties" be sufficient? is there anything else that has properties? Maybe bin clips...)
Note: the panel title can change dynamically, so it's just its name in the "View" menu that remains problematic (+ in docs?).
Note 2: to reach JB, [email protected] is the best way, next is bugzilla, but don't wait for him on forums...
User avatar qubodup
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ttguy wrote:So TheDiveO and I are getting near a consensus on this. Qubodup, how about you?

To be honest, I can't follow the suggested changes across the posts. Seeing the discussion, it seems to me that there's no sense making Transitions a kind of Effect now. The only two benefits would be that we could merge Effect List and Transition List and could name Selection Properties into Effect Properties but it seems not worth the changes need to clarify the differences.

Currently Effects are Audio Effects or Video Effects. Transitions are Transitions.

The idea we seem to be discussing is: Effects are Audio Effects or Video Effects or Transition Effects.

But looking at what A/V Effects and Transitions affect, it doesn't seem to make sense to merge them categorically, the way they are implemented now:
- Projcet Bin Clips can only use Effects.
- Timeline Tracks can only use Effects.
- Timeline Clips can only use Effects.
vs.
- Transitions are a timeline element independent from Tracks, Clips and Project Bin.

Transitions are actually easier to compare to Clips. Perhaps we could have transitions in the Project Bin at some point. :)

I would suggest to rename Selection Properties to Properties, as did vpinon.

I would also suggest renaming Effect List to Effects and Transition List to Transitions to save space in the UI (when having multiple tabs in one panel) and require less words to remember.
TheDiveO
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qubodup wrote:The only two benefits would be that we could merge Effect List and Transition List and could name Selection Properties into Effect Properties but it seems not worth the changes need to clarify the differences.

>:D I waited for exactly this conclusion to be expressed by someone else because I share the same impression. >:D

 
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