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[Design feedback wanted] Converter plasmoid

User avatar alake
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The converter plasmoid (part of Plasma Addons) is being ported to Plasma 5 for the 5.1 release and is being worked on right now by Marco Martin. This is great opportunity to consider any design improvements, or redesigns, that we think might improve the visuals of this plasmoid.

This is how the converter plasmoid currently looks:
Image

If you have any ideas for visual improvements post them here. I'll work with you to select and combine the best improvements into a single cohesive design. Note that we don't have to change anything if we decide it looks just fine as is.

Let your creative juices flow! :-)
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Who needs a converter if KRunner offers the same functions?
User avatar colomar
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Heiko Tietze wrote:Who needs a converter if KRunner offers the same functions?


KRunner offers these functions to those who need how to use it. KRunner is the "command line" equivalent to this Plasmoid, so the Plasmoid has as much reason to exist as any GUI for whose function there exists a command line application which does the job much more quickly if you know how to use it.
User avatar andreas_k
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I would place the unit in front and than the text, text could maybe start on the same point.

The convert was also possible in a single line.

User avatar Heiko Tietze
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colomar wrote:KRunner offers these functions to those who need how to use it.

You are right. And actually KRunner does not know Newton: there is no gravity for conversion of m/s². I wanted to point out that the use case is not clear. Can I use the converter with the effective currency exchange rate? That would be a nice application.
User avatar andreas_k
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Would bee cool, but I think we only look for the design. For a feature request it was better to fill a bug report.
User avatar colomar
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Heiko Tietze wrote:Can I use the converter with the effective currency exchange rate? That would be a nice application.


Yes you can, it's fetched from ECB. You can try it out in Plasma 4, the functionality is still the same.
User avatar Kver
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I think it's about time I visit this thread and throw in something... Heres a mock-up for this one.

Image

So, here's my $0.02 and the thinking behind em;
  • Skips having to select "to" units and just shows a list of results, 3 dropdowns is too many. Might be useful if they want multiple conversions, too. Makes better use of space, too, imho.
  • Avoids the problem where you'll see a unit converted to itself; the list will just omit the unit being converted.
  • Converted test would be selectable, it's just not really shown.
  • Converted text would be clickable, when clicked it would populate the value and type of the input.
  • The first dropdown would have "convert" in front of all the conversion categories; skips needing the title.

This avoid a little bit of the 2-column layout (though the input is still 2 columns); but we make better use of vertical space so having a taller converter plasmoid actually gives the user some benefit (fitting more conversions onto the view at once)

In the ready state it might have a small caption in the output area stating "hey, just put in your unit and the conversions will show up here."; the plasmoid would also need to ensure there's some extra space on the bottom for results, to the placeholder could provide that.


Reformed lurker.
User avatar colomar
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I like your Idea, Kver!
It certainly works very well for things where there are not many other units to convert to (so in most cases).
The only area where it seems problematic for me is currency conversion (yes, it does that, too!), because it might take a lot of scrolling to get to the currency one is looking for. Any ideas for that?
User avatar Kver
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colomar wrote:I like your Idea, Kver!
It certainly works very well for things where there are not many other units to convert to (so in most cases).
The only area where it seems problematic for me is currency conversion (yes, it does that, too!), because it might take a lot of scrolling to get to the currency one is looking for. Any ideas for that?


Well... Nobody said we had to use the same layout for each set of conversion results, we could have various layouts and structures with supplemental info for each conversion, depending on what's best for that type of conversion. ;)

Image

For example, on the currency list we could make clicking the type of currency reveal some facts about that currency;

Image


Reformed lurker.
User avatar colomar
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Kver wrote:Well... Nobody said we had to use the same layout for each set of conversion results, we could have various layouts and structures with supplemental info for each conversion, depending on what's best for that type of conversion. ;)


True! That would still mean that there might have to be a third combo box to select the currency to which one wants to convert (to keep users from having to scroll all the way through the list), but yes, that would only be necessary for that, then.
On the other hand, maybe currency and unit conversion should be done in different plasmoids anyway...
User avatar Kver
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colomar wrote:
Kver wrote:Well... Nobody said we had to use the same layout for each set of conversion results, we could have various layouts and structures with supplemental info for each conversion, depending on what's best for that type of conversion. ;)


True! That would still mean that there might have to be a third combo box to select the currency to which one wants to convert (to keep users from having to scroll all the way through the list), but yes, that would only be necessary for that, then.
On the other hand, maybe currency and unit conversion should be done in different plasmoids anyway...


*gears turning*

Currency is a fluctuating set of values. What works today might not work tomorrow; whereas most of the units being converted are set in stone. If there were a pure currency converter, it should be much more comprehensive about the fluctuating values; It would be a strictly online widget, unlike the other unit converter.
  • Currency results should show a graph comparing the values of both currencies; The "from" currency should be the baseline, the "to" currency should be charted. That way a user can tell if a currency is going up/down over time.
  • It should show the current going exchange rates.

Image

The graph and font size of the final result would scale to the height of the plasmoid.


Reformed lurker.
User avatar colomar
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Ooooh... I love this! The current converter Plasmoid already gathers current exchange rates online, but the idea with the graph is wonderful!
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Really nice, in particular common design with other plasmoids!
About currency: I often switch between dollar and euro. It would be nice to have both exchange rates at once (1$=0.75€, 1€=1.25$).
User avatar alake
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Really great ideas Kver! :-)

I'll go ahead and comment on the converter plasmoid task on the Plasma Addons todo board and point them to this thread.

 
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