Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:32 pm
I am doing a Plasma widget which displays weather observations & forecasts. The widget does that for a certain station from some service on the internet, representing some location on Earth (Earth-only currently, though interest for weather on e.g. Mars is said to be increasing).
There are different services on the internet that can be used, depending on installed plugins outside the scope of the widget itself.
Each service has a different long set of stations.
The list of stations per service is not directly available, instead the services allow to query by a search string and provide a list of stations that they consider matching for the given search string.
The user should be able to select the station for which the widget should display weather observations & forecasts.
That would be done inside the existing Plasma config UI, which are tabbed pages in a config dialog at least with the "desktop" setup.
How would you do the UI? (And yes, from scratch, please, do not look at or forget config UIs of exisiting weather widgets )
Other settings are: units to be used for values (like C vs F, etc) and the update interval.
Yes, this is about that Weather widget which has been revived for Plasma 5.6, from Plasma Addons. While at the CERN sprint we did a first redesign over the old Plasma4 way, I am still unhappy with the config UI.
((Read this only if you already know the current one or are done with drafting a new one from scratch:
The current one, as of 5.6., feels to not follow existing patterns:
* It has the current weather station, the search field and button and the result list all next to each other, making it IMHO unclear what is the current setting and what is a tool to change the current. Similar value control fields only have a display of the current value and then a button to get a selector subdialog (filedialog etc), where the process of selecting a new value is separated and concentrated.
* Also when entering a string in the station search field there is the problem that instinctively one would use the Enter key to start the search, but by current technology limitation the Enter key is bound to confirm the dialog. And perhaps it also should stay, and there should be rather some kind of subdialog in whatever way where Enter confirms that subdialog and thus follows the expected and usual pattern, e.g. like Enter in a popup is also bound to that popup as kind of subdialog, not the parent container of the popup. Autosearch while entering (e.g. after some time-out) could be also an option to avoid the need of confirming the search string, but this might result in unneeded intermediate search queries to the services (on slow typing), so increase the traffic and make them not happy. So for now would prefer to have only explicit confirms, if nicely possible.
So from a logical POV, the process of entering and confirming the location search string is a subdialog to the location selection dialog, which is a subdialog to the actual config UI:
user: let me select a new weather station
computer: give me a search string to query the services for stations
user: this is my search string
computer: these are the stations the services gave me for that
user: I pick this station from the list as new weather station
Now how to map this to existing UI patterns and elements, without being confusing or needing explanations?
Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:42 am
Could you please list the intended features? Right now you want an UI to select the provider plus a switch for the units. Sounds like a very boring UI. Also you should outline the target users and the scenario how yoiur plasmoid is being used (https://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usability/HIG/Concept).