I’m not sure if this topic really applies to me because 1) I am currently trying to transition to OF2 and 2) I have bought it. Nonetheless, I’d like to express a few of the things that may keep me from fully embracing OF2. I doubt that I am the first to mention any of these, since I have seen them discussed at great length since the first reveal of OF2’s new paradigm. Still, onward I go.
First, the lack of visual clarity in the interface
- In the outline pane with folders enabled (and even without), the hierarchy is not cued well visually. The folder icon is too far to the right (seems like it should line up over the arrows for the projects, not halfway between the arrow and the project icon). The title text of all items (except when there are action groups) is lined up at the same margin and all items are the same vertical distance apart. Furthermore, the order is changed from the sidebar order so that projects directly subordinate to a folder are listed at the top in the outline pane, regardless of the order in the sidebar. Furthermore, subfolders are not indented.
- Project type and status are difficult to discern. The visual cues are much more subtle. While the project type icons are different, they are now all composed of blue dots. On a small screen, to a user with middle-aged eyes, this is hard to distinguish at a glance. Furthermore, project “on hold” status is now indicated by replacing the project type. A blue pause icon does not look all that different from the blue project dots of an active project icon. The difference between black and grey text, no doubt intended to help, is subtle and hard to discern to my eyes. Pending projects have no icon change. Furthermore, project status is indeterminable in the outline pane. The user has to have the inspector open to know.
- Other bothersome-to-me interface problems are lack of columns, subtle difference between note and no-note, discontinuation of the use of color as a visual cue in almost all cases where it had been used to good effect previously.
Second, the confusing distinction between perspectives that use project hierarchy and perspectives that use context hierarchy and group by project. There is very little to distinguish between the two. Yet I get beeped at in the latter at when I hit return to enter a new task.
Third (and partly as a consequence of the above), I really miss the ability to open a task in project mode in a new window. Of course I can view in project mode, but then I have to remember what I was doing before in order to return to it and when I do so, I have potentially lost my place.
These are some of the things that occur to me now. I have come to terms with some of the other interface changes, including what various keystrokes do and the segregation of inbox view from projects view. I love the tabbed interface.