I didn’t argue against them. I said that the data density increase was a godsend for the vast majority (which it was), and that if I was in charge I’d accommodate everybody by having a slider in the preferences so that people can have the density they feel comfortable working with.
I’m beginning to wonder if the people clamouring for more data density are actually using GTD the way it’s intended. at the task level you should really only be viewing next actions, and a project review should be the only place you need to see all your next actions for the single project.
I loved the clean and open look of the new OF2 beta, but now I’m not as enamoured. Maybe I should have just waited.
You guys must have carefully considered the design originally - why are you tinkering with it now?
GTD is about focussing on what you can do right now, not being overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
There are only two references to GTD on the OmniFocus page. I believe that OF is a tool that can be used by anyone for productivity purposes, and as such, should be malleable to whatever workflow fits anyone. Data density is a relevant consideration.
It’s like buying a new car, but your visors have somehow become smaller for aesthetic purposes. Not exactly the most ideal situation in the world, in terms of safety.
In regards to tinkering with UX – mistakes happen. The first version of OmniFocus 2 was scrapped (after the iOS 7 reveal, Mavericks reveal, …), for those who have been testing since March of 2013.
thanks savantier - you’re right - my remarks about the checkboxes and flags are not really connected with data-density directly, but my main point is about text styling and a response to boldfish’s on ‘tinkering with the design’.
i love change! i like to see things shaken up, but as people use OF in so many different ways, i’m completely with you with regard to being able to set things up to our liking.
my first impression when i opened up the new beta was ‘wow. how clean. how beautiful’. it was only through use that i found some shortcomings. overall tho. i love OF2 - i used to get pretty overwhelmed at times with OF 1.
Yep, I didn’t like the first beta either, but I did feel very attracted to the first iteration of the new beta. That said I’m sure I’ll get used to whatever the final design tinkering leads to - for me OF is about ease of capture, automated prompting and quick reviews.
I myself do subscribe to the GTD theory, but I am aware that other people don’t.
I’m also drawn to highly productive, workflow enhancing utilities such as OmniGroup’s – DEVONthink, Tinderbox, … But at the same time, we should be appreciative of other people who do see the utility of OmniFocus as a list-making manager.
The great thing about utilities is that it is extensible and flexible – you can use it in a simple way, or in a very advanced and highly efficient way.
In regards to being able to see ‘next actions clearly’, surely that’s an argument for an increase in data density.
The benefits of having checkboxes on the left is that it provides visual hierarchy. The triangular arrows only appear when there is a child task, and the checkbox appears where there is a finish-able/checkable task.
This sort of iconography is useful as it allows you to quickly scan the structure of your tasks as you scroll down.
In OmniFocus 1, hence the duality of this combination – 1) Downwards-facing triangular arrow signifying its status as a parent task and 2) Checkbox signifying a task.
This gives coherence to a visual structure.
Whereas in OmniFocus 2, there’s a slight confusion here. There’s half of the visual structure, accorded by the downwards-facing triangular arrow. But as highlighted with the red box – it’s abruptly cut off there. It’s hard to quickly scan through a significant amount of task and get a general impression of the overall structure when the checkbox is omitted.
Couldn’t agree more. The little checkboxes on the left provided a visual continuity that I truly miss in OF2. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it does make scanning the page and finding what you’re looking for just a wee bit less easy.
And your illustration of data density perfectly captures it. If the goal is to be able to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily, the decreased data density of OF2 fights that, in my opinion. I have to scroll a lot more to find what I used to find easily.
@savantier, You are expertly focusing in on the point that’s bugging many people here!
Nevertheless I would like to add my perspective to this- and Your pictures are putting out the reasons nicely as well.
To have the checkboxes in a non- indented row and having the status coded in this element greatly facilitates quickly checking what is important.
the “empty indenting rectangles” in Your pictures greatly support getting an idea of the underlying project structure / tasks and subtasks hierarchies
data density: the first picture so very much captures why I eventually got overwhelmed by OF, making me search for easier alternatives- only to find that complicated project structures are only to be simplified to a certain level, before losing oversight again… I am more than happy that Omni is trying to find a middle ground for 2.0, while keeping adaptability in the back hand.
So basically for processing a long list of projects I first look right for task status, then mark the row of choice and look for the hierarchy involving this specific task. Adapting to this method was instant for me.
With the density update a couple of days ago Omni for me have hit the sweet spot between oversight and loss of screen estate. It will be nice to have the option to actually adapt this varying requirements, but as of now I am really happy with what I am working here.