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Re: User Experience improvements for Anaconda



Hi Radek,

On Mon, 2010-11-15 at 14:11 +0100, Radek Vykydal wrote:
> On 11/12/2010 05:19 AM, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> > I think the next logical step is to examine the current state of our
> > installation process, identifying the issues we see today, and
> > brainstorming ways to improve the experience of installing Fedora.

> here is some update on anaconda networking UI and repository UI
> from my side.

Awesome, thanks for the great writeup + screencasts!

> 1) network configuration/enablement:
> 
> I posted some patches integrating NetworkManger Applet
> into anaconda. They follow addition of NetworkManager Connection Editor
> in F14:
> 
> https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2010-November/msg00144.html
> (screencasts included)
> 
> The patchset is introducing (as a requirement) a panel which, I guess, would
> change a lot about what we can and need to do wrt new anaconda UI design.

Is there any room to change how this works in Anaconda? I have a few
usability concerns regarding the way it appears in the screencast; I
have some ideas on how to improve the workflow but I don't know how
invasive they may be. If you're willing though, we could hash it back
and forth a bit to see if we can improve it. 

To explain the usability concerns I have, let me walk through one of the
screencasts you provided on the newer mailing list post:

Case:
User wants to complete an install using a network repository.

* 1 - The messaging regarding the network connection requirement occurs
on the installation target device screen. 

I think this could be a bit misleading, as it makes it seem that either
(a) a network connection is required to choose an install target in this
case or (b) a network connection is required to move forward in the
installer, but we don't know what the next step is and we don't appear
to be given a choice to opt-out of it to continue without network.

* 2 - Doesn't appear to have a way to opt-out.

I may just be missing something (maybe outside of the context of the
screencast this is clearer) but it seems as if install cannot continue
without that network connection. I think there should be a way to move
forward without the network connection.

* 3 - The icon to turn on the network connection is unlabeled, maybe
22x22 px... it doesn't stand out very much.

I think having a panel in the installer is weird, and in this case it's
also fairly inconspicuous because the installer is the same color as the
panel. The pop-up dialog doesn't explain to the user where on the screen
to go or what to do in order to configure the network. The icon also
isn't really clear - the artwork is posed as more of a status icon than
an action icon. 

* 4 - Little metadata is provided to the user

Which feature requires the network connection? What repos will I gain
access to if I go to the trouble of configuring the network? It's not
really clear in the messaging.

When (in the workflow of anaconda) do you think it makes the most sense
to turn on the network? What selection in the UI caused the network
requirement message to pop up? I think perhaps the ideal time to prompt
the user to configure the network is when they opt-in to use a feature
that requires the network, but I don't know when they are doing that in
this screencast. I think rather than asking the user to go off and do it
via the icon, it might be better to offer right inside the alert dialog
to pop open the configuration dialog for the user. Something like,

"You need a network connection to enable the installation of updated
packages via a network.

[ Skip ] [ Configure Network ]"

> 2) proposition of repository UI change:
> 
> https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2010-September/msg00181.html
> (with screencasts)
> 
> This is more FYI. I'm not very optimistic about this change going into 
> anaconda.
> Probably the repo UI (and offered functionality) will be changed more
> fundamentally.

Yeh it does seem like it needs more fundamental changes! E.g., in this
particular screencast:
http://rvykydal.fedorapeople.org/repoUI/example1patched.ogg

When the error condition is hit, the user is asked if they would like
to:
[exit] [edit] [retry] [debug]

Exit doesn't seem like a smart choice because you can't move forward
without resolving the problem and exiting won't fix it.

Edit is the right choice to fix it although it seems a circuitous route.
Why not have a button, "Disable repo" or "Skip repo" so the user can
move forward without going back to the repo config screen again?

> > - This week I created screen-by-screen walkthroughs of the Live Media
> > install process in F14
> > (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/F14_Live_Media_Install ) and
> > the DVD install process as well
> > (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/F14_DVD_Install ). I also put
> > together a comparison chart of the two methods -
> > https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign/Current_Install_Process_Analysis
> >
> Network configuration is missing there, which I understand as it has been
> changing recently. I'd only note that in Live CD it is not available
> because the configuration should be done within the Live CD (not inastaller)
> environment. It complies with my last patchset using NM applet in panel
> which would be started only in non-LiveCD case.

Great point. I did add network configuration as a row towards the top of
the Current_Install_Process_Analysis wiki page table, and I noted it's
done through the live environment on LiveCD, and done via the
NetworkManager panel in Anaconda for the DVD column. 

I hope this all makes sense; what do you think?

~M



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