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Does the startup sequence have to be so...

ugly?

I know this is purely aesthetic, but I really don't like the clunky VBish window that comes up with the 4 getting started options.  It's then confusing to see a splash screen *after* I pick one of the options.

Hmmm.  Also confusing is that it doens't always come up on launch.  Is it just the first time between reboots that it appears?  The first 3 times you open the program?  I know I have seen it a few times, but now I get straight to the splash screen.

Looking-for-real-bugs-ly yr's,

Tim

Tim Randolph
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

It comes up when you don't have a .cty file that you've been using.  So you should see it when you first install, and then never again, unless you delete your reg key where it tells citydesk where you .cty file is. 

I.e. if it doesn't have a database to startup with, then you see it.

If you want, send me a mockup of a better intro screen...

Michael Pryor
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

The screen you're talking about only comes up when (a) you haven't been working on any file before or (b) the file you were working on before is gone.

Otherwise we just open the file you were working on the last time you ran CityDesk.

The theory behind this is that most people only work on one site. I don't know how true that is empirically; we're going to wait until we have some actual customers and see what they actually do, and revisit this whole dialog :)

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Issues:

1) If the screen is supposed to be for the users very first time, why does it include an "Open an existing City Desk Site" option and an "Exit this program" option?

2) Since this is a one-off occurance, I think a more dramatic mode change would be in order.  As it stands, I am confused about why it is intermittent.  Lots of programs have "Hold-your-hand" intros.  But usually these are clear as a "special" feature.  And usually they have a checkbox saying don't show me this anymore.

3) In any event, the splash screen should come first.

4) It really could be nicer.  I bet you all haven't even thought about playing Civ 3 yet, but it actually solves a very similar problem in a way that caused no confusion (for me at least).  After the splash screen, they go to a full screen branding image with all the possible options on the right with little round buttons.  Options range from 'load game" to "credits."  What I like about it is that its mode is perfectly clear.  There is no doubt that I am in the "pre-game" screen.  It also comes up every time even though I imagine that most users go straight to load game which has the most recent game as the default ready to go.

5) Finally, there are implementation issues.  The first time I fired up Citydesk, I saved a play site, but I have the start up screen a few times since then.  I also see it every time, I do the "Edit Source" thing from IE.  Granted, I have a krufty registry, but seeing it several times, but not always, was genuinely confusing for me.

--Ti

Tim Randolph
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Eh, you cheated.. You just sent me other programs' startup screens.. I was waiting for you to design a citydesk startup screen.  I was just giving you the opportunity to be a little more constructive in your criticism.

Basically, you're just misunderstanding when the open,new,tutorial screen comes up.  It comes up when you open citydesk and there isn't a database for it to open.  Say you upgraded citydesk, or you deleted your registry, or there was a problem because the old database you were working on was deleted.  Whatever the case, if it doesn't know what .cty file to open it shows you the dialog (thats why it says "open" and not just new).  You got it for the Edit with CityDesk screens, because you weren't using the functionality correctly (i.e. you were trying to edit non-citydesk html pages with citydesk) so it couldn't find the database that you were telling it to open, so it prompted you to open one.  Same thing if you just run MSacess. (except they also give you recently used .cty files).  Most people will use CityDesk to edit one site, so its not that really important (except when you're testing and you're making a bunch of test sites).

Maybe I agree that the screen could be snazzier, I was just waiting for you to send me your snazzy CityDesk screen.  I'm still waiting... :-)

Michael Pryor
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Oh please don't ask me to produce art.  I am sure that I couldn't improve on what's there.  Art is for artist.  IBut.... if I were to give an artist direction, I would recommend using your current spash image, with some less Soviet-style buttons. :-)

As to my misunderstanding, I think I have a genuine bug, perhaps triggered by my odd use of Edit with City Desk.

I get the "Welcome to City Desk" screen a lot.  Even when I launch the program directly.  I've sent you a screen shot.  But I don't get it every time.  Not sure what I am doing that makes a difference.

--Tim

Tim Randolph
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

The splash screen bleeds into the background UI and looks confusing - I'd recommend putting a border around it.

Bill Wood
Friday, November 16, 2001


I have some issues with your starting screen, too. When I installed the program I just dismissed the intro screen, because I wanted to see the rest of the application. But the second time I loaded CityDesk, that screen has gone.

I believe that screen is having a non-standard behavior. I strongly suggest to show it every time until the user unchecks a "Show this screen at startup" check box.

Leonardo Herrera
Sunday, November 18, 2001

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