New main menu design - feedback requested

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rubenwardy
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New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

Here's my proposal for a new main menu. Please ignore the style and visual issues, this is a quickly thrown together mock up. I plan for the actual thing to be flat and material, with no ugly gradients.

The aim is to put game support and ContentDB in the spotlight, and to switch to a more conventional main menu design.

The first thing a user sees is the game selection window, which features a list of installed games, featured content from CDB, and some quick links. If the user selects a game, then they will go to that game's main menu.

Dialogs like Settings, ContentDB, and Join World can both appear with or without a game selected, and their behaviour will vary because of this.

GitHub issue: https://github.com/minetest/minetest/issues/6733

Interactive version

It is recommended to use the interactive version, as it will demonstrate the flow

Open Figma.com prototype (warning: proprietary JS)

Screenshots

Choose Game Screen
Shown on first load, and also when "change game" is selected.

Image

Load Game Screen

Default game main menu page. Shown after selecting a game

Image
+ Spoiler

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Sokomine » Post

rubenwardy wrote: Change Game screen, shown on first launch
Maybe it's a bit confusing if there are installed games on the left side and the games in the content db on the right side. How about a big button "You do not have any games installed yet. Click here to install games" for new players and a big button "install more games" followed by a list of installed ones for those that already downloaded some? So, in effect, *just* a list of the games to select from. And maybe a settings button.
rubenwardy wrote: Game mainmenu
Looks nice, but is also very diffrent in style compared to the other menus. I think it needs a dark background behind the options so that this menu fits better to the other ones and people do not wonder where their menu went.
rubenwardy wrote: Join World with a game selected
The good old menu? Maybe with the goal to make it all easier to understand - extend the list of servers with their description and make that the only list on the page? Address/Port and Name/Password might be hidden behind an "Advanced Options" button. Clicking on a server in the list might reveal a popup with name, password, connect and del favorite (though that favorite mechanism could use an update as well).
rubenwardy wrote: ContentDB with a game selected
Looks very nice! I'm glad that the content db will be more present.

Thank you for your work! Even though I did make some suggestions here I think that it's going very well and am glad that there's progress. Hopefully a lot more players can enjoy MT like we do.
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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by TumeniNodes » Post

Sokomine wrote:Maybe it's a bit confusing if there are installed games on the left side and the games in the content db on the right side.
I agree with Sokomine on this point.
Other than that... overall, I'm liking the direction.
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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Walker » Post

I like all of this ... but especially the "game mainmenu" ... super clean and modern

and because of this:
Sokomine wrote:
rubenwardy wrote: Change Game screen, shown on first launch
Maybe it's a bit confusing if there are installed games on the left side and the games in the content db on the right side. How about a big button "You do not have any games installed yet. Click here to install games" for new players [...]
that makes no sense, since there is already a game by default ... Minetest_game

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

Slight tweak to make the main screen clearer:

Image

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Linuxdirk » Post

This looks so messy with all the buttons. But at least Minetest Game isn’t treated special anymore.

It’s also advised everywhere (not only game dev context) to keep menus consistent. So switching between the “Game Menu” style and the style of the other menus is a no-go.

Or will the other menus being modernized to look like the “game menu” screen?

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

This is more about the layouts and navigation flow than the styling - there will probably need to be some pixelly nice backgrounds and buttons and such

Yes, the other screens will have layout improvements - but this isn't the focus of this mock up

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Andrey01 » Post

rubenwardy wrote:Slight tweak to make the main screen clearer:

Image
Why does the right page display the same content (desctiption, screenshot and install button) four times? It looks weird.


Also, maybe the starting buttons ("New World", "Load World", "Join World" and etc) of the imagined game main menu should be scaled up and offset to the window`s center since the most part of that looks like without any GUI content? Although, then the layout would be much like Minecraft game menu what is bad.

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

Andrey01 wrote:Why does the right page display the same content (desctiption, screenshot and install button) four times? It looks weird.
This is a mock up, I just copied-and-pasted the image
Andrey01 wrote:Also, maybe the starting buttons ("New World", "Load World", "Join World" and etc) of the imagined game main menu should be scaled up and offset to the window`s center since the most part of that looks like without any GUI content?
Not sure what you mean - do you mean center the buttons?

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Sokomine » Post

@Walker: That's right. With MTG beeing there, a "install games first"-button won't be necessary.

Still...I think that the first screen with the game selection ought to be cleaner and not show both installed games and installabe ones at the same time. The "Play online" button was also a bit confusing for me. What I have in mind regarding this otherwise fine setup would be:

"Select a game" (<- title stays the same)
"Play Online" - as first point in the menu list, with description "The type of game will depend on the server you select. You do not need to install games locally if you only want to play online."
"Add Game" - as second point in the menu list, with description "Select and download a new type of game for playing locally."
Other list items: Installed games as shown on the left side. The menu that is now on the right side ought to show up when "Add Game" is selected.

[Edit] Remaining buttons would be "Settings", "About and Credits" and "Quit" (there might be desperate people searching that option sometimes).
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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by v-rob » Post

So, why are there two different places for Content DB? I get that it makes sense to promote it, but having two different ones is liable to confuse players. Same with joining a server.

I also personally don't like having the sidebar alone on the side. It feels out of place to have a background-less menu on the side when everything else is in the center. If we constantly had the sidebar there and it didn't disappear, then it would feel better and we wouldn't have to click back buttons nearly as much, which is a pain.
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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Andrey01 » Post

rubenwardy wrote:
Andrey01 wrote:Also, maybe the starting buttons ("New World", "Load World", "Join World" and etc) of the imagined game main menu should be scaled up and offset to the window`s center since the most part of that looks like without any GUI content?
Not sure what you mean - do you mean center the buttons?
Yes, scale up several times them and move to the center because too much blank space (without any GUI elements) is appeared:
Image

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Fixer » Post

I disagree with design in this topic, it has potential to be confusing and complex, feels like current design we have already is good enough, but what I've suggested long ago was showcasing Content DB by merging it with Addons tab (and doing slight rework).

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Linuxdirk » Post

Fixer wrote:I disagree with design in this topic, it has potential to be confusing and complex,
How is this different from current menu structure?

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by cHyper-0815OL » Post

is there a preview version for testing the new menue structure? thx.

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

cHyper-0815OL wrote:is there a preview version for testing the new menue structure? thx.
You can see an interactive version of the mock up here: https://www.figma.com/proto/sXoPmpoSl7R ... g=min-zoom

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by twoelk » Post

how easily skinable would such a new main menu be?
or is everything more or less hardcoded (asked without having looked at any code ;-)
any pics of how this looks on android devices or unusual resolutions like for example for extra wide screens?

btw, I'm amazed how much difference rounded corners, shadows and similar effects allready make ...
definitely the right direction
and nope
I don't think flat design is best for every game

(edited several times)

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

twoelk wrote:how easily skinable would such a new main menu be?
Pretty easy. One benefit you can get from giving each game its own main menu is customisation. I have a WIP pr which splits the layouting and theme code from the actual content, which will allow games to customise how pages in the main menu are shown

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

I performed an observation with the new main menu design with someone who is not familiar with minetest and is not particularly technical. They had an explore around, and then I asked them to perform certain tasks like connect to a server or install a mod. I discovered that they didn't understand what "content" was, and didn't find the game dialog particularly clear

After feedback, I have decided to make the following changes:
  • I'll switch to using a sidebar main menu rather than the classic main menu by default. This will look similar to the current scheme, but with the navigation on the left rather than top. This should make the current location more obvious.
  • I'll think about solutions to showing the current game well. The game selection is a point of confusion. Possible fixes include showing a change game function on every page, including dialogs.
  • I'll need to think more on the current ContentDB integration.

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by LMD » Post

I'm opposed to the "back" button - it adds an extra stage which was not there previously. Also, I've started work on a PR to improve the main menu. I'm mostly fine with the organization of tabs.
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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Linuxdirk » Post

rubenwardy wrote:Possible fixes include showing a change game function on every page, including dialogs.
Except for the join game tab maybe, because that would imply joining an online game of the currently selected game.

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by rubenwardy » Post

LMD wrote:I'm opposed to the "back" button - it adds an extra stage which was not there previously
I've already decided to change the default layout to remove this. Also, adding an extra stage is perfectly fine - this is common in nearly every single game I've seen. Minetest isn't productivity software. The problem with the mainmenu/tab split is that it's less clear where you are.
LMD wrote:Also, I've started work on a PR to improve the main menu. I'm mostly fine with the organization of tabs.
This is offtopic, the improve mainmenu issue is largely about the over-arching design and navigation rather than small improvements.
Linuxdirk wrote:Except for the join game tab maybe, because that would imply joining an online game of the currently selected game.
This is exactly how the current design works - the join game tab, when a game is selected, filters to only show servers of that game. The user can join other servers by going to the home screen's play online, or by unchecking the filter box.

The filter box was added in an attempt to make it more obvious, but I'm not particularly happy about it. Given Minetest Game's default status, this would unfairly advantage servers running Minetest Game. It would probably be better to be less accurate about it and instead show all servers, this was how the design worked originally before someone complained about it showing all

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by Linuxdirk » Post

rubenwardy wrote:This is exactly how the current design works - the join game tab, when a game is selected, filters to only show servers of that game. The user can join other servers by going to the home screen's play online, or by unchecking the filter box.
So from a players point of view: You need to change the local game to see what online server are available? Also: You either see none, only a handful, or only Minetest Game servers depending on what game you played locally the last time? How to see servers for games you have not installed locally? You always need to fiddle around with the filtering mechanism?

Since pragmatism was suggested here and in some other threads recently. Why not simply do not filter the server list and do not apply the locally selected game’s design to the server list tab so players can see all games without having to care about filters and are not confused because the list looks like for their locally selected game?

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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by LMD » Post

Yeah, I'd just keep the "Join Game" tab. Here are my design improvements (from the PR linked above):
Image
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Re: New main menu design - feedback requested

by LMD » Post

Keep the tabs. Rename "Join Game" to "Join" and "Start Game" to "Play", probably. "Content" should be called "Install" and be made more beautiful. Some goes for credits, which should be called "About".
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