Creating a Media Player in Java - Part 2
OK, redesign, redesign and another redesign, that is what designers do until all pixels makes sense. Anyway, no biggies but the devil is in the details and a there were a lot of details that I didn’t like. Go and look at part 1 to see the old screenshots for comparison.
As you can see the top button labels look better now. Cleaner and more readable. I have also opted for monochrome icons with a tint for the selected button/tab. Again, it looks more clean, at least compared to having the full colored icons. I may need to recreate the icons from scratch later, to get that pure custom feel, but for now I use the excellent icon set from Icon Experience.
If you look at the second button from the left you can see that it has a slight white-blue glow. That is how the mouse-over effect will look. Of course it will fade it but it will do that very quickly, we don’t what it to feel sluggish. I have also unified the color scheme a bit. Gray-blue is the favorite color fo the day, let’s see if it sticks around to the final version.
I have removed the “track” for the scroll bar so now it looks very iPhoney (pun intended). I don’t want to be a copycat, but it looks clean. Not sure if the track should be re-enabled for mouse over or not, or maybe it will be there all the time? Not sure and it is a decision for later when we have the animations in place.
You might have noticed that the shadows have changed slightly. They are now more consistent and correct with the intended z-ordering of the main window and the side bars. Out of a performance perspective they are now also easier to make really fast.
One comment on the earlier designs was about the bottom button bar. The buttons didn’t really look like buttons. They still don’t look like normal GUI buttons but I think they look more like buttons. The easy to recognize play button will help the user in his quest to understand the GUI and what he can do with it. Usability tests will later will show if I’m wrong.
The biggest new part is the bottom bar. As I said before I didn’t want to make it white, that would make the whole GUI too blended and boring. It is still a bit experimental but generally I like the look. It should be noted that it is 60% translucent, which is impossible to see since the background is solid gray…
The main windows is now showing the newly designed tracks tab. It was harder than I first expected. Not because tracks are particularly hard to show but because they are so boring that there is little room for innovation and spicing it up. The albums on the left are all the albums to the selected tracks. Here it is very important the that loading and preparation of the album art is done in a background thread or the GUI will be sluggish at best.
Next time I will show the mini and micro version of the GUI, I promise…
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