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Full Version: Making the context menu more obvious
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hi guys,

just been having a discussion with dday about the context menu stuff, and i think most would agree that the main problem with it is that it's not obvious what button the user needs to push to bring it up. it's great when you know it (just like right-clicking in windows) but if you don't know it, how are you supposed to learn?

my initial idea is to have a popup-dialog box that runs on a fixed timer. it would popup after a set amount of inactivity on the behalf of the user, with a box informing them of the context menu item. it will have a checkmark control on the dialog allowing the user to turn off this functionality so that it doesn't bother then again. obviously, you'll be able to turn it back on in the settings somewhere.

the idea is that initially it just informs the user that pressing white will bring up a context menu with extra options that may (or may not) be on screen. it will be able to pop up in every window (except for the obvious ones such as fullscreen video/visz/slideshow). in the future, it could also show tips such as "scanning your music will improve tag reading speed" etc, or perhaps could be developed into a generic help-system of some sort.

i'm posting this here (rather than in general discussion) as you guys are the ones that most often have to think about usability.

let me know.

could you implement the info button on the remote like "my pictures" to all aspects of xbmc for context menus? i.e. "my videos, my music" as i think the remote is probably used more for the entertainment side. i only use my controller to press white buttons. :thumbsup:
it's already mapped to some button on the remote - look in keymap.xml (should be info, but i believe it may be something else).

and yes, ofcourse it's going to eventually be in all views. that's the whole point! (you'll notice it's already in my music + my videos to alter bookmarks).

this thread is about how to make it more obvious (to avoid people asking how to bring it up whilst using the remote, for instance :p )

i had in mind for that a button, something like the one used in the home window for the submenu, but labeled "menu" that include all the available functions for the used window.
the icon for this button can be like the real white button or not (but a white jewel button will make the idea).
i prefer it mapped to the "menu" button on the remote for a better understanding.
with all this the user can decide to move on it and press it or just press the "white" button on the pad or "menu" on the remote.

what about a general help button, which will show you information about what button does what in that specific window?
for example you could show a picture like in keymapping-schematic.pdf
good ideas Smile
great news! just posted a few concepts of an idea for a new skin before reading this thread. with the mentioned features enabled, i think i can make the skin working.


can i use the context-menu to put buttons in it (like view, scan, record, bookmark 1, bookmark 2)?
no, you can't. it's only programmable from the code side at the moment.

think of a good way to do it, and i'm sure it'll be looked in to.