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Some IMPORTANT User Experience Tips

RemsX 3 years ago

I'm not an engineer, so I can't really say I could have done it better, but surely someone ought to be able to do it better.  The user experience when trying to layout the board design is a nightmare, and that's being kind.  It's nearly impossible to select what I'm trying to select, in order to move a wire, add a bendpoint, delete a via, etc.  When I am able to select it, it's after slowly hovering my curser over a part in just the right way, waiting an additional 2-3 seconds for it's grey selection shadow to appear... and with adding bendpoints it's not enough to just click and drag, I must then click and hold for another 3-4 seconds and then slowly drag, else it just ignores my click altogether.  

 

Furthermore, the autorouter totally messed up some of my previously handrouted traces, and after saving the file and reopening there was no way to revert to before the autorouting (and I had to, because autorouting failed).  It's nice that there's a feature to select auto routed traces, but you should also add the option to select auto routed vias, because I had to delete manually about 80 vias, and this was extremely tedious, as it takes anywhere from 5-30 seconds just to properly select the via since the UI is so unresponsive.

 

There should be some intuitive features like the ability to group traces, make custom traces to use as connecting elements.  You should be able to create groups of traces based on their common connections, you should also add the option to change selection by tabbing (or some other keystroke) so that you can quickly select things, as it's nearly impossible to do so otherwise.  It would also be a good idea to enable layers, as well as the ability to lock the layers, rather than having to select parts individually and selecting lock from there.  I could go on, but that should get you started.

 

Sorry I don't mean to come across as an asshole, but I'm totally fed up with this, and now I can't even export for eagle anymore so that just adds to the frustration.

RemsX 3 years ago

maybe what I'm trying to do is just too complicated for fritzing, but that's unfortunate.  here's a screenshot.board

RemsX 3 years ago

RemsX 3 years ago

Another thought:

 

It would be nice to be able to select specific components to auto-route.  Say I wanted to route all the ICs by hand, but then have a handful of decoupling capacitors that can be easily auto-routed.  It would be nice to then select the layerthat I've created entitled, "capacitors" and click on "auto-route," assuming, of course, that you take my previous advice.  Hell, I don't know if anyone ever reads these posts that's on the dev. team, but I'd like to believe this will get read.  I do UI professionally, I'm trying to "help you...help me!"

 

Last thing that would be PHENOMINAL would be if there were a feature to analyze all the traces for crossed wires, and then enter into a "wizard" similar to a spell checker dialogue that would show you all of your errors, and then ideally offer you a pre-defined solution; ie via->othersideofboardandback->via to get around the crossed wires, else a jumper would suffice if this isn't possible.

 

I know these are probably tall requests, but please take me seriously.  Your product has so much potential to kick all kinds of ass, but at its current state leaves a lot to be desired unfortunately.  

 

best wishes

Bernie 2 years, 11 months ago

Hello, I've been using Fritzing for some time. I do not have the issue you have (large selection delays). The grey shadow appears in fraction of second. It's not always easy to get the correct shadow (grey, blue) for a given operation (if the board is crowded) but at least when the mouse pointer is at the right place, the shadow appears instantly. I noticed removing the silkscreen from the view helped clearing the space and reaching the places I need to select component.

 

If you really have 3-4 seconds delays to add a bending point (which is huge) I would suggest you try on a different computer, maybe even a different operating system, just to make sure you do not have an issue with your particular combination of hardware/operating system/Qt version.

 

I totally agree that there is plenty of room for usability improvements before Fritzing can compare itself with established software. When I started electronic board design I found Eagle impossible to learn (literally -- I did not manage to do anything useful), all I remember it looks like they did not change their icon set since windows 3.1. Fritzing on the other hand is pretty and easy to learn. It does have its whole set of bugs (some things are really frustrating), but you find them later in your leaning and you are able to find workarounds on your own.

jorlin 2 years, 11 months ago

RemsX

I agree with most of the UI issues that you have submitted. Useful input. However, let's keep these in the Suggestion forums, rather than the Bugs forum for this. Could you split up your issues into individual and proper bug reports? That way the devs can manage them better. Thank you in advance for your trouble.