Hall of shame: Videora iPod converter

Many GUI creators let users change their application window’s size. But are they really ready for such actions? Not all of them. So, let’s welcome the hero of today, Videora iPod Converter. Among tens of free and commercial “DVD to iPod, DivX, XviD and vise versa” converters this one is definitely a first candidate to “keep away from” list. Not even mentioning its encoding features (I couldn’t make it work) I would only stop on a portion of its interface.

So, what do we see on launch?

Videora

Self-made iPod icon in the left-top corner, some tree control derivative for tab selection (come on, there’s a lot of space), some (grid-control?) garbage on the top of it and cut right panel. The controls are so poorly aligned that you won’treally be able to read the text unless you resize the whole window. The bitmap is centered and thus the text on it is unreadable…

Let’s just switch to te second tab to see controls:

vid-02.png

Unusable without window resizing. So, let’s try to make the window bigger and see if it looks better then:

vid-03.png

Not much, really. Now we just get a huge window with poorly composed controls. Let’s scale the thing down:

vid-04.png

No comments.

In fact, even this pitiful UI could look better if its creators followed some very simple rules:

  1. Can’t control – lock. I.e. just lock dialog size if you cannotmake it look decent under different resolutions
  2. Don’t use center align without a reason: in most cases left (or right) align woulddo less harm.
  3. Be careful with bitmaps: scaling them is no fun.
  4. RTFM. Seriously. If you find yourself a groovy coder, why not spending few minutes on readingbasic control usage rules?

Overall, resizeable windows and dialogs are quite a pain for many developers as they’re harder to handle then fixed-size ones. You may have to remember window position, size, state, carefully align controls, set sane defaults, etc…

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4 Responses to Hall of shame: Videora iPod converter

  1. deadmoney says:

    rut ro! it’s the gui police!
    You were a study hall monitor in high school weren’t you… either that or definately TA’d in the library.

  2. […] Lots of problems related to incorrect window resizing (with no smart logic involved: no min or max values, poor visual feedback to state change) makes me recall ugly Videora GUI. […]

  3. veldrat says:

    If as a GUI expert you can’t really navigate thru/use the interface then it seems you may want to reconsider a new line of profession.

    Seriously, Videora is one of the easiest freeware iPod converters to use. Not to mention the fact that its codecs/filters don’t ruin one’s collection of installed codecs/filters on one’s computer.

    Then again, if one can’t intuitively navigate then one can always seek the help of the manual.

    My 0 cents.

  4. jack says:

    Downloaded version 4.0.7. Trying to use on laptop with 1024×768. Buttons seen in the step through guide are not visible. Trying to resize did not help at all.
    Experimentally used TAB to navigate and definitely there are buttons to the right invisible on my screen.
    From other comments, for example veldrat, it seems that IF and WHEN complete window is visible, then using Videora is easy. But when buttons or fields are NOT visible !!?? What do I do? Even as simple operation as in Settings changing directories. I can enter different values, but there is no visible for me button to save those changes.
    EVen expert (which I am not) would have problems navigating fantom fields and buttons.

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