More streamlined UI
By the way I have to say the new update is really nice. Videos play nearly instantly with little buffering. Bravo!
But, I just want to say something that's been bothering me about the mobile app for some time. I really don't dig the ui. Also I work on user interfaces daily, either with websites or in the gaming industry. I'm not some hot shot but I feel my experience helps. Btw, I'm talking about the phone app but it should be applicable to the tablet version too.
-First thing, from the perspective of a newcomer. I bring up the app and I don't know if I'm in the streaming app or a glorified store. If I'm already paying a premium show me to what I paid for first. The streaming. The same could be said about the news. If the main draw is the shows, then why are they not the default page? I love hearing about all the new things happening, but that's not my first thought when I open the app. The furthest I am from where I want to be when starting out is the âˆš of my annoyance meter.
-Second, it's just so heavy. The animations and menus are cool looking, but that comes second to usability. Just like being God in Futurama. When a user interface does things right, people won't even know it's there at all. Not the exact quote but it's works the same. [ninja edit] In that sense, the swipe to tear the screen and show the menu is cool as hell, but there's poor indication that it's there. I just booted the tablet app up, after about a month away and was stuck for about 30 seconds as I tried to figure out what to do. If the gesture was more natural, few apps use diagonal swipes at all, then maybe it would be fine. Otherwise, it's just cool for the sake of it, and usability comes second. I tested it by handing it to my wife and she took twice as long to figure out just how to escape the news. Much of the time scrolling through the infinite three news entries without realizing she was looking at the same three things.
-Third, why are the videos separate from the shows in the menu? The videos are listed in the shows and the videos menu. If I'm new and I just want to watch something, I open up the menu and see "Shows" | "Videos". It becomes a judgement call, which is the wrong choice, which is the right choice? The answer is… Both? They're the same thing but one is unorganized by show... That is a fork in the ui flow to get to the same thing. It's redundant and forks like that confuse new users. My answer? See below
-Forth, the news section is very underdeveloped, I have it open right now and all I have to say is... You're taking up my whole screenspace for 3 news items, each taking up the whole screen! Is there anything else below it? Can I scroll down?... nope. How about you take the video listings (sorted by newest) from the "videos" menu, remove that menu option because it's redundant, and stick them in the news section. I'd also cut the news update' height by half to hint that there's the content below it. In one move you fix your fork and add more to the lacking news section.
There's some weird smaller things, like
-Why are subbed and dubbed shows listed separately? Why can't I just set a preference and let the software pick the right audio track? If I happen to pick something to play that doesn't support my preference, pop up a message informing me.
-Why do show listings in the shows menu take up so much room on my screen? Only four shows are listed at a time. Why? It takes more than a minute to scroll to the bottom at a speed where I can see the titles. I understand if you want to show off the shows in big banners like that, but please think of our poor thumbs... :( This is bad, and I'll tell you why. Say I want to watch a new anime, but I'm not quite sure what I'm in the mood for. So, I'm scrolling-- and mid-way through I see something that catches my eye, but I want to see the rest first because I may see something better. So, I keep going to the bottom. By the time I reach the bottom and I want to return to the hot item from before, I've forgotten where in the list it is and have to hunt it down. How about cutting the banner width in half and listing shows two at a time, then the scroll length instantly becomes half as long.
Anyways, just my 2 cents I wanted to throw in. A lot of this is my opinion of course, so if anyone has more to add or to comment on it's cool because I don't pretend to be right all the time. Also I want to say I'm a huge Funimation fan and I'm really looking forward to what to future holds.