SoC 2009/Qt Interface Improvements

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This project is part of Google Summer of Code 2009.
Student: Cyril Nikolaev
Mentor: Jean-Baptiste Kempf

Qt Interface Improvements


Though existing Qt interface offers the user extensive control over VLC functionality, there is much to do from a usability point of view. The project aims to streamline the interface, deliver it from pointless elements and integrate neatly the uncoordinated dialog boxes (like Adjustments or Playlist) into main interface. Reorganization of the interface would reduce user efforts (and mouse click) needed to access desired feature.


Infinite Buttons

According to Fitt's Law most used buttons should be bigger to reduce time and effort needed to access them. As a consequence of the law a concept of infinite buttons was invented. As an illustration we can regard Mac OS menu, which is situated along screen edge. So any upholding gesture will bring the cursor to the menu. It delivers the user from spending time on braking along Y axis.


  • fullscreen controller. The track bar along the bottom edge of the screen will ease controlling. Besides it will make the whole fullscreen controller less annoying.
  • use the whole video area as a play|pause button.

Now playing

There is an effort to make a more complicated media library with multiple playlists, searching, etc. Now playling list is similar to what is called playlist now. It is a non-persistent list which will hold the current playlist list (simmilar to iTunes and WMP list). Any added or dropped files will get there.

The proximity theory

Similar controls are grouped together. For example Faster and Slower buttons should be grouped with speed indicator. More about the proximity theory

Todo list

  • divide Advanced Open dialog to a set of dialogs [?]
  • incorporate Open location from clipboard dialog into Advanced Open dialog (let the clipboard content be the default open target).
  • redesign fullscreen controller
  • get rid of the status-bar (track name is in the window title, speed indicator will be together with the controller, time indicator will be near the track-bar)
  • introduce one-click track control for videotracks, audiotracks and subtitles.
  • one-click minimal view controlling
  • incorporate the playlist dialog into the main interface
  • integrate Now-playing list and Filters dialog as side panels
  • current position and track length

Old mockup



May 27. Interactive GUI prototype. done preview

May 27 — May 31. Basic UI reconfiguring

June 1 — June 14. Fullscreen controller redesign, widgets for fullscreen controller.

June 15 — June 28. Main form widget development

June 29 — July 12. Testing, fixing

July 13 — August 9. Media library widget, now playing widget. Controls to control window layout

August 3 — August 24. Testing