I love that Marco put together such a detailed rundown of his reasoning behind the design changes. It's great to see how the design has matured, which assumptions are still present, and which assumptions were proven wrong. While I might have made different decisions, I respect Marco for backing up his ideas with solid reasoning.
As a supporter of Overcast I'm not happy.
The most annoying thing is the move to a two-step method for playback (which Marco rightly recognizes is a controversial change).
From a UX perspective it's an infuriating change -- it now takes 100% more time to perform the same primary functionality (playing an episode), tap episode to reveal tray menu, tap play button vs. just tap the episode.
In addition to adding the additional step, by moving the Play button to the tray menu he's weighted it the exact same as ancillary tasks like Add to Playlist or Share. I use the app because it is literally a podcast PLAYER, not a podcast sharer or podcast add-to-playlister.
Given the size of the tray menu, it is now much harder to tap Play when "on-the-go" because it's so small (by my napkin math estimation, the new play button tap area is 1/10th the size of old "just tap the episode" method.
Pretty amateur UX mistakes.
Totally agree. I understand why he's done it; as his article states:
"but accidental input was always an issue: I found it too easy to accidentally begin playing something that I was trying to rearrange, delete, or see info about."
For me, personally, this has never been an issue.
I'm with marco on this one. I don't think designers should put too much priority on speed-of-use save for professional tools where that's the name of the game. Users need to understand how to use the app first before they need to use it quickly. And I can see him adding shortcuts for more adept, savvy users to perform these functions at a greater speed. Or maybe he'll add a "The good 'ol days" switch in settings for those that want to tap-to-play and long-or-force-tap to reveal the new toolbar.
As a listener of podcasts in the car, totally disagree. Tap once is everything.
This all day. As many podcast listeners use Overcast frequently while driving, the more interaction required by the app the more frustrating the experience.
Ahh yeah, good call. I have never owned a car and haven't driven much in my life, but I can see how driving is one place where saving taps and glances is extremely important and in some cases life-saving.
I saw this occasionally when the app "stuttered" between navigating items or trying to delete something with a swipe. Not sure of his reasoning for the extra step, but in practice over the past day, it hasn't impacted me a great deal.
Definitely not enough to switch podcast clients.
Devil's advocate time! (FWIW I've never used Overcast)
it now takes 100% more time to perform the same primary functionality
We're talking 100% of milliseconds here.
he's weighted it the exact same as ancillary tasks like Add to Playlist or Share
Admittedly I'm guessing here about Overcast users, but if the users that are paying for Overcast are podcast power-users, then 'Add to Playlist' is not an ancillary task.
Given the size of the tray menu, it is now much harder to tap Play when "on-the-go" because it's so small
It looks like it's bigger than the recommended iOS touch target size. I have stubby fingers and have never had a problem with that on the go.
Totally agree. And to add to that, Marco points out users found the two-step process to reorder a playlist to be difficult therefore he changed it to just one. I'm surprised with this in mind, he changed the primary function of Overcast to a two-step process.
Even for those who knew they could reorder episodes, the two-step process was cumbersome.
Opened it this morning, was immediately confused and realized there had been an update (which mostly seemed unnecessary). Went ahead and paid for Pocket Casts and removed Overcast.
Interesting read. As an avid user of Overcast, Im interested to see how the changes actually affect me. Not too sure about some of it, but I like the thought that was put behind the changes.