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help me make a good skin (efficient)

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  • help me make a good skin (efficient)

    Ok, so as I've been telling, I am willing to make a skin that is more usuability oriented than super graphically impressing, but very efficient, specially while driving and even in bright sunlight conditions. Some elements of design will of course be in consideration, e.g texture, weights of the objects on the screen etc.

    So i've done some homework to start with, i've seen and tried most if not all the skins that we currently have on the forum and the other frontends interfaces. I have also been sketching when i've the chance at work including user interactions and navigation flowcharts

    Here are what I am looking for in a skin or human interface and tell me what you think.

    Efficiency is what we are after

    User should always be able to access the basic functionality of a regular music player at all times. That might also include reading information from a modern cars with screens, such as a clock, temperature etc...

    Some information and controls should remain visible/persistant on all screens, except when you hit fullscreen if neccessary from the particular screen you were. going into fullscreen usually shows more buttons or information, whichever is more suitable.

    Buttons that are big enough for your finger while you are driving.
    Readability, since the screen is glanced from about 1 meter away.

    (those who have their touchscreen close to the gear box (MT) or arm rest are lucky. more hand movements than arm and shoulder movements.)

    I would like to have more definitions before I start the graphical and skinning work.

    e.g, most commonly used functions from a regular player (please note that you are driving and not in your home theatre)

    Main Menu Buttons - The main menu, will be used less often, or when you want to access extra features and show off the features of your car pc

    The Main Menu Buttons

    Media - The Media Screen is infact the Main Menu so that one tap on the screen will take you where u want
    |_ All Player functions including touch wheel and playlist indicators/scroll position if possible
    |_ Nav
    |_ Playlist editor
    |_ Videos
    |_ Photos
    |_ Weather

    Navigation - nomal and fullscreen mode


    I'll finish this list very slowly

  • #2
    There are a lot of skins that satisfy your needs that have already been created or can be modified minimally.
    '96 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 LT1 Convertible
    P3 Mobile 1.2GHz/512MB RAM/Dual HD/Lilliput/Soundblaster

    '02 Grand Am
    CarPC Coming Soon!

    RoadFuse - CF Like Day & Night Skin Combo


    • #3
      thank you for your input thunderdepot. Has anyone seen a good playlist indicator in rr's audio player? which one works better? i like the touch wheel function, find that it is truely usable. But a vertical slider would be great so you know which part of the playlist you looking at.


      • #4
        Originally posted by thunderdepot View Post
        There are a lot of skins that satisfy your needs that have already been created or can be modified minimally.
        Very true thunderdepot, but if we all thought this way, there would be no more new skins... and that kinda boring.

        m^ck^y, ive noticed that some skins will let you get in several layers deep, and you have to use a back button to get out. how about a button at the corner that is soley dedicated to returning you to a home screen, with all options on it. that way, you are never more than two button presses away from what you want. also, graphical buttons, although they look awesome, rarely give away their true function at a glance. of course over a period of time you may catch on to what you are doing, but with all the interfaces i use on a daily basis, and then to add the fact that i only rarely use some features, leads me to eventually forget what some of them do. labels or very descriptive logos/pictures on the buttons would be great.
        Car Pc progress meter:
        [-5%-------------------] Carpc build #2. So far, 20$ deep! I love recycling!

        "The car is the closest we will ever come to creating something that is truly alive" -Sir William Lyons
        My worklog


        • #5
          mate im in brisbane, i have found the best skin for out sunny weather is zdgrey. its very efficient, and runs on my K62-366 hardware no problem

          I have modified it alot recently, i may release it at some stage. I suggest you have a play with it, and then decide if you reallly want to start a skin from scratch. I have spent a huge amoutn of time jsut modifying this one, a skin from scratch would take ages


          • #6
            Thanks, at least i feel a bit motivated with the replies now.
            redls1bird, I'll try to get everything most people use 1 tap away, rather than two. Need to know what are the most commonly used screens. The persistant buttons will solve the this problem.

            Soundoff, I just saw the zdgrey skin and it's a nice one, thanks. I might use this when choosing for colors. i.e which color works best in bright weather.

            Have you seen the new Roadfuse skin? or played with CF demo? The Buttons are efficient, they're big and a lot of thinking went in the user interface. The new skin will be an improvement of the CF so far for Roadrunner, as a general direction of this devlopment


            • #7
              black on grey is so much more readable than grey on black in the zdgrey skin.

              I moved the clock to a grey button with 38pt black text on the main menu. i can read it no matter what the sunlight now.


              • #8
                black on grey will be used for day skin


                • #9
                  Off-Subject... Sorry, trying to get M^ck^y's attention...

                  M^ck^y, I've been using this skin since you made it.

                  Could you tell me what font you used on the Menu Buttons, APPS, GPS, PHONE etc? I'm trying to do some customization in Photoshop, and I can't match the font.

                  Also, assuming you used Photoshop, do you have and could I get the PSD files?



                  • #10
                    thats looks like a variation of bank gothic font... although it could be any sans serif stretched in photoshop

                    back on topic..

                    as for functionality... you should be able to switch between any of the major functions (audio, GPS, video, radio, phone etc) of the carpc with only one button press, and the main audio functions should be available on any screen except expanded screens for GPS or WWW... that is how i design my skins anyway and seems to work well for me.
                    2005 Nissan Xtrail
                    DFI 855GME-MGF - Celeron M 1.4GHz - 256Mb RAM - 200Gb SATA HDD - OPUS 150w - Xenarc 700TSV



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thunderdepot View Post
                      There are a lot of skins that satisfy your needs that have already been created or can be modified minimally.
                      I am taking ideas from all skins including your CF to give more information and try to make things more useable. the BMv playlist is pretty good in functionality, just gotta move things around a bit