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abatty

Video Coding UI Suggestions

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Hey folks. I'm a new Nvivo user, but I've been around it for several years and knew what it could do before using it for my latest research project.

 

I'll be blunt: The video coding UI is infuriating, but not just because all aspects of working with video are infuriating, and even the best UI for video is a pain, but because it could be improved in Nvivo with just some cosmetic tweaks that I doubt would even require much difficult coding on your end.

 

First, the easy one:

 

The video playhead/shuttle is on the same line as where one selects regions for coding. This makes it very hard to indicate whether you intend to define a region or move the playhead.

 

To fix this, basically, Nvivo should just rip a page out of the audio/video editing application playbook and add a new, slim timeline above the waveform display that is only for defining regions, separating it from the playhead. This relatively small UI tweak alone would save my wife and neighbors both at home and work from all manners of shrieks and cursewords as I try to define a region but move the playhead instead, or try to move the playhead and define a region instead.

 

The playhead itself, I think, should also be moved. Rather than a little blue bubble, it should be a pentagon below the waveform, as it is in many audio or video edition applications. It should not obscure the waveform, as it does now.

 

Now, a little harder:

 

Oh dear lord, the playback controls. I wonder what was ingested the night those were dreamt up. When every other audio or video application in the world uses spacebar to play/pause, moving that to F4 is more than a little crazy. I imagine it was done to avoid collision with transcription, but I can't imagine that it would be too hard to determine whether the user was in the transcription field or the video player/timeline/coding stripes to enable/disable that behavior. Similarly, the begin/end region keys are somewhat awkward as well. It seems that they should be moved to regular character keys, such as comma and period.

 

Finally, a feature request:

 

Dragging coded regions to nodes or using right-click is fine with material that only has a few codes, but if almost every second is coded, then it becomes very laborious.

 

What would make this process much smoother is if the user could map certain keys to frequently-used nodes, and code by pressing the appropriate key(s) to define the region and code it simultaneously, with the release of that key ending the region.

 

Failing that, just being able to assign key command shortcuts to oft-used nodes (like key commands for styles in MS Office) would go a long way to sparing users RSI from mouse clicking and dragging.

 

 

The End. Thanks for reading.

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A couple other things I forgot to mention, but remembered as I sat down to do some more coding:

  1. When clicking in the timeline, the play head should jump to that location. This wouldn't work now that regions are defined by clicking/dragging in the timeline, but if that were moved to a different "stripe" above or below the waveform, then it would be no problem.
  2. Clicking and dragging to define regions should drag the playhead with it so you can see what you're getting.
  3. Big feature request: Audio should scrub when moving the playhead or selecting regions.

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Hi abatty,

 

Thanks for this great feedback - we are always looking for ways to improve the audio/video experience.

 

I'll make sure the development team sees your suggestions. Are you happy to provide more detail down the track?

 

Cheers,

Kath

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