Simple Image Gallery Pro version 3 and a new design approach for our components
We've always put user friendlyness and ease of use above all when building our extensions. At least up to what's possible for any type of extension. Simple Image Gallery Pro was great (and still is) as a plugin that allows you to zip a bunch of files and quickly transform them to an image gallery grid. It's no wonder why the free version is one of the most popular extensions in the Joomla! Extensions Directory for many years now. People hate to use tools that take more time to deal with than the actual content they're producing. If it takes you more time to upload a gallery than shooting the actual pictures, then there's a problem. And unfortunately, many gallery components in the Joomla!sphere simply fail to deliver what they promise.
As you'll notice in the screenshots below, we simply *don't* want the user (newbie or experienced) to think too much before using any of our components. We want the user to sense a "user interface familiarity" and start working in a matter of seconds. We also don't want to have dull/boring designs anymore. We work with Joomla! daily and the tools we use should be functionaly and aesthetically pleasing. People managing some of the biggest Joomla! websites in the world usually work on K2 for 8 or more staight hours a day. Can we make K2 more functional and more pleasing to the eye, so the whole process of actual "content management" becomes more enjoyable?
Of course we can. We just have to divert a bit from the current "Joomla! UI guidelines".
For starters, we don't need to show the user buttons that they simply cannot click without first selecting at least 1 item in a classic row of data. Why should we always show the "move" button (e.g. for K2 items) when a user would only need to see this button if he clicked one or more items? Likewise, we can organize filters that have 2 possible values only (e.g. sort a list by date created ascending/descending) altogether, saving lots of space for the content the user sees and manages. As you may have noticed already, device screens are shrinking, instead of growing. Tablets are now selling more than PCs. So by providing more "real estate" for our content, we make managing that content a lot easier.
Our components' new backend design will be responsive by default, even on Joomla! 2.5's backend which is not responsive...
Additionally, we've re-thought elements like the component's menu. Does it really have to divide each backend view controls for the actual content? See how browsers changed the placement of their tabs (above everything).
We'll provide more insight for our new design approach as we release updates and new extensions throughout the year.
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