Early beta: New lists feature

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#1 by yorhel
2019-11-10 at 15:47
I just uploaded an initial test version of the new visual novel lists feature. You can access it at the following URL:
https://vndb.org/u<USERID>/ulist
With <USERID> replaced with your numeric user id.

I've put this online to gather some feedback on its features and the UI. That list will eventually replace the visual novel list, wishlist and vote list features, so it's important that I cover all current use cases.

The list is stored in a different data model, so it's distinct from your current list. I've imported everyone's current data into the new list to have something to play around with, but keep in mind that changes made to that page will be lost (exception: release status does use the same storage and will synchronize between lists).

It's not currently possible to add VNs to the list, but you can remove items. Meaning, if you delete everything you're left without any data to play around with.

All feedback is welcome, though my primary goal for now is feature compatibility with the old lists.

With that said, happy testing!
#2 by fuukanou
2019-11-10 at 17:28
Why can you have Wishlist-[high/medium/low] enabled for a VN without Wishlist enabled?
#3 by yorhel
2019-11-10 at 17:57
Why can you have Wishlist-[high/medium/low] enabled for a VN without Wishlist enabled?
The high/medium/low labels aren't built-in labels, they're custom labels created for the purpose of converting your old wishlist. New users won't be getting those labels (but, of course, they can still be created).

If you do want to keep the high/med/low priorities without duplicate labelling, I suppose you can delete the medium label and use the built-in wishlist label for that purpose.
#4 by saeryen
2019-11-10 at 18:22
What do the speech bubbles and eyes mean?
#5 by adamstan
2019-11-10 at 18:32
At first glance I feel like I prefer to have separate "votes" and "wishlist" pages (current way), instead of having it all on a single list page with filters.Last modified on 2019-11-10 at 18:32
#6 by fuukanou
2019-11-10 at 19:04
#4, speech bubbles are for putting in your comments, I presume the eye means if others can see it.
#7 by donkeyskin
2019-11-10 at 19:55
Both the collapsible arrow and speech bubbles do the same thing: they show the note and the releases.
Would it be possible for example to change the behaviour so that the arrows only show releases and for the textarea note field to get shown only when you click on speech bubbles?

If this page is also going to replace the Votes page, it's currently missing the date when we cast the votes (different from the day we added the vn to our lists).
#8 by savagetiger
2019-11-11 at 01:15
Why can't you sort on label?
It just looks really messy when the default sort is alphabetical and it has your finished games and wishlist games all mixed together.
Also it could use the alphabet feature where you just click on the letter and it shows all games that start with that letter that is on the current vn list.
And you can't sort it to show only games with the current unknown status.
#9 by yorhel
2019-11-11 at 07:50
What do the speech bubbles and eyes mean?
Putting your mouse over an icon ought to tell you what it means, but it looks like I forgot that for the speech bubble. That icon indicates whether you've set a note, I put it there to make the notes feature more prominent, but it's actually kind of redundant.

Would it be possible for example to change the behaviour so that the arrows only show releases and for the textarea note field to get shown only when you click on speech bubbles?
Everything is possible, but I like having all information related to that list item in a single collapsible. I suppose I could reduce the size of the notes input field when it's not focussed to make more room for the releases.

If this page is also going to replace the Votes page, it's currently missing the date when we cast the votes
Indeed. The current data model keeps track of (1) added date (2) last modified date and (3) vote date, but I can't fit all that in a single table. I think I'll add customizable columns - would be a useful feature anyway, e.g. to add the global VN rating to your list.

Why can't you sort on label?
How would that even work with multiple labels? That's what filters are for. Though it may make sense to have a few quick-access 'views' so you won't have to click so many buttons to get the view you want. Would be especially useful in combination with customizable columns. But argh, why do useful user interfaces have to be so complex. :(

Also it could use the alphabet feature where you just click on the letter
Honestly, I'd rather replace that with a quick search or something. First-letter matching will largely break when we get the custom title display feature, anyway.

And you can't sort it to show only games with the current unknown status.
Time to add a filter!

Also, positive feedback is welcome, too. I can't tell if this feature is welcome or if I've been wasting my time. >.>
#10 by vario
2019-11-11 at 10:16
I like that it's easier to make a note now, but I'm not sure about having everything on a single page. It was fine with list/votes/wishlist pages.
#11 by donkeyskin
2019-11-11 at 20:43
I think this may be a bug... if I want to hide my wishlisted titles I unselect "Wishlist"... but unfortunately I also have to unselect all the other labels applied to those (Wishlist-High, Wishlist-Low, Wishlist-Medium) for it to work. Can't it be done without having to unselect all the other labels?

Also, I use a lot the alphabet sorting, it would be sad to see it gone.

Also, positive feedback is welcome, too. I can't tell if this feature is welcome or if I've been wasting my time. >.>
I do like the new custom labels, they're going to be very useful especially for the wishlist.
I'm still not sure whether I like or dislike a single page for the userlist/wishlist/votes, but the only issue I have is that I'm still trying to get accustomed to the new filters. I do understand the need of new filters, but it can't be denied that the current buttons are foolproof and immediate.
#12 by maggierobot
2019-11-11 at 22:58
#11, I think the Wishlist-Low/Medium/High are only there to convert our old lists into the new ones. I think we're free to modify/delete these labels later on so we only have one Wishlist label.

#9 I for one would really appreciate customizable columns. I'm seeing myself using global ratings for wishlists more than added/last modified dates.

I've been testing it for a while and I'm liking this new list more the more I'm getting used to it.
#13 by eacil
2019-11-12 at 00:01
Best feature addition since the staff addition.

"Start dates" and "Finish dates" are appreciated.
Date format is different when overing than when displaying. Please, not the American date format with the day in the middle. I couldn't believe something so r******d could exist when I saw it for the first time.

I am not fond of that overing behavior as you don't edit your list very often. It's hella distracting. It's the same problem as with the release + note double buttons, you mix up input with data display. When you want to check your releases, you don't want to find them sandwiched between a big textarea and a "Add release" text button. I suggest to have two buttons, one button to edit everything (the notes but also the dates and votes), and one which display only the releases, like before.

A Time Spent column would be appreciated. It could be interesting to have one of those to see if an average could replace the actual length field. Or at least put this new piece of data below the length.

About the problem of having everything together: I think a number of customizable left menu shortcuts would be great under a default My Lists. Ten?
For example, with the old model, I use my list only for "Playing". Otherwise I use "My Votes".
To get my Playing list, it's two clicks.
Now, it's a number of clicks to set and it's saved. Ok. But I use my Wishlist as much (and now it will be my WishlistS). So let's say I want my Playing list starting from another saved setting. It's four clicks every time I want to switch to a new mode. It's really annoying.

Instead, you would be able to click on whatever shortcut you set in your left menu. One click.
I would set Playing, Wishlist A, Wishlist B, Finished shortcuts. The Finished shortcut would be sorted by Started Date, the Wishlist by Added, etc.

Also, could we have a graphical mode?
Like the VNDB Extender add-on? I mean, it's so good.
One with a small cover column and one full grid like the VNDB Extender?
#14 by kumiko1
2019-11-12 at 08:44
When you update filters it should maintain whatever sort you have selected.

I'd also like to see sorting by labels, as it is there's no way to show your whole wishlist but with low/medium/high grouped together like before. For multiple labels you can just have priorities (maybe based on label order, and let you rearrange the order of your labels) and sort on the higher priority ones first.

I'd still like to see a way to customize pagination so I can see the whole list on one page, rather than having to go through millions of pages for large lists.

The other thing that might be useful is having access to normal visual novel filters so you can, for example, see all the VNs with a certain staff member that you've read and how you voted on each of them.
#15 by lucumo
2019-11-12 at 14:29
I guess I like the arrows that open and show the releases (and possibly the bubbles for notes as well). However, the system icons are missing. Currently it is looking like this which is kinda pointless.

link

The V and X look kinda meh and it's also not ideal because it's not universal. O and X would have maybe been a better choice (though, I don't really like unnecessary objects that require extra space - a visual cue whether something is on/off could have been a solution as well).

Apart from that, I'm with #8. Sorting options are always very welcome, in all ways. Ideally, there would be an option to sort for release date for the releases you have played (as well as maybe original release date of the VN).
#16 by NowItsAngeTime
2019-11-14 at 17:09
I like the feature of adding notes/writeups being much easier than the old way where you have use a dropdown on the bottom left not many knew about
#17 by mario3573
2019-11-14 at 20:25
Any chance of a times read column for rereads?
#18 by ppooorn
2019-11-14 at 21:27
After so long can't believe my t8920 suggestion got approved. Personally don't care for anything else.
Great job.
#19 by kells
2019-11-14 at 21:53
I like the comment thing, might type up my thoughts on a bunch of VNs once it releases. (I know it's been there for a long time, but it's too painstaking for me to want to use it a ton)

The labels should also be really useful, for a quick suggestion it would be neat to have a way to sort or group by labels (i.e. all the vns labeled "action," or as I might do labeled with what series they are in, are shown together regardless of alphabetical order if the setting is on). As the others said, there could also be label priority for having multiple, so someone could do something like have the list divided into primary genre labels, with secondary labels for series in the genres, or something similar.

For negative, i'd prefer Wishlist kept separate, either how it is now or as another box below the main list. I very much use the list as a way of looking at what I have read, and even though there's an option to filter, it confuses me at first to see a bunch of stuff I haven't gotten to mixed with what I have.

And for something that's either a bug or me not knowing right, I tried setting the release I got a vn "D.C. II ~Da Capo II~ Dearest Marriage" from as the Sakura Archives collection, and it set that as the release for all the games contained in the archives (Such as the original Da Capo II), not just the one I set. Not sure if that's intentional or not.Last modified on 2019-11-14 at 23:07
#20 by formlosegestalt
2019-11-14 at 23:15
I honestly preferred it when the wishlist was separated, since I use the wishlist for games to keep an eye on or find them again, while "my list" is for games that I played.

And is there a way to order the list in the same way as the old wishlist? With that I mean wishlist high in alphabetical order, followed by wishlist medium in alphabetical order and than wishlist low.

Watching them separately works for me since I use the different tiers for different things but it would be nice if you could replicate the old wishlist with the new system.

Besides that I like it that it is easier to set notes, the start and finish dates are a nice idea and I like that the new system displays the number of entries in each category. In any case Thanks for the work on the new system!
#21 by greyedout
2019-11-14 at 23:28
I like this update so far, the labels and quick editing is great, and I appreciate the addition of page numbers. And the best part is that there's no loss of information density!

I support the customizable columns idea. I don't bother with start/end dates so they're just wasted space...but I'd regularly use a VN length column if I could put it in.

I agree that it would be more logical to make the default list view NOT include the Wishlist and Blacklist. I assume that the sidebar links will be replaced with ones that apply a corresponding filter-set, which will make it easy to switch between the base sets?

Re: the high/med/low wishlist conversion labels - is it possible to somehow make them "children" of the system Wishlist label, so that they'd also hide when you deselected the parented Wishlist label, so that you don't have to delesect each of them as well? Perhaps convert them using a label that is then blacklisted from a user creating one of the same text, or alternatively make any label which starts with "Wishlist-" automatically count as a sub-label of Wishlist?

Is clicking on "New label" or on the note icon supposed to focus the cursor in the text-entry field? Neither is doing so for me, though it's only really an annoyance with the label.

Finally, a bug(?). The label column currently will eat all the available horizontal space it can from the title column - I think it would benefit from a maximum width limit. In testing by adding a LOT of long labels to a title, I had the label column take up twice as much room as the title column! While that's not a use case that most people will have, it may be smart to keep it reined in to be safe. (This would also reduce the "jumping" the dropdown does when adding/removing multiple labels.)Last modified on 2019-11-14 at 23:30
#22 by prideful
2019-11-15 at 00:27
i really hope we able to make groups in wishlist tabs, just so i dont need to scroll through pages just to find one certain genre
#23 by tree43
2019-11-15 at 02:02
why not just copy vndb extender? that program is so much better than what you have. maybe make it an option or something
#24 by zap
2019-11-15 at 03:38
Easier access to the comment feature should be great since that was one of the most hidden features of vndb.

I'm also in favor of not having the wishlist getting mixed in with the rest by default.
Less importantly, games I have in my list due to setting a release to obtained but still having their status as unknown have become somewhat of a secondary "wishlist" for games I've already downloaded but not played yet.

I like that you can link the list with specific filters applied to it so as to link your cast votes list only, for instance.

Not sure about how useful the start/end dates would really be. Don't they also put more info on the list that'd be in the way when you make a mobile theme? Perhaps hide them in the fields that open when you click on an entry, like with the comments.

The dropdown for adding releases doesn't seem very useful. A lot of games have several releases that are all named the same, you can't see the release language (edit: turns out you actually can), you can't click the release to make sure. An overlaid window that basically displays that pages releases list seems like the way to go here - either that or just don't have release adding from the list at all.

Having to click the "update filters" button every time feels clunky. Why not apply the changes directly when you select/deselect a label?
Also, filtering for only one label and disabling all the others could be done through a right click on it, right now you have to disable everything else first.

Sorting by label name would also be great, especially if everyone ends up with low/medium/high wishlist items mixed together.Last modified on 2019-11-15 at 03:50
#25 by bakauchuujin
2019-11-15 at 06:11
Think the start and end date thing is really cool. Being able to track my VN reading over time is going to be quite nice.