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Widget Updates

We’ve released some updates to the widget. We’re not quite finished yet. You’ll see the intro sequence is a bit different, but the most important differences are in the player controls and the channel/video selection.

First, the controls have now been consolidated and simplified. Rather than have the Back and Forward buttons at the top of the player, they are now next to the play/pause button in the master controller at the bottom of the player. We think this simplifies the control of the video and makes navigation within the channel much easier and more intuitive. 

Second, we have removed the ‘Channel’ and ‘Show’ sliders in favor of simply providing a ‘Channels’ and ‘Videos’ button at the top of the player. Clicking the Channel button takes you to a listing of all channels within the widget’s local network. Clicking ‘Videos’ takes you to a listing of all the videos within the channel you are currently watching. In the next week or so, we will be inserting a simple pop-up ‘Information’ screen that includes current channel and video information from a button in the bottom left hand corner of the player.

Third, navigating channels within the widget and videos within the channel should be easier. We have gotten rid of all the complex controls at the bottom of the player and opted for consistent navigation. Also, when you click on channel and video images, it will center that channel or image rather than instantly returning you to the player screen. This way you can ‘page’ through channels and videos faster. We have also moved the channel and video interaction buttons from the channel and video sliders into these pages. This makes the controls more obvious and also speeds the interaction with multiple channels and videos.

Finally, we are consolidating navigation between Featured, Popular, Favorites, Recent, and Created channels by moving them into the search screen. Before, search was hidden in the menu on the bottom left. The search screen is now more robust and provides more of a top level navigation theme. We hope this will make search within the widget considerably easier to use. This change should also be live within the next week or so along with some minor formatting changes in the pop-up menus and the addition of some new menus like ‘Delete Video from Channel’ and ‘Delete Channel from Widget’ which will become more useful as the people begin creating more channels and widgets outside of the environment.

Anyway, we think the player is really coming together nicely.  It looks much cleaner and should be dramatically easier to use. Once we finish rolling in the remaining features we’ll start soliciting some feedback on how to tweak things. Oh, and we are aware of some bugs and we’re working on resolving them. The most frustrating has been the random skipping from video to video in a channel lineup. This has been a difficult bug to track down and is especially annoying when you are watching a great channel, but we’ll kill it and the rest of the issues as we re-factor the widget over the next month or so.


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