Well, some ideas.
What specifically do you think should be "nested, broken into other tabs, or hidden altogether"?
In general, a lot of nesting makes interfaces less intuitive because things are hidden and it isn't always apparent what parent group something would belong to. For example, is loading a deck to a game in the "game" parent group or the "deck" parent group? And even if nesting things didn't have a tendency to obfuscate, it's a pain for people to be navigating menus and submenus and submenus whenever they want to do something. Especially so, if its a frequent action.
I think that it will be a good idea to arrange the main menu.
I've think of making these menus inside the main menu. As you will see I have also made some changes, like adding the "edit deck" option. I've also listed a "view" group, where it can be possible to add options to add/remove parts of the interface. These are just some ideas.
Fullscreen [ x ]
Hidden play mode [ x ]
[ x ] means that it's a ticked option.
If you don't want to nest menu options together in the main menu drop down and other areas, perhaps you could use a divider (like an horizontal line) to separate the options in groups of related options. We'd still have all those options appearing immediately, but at least the menu would become easier on the eyes, and also easier to find a particular selection.
This can also help.
I know the deck editor with its 20 filters is not the most elegant solution. I could have all of the filters hidden, and force people to add them one at a time, but I think rather than always adding a filter by defining every parameter every time, that it's a lot quicker to just pick the filter that already exists with all but the text entry part all ready.
What if you create a pull down menu to change each filter?. I mean to leave everything as it is, but instead of a fixed filter to change (name, set, etc), you can assign another one by clicking it. Like the pull down menu next to Open recent: (deck). But these pull down menus each having a default value, which should be the same one as the values we now currently have. So if you wish not to change the menu, you will use the filters the same way you did before. This way it will be easier for example to assign many times the same filter (and maybe we will be able to assign the same filter more than the times currently allowed, which will also be an improvement). Tell me if you wish more in-depth explanation on this matter.
The chat log canned message buttons I think are a little confusing to new players, and I think this is because they aren't necessarily familiar with the concept of canned message buttons. I think it would possibly help if I somehow labeled things in a better way, but I don't really know what would be an improvement.
Yes, they seem not user-friendly because they seem like commands (which they are). If we can rename these, this will help to new users eyes. I mean to assign labels to them. Plugin makers will define the default ones, but then everyone will be able to change them in the preferences as they do now. So in the preferences instead of seeing in the first box '/draw7' we can see '"Draw 7" /draw7', being "Draw 7" the optional label (if no text is included between quotation marks, then no label is included and the canned button in-game will be seen like it is now). But better than this it will be to have 2 boxes for each canned message in preferences. One to set the label, and the other one to set the command. I believe that this can help users be more comfortable with the interface as well as letting them know what the canned buttons contain so as to be able to change them. If commands are colored differently from just messages (Like "Good game") this can also help difference them.
I just added 2 collapse buttons for the right area and the table view controls.
Yes, they help.
I am always open to suggestions
Well, here are some of them. I don't like the default skin. That may be something that new users run away from. The problem with this skin I believe that is that all the buttons look the same. I mean, they are all brown and you can't easily tell what is selected. This may confuse users. But what I find is the most annoying is that some buttons are barely readable. I mean, putting the mouse over a tab makes it unreadable, inactive buttons (filters for example) are hard to read. I have been making a skin which I was thinking in sharing when it was finished. I will attach it so you can see what I mean. I'm not telling you that, for example, these are the colors to go. I just want to show the difference when all the buttons are nicely readable and with different colors (then don't have to be so different and end up in such a colorish skin).
Another thing that can be improved can be the "shape" of the buttons and everything. I mean, things can look nicer. And yes, they may spend a little more space, but it can be worth the sacrifice. Please, see these screenshots:http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/5403772/1/interface?h=4f8a1f#/
Why the first one is the ugliest and the last one the nicest? There are many reasons and I'm no expert at this, but I can see colors, spaces, ticks, shades, separators. I just feel less squares and rectangles in the last image. I know that doing things "nicer" can increase system usage, but may be more user-friendly. No meaning to offense at all, but Lackey may seem something like this operating system (http://www.menuetos.net/0963.png
). Yes, it may be very fast and it all enters in some MB, but I just feel that it lacks some colors, some icons, that it is all too square...
I don't mind much how Lackey looks because I know about the great things I can do with this program, but I have to admit that when I first saw Lackey I didn't like much it's interface and this is the thing that can easily make you escape and don't try a program. It is good to have a great functionality, but it is all great to be really simple to use and visually nice at the same time.
Finally, the editor can have some other improvements, like making the bottom buttons smaller, like the "+1" "+3" ones. "Selected +1" does the same as "+1", but they are named differently, which can also confuse users. Also it will be good as it was said before to have a help message when we place the mouse over some buttons. For example, what is "URL", "Paste"?? Yes, I know what they are, but how can a new user know, when the don't even do "anything" (no message appears if nothing is done) when the button is pressed?
Tooltips would also help if you ever decide to replace some of the text with little icons (they could be 20x20 or 15x15 pixels in size, which I think is the standard in many programs, like LibreOffice –although I am not sure of the exact size, they seem to be around that), so when the user places their cursor over the icon, they get a little piece of text, or a name, that describes its function, thus solving the issue.
Icons can also help all look nicer and easier to detect. And, as you said Trevor, in the deck editor there is space available to use.
It can also be good in the editor to have some right click functions, like adding +3.
One other thing is to be able to add or remove a card just placing the mouse over it. For example so as to be able to enter some text value, place the mouse over a card and type + to add it, and without doing anything else with the mouse erase the written and change the search value so as to keep on adding cards. Do I make myself clear here?
And lastly, I'd like to be able to use CTRL to change between words in text boxes in the deck editor. I mean to be able to hold CTRL, press backspace and erase the word. I vastly use this but I can't in Lackey. If I try, Lackey recognizes it as a hotkey command ingame and it launches that command.