Bug 154593 - Show a "Welcome Screen" on first startup with appropriate info and choices
Summary: Show a "Welcome Screen" on first startup with appropriate info and choices
Status: UNCONFIRMED
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LibreOffice (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
7.5.1.2 release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks:
 
Reported: 2023-04-03 21:49 UTC by Eyal Rozenberg
Modified: 2024-02-22 13:36 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
InfoBar and 1st TOTD for user interface -- "first time" or cleared profile (71.40 KB, image/png)
2023-04-05 17:31 UTC, V Stuart Foote
Details

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Description Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-03 21:49:15 UTC
At the moment, when loading LibreOffice for the first time (or an LO module for the first time), we show a tooltip, just like on any other startup.

That's not what we should do. We should have a welcome screen/dialog, for making some of the choices which new users should be forced to make explicitly.

These include:

* Selecting the default UI mode (see bug 137931; personally I don't think this is necessary, but the choice is a reasonable compromise in the long debate the debate regarding menus-vs-tabbed UI).
* Choosing between Light Mode, Dark Mode and follow-the-desktop-environment's Light/Dark choice

and may include other choices. 

This welcome screen might be module-specific or appear once for all of LO, I'm  not sure which is the better idea. Also, it might have multiple screens to navigate, if we want the user to make multiple choices.

A tooltip should appear on the second (or later?) and subsequent startup of each module.
Comment 1 V Stuart Foote 2023-04-03 22:07:31 UTC
Why? We should NOT pester people with this kind of nonsense, we should provide functional defaults that let them get on with using the application.

If they choose to poke around with customization and personalization--fine!

Bet we should not FORCE it on them, there are other documentation avenues/getting started help that is more appropriate than an "in-your-face" do this before you can start doing anything.

The UI picker as evolved was sufficient, it hinted that the MUFFIN assemblages were available as alternatives. Beyond that we WANT people to read the manual and spend time on forum, maillist, even ASK on how to use/configure LibreOffice.

We don't need to do hand-holding to walk folks through it--that's just insulting to even the average user.
Comment 2 Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-03 22:17:21 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #1)
> Why? ... we should
> provide functional defaults that let them get on with using the application.
>
> But we should not FORCE it on them, there are other documentation
> avenues/getting started help that is more appropriate than an "in-your-face"
> do this before you can start doing anything.

We agreed we need to ask the user explicitly about some things on first startup. This is not my idea - I would have been fine with some default choices. But we had super-long discussions and arguments about the default UI which seem to have reached a wide agreement on doing this.

As for the dark/light mode - that's more debatable, although many apps ask about this on startup.

>  We should NOT pester people with this kind of nonsense

But we already pester people with nonsense on startup - with tip of the day. I have to apologize though, I wrote tooltip and meant to say tip of the day.

> The UI picker as evolved was sufficient, it hinted that the MUFFIN
> assemblages were available as alternatives. Beyond that we WANT people to
> read the manual and spend time on forum, maillist, even ASK on how to
> use/configure LibreOffice.

If we decide the only thing to ask on startup is for a choice of UI mode, we could have the startup screen only contain that.

> We don't need to do hand-holding to walk folks through it--that's just
> insulting to even the average user.

I don't believe that UI mode selection is insulting hand-holding. Other ideas, like choosing whether or not to show the sidebar, are silly hand-holding and I would agree with you on that.
Comment 3 John Mills 2023-04-03 22:34:54 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #1)
> Why? We should NOT pester people with this kind of nonsense, we should
> provide functional defaults that let them get on with using the application.
> 
> If they choose to poke around with customization and personalization--fine!
> 
> Bet we should not FORCE it on them, there are other documentation
> avenues/getting started help that is more appropriate than an "in-your-face"
> do this before you can start doing anything.
> 
> The UI picker as evolved was sufficient, it hinted that the MUFFIN
> assemblages were available as alternatives. Beyond that we WANT people to
> read the manual and spend time on forum, maillist, even ASK on how to
> use/configure LibreOffice.
> 
> We don't need to do hand-holding to walk folks through it--that's just
> insulting to even the average user.

As a very experienced user of LibreOffice you certainly do not need "hand-holding" but for many users this would be incredibly useful. To attract new users to LibreOffice we need to meet them in the middle and provide some help in the beginning, then you can direct them to user manuals after.

How many users of LibreOffice do you think go to the effort of what you advocate in your opening statement?

"we WANT people to read the manual and spend time on forum, maillist, even ASK on how to use/configure LibreOffice."

This sounds incredibly elitist and not in the spirit of an inclusive community. This is very much the sentiment on "JRTFM" that you see hard-core Linux types express to newbie users, which wasn't helpful 20 years ago and isn't helpful now when you wish to grow the LibreOffice community and bring FLOSS software to a market dominated by commercial corporations that restrict the essential freedom of users. We can do better.
Comment 4 Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-03 22:55:44 UTC
(In reply to John Mills from comment #3)
> "we WANT people to read the manual and spend time on forum, maillist, even
> ASK on how to use/configure LibreOffice."
> 
> This sounds incredibly elitist and not in the spirit of an inclusive
> community.

Well, we might _like_ users to do that, but it is unrealistic to assume they would. So we certainly can't _expect_ them to do so. Anyway, that's irrelevant, because it's a settled matter! I don't know why Stuart is opening this discussion up again.

(And just think what would happen if LO became more popular, and 2 Billion people would start filling the mailing lists and IRC channels with mundane questions...)


> This is very much the sentiment on "JRTFM" that you see hard-core
> Linux types express to newbie users,

I'm a hard-code Linux type and my slogan is: If the user needs to read the manual for basic usage, then the developer/UX designer has failed.
Comment 5 V Stuart Foote 2023-04-03 23:25:56 UTC
I'm not saying dump the "functional" 'User Interface..' dialog pop-up on new profile use.  As agreed/implmented for bug 137931 that remains acceptable. 

What is NOT acceptable is a Welcome dialog popped open from the UI, it would be far more efficient to open a web browser and link WiKi and tailored help content for getting users started.

I am saying the 'User interface...' dialog is sufficient, anything more needs to go to the Tools -> Options dialog panels. 

That where the now defunct 'Personalization' panel would be a reasonable location to consolidate some of the emerging UI configuration decisions/settings that folks might like to adjust.

Lots of opportunity to do something functional there.

A Welcome screen though would just be "fluff" that new users/or on profile reset will be blow through, non-functional other than self-advertising and a waste of dev effort to implement/maintain that could be better spent elsewhere.
Comment 6 Heiko Tietze 2023-04-04 06:47:24 UTC
This is a duplicate of bug 137931, bug 101945, or bug 69042 to me, which all went through UX evaluation. We have at least as many nays for a welcome dialog as yays.

One acceptable solution would be to ask the user during installation about the initial setup. Don't find the ticket right now.
Comment 7 Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-04 21:42:36 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #6)
> This is a duplicate of bug 137931, bug 101945, or bug 69042 to me,

Bug 101945 is about displaying things during install, so not a duplicate of that. Bug 69042 is certainly related, in that it's a possible kind of content which could go on a welcome screen / dialog - but it's not a dupe, since this is a generalization. Same goes for bug 137931.

One could argue that this should be a meta-bug for tracking proposals of things which might go on a welcome dialog. Before 137931, nothing had "made the cut". Now we have at least one thing (choice of UI flavor), and possibly another thing (Light/Dark/Follow DE). There are other suggestions. How certain are we that none of them would be appropriate? Note that once we have _some_ welcome dialog, the extent of justification needed for additional items on it is lower than justifying a dialog which doesn't exist.

Anyway, shall we make this into a meta bug / tracker?

PS - Personally, I'm fine with Stuart's position, I opened this bug because people are making such suggestions on 137931 where they clearly don't belong.
Comment 8 John Mills 2023-04-05 12:47:26 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #6)
> This is a duplicate of bug 137931, bug 101945, or bug 69042 to me, which all
> went through UX evaluation. We have at least as many nays for a welcome
> dialog as yays.
> 
> One acceptable solution would be to ask the user during installation about
> the initial setup. Don't find the ticket right now.

I think that would be a reasonable solution if it was unambiguous.
Comment 9 John Mills 2023-04-05 12:49:09 UTC
(In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #7)
> (In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #6)
> > This is a duplicate of bug 137931, bug 101945, or bug 69042 to me,
> 
> Bug 101945 is about displaying things during install, so not a duplicate of
> that. Bug 69042 is certainly related, in that it's a possible kind of
> content which could go on a welcome screen / dialog - but it's not a dupe,
> since this is a generalization. Same goes for bug 137931.
> 
> One could argue that this should be a meta-bug for tracking proposals of
> things which might go on a welcome dialog. Before 137931, nothing had "made
> the cut". Now we have at least one thing (choice of UI flavor), and possibly
> another thing (Light/Dark/Follow DE). There are other suggestions. How
> certain are we that none of them would be appropriate? Note that once we
> have _some_ welcome dialog, the extent of justification needed for
> additional items on it is lower than justifying a dialog which doesn't exist.
> 
> Anyway, shall we make this into a meta bug / tracker?
> 
> PS - Personally, I'm fine with Stuart's position, I opened this bug because
> people are making such suggestions on 137931 where they clearly don't belong.

I wouldn't be opposed to a separate meta-bug Eyal, if that was created then all additional related requests could easily be linked there.
Comment 10 Heiko Tietze 2023-04-05 13:21:16 UTC
I am opposed to a META bug for duplicates. It's not relevant if such a first start-up dialog shows one or the other information.
Comment 11 John Mills 2023-04-05 16:20:53 UTC
I should just clarify, I don't expect another meta-bug be created from scratch, Eyal suggested that this bug become the meta-bug and I would agree with that suggestion. We then have one place for capturing ideas for a potential first launch "wizard" or installation configuration dialogs.
Comment 12 V Stuart Foote 2023-04-05 17:31:04 UTC
Created attachment 186495 [details]
InfoBar and 1st TOTD for user interface -- "first time" or cleared profile

Current state of Welcome.

IMHO more than sufficient.

Version: 7.6.0.0.alpha0+ (X86_64) / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: 1e9f4de320f67d1218c710bcee1969a2324c6888
CPU threads: 8; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 19045; UI render: Skia/Vulkan; VCL: win
Locale: en-US (en_US); UI: en-US
Calc: threaded
Comment 13 John Mills 2023-04-05 17:35:38 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #12)
> Created attachment 186495 [details]
> InfoBar and 1st TOTD for user interface -- "first time" or cleared profile
> 
> Current state of Welcome.
> 
> IMHO more than sufficient.
> 
> Version: 7.6.0.0.alpha0+ (X86_64) / LibreOffice Community
> Build ID: 1e9f4de320f67d1218c710bcee1969a2324c6888
> CPU threads: 8; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 19045; UI render: Skia/Vulkan; VCL:
> win
> Locale: en-US (en_US); UI: en-US
> Calc: threaded

I think everyone following this is aware of the TOTD attachment, however, this isn't what the discussion is about. Rather potential user choices and an information cascade for improving the UX for LO users.
Comment 14 V Stuart Foote 2023-04-05 17:47:31 UTC
(In reply to John Mills from comment #13)
> (In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #12)

The discussion is exactly this! Do we need to do more of a "Welcome". 

In case I have been at all unclear--the screen clip of current state of things shows exactly what is being delivered as "Welcome" with combination of the "first time" Info bar and the accompanying no. 1 sequence TOTD.

Clearly appropriate to ALL use cases, and that anything more, especially a pop-up configure before proceeding dialog, becomes a detraction. Not the panacea that folks make it out to be.

The screen clip is posted to demonstrate current state of our "Welcome" and dissuade pursuit of this nonsense.
Comment 15 Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-05 18:28:33 UTC
(In reply to John Mills from comment #13)
> I think everyone following this is aware of the TOTD attachment, however,
> this isn't what the discussion is about. Rather potential user choices and
> an information cascade for improving the UX for LO users.

So, we all agreed to have the UI type selection come up on first startup (which you indicated you also agree with).

That almost-necessarily means we don't show the TotD on first startup (as showing that after the welcome screen is annoying, and showing that as part of the welcome screen is confusing and annoying). ToTD will come up on second startup forward.

The remaining question is whether the _only_ thing we show as the "welcome screen" on first startup is the UI selection dialog - or whether, like some have suggested, to also show other things.

Note that even if the only actual content we want is UI selection, we might still want to have some sort of welcome message above that dialog, or before that dialog, or to its side etc.
Comment 16 V Stuart Foote 2023-04-05 18:45:44 UTC
(In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #15)
> 
> So, we all agreed to have the UI type selection come up on first startup
> (which you indicated you also agree with).
> 

Uh, No. There is NO agreement to have the UI type selection exposed on start up. Only to have it as the initial TOTD.

I don't want to rehash that here--but it is NOT agreed to.

But as an alternative to a pop-up "Welcome" (beyond InfoBar and TOTD)--seems a "Getting started" article(s) linked from the InfoBar or the TOTD would suffice on first launch. Supplemented with a "Getting started" entry on the Help menu.

Vehicle for such could be XHTML and deployed with core, or probably better (less dev effort) with landing to WiKi [1]


=-ref-=
[1] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation seems appropriate, but maybe a new /GettingStarted with articles better curated by UX-Design and Documentation.
Comment 17 Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-05 18:57:43 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 18 Heiko Tietze 2023-04-06 06:24:00 UTC
(In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #15)
> So, we all agreed to have the UI type selection come up on first startup
> (which you indicated you also agree with).

Me not (and many developers neither). Keep this Pandora box locked.
Comment 19 John Mills 2023-04-06 11:01:41 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #18)
> (In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #15)
> > So, we all agreed to have the UI type selection come up on first startup
> > (which you indicated you also agree with).
> 
> Me not (and many developers neither). Keep this Pandora box locked.

Hi Heiko, just for understanding on my side why do you liken this request to opening Pandora's box? That is quite a comparison, Pandora's box denoted a curse on mankind.

Is the request really likened to this by yourself for suggesting that we provide users with a choice on how they use LibreOffice? Could you just explain in a couple of sentences why you consider the request such a bad idea, I genuinely don't understand the negativity. 

Italo on the marketing mailing list today made a very valid comment that I feel is also related to this request.

"It should be clear that 80% (and probably more) of what we communicate
is targeted to "normal" software users, and not to community members or
to people with a technical background, who are already using LibreOffice
(or refuse to use it for technical reasons). They are not our target,
given that office suites are commodities.

Our target is mis-informed and mis-educated by Microsoft, but doesn't
realize it. On the contrary, they trust Microsoft more than they trust
open source software."

Surely this request is the type of solution to help liberate people from proprietary software solutions that do not respect their freedom. It appears there are too many people who are unable or unwilling to put themselves in the position of a new or casual user looking to move to LibreOffice and would benefit from a solution to make that migration easier. If LibreOffice is solely a commodity amongst many other office suites then how does keeping the current status quo benefit the mid to long-term adoption of LibreOffice?
Comment 20 Heiko Tietze 2023-04-11 11:46:41 UTC
(In reply to John Mills from comment #19)
> Could you just explain in a couple of sentences why you consider the request 
> such a bad idea, I genuinely don't understand the negativity. 

Thought I've done it, maybe on the duplicate tickets. The Welcome screen was deleted intentionally as it nags users with options and unwanted information. It was replaced with a start center, an infobar for new release, the TotD to inform what's possible, a dedicated dialog to pick the UI, a continuously improved options dialog, etc.

The idea to welcome new users is not bad per se. And a few options might be okay. The question is what you want to show. All the amazing UI options, the dark mode, the icon themes, font choices, how to add dictionaries, some interaction principles, templates... LibreOffice is basically all customizable, in contrast to competitors who deliver one, maybe sleeker UI. The essence of the project is to liberate users.

And even if you could decide what to show, let's say the UI variants, isn't it over-whelming for a new user? Assuming the user wants to just write a letter or put some numbers into a spreadsheet, she barely want to configure the software first, learn how to write a thesis or do advanced statistics with Calc. Many users will close such a welcome dialog anyway and try to figure out the features themselves.

What we can do is to offer options during the installation process, present a more easy to use options dialog, present features in a more subtle way like per infobar in clearly defined situations or a more noticeable presentation at the TotD. We have many tickets for these ideas.
Comment 21 Stéphane Guillou (stragu) 2023-04-18 16:08:14 UTC
Just a thought: I'm not sure what proportion of new users go through the Start Center first as opposed to directly to the components, but one option could be to have a button in the Start Center (not a popup) that gives the user _the choice_ to discover some often-needed or asked-about personnalisation options, in a guided way. It could be called "Make LibreOffice your own" or something of the sort, highlighting one strength of LO: customisability.

One issue is that the UI can be set per-component, so it does make sense to lead to it when one component is open... Or maybe the dialog should also be made available form the Start Center, with the only option to change the UI for all components.

Alternatively, a probably easier option would be to reorganise and add to the Start Centre.
We already have a direct link to Extensions and Help right there.
We could reorganise the Start Center left column in four sections, focusing on things people might want to see when they get started (5 new elements in *asterisks*):

1. Open
- Open File
- Remote Files
- Recent Documents
- Templates
2. Create
- Writer
- Calc
- Impress
- Draw
- Math
- Base
3. Learn
- Help
- *Guides*
- *What's new*
- *Ask*
4. Customise
- *UI*
- *View mode* (could be a three-option switch: Dark - System - Light)
- Extensions

Of course, I'm not set on those 5, and don't want to make it unnecessarily busy.
Comment 22 John Mills 2024-02-22 13:33:19 UTC
(In reply to Stéphane Guillou (stragu) from comment #21)
> Just a thought: I'm not sure what proportion of new users go through the
> Start Center first as opposed to directly to the components, but one option
> could be to have a button in the Start Center (not a popup) that gives the
> user _the choice_ to discover some often-needed or asked-about
> personnalisation options, in a guided way. It could be called "Make
> LibreOffice your own" or something of the sort, highlighting one strength of
> LO: customisability.
> 
> One issue is that the UI can be set per-component, so it does make sense to
> lead to it when one component is open... Or maybe the dialog should also be
> made available form the Start Center, with the only option to change the UI
> for all components.
> 
> Alternatively, a probably easier option would be to reorganise and add to
> the Start Centre.
> We already have a direct link to Extensions and Help right there.
> We could reorganise the Start Center left column in four sections, focusing
> on things people might want to see when they get started (5 new elements in
> *asterisks*):
> 
> 1. Open
> - Open File
> - Remote Files
> - Recent Documents
> - Templates
> 2. Create
> - Writer
> - Calc
> - Impress
> - Draw
> - Math
> - Base
> 3. Learn
> - Help
> - *Guides*
> - *What's new*
> - *Ask*
> 4. Customise
> - *UI*
> - *View mode* (could be a three-option switch: Dark - System - Light)
> - Extensions
> 
> Of course, I'm not set on those 5, and don't want to make it unnecessarily
> busy.

I think that sounds like an excellent proposal.
Comment 23 John Mills 2024-02-22 13:36:20 UTC
I generally think the  start centre is not utilised enough as I suspect people launch individual components like Calc , Writer etc. I think this should be in addition however to and customisation or information screens on first launch.