A request for one-screen menus

MariaLurdes

Cathlete
Hi Cathe - I'm really excited about the new series, and of course I preordered on the first day. :)

I have a request, though, and it's related to the suggestion I made in another thread about what I'd love you to put together for the bonus DVD (I asked for a collection of your stretch segments). I love how well your DVDs are chaptered, but now it's really hard to get to a specific chapter, especially the ones near the end, which are usually the ones I'm looking for - the core and stretch segments. For example, on LIS total body trisets, it takes so many "next" clicks to get to the final segment, I just have to give up. Is there some way around this? I find myself popping in your older DVDs just because I know that right on the first chapter menu I'll find all the main segments of the workout. One great example is GS Legs.

I also want to thank you for always making it easy to skip past the introductory stuff on your DVDs. Nothing annoys me more than standing and staring at the same warnings and opening logos when I'm rushed for time in the morning and I just want to get my workout done. Thanks, Cathe!

Edited to add: Don't get me wrong - the detailed menus are also useful. I'm just asking for one menu option that presents kind of an overview of the workout so the main sections are all on one screen.

Lurdes
 
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murfmom

Cathlete
On a related note, another menu suggestion. I love all the premixes, but would really appreciate it if you would number them on the screen. During XTrain, I found myself counting premixes to get to #17, for example. I know you listed the title, but some of them are so similar and I wanted to be sure. Thanks!
 

SNM Videos

Administrator
DVD Menus

Hi Cathe - I'm really excited about the new series, and of course I preordered on the first day. :)

I have a request, though, and it's related to the suggestion I made in another thread about what I'd love you to put together for the bonus DVD (I asked for a collection of your stretch segments). I love how well your DVDs are chaptered, but now it's really hard to get to a specific chapter, especially the ones near the end, which are usually the ones I'm looking for - the core and stretch segments. For example, on LIS total body trisets, it takes so many "next" clicks to get to the final segment, I just have to give up. Is there some way around this? I find myself popping in your older DVDs just because I know that right on the first chapter menu I'll find all the main segments of the workout. One great example is GS Legs.

I also want to thank you for always making it easy to skip past the introductory stuff on your DVDs. Nothing annoys me more than standing and staring at the same warnings and opening logos when I'm rushed for time in the morning and I just want to get my workout done. Thanks, Cathe!

Edited to add: Don't get me wrong - the detailed menus are also useful. I'm just asking for one menu option that presents kind of an overview of the workout so the main sections are all on one screen.

Lurdes

What you're asking for is not usually technically possible on a DVD menu and in many cases would be slower than having multiple menus.

DVD standards only allow 25 chapter links on a menu page. We sometimes have DVDs with many times that amount of chapters and thus we have to have more than one menu page. But even if we were to increase the number of chapters on a page to say 23 it would not necessarily be faster than having multiple pages. This is because on our DVD menus you can scroll up or down and it's quite often quicker to scroll up and select a new page than to scroll through a list.

The number of chapters we list on a menu screen nowadays has more to do with what we think will be a big enough font for a user to read without reading glasses and this usually means about 10 chapters per page. We could always add more chapters per page staying within the 25 limit, but readability would go way down.

We always design our DVDs to be viewed on small and large screens and though there are always pluses and minuses to designing a menu screen I think our current model works best for most users.
 

fox2star

Cathlete
Hi,

I second the suggestion to number the premixes on the menu....the rotations call for "premix #16'...and you have to count them down to find the right one...
 

owltx

Cathlete
Thanks for the response, SNM! We always appreciate how you read and take the time for our requests. I understand the limits w/chapters per page, especially with the readability issue in terms of font size. I just wanted to second the posters' request for core and stretch being at the front - often I, too, will put different CD's together and put a DVD in wanting just core and/or stretch out of it, and it gets really frustrating having to hit "next" so many times. Understanding that a different page w/"main" chapter headings not being possible, perhaps you could consider moving just stretch and core options to the beginning choices? Thanks as always for all you do!
 

SNM Videos

Administrator
Chapter Menu chapter order

This is not really possible because on a chapter menu the video will play from the chapter point you select until the end of the video. Thus, the chapter menu needs to be in the same order as the main workout.
 

MariaLurdes

Cathlete
Is it really not possible to include menu items on the main screen that take you directly to the core and the cooldown?

Also, note that your earlier videos were just as finely chaptered as the newer ones, but the menu list didn't include every single different exercise. For example, Pyramid just lists the different body parts and they're all on one screen. Users can then go to a particular body part and THEN click through a few times to get to a specific exercise, if that's what they want to do.

We're just trying to give you feedback letting you know that the core and cool-down stretch segments are parts we use a lot, and not necessarily together with the whole workout each time, and we're just asking for a convenient way to get directly to those chapters.

Lurdes
 

SNM Videos

Administrator
Our DVD Menu Design

We could always add a chapter to the main menu, but that would mean it would take longer to scroll through the main menu and the font sizes of the titles on the main menu would have to be smaller. Plus, if were to do this where would we stop? Different people have different ways of using a DVD. One person might want a core section while another would want another section featured.

As it stands now it only takes about 5 seconds to to go to the cool down or the core section of even our most detailed chaptered DVDs. So, no matter how we would change our menus you really would not save very much time.

As for how many chapters we include on a DVD it really depends on the type of DVD. For instance a step DVD will usually only have a few chapters and only one menu screen. Interval and weight workouts will always have more chapters. You can always reduce scroll time by eliminating chapters, but this will limit your ability to quickly and easily select a chapter you may be interested in viewing.

No matter what we do some people will be happy and others will not as far as our menus go because people use DVDs differently. We've spent a lot time designing our DVD interfaces based on our own experience and comments from users through the years. It's just not possible to please everyone, but we always do try to strike a balance between scroll time, number of chapters and readability.
 
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webdev

Member
As it stands now it only takes about 5 seconds to to go to the cool down or the core section of even our most detailed chaptered DVDs. So, no matter how we would change our menus you really would not save very much time.

I wish that it only took 5 seconds to get to a chapter at the end of a dvd. I actually experienced this problem yesterday when I was doing Afterburn, and it was extremely painful to get to a chapter towards the end.

I had to go through about 8 screens, because there were only a few chapters per screen. And switching between each screen took several seconds at least, because of the animation. And selecting "next" took a while. I was trying to get to the final set of exercises, not the core/stretch, so I didn't want to lose my heart rate but I did, because it took well over a minute to find what I wanted.

I understand you are pressing the envelope with what you are doing, but it would be nice to see this addressed, when there are tons of chapter points on a dvd. This is a recent problem with the dvds. I never experiences this frustration with earlier workouts from Cathe.

I do think you could use a smaller font and put more chapters per screen. I really felt that the font could be smaller on Afterburn. I have terrible eyesight :) but would have been fine if it had been smaller.

It certainly isn't a deal-breaker for me. I have purchased every single workout of Cathe's minus about 2, and will continue to do so. But it would be great if you could consider the number of screens for chapters in the future.
 

amberdawn

Cathlete
FWIW, it might help if the “next” button were at the top of each menu page rather than at the bottom. However, this could confuse people. OTOH, chances are (with 3+ screens of menus for many workouts), the likelihood of the chapter you want being on the first page are 1/3 at the most so chances are you’ll be looking to go straight to the next button anyway.

IMO, LIS has the least user friendly menus (afterburn being the most frustrating offender!). The menus seemed to have improved with CF/TTM & xtrain (at least the dvds I’ve checked the menus of) and are back up to 10 chapters or so per screen.

I personally prefer the menus from 4DS (e.g. 4DS KB) and B&G. I don’t mind smaller print and I loved the 2 column menu navigation. But perhaps that’s no longer feasible or desired by most consumers.

Obviously, you can’t please everyone all of the time, and certainly no one wants to give up the luxury of well-chaptered workouts (which I do appreciate). But IMHO B&G was a menu masterpiece.
 

SNM Videos

Administrator
Afterburn is on the extreme end when it comes to chapter menus, but still it shouldn't take you anywhere near a minute to go through the chapter menus. I just did it in 22 seconds for AfterBurn. If you're taking a minute it sounds like you're using your down button instead of your up button to scroll through the chapters. The up button is much quicker and will reduce your clicks when trying to go through the chapter menus on different pages.

We always do consider the number of menu screens, but we also look at other factors too. If you look at our latest release "Xtrain" which features our latest menu design, we only normally use about three menu screens and you can easily get to the last page in about 5 seconds for most of the workouts if you use your up arrow.

The menu design we used in Afterburn has evolved over the last few years, so most of what you're asking us to do has already been addressed and improved upon.
 

amberdawn

Cathlete
Up button helps!

SNM,

Thank you for the up button suggestion/reminder:D. I consider myself pretty tech-savvy but for some reason I had forgotten this was possible. This reduces the number of clicks to get to the next menu page to approx 2 clicks, depending on if “main menu” or “previous screen” is also at the bottom of the page along with “next.” This will cut down my menu navigation time.

I also appreciate the menu design changes made since Afterburn and realize a lot of thought goes into every aspect of cathe's productions (definitely a good thing!).
 

maddiesmum

Cathlete
Smaller fonts in order to cram more on each screen page? Please, no!

Cathletes are an aging bunch: let's not make it harder on the eyesight please!

I am fine with it all just the way it is. I can find anything I want to, and if it means taking a 1 min break, I like it!

Clare
 

ReneePruitt

Cathlete
Smaller fonts in order to cram more on each screen page? Please, no!

Cathletes are an aging bunch: let's not make it harder on the eyesight please!

I am fine with it all just the way it is. I can find anything I want to, and if it means taking a 1 min break, I like it!

Clare

I agree with this... I can hardly see font since turning 43 ! I love the premixes i love the nenu options ... I dont want it smaller.. Lol nooooo
 

MariaLurdes

Cathlete
Good grief - no one is suggesting that fonts should be too small to read! The idea is simply to create chapter groupings on the front page so that it's not necessary to click through 3-6 "next"s to get to the last couple of workout segments. It's just so irritating, and in the morning when I'm trying to be in and out in 60 minutes flat so I can get to work etc, every minute is precious. I don't like standing around repeatedly clicking my remote - not to mention that if you accidentally hit the wrong button you waste even more time. Is it really so unreasonable to ask for a sensible, readable menu set-up? Particularly since we had it before (the Intensity series, for example)?

Lurdes
 

SNM Videos

Administrator
Cathe Menu Interface Design

I think our menu screens are well designed and very sensible. Interface design is something we actually spend a lot of time and research on. Most other fitness companies don't even have chapter menu screens. If you look at our latest interface design we usually have three chapter menu screens. This means that to go from the first chapter screen to the third and last chapter screen all you have to do is the following:

1. Hit up button twice
2. Hit enter button once
3. Hit up button three times
4. Hit enter button once.

I can't imagine how this would cause any time concerns? It only takes about three seconds to go from the first chapter menu screen to the last chapter menu screen with our current menu interface design.

Most of the comments I have seen in this thread on our interface design are based on our older videos and menus that are no longer relevant. Xtrain contains our most current interface and this is what you should comment on if you don't like something with our menu design. It's pointless to comment about changing an old design that has already been changed.

As for adding chapters to the main menu this violates one of the main rules of interface design which is "you always go from the general to The specific". Sure, you could add specific chapters to the main menu and for some people this might be quicker by just a few seconds , but for others it would be confusing and would slow them down from selecting the main menu title they want.

If you look at our XTrain interface you will hopefully find that navigation is very quick, Fonts are crystal clear and easy to read, and interface design is logical, clean and simplistic. Long before you're done being forced to watch the medical disclaimers and product advertisements on other DVDs, you will be well on your way to working out with your Cathe DVD not matter which chapter you want to select.
 
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bzbnmom

Cathlete
I love the detailed chapter menus on the newer DVDs and have no problem flying through them. I like to look at the chapters before I start for a quick preview of the workout. This can also be somewhat helpful when trying to figure out a premix.
 

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