Updating the navigation in Shotgun

We’re considering making changes to the navigation in Shotgun to make it more flexible and easier for people to find their way around.

Some of the aspects we are exploring are (note that these may change over time):

  • Removing clutter, making the navigation more focused and clear
  • Providing a better experience for people who need to jump around different parts of the application frequently
  • Providing a better experience for people who mainly use one or two particular pages, or who only access pages by following links from elsewhere (for example from an email or Slack message)
  • Providing more flexibility to adjust aspects of the navigation to suit your particular studio and ways of working

If you would like to give feedback on this subject, please reply to this message!

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I’d love to give feedback on that - that’s one of my constant challenges with onboarding folks, explaining how best to get around since there are so many options.

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Yes, and if anyone from the community was interested in talking to us about these subjects, wave at us, we always love to hear from you and could setup a call to chat!

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Yes please! That sounds exciting. Do you have anything particular in mind yet in terms of layouts etc?

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Hey Frank, that’s awesome, thanks! We aren’t that far yet, only mapping the space for now to really understand what works and what doesn’t for our users before starting designing. I’ll message you privately to see when we could talk.

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Hi, Jack! I’d be interested in giving some feedback on navigation. :slight_smile:

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Awesome, thanks! Will message you in pm.

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Count me in, I have some feedback from the team I can share :slight_smile:

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Hi Rohit,

Thanks for messaging back! Messaging you privately.

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Frequent feedback I get for general navigation in Shotgun is auto refresh - when new versions are created explicitly a lot of supervisors want there to be an inbox like feature to flag a new version. Not sure this fits in to navigation, but it would be awesome from our view.

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The one bit of feedback I have is I would like to be able to see landing pages on the ‘manage pages’ area. Prod will customize their landing pages but then want artists to have a more narrow set of pages to go through, usually a mix of custom project pages and landing pages. I end up making a “pages” page but then I can’t get any landing pages to show up in that area, so I make a copy of a landing page to make it a project page so that it shows in that ‘pages’ page, but now anything prod updates to their landing page, I have to maintain on the copy. Very unfortunate. If there is any better workflow for this I would love the input.

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Hi Jack

It’s always great to hear that SG is considering improving the way Shotgun is presented to the people who use it. Adding greater ways to customise things is always wanted!

I remember speaking with Ben Haddon about 4 years ago when there was a large effort to effectively change the UI in an effort to make it easier for people to learn Shotgun.

The problem with those changes, was that it was not an improved version of Shotgun that had been designed, it was an entirely different approach to managing the data that Shotgun contains. At first glance, this might not seem like an issue, but really it is, as in that instance, people weren’t being exposed to a ‘simplified version of Shotgun’, but something utterly different.

My feedback at the time (which was incredibly comprehensive), focused on ensuring that efforts to simplify the navigation or UI, should not be at the expense of the core benefits that Shotgun offers (lots of power, lots of configuration).

I put it this way; think of Shotgun as a car. When someone walks up to a car, it looks pretty simple, they open a door, hop in and sit down. You can then teach them to drive the car, which takes a bit of time, but the basic concepts are pretty simple too; push this, turn that. Now, that person sees a car as a pretty simple thing, but in reality, under the hood, behind the door panels, inside the dash, there is a huge amount of complexity. It’s all there, and accessible if they want to open the hood, or remove the door panels, or pull out the dash. But they are still sitting in the car, which appears simple, with all of it’s complexity accessible to them if they want it to be.

If your refinements to the navigation use a similar philosophy, then I’m excited!

clinton

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Hi @clintond that’s helpful feedback and a great insight. I hope we are on the exact same page here- our plan is not to radically transform Shotgun into a different product (or at least, not overnight). Some of the specific problems we’re trying to address:

  • It’s too easy to run out of space in the project navigation bar
  • The “other” and “pages” menus tends to fill up with links that are not altogether useful
  • There’s not much flexibility when it comes to deciding what can go at the top level of navigation
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Hi Jack

Aha, I see, you’re very specifically talking about the
‘Navigation’ bar!

You’re not using the word navigation as a generalised word for
‘the way you get around Shotgun’, which is what I incorrectly
understood.

I’ll step-down off my ‘please don’t throw the good out with the
bad’ pedestal :slight_smile:

clinton

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Actually we’re using the word “navigation” here in both of those senses but I felt it might be helpful to talk specifics, particularly for things we are looking at short-term (so please, stay on your pedestal and keep us honest!). :wink:

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One of the most sorely missed features is a Project start page…

Some studios have this in their internal wiki pages etc.

But it would be great to have a Project start page where some wysiwyg page layout can be created so we can list “important people” and “important links” and “general project info” on the Project home page in Shotgun.

The Project Overview page doesn’t do this as it’s just an activity feed and a small sidebar with field info which is cut off anyway.

And the custom page creation doesn’t have a wysiwyg widget :confused:

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I hear you @Ricardo_Musch - we’re looking at project overview pages as part of our research but not sure yet whether this will result in any meaningful changes in the short term.

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Hey this is awesome, it would be great to be able to change the Navigation Bar based on a user’s account type or Department.

Not exactly related, but still in the same train of thought, I would love to be able to edit the size of some of the UI. We have producers who work on laptops, some with smaller screens, and every time I see them trying to use Shotgun I feel sorry for them. I attached an image of what their current screen looks like when they’re viewing an overview page, and you can see the amount of “usable” space on their screen is crazy small, but we need to use those Overview pages to view and edit connection fields. I know this is more of a UI thing, not navigation, but seems like its still somewhat related.

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Query and edit the tracking settings per project via the api!

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Both great points @GordonPinkerton, thanks for the feedback!

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