v4 GUI improvement by offering more freedom of panel placement

Georg D shared this idea 22 days ago
In Progress

In a nutshell: Please allow spacial customization of panel to make functions easier to reach by thumb during one handed usage. Could become redundand if "alternate menu panel" can be opened not only by side panel button (see https://help.locusmap.eu/topic/28030-alternate-menu-panel-questions-concerning-usage-and-settings).


Currently, all side panel content is at very bottom and very right. I am a tall man with big hands. For me, reaching the bottom right of the screen with the thumb is a very uncomfortable & cumbersome thumb movement during one handed use of the mobile – especially when I need a really firm grip (e.g. while hiking or on a boat) and thus my thumb's base is at the device's edge at ⅓ to ½ of the device's length, so far away from the bottom right corner where bottom+side panel are "magnetically attracted" to. You can see it in the video. Thus, v4 is not an improvement in ergonomics/usability for me compared to side panel of v3 which was attracted to top right – so most of its content was easy to reach, while now, most panel conent is hard to reach.


To really improve ergonomics for all hand sizes plus for 1 as well as 2 handed operation, I would like to


  • have a empty bottom menu ending below the big "center view" button, so I can see the map instead a useless (because empty) menu band
  • freely decide at which point in device's length the side panel shall be centered (or, if it's easier to join with current implementaion, to which y coordinate it is attracted to / it starts from). So instead of always bottom in v4 and always top in v3, I could choose ½ or ⅔ of device's length, measured from bottom.
  • freely decide how many columns the side panel has instead of a fixed width of 1. This reduces the heigth (top & bottom of a tin long bar are hard to reach) while increasing the width (moving to the middle which is easy to reach)

An alternative would be a positions manager for freely distributing buttons across the screen, as mentioned in https://help.locusmap.eu/topic/make-the-bottom-panel-more-customisable#comment-14206 – which would IMHO be pretty simple to implement: Just make all function buttons selectable in the dashbaord editor 😎


A mockup of the current and my personal future layout that brings all buttons within easy reach of my thumb:519783225a324661b61f248190b61bbc

Please note the zoom buttons + and - are by intention not at the very bottom and by intention a little more to the left, because that position is much easier to reach by thumb. You can see that in the video.

Yes, I am aware that it looks not as elegant as current layout, but it is much more ergonomic. Same as with shoes – elegant high heels are usually not chosen for activity/walking but for sitting and not using them 😉

Replies (3)

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Georg, I wish I could add +10 for # votes. I've mentioned a few (many) times on similar topics. I find some LM4 ergonomics a backward step compared to LM3, and the closer spacing, lower contrast of the zoom buttons very problematic with gloves hands or even fat fingers. Menion added some "ignore" space between these buttons but I never found it an improvement. Why so close together??

Your idea mockup could be refined even further to optimize screen space:

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Unlike buttons on the other panels, it is not possible to increase the size of the bottom buttons - /locus/config.cfg dev_gui_main_rescale_value=1.2 is ignored

Another idea: offer "blank" button(s) which could be used as a "spacer(s)" between functional buttons. I did have a help topic on this subject from many years ago, but lost amongst 1000's, and the help "search" system is very rudimentary.

other related topic https://help.locusmap.eu/topic/25808-add-zoom-buttons-to-list-of-function-panel-buttons

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Andrew, your reply shows perfectly that one standard layout won't satisfy everyone – you'd prefer the zoom buttons to move more to the bottom right to increase padding (useful during glove useage), while that position is exactly what I do not want. Both of us would find satisfaction if button placement was more flexible/customizable.


I like both of your ideas, so to add the zoom buttons (like in v3) as well as "blank spacers" (which is an already existing feature but in dashboards only) to the available elements of the button panel. I never really understood why some functions appear only in dashboard, some in quick settings, some in button panels,... because in the end, all of them are icons that do trigger some action if the prerequisites are met (e.g. GPS signal exists), so why not having all icons available in all customizable GUI elements?

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>I never really understood why some functions appear only in dashboard

>some in quick settings, some in button panels

just one developer trying to satisfy competing voices with limited resources?

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Hi guys,

I do not like these UI tasks too much to be true. They have two big issues

  • its complexity grows with the complexity of the existing screen (and the main app screen is already really really complex)
  • you can never satisfy everyone as you correctly mentioned

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So, what may I do for you now?

  • firstly, did you try to reverse the screen layout in "Controlling > Panels & Buttons > Left-handed control"?
  • I also added an option to choose if the side panel should be aligned to the bottom or centered! Will be in the same settings screen in the next app version.

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Permanent reduction of the bottom panel, two vertical functions panels etc. are nice, but these changes are major and may take a few days to implement properly while keeping the existing system working. This will have to wait on the next generation of the Locus Map, sorry.

So is there anything simpler (I know, only myself may say if this is really simple to implement) that may help a lot? Are zoom buttons in the function panel that thing? Anything else?

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Thanks Menion. Only 3+6 votes, so I assume >99% of people are quite happy with current UI. I checked the left-handed setting, but still other buttons are as close to the two Zoom buttons. Centered side panel doesn't address my issue... my main issue has always been in comparison with LM3 - the LM4 Zoom buttons are now more difficult to reliably tap while riding because, they are 1) closer to each other 2) smaller 3) less contrast in sunlight.

I can't add anything to my previous post but only repeat sorry, Zoom buttons in a function panel could mean 1) wider spacing 2) larger tap area 3) better contrast 4) less wasted space.

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