HiFiMAN has engaged on a multi-year R&D/Design project to create the next generation UI for our upcoming HM-901 Portable Music Player.
We'd like your feedback so look for the HiFiMAN banner and click on it to learn more. Thanks for your input!
I really don't like it so far.
I have confidence that it will sound superb but will like to see some changes
During playback of the song
The Blue text on the artwork is messy and not easy to read
and the white font showing the type of file being played is too small and not readable.
The mix of fonts looks amateur.
The wheel showing over the sleeve artwork is not needed and spoils the look
On general navigation I would like to be able to click left , right, up and down and
not have to turn the wheel every time.
Just getting rid of the blue font and wheel on screen would be a massive improvement IMHO
instead of making a highighted item blue on the menu , just make it a bolder white
and finally, for now, I would like the type of file to be displayed during playback, not just the
I like the design. I'm more concerned with how easy it is to navigate than with fonts or colors. That being said, I would like an option to remove the wheel on screen showing the track progress so that I can properly see the album art.
I would also like an option to toggle shuffle on and off quickly. That was an issue I had on my old ipods. I had to navigate back to the main menu and then through settings to access the shuffle options.
same comment with the wheel on screen showing the track progress the best way should be something disappear while playing and appear when we touch the button.
I would like to have a separate shuffle button or at least a short way to access shuffle option
Circular playback-progress readout is a nice visual idea, but unfortunately, it's an impractical gimmick (sorry, I'm just being honest!).
No need to 're-invent the wheel' (literally or figuratively).
The 901 has an opportunity to overcome the UI limitations of the 801 and its siblings - gimmicky interfaces will only detract from this aim.
However, I do like the simplicity of the navigation on the demo.
Please don't spoil the 901 by using a cheap scroll-wheel. For a premium product like this, the scroll-wheel should be decent quality, with good longevity and a smooth and positive action.
Also, please, please, please make the 901 headphone output stage very low impedance, so it can properly drive low-impedance CIEMs. This is VITAL for many potential customers, such as myself, who do not use dynamic-driver IEMs or cans whilst commuting. I will literally refuse to buy the 901 if it has a high output impedance, and I know there are many other potential buyers who feel the same way, and who, like me, refused to buy the 801 partly because of this ($200 for an additional 'GAME' amp module was insulting).
If you need to make the 901 slightly larger in order to improve battery duration, then *yes*, please do! Even Apple and Samsung seem incapable of understanding the importance of decent battery duration. The world is full of shiny slim gadgets that have terrible battery life - PLEASE don't make the same mistake with the 901!! This is also an area where the 901 could perform better than the DX100 - I own a DX100 and the battery life is...terrible.
If I think of anything else, I'll post again in this thread.
Well one thing I found very weird was the use of the play/pause button.
Since when playing a song, pressing it would make it jump back to the "Now Playing" screen (which seems to be otherwise unreachable?), making it pause/play upon first button click does not make sense to me. I'd suggest either adding a selection in the menu for "Now Playing" or make the first press on the play/pause button to simply return to "Now Playing", with actually pausing/playing with a second press.
I also agree with the big wheel during playback to be a fun idea but obstructive.
And just another suggestion for the UI demo itself, would it be possible to upload tones (like sine waves) of various frequencies to the 'songs' so we can actually know if something is playing? A web page sound on/off button can be toggled for those that don't want the tones. The whole UI bugged up on me and it was either stuck to playing one song (that I don't know if its playing since there's no sound) or playing two at once or not playing either... had to reload the page for it to work properly again.
I would like to suggest the following.
(1) Moving the 4 buttons (home/play pause/ffwd and rwd buttons) over to the right hand side. It feels more natural in your hand to navigate with your right thumb instead of the left thumb.
(2) The 'back' button can then be mirrored from the centre to be on the left hand side of the wheel. (opposite where it is now) If that makes sense
(3) I personally don't see a great deal in having the album art on the screen IMO.
(4) As mentioned above the circular play on the screen seems 'not required'. Now what you could do is put this into some kind of LED display around the perimeter of the main scroll wheel?? (am i going a little too far here!!)
(5) Please make the battery one of your key objectives in this project.
(6) I do quite like the colour of the text, but not the font style.
(7) Illumination of the buttons/wheel would be a nice touch for when using at night.
I do love the look of the unit though. I do love my HM602 though too.
Best of luck.
1) Find a way to skip to a certain letter in an alphabetical list. I hate scrolling for (what feels like) minutes just to find one album. iTunes did it with the touchscreen, but I'm sure there's a clever way of doing it otherwise. For example, you could include a setting that makes you choose the letter you're looking for.
Example: Artists -» M -» Mumford and Sons.
That way, I only have to scroll down to M, and a few steps to Mumford and Sons, instead of scrolling through all the artists I have before Mumford and Sons; 113 in my case.
It could either be a simple list with all the letters (hiding the ones associated with no artist), or even make the letter appear on the whole screen and change as you scroll.
Another way to do it could be that when you hold a specific button down, the scrolling jumps from one letter to another (for example, you hold down the fast-foward button, and when you turn the wheel, it goes from Adele straight to Björk and from Björk to Caravan Palace, instead of going through all the other "A's" or "B's". Importance level: 5/5
2) Album artwork in the "Albums" list is great, but if it could be extended to the Artists list (by doing a slideshow of their album covers), that'd be super. I don't like the idea of having to find a picture of each band I listen to, and frankly think most people won't. Moreover, I mostly recognize artists/bands by their album covers, and not what they look like (most of them I never saw their faces, and strangers popping up in my screen don't appeal to me). It could be a setting so people could choose between the two. Importance level: 3/5
3) Aesthetically, the circle thing is ingenious, but it hides the artwork, even if it's see-through. I'd stick to the classy progress bar, or at least put it as an option. Importance level: 2/5
4) The font changes between pages, which makes the eye twitch. Please, please keep it to one font at a time, varying only in size/boldness. Importance level: 3.5/5
5) I'd suggest customizeable font/colors. I find the font too bold and large at some places, and Cyan isn't my favourite either; it makes me think of TRON. I'd really appreciate the possibility to choose between classy and extravagant styles. Importance level: 3.5/5
6) Another thing that would be super cool is if the battery wasn't a unique model like that of the HM-801's, and could be replaced more easily/affordably. I am aware that means less battery sales for you guys, but that would also probably mean more HM-901 sales. Importance level: 4.5/5
7) As previously mentioned, a quick way to switch between regular and shuffle modes would be great. Importance level: 4/5