Yep, I still have the thread with your UI comments open in one of my FF tabs, and I fully remember that I owe you a reply. The reason I haven't got to writing it is (a) I actually agree with a few of your points (b) I severely lack time to write well-argued, Wikipedia-style reply for points that I don't agree with and I don't want to just blurt something out.
Aww, you remember.
Thanks for remembering, and don't rush a reply. It's good knowing you read it and didn't simply dismiss the words; knowing that you intend to get back to it eventually only makes it better.
Ok, point taken. I can't judge objectively as it is my own design, but I don't think it is that reminiscent of Apple's design in anything other than having a certain degree of visual polish. To put it differently - can you think of a Windows product website that has a sense of style, but does not feel Apple-ish?
No, I cannot think of a specific website or product right this minute, but I have seen them. I generally use websites to use them, not to criticize them - but if I do remember one I particularly like, I'll of course give you a headsup. One thing I do think warrants saying is that you seem to say style == Apple-ish
. In other words, grey backgrounds, darker grey highlights, soft gradient 'light' touches on backgrounds and so forth. Additionally, I get a distinct 'the user is an idiot' feeling from the website; if they go to the website, nobody wants to waste 3s staring at a logo, then eventually figuring hey I have to scroll down despite having a gigantic screen that I got to minimize the need to scroll
. Websites are intended to supply information; yours just gets in the way of its purpose in the same way those MPAA 'do not steal', FBI etc screens on a movie get in the way of what the (in that case legit!) user wants to do: watch their movie. The current website seems designed as if it were a presentation: because when someone is talking alongside sheets, you don't want tons of texts, and you have distinct screens to go with subjects.
It is a substantial rework of the program - both from the UI perspective and internally, so it is essentially a new product. With regards to upgrading from the beta license of v1 - the V2 will follow the same beta model whereby those who help with beta testing will be provided free or heavily discounted production licenses.
The reason I am considering the heavily discounted option is due to an incident I had not long ago. Someone was recommended downloading the program and hoarding v1 beta licenses so that they could later be exchanged for the production release licenses and (presumably) resold to others. I would be curious to know what your, guys, take on this would be. Is it worth introducing a small upgrade fee to curtail the beta license abuse? Or will it likely fire back?
The point of a beta is to get feedback. Make beta licenses need some sort of feedback flag which you can trigger when you get feedback; for example through posting on your forum (although I wouldn't automate it or you only add spamming to your problem), or by having the license used for at least 24 hours or some other time-limit thing. Probably you want to combine them so the people that do not find any bugs don't get shafted by the concept. If you combine it with some basic IP checks, you can probably keep out most of the automated buggers.