Client design proposal
The IGS-PandaNet is a powerful server-client environment giving the
user lots of facilities to play or watch Go and communicate with other
players. The challenge in designing an IGS-PandaNet client is to make
all these facilities available to the user in an intuitive way. Another
requirement for contemporary client software should be aesthethic looks,
making the program a pleasure to use. Finally, the software should
reflect the corporate style of PandaNet.
The redesign of the IGS-PandaNet client is separated in two phases:
Mainly focusing on the looks-and-feel and ease of use of the client,
bringing it up-to-date with contemporary standards.
- Functional redesign
Revolutionary changes to both the server and client software
will use the utmost facilities of internet, thus giving the
user new and powerful facilities.
This document describes step 1.
The images below (click on them for a full-screen version)
should give an impression of the PandaNet client new style.
The screens respectively shown:
- Splash screen
Initiating the client program
- Welcome screen
Enabling the user to choose the preferred account name and log on
- News tab (default tab)
Informing the user about events and other news
- Rooms tab
The room overview, showing their properties and visiting members
- Players tab
Display the visiting players and their main properties
- Match window
Display the played (or observed) games (tabbed switching between them)
Note: Not all screens have a design proposal yet. An exhaustive list of
screens for an application like glGo would literally include hundreds of
screens (although lots of them would resemble each other). Therefore, the
most important screens are shown in this document thus giving you a
fair impression of the proposed new interface.
The splash screen puts up the corporate image and a clear feedback
about the program which is about to launch.
The welcome screen provides the user with a menu of options of top-level
- Do you just want to open a board?
- Do you want to edit a local file?
- Do you want to play against a local program?
- Do you want to connect to IGS-PandaNet?
And if so, with which account would you like to connect?
- Or maybe you want to change your global preferences of the program?
In any case, you can suppress this dialogue the next time you
start up the program. All options remain accessible to you of course. In
this version standard icons will be used, but in future versions avatars
like those in MSN Messenger can be used. These avatars should then be
used on the server as well.
The news tab
After selecting one of the icons on the welcome screen you will be
connected to the IGS-PandaNet server while the main application window
will remain visible. The main window consists of a set of tabs:
List of currently active games
(think of E-mail)
Facilities to read, write and manage messages between you and other IGS users
(think of MSN-messenger)
Facilities to communicate with other IGS users
This tabbed mode is the default setting, but it is possible to drag the
tabs out of the main window, thus creating a new window. Created windows
can be 'docked' back into the main window by dragging.
Below the tabs there is a command-line and a feedback window. These
two controls are optional and will not be visible by default. In the
preferences the visibility of these control can be set. When the
controls are set to non-visible, the tabs will occupy the entire
As said, the first and main tab is the News tab. This tab gives you
whether you successfully logging in on the server. In addition, the
News tab informs you about the latest events and headlines. Finally, a
prominent link to the MyPanda service is shown. MyPanda is your
personal part of the PandaNet website where you can find your
The News tab is HTML-based, thus ensuring consistency in looks and
information between the PandaNet client and the PandaNet website.
The rooms tab
The rooms tab gives you an overview of all defined rooms on
the PandaNet server.
Rooms are an important metaphore for an improved understanding of
navigation on the PandaNet server.
There are two kinds of rooms:
- PandaNet rooms
PandaNet's predefined rooms [displayed in green]
- User rooms
Created by PandaNet admins by request of PandaNet users
The PandaNet rooms are fixed and always visible on top of the list.
Selection of rooms defines the list of players and games shown in
the players and games tab.
You can select all PandaNet rooms at once by checking the top check
box of the PandaNet rooms list and analogue to this you can select all
users rooms at once by checking the top check box of the users rooms
list. Each room has an owner that can open and close the room. Closed
rooms are greyed out [except for the room's owner].
In addition, another distinction between rooms is made by making them
public or private, a property which is controled by the owner.
A public room is accessible to all PandaNet users. A private room
is only accessible for users selected by the rooms owner. This is
especially convenient for private sessions and virtual go-clubs.
Clicking on the column headers will reorder the list with this
column as ordering criterion. Dragging the column headers
allows you to rearrange the order of columns in the table.
When right-clicking a selected a room, a contextual pop-up menu
will appear with the most relevant functionality of that room.
Above the tab the contextual command bar shows several relevant options:
filters for refining the rooms list and an 'apply for new room' function
which enables you to send a message to the PandaNet admins to request
the creation of a new room. Strict room requirements should be available
on the PandaNet website but will also be enforced by the ensuing
The players tab
The players tab gives a list of all players in the rooms selected in the
Players who are looking for a game are presented in a bold font. Players
who are 'closed' [meaning that they don't accept challenges] are
presented grey. Friends are presented in green.
The columns can be reordered and rearranged, similarly to the rooms
From the contextual command bar you can filter players to 'friends
only', 'available only' and 'looking only'. With drop-down boxes you
can set the top and bottom boundaries for players shown. After selecting
a player there is also a 'match player' button which enables you to
request a game with the player.
When selecting a player, after right clicking, a contextual pop-up
menu will appear with the most important relevant functionality to the
The match window
Once you start a game the match window is opened.
Note that this is a separate window next to the main window. The match
window can have multiple tabs for showing multiple matches for observing
and multiple tabs for playing simultaneously.
Opponents 'face' each other placed on both sides of the board. At the
bottom the communication bar with a feedback window is shown. These
controls are docked to the bottom of this screen but can be dragged
to other parts of the screen [side, top] or even as a floating pop-up
window, resulting in a window lay-out where users can alter the window
to their own liking: for instance maximization of the board filling the
whole height of the screen.
Above the board the contextual command bar with commands like 'resign',
'add extra time' et cetera will be provided.
This redesign of the PandaNet client focusses on more consistency
between the different screens, a modern look of the user interface
with facilities which will enable users to modify the interface to
their liking and thus creating a feeling of satisfaction in the user
PandaNet glGo design