JIMs Poor Documentation hurting the design of my products

Mark Baggesen shared this question 5 years ago
Answered

Why is your documentation on the use of dynamic panels and interactions SO POOR? If you want us to continue to buy your product, you need to have much better documentation... .

Comments (17)

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If you consider that good documentation then we are definitely making a mistake in using your product. Your documentation is poor as are your video tutorials. We will look at a real prototyper like Axure. Lastima.

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We'll try to work on the documentation for the next release. Thanks for your feedback.

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Your product's differentiation with Axure is price. Your product is much less expensive than Axure and others. But that's not enough if you get what you make for - it must be close or equivalent or why bother?


In regards to dynamic panels and interactivity using expressions, that's fine for programmers, but we are ux designers who typically know nothing about programming. So I think you have two choices: make it easier to use or document the features, so we can understand.


I watched your video tutorial on expandable collapsible panel, but that does not work if you are not using a data grid. So if I have say 5 separate panels and expand one, I can see all the others through it - it's like bad news print. Is there no easy way to show expandable panels and push down ones below it?

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The only thing you need to apply the expand/collapse effect is to place all the elements that can change their size (like other dynamic panels) inside a big dynamic panel. Then, select that panel and go to properties. There, go to the layout properties and select vertical layout. You can download this example and check how the expand/collapse example was made:


http://d2ld3he4yll0xl.cloudfront.net/...

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That does not work unless you use a data table, so I think that video is misleading. I have put all elements (dynamic panels within a larger dynamic panet and selected the vertical layout. It does not work

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I think the best for you is to have a look at this prototype, the place were the expand and collapse example has been prototyped:


http://d2ld3he4yll0xl.cloudfront.net/...

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Yeah well... I looked that the setting of yours and it works, but creating it as instructed does not. If as you say "The Layout control allows for fluid layout between child objects. In another words; child objects are dynamically connected to each other. If one child object is hidden, the objects after it will take its place. "


--- How are you creating these "child objects"? and why can I not move the child objects apart from one another?


Actually, I just figured out the issue. In the outline box, a person must make the first item first for it to work. So if someone copies or creates multiple child objects and then changes the order in the prototype expando/collapso it will not work, unless they go into the outline box and change the order there as well.


This is something you should have pointed out, I think.

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Actually, no I was wrong. it still doesn't work. Now the first one just covers the second one. Why and how are your child objects linked to each other? that's probably what is not working in mine.

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The child objects (usually other dynamic panels, with panels of a different size) must be inside the big dynamic panel (you can check that in the Outline). And the big dynamic panel must have the Layout property set to vertical. If you like, you can send your prototype or an example to jim.support at justinmind.com , and we can send it back to you with the layout configured so you can see how it has to be done.

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Actually, I did finally figure it out. What's the best way to show lightboxes when I use dynamic panels as stated above? I can't use the same dynamic panels for lightboxes because that will push down the second panel with a large empty space showing between the 1st and 2nd child objects.

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You need to place the lightboxes floating above the big dynamic panel. You can do that easier if you right click on the big dynamic panel and select Exit edit content. That way you can draw above the dynamic panel without inserting content in it.

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Thank you for your help. The information you provided is exactly what should be in the documentation in the future.

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I see that the gist of this thread might have been resolved but I wanted to offer some additional perspective. I've used JIM and its chief competitor intensively; JIM for over a year, and the other first for a few-days-comparison, and just recently for a full month, completing an Ajax-like query system for molecular biology that I suspect is a pretty intricate test by average content-centric standards.


Since my coworkers are stuck on the competitor's product and there's occasional sharing, I used my most recent project to FINALLY do the intensive comparison that I've long delayed. Both products are somewhere between excellent and awesome... a boon to our field and amazing that they can generate the code they do. I'll comment here only on the documentation, or more precisely the broader product information matter.


To me (and I was a techwriter for 10 years or more) the hands down winner is JIM, that’s why I’m writing. In fact, a year ago, the positive impressions that I had for the overall product information of JIM were one of its substantial pluses—surprising me that it was a substantive differentiator, noless—and now a year later a surprising negative for the competitor’s equivalent. When I wanted to find out what a specific option did in the competitor’s product I found there was no conventional, desktop-based Help system. Nor was there reference documentation anywhere. My question was nowhere to be found on the web, and my support posting was answered by a response telling me to watch a video that I definitely had watched some weeks ago. I understand that JIM’s help is fairly typical, with the occasional emphasis on the obvious instead of the crucial, but it has a lot of the necessaries.


I watched ALL (yes) of the videos for JIM and most of the videos for the other. The JIM videos were almost flawless in their focus on key points and articulation. I’m usually pissed off at the glossiness and poor balance of time use between the obvious and going too fast. The competitor’s are pretty good, but I often had to struggle to rewind them because they weren’t actually saying what they clicked on to do something; they speak figuratively. But what really clinched the deal for me was ... (and I wrote this in Sept 2012) “Early on, I found that I could Google “justinmind [anything]” and Google would invariably toplist the right Justinmind's Community post; it was very impressive... and efficient. And the folks working the formal support site are very communicative. They tell you what the story is.”


Dynamic behavior (panels) is intricate no matter how you do it. Only continuous improvement can get any of these products to reduce the learning curve to the point where introductory (just in time) instruction can be sufficient. See if Google will get you to my Expert’s Guide for Justinmind Prototyper, which included a lot about dynamic panels. I said I'd stick to documentation, but will add that the overall result of the comparison is that I'm sticking with JIM. My comparison a year ago boiled down to its having a more efficient interface and that has been verified by a month of intensive comparison. Thanks

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Thanks Jack! I must say we're already working in a new version of tutorials for the next release and we hope to add all the flaws seen by other users in the current ones. Also, we plan to add two support guys to the team that will also populate the tutorials section with even more tutorials. Stay tunned!

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sorry, but praise for your documentation from someone who clearly has some programming knowledge is ridiculous. Your documentation always assumes prior programming knowledge. Even the basic information is worded in such a way that creatives cannot follow. For example, figuring how to size a single panel within a dynamic panel is never explained, at least that I can find. And no I don't want you to go into how to do this. The point is if you want to be the top player in a very crowded tool space you need to rewrite your documentation to include non-programmers and use a professional copywriter. I am happy to provide you with copious examples of documentation that makes no sense to me. Though I am confident you have heard this many times before. Your tool is great, but if I cannot use it effectively and without weeks of pain, it's not worth it. You should put this request above every new feature. Stop adding features and make it clear how to use the ones you have. And no, the videos are not sufficient. You need a real user's manual, in layman's English that covers all your features.

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I second the need for comprehensive reference documentation, particularly since many features have been added since my comments and the limitations of the ref info even then were a limiting factor.