I think a big step to make the steps easier would be making the user interface more aligned with other software. For example use a “ribbon” at the top and keep almost all of the buttons there. Microsoft has spent years studying UX, and so many users are familiar with the ribbon concept. I believe the current Mission Planner is boxy, confusing, and outdated. A few examples of things that don’t make sense to me are the following:
- Typing Ctrl-F opens a giant list of extra features accessible nowhere else.
- Double-clicking certain tabs makes them into their own window, but no documentation/direction for users to know that.
- The numerous buttons, lists, and tabs in the window under the HUD that are completely unrelated to the flight portion of the mission.
- The data analysis buttons that are below the HUD (implying some relation to live flight… IMO).
- The visual layout that cannot really be customized, and there is a lot of wasted screen real estate for gauges, etc.
- The inconsistency between wizards and setting changers.
- The parameter manager (and this has been brought up many times by others)
I think before Mission Planner gets a bunch of additional features, it needs to be organized appropriately. Only then should features change/be added. Build a sold backbone and then build on that. That structure isn’t there in my opinion. The independent study above proves that the features aren’t easy to use, and some features weren’t even known to users (they exist, but weren’t found for the study).