So for a bit of background, I'm a User Interface / User Experience designer of about 20 years in the industry. I was recently asked to use VideoMakerFX to create a video presentation for one of my clients. Well...
The good is, I really like all the slides you have available. Truly, it's a great collection of possibilities that can help virtually anybody create a professional-looking presentation. I'll give you a solid "9" on that one.
Unfortunately... I have to say I can only give you a "3" for User Experience. The interface and how the user is forced to interact with it is really... well, you have major room for improvement. The most difficult thing I see is that the user is basically forced to go thru your entire library, and one at a time, view slides to find one that they can use for their presentation, without any idea of where they should look. There is no search, no categorization by keyword, and no bookmarking of favorite slides. This makes the UX so tedious that I suspect there are alot of people who quickly get frustrated with this and abandon the app altogether.
A couple of things in particular that I found to be extremely annoying:
1. ADD SLIDES DIALOG - Bringing up the "Add Slide" dialog, then having to click on the very first slide to view it, and NOT being able to arrow up/arrow down on the list of slides for that catregory.
2. EXTREMELY ANNOYING - the "Add Slide" button is in the wrong place, as is the "Add All Slides" button. Three times in a row, I ended up adding all slides to a presentation because the "Add All Slides" button is on the left, where the most frequently used button, "Add Slides" should be.
3. BACKGROUND EFFECTS - just a combo box that the user has to cycle through to see the different background effects. SERIOUSLY?!? I smell some super-lazy programming on this one...
4. VIDEO/AUDIO BUTTON - The user has no idea until they actually add a slide whether they are able to add video to a slide. They have to add the slide, then go to the Video+ tab on the far-right to even know if this feature is available. Then, once they click on this tab, the controls are merely disabled, so I can see the novice user I can see them tearing their hair out trying to figure out how to add a video (yes, there's a little notification at the top that says "Certain Slides support video", but even this text is greyed-out so it makes the user miss this notification). This really requires a separate Audio And Video tab, and the video tab should be disabled if video is not supported for that slide (in fact, this information should be presented in the list of slides at the time the user is able to scroll through them so that the user sees before they even click on one whether or not video is supported for that slide. It's kinda like punking your user and giving him a bit of a middle finger while you're at it...
5. PROJECTS - When you create a project, why are you forcing the user to produce their project in the default VideoFXMaker folder, rather than giving them the option to browse for a folder at least?
6. ADD SLIDES - Again with the add new slides, but this dialogue pisses me off as a UX guy. When this window is opened, the focus should go back to the most recent slide group/slides that the user was on. You have 50 zillion slides and now the user has to go back and find the group he was on before. How annoying.
7. NEW SLIDE DOWNLOADS. I mean... REALLY?!? Haven't you guys ever heard of an API?? Why is the user forced to download all this stuff and the (because of a bug in the app) put them in a separate folder, and THEN have to deal with the naming conventions of all the slides by month? How is this meaningful or useful to the end user?
I'm sorry... I could go on and on, but the whole point of the app is to make the end user's life easier and make for faster production of video. This is completely possible of course with some serious tweaks to the UI. The problem is that it actually makes your user's life MORE DIFFICULT and baits them into a solution that becomes extremely tedious, time consuming and unnecessarily annoying. Honestly, after using your app for a couple of hours, I was really kind of pissed off at how clunky it is.
You guys are onto a great concept, I'll give you that, and I see both the need and the market for it. Maybe there are some users out there that are so hard-headed and dumb that they don't know the difference and so they trudge on through the incredibly frustrating experience anyway.
Bottom line - VideoMakerFX has potential, but it's more of a pain in the ass than it's worth. You guys really, REALLY should think about hiring a UX professional. I can see how your app would be TREMENDOUSLY better with a few UX tweaks that would make your user's lives so much easier and make this an invaluable and easy-to-use tool. As for me, I'm actually sitting here thinking about how I could write my own app to do what this one does because it'd probably take me less time to do that than the task I've been given with to perform with VideoFXMaker and be easier to use.
Sorry about the rant, but someone had to tell ya.