There are three UX improvements to the map downloader I think would be great:
- Add a keyboard shortcut for the "Yes" button on the download confirmation dialog (or is there one already?). This will make it less tedious to download an entire series of maps.
- Show, on the online maps screen, whether you've already downloaded a map or not. Often when downloading a set of maps I get a little confused and skip/download duplicates when scrolling through the list. Then again, I'm easily confused.
- Display the thumb up / thumb down rating after you've completed a map, if you haven't rated it yet. I think this will encourage more ratings. Right now you either rate them before you play them (no good) or you have to go back to your map list, click the info, then rate if you want to do it after you play. But really, play -> rate should be the flow here.
#3 is the one I'd like to see the most.
Given that user content is one of the most important things to keep people playing the game after they beat it, it seems worth it to put a lot of focus on making downloads/ratings/etc. as smooth as possible. I think little changes like this can keep the interest high, making it as smooth as possible to download, play, and rate user content. As an addition to #3, a link to the map comments displayed on the post-victory "rate me" page might help drive more people to comment, too. Or even put the "comments"/"rate" buttons right in the game down in the control section.