I want to design a user interface for Blender

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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whitelight
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I want to design a user interface for Blender

Post by whitelight » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:34 pm

Hello everybody. I'm new to the Blender community even though I've been looking a Blender releases for years.

Its progressing very well on the technical side. Kudos to everyone working dev and technical R&D for Blender. But it could use an artist UI that is less "Blender" and more "any artist can instantly understand and use it".

I'm not here to get anyone's favorite UI ripped out of Blender and replaced with something I suggest.

Instead I want to propose additional floating controls that are logical, easy to understand, artist friendly and enable rapid scene editing for everyone. Controls that pop up in the 3D viewport only when people want to use them, with a hotkey, so that nobody has to break the workflow they are accustomed to from Blender if they don't want to.

I have a good deal of experience in 3D workflow and want to suggest some ways of doing things that you can't even find in the commercial packages yet. I don't have much spare time to engage in coding so I would like to design these elements visually, like concept art, and present them with notes and diagrams that explain step by step how they work and why doing it this way has benefits for the user.

My focus will be artist-centric. UI elements that are not intended for the technically inclined artist who can wire shader nodes together in his sleep but rather for the less techy artist focused more on bringing a character or a scene or a narrative or VFX shot to life.

But the technical artist too will benefit from being able to edit some things very quickly and focus his or her technical skills more on truly problematic elements that need to be handled at a low-level. 3D takes a lot of time to create with. Anything that makes the workload lighter when you need it can't be a bad thing.

My aim in all of this is to make Blender more appealing for 3D artists like myself who've grown tired of doing very manual, click-intensive setup work over the years and also complete beginners who don't know 3D but want to learn it without being bashed over the head with 550 3D tech terms and acronyms.

Before I post some designs, I would like to ask which one the is correct forum section to do it in. I'm looking to get feedback from both Blender coders and Blender artists who only use the GUI side of Blender.

That's it from me for now. I want to see what other people have to say.
Positive or critical. :D Thanks for reading.

- wl

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:26 am

Hi Whitelight,

if you post them to blenderartists.org you can geet feedback from both developers and artists, this site is primarily developer focused.

I look forward to your proposals.

LetterRip

BrendaEM
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:25 pm

I want you to!

Post by BrendaEM » Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:14 pm

Fuctionally, Blender is becoming quite the powerful 3D program, but the interface upsets me. I know there's a good 3D drawing engine in here, somewhere.

To even open the File dialog, brings saddness to my heart. There's nothing wrong with trying to do things differently, but the file dialog is overstylized, and ill-conceived grouped buttons touching unrelated path boxes. This dialog alone breaks every known GUI guideline. Does the scroll bar really need to live on the left?

I've used StudioMax, Rhino3D, Some AutoCad, DesignCad, GTK/Radiant, and a few other 3D programs. I dislike Blender's interface even more than Dromed!

Even changing the theme, makes previously known actions non-apparent because there are not enough icons for the (graphic) program.

Blender's icons imply up/down status by color only, not shading, which means you have to look at a few of them to understand whether or not they are up or down.

The default right-mouse button will needlessly aggravate any new user. It can be changed, but, then then they can't follow the tutorials.

I would like to see a version of Blender that looks like any other GTK+ program. Even if the program is not GTK+, perhaps the look of the Gimp or Inkscape would be nicer. Perhaps strike a line between a GTK+ look and a KDE one.

What's wrong with Edit/Preferences in Linux/Mac or Tools/Options in Linux.

If I'm looking at lines over lines all day, how are transparent menus going to make me more efficient?

Where is the edit menu?

In an effort to eliminate progressive disclosure, all the widgets and icons are way too small.

For the preferences, at least, i think that checkboxes would be work better.

Why has Blender.org ignored almost all pleas for any Cad-like facility in Blender. I need to draw something to scale. Not every graphic project is making a character model. I need sixteen of something, placed nowhere near 0,0,0. Why can't I draw things in place?

When I start the program, why is there a box already drawn? How is that helping me?

Blender is open-source now; the need for lock-in is gone. IMO: Blender, as powerful as it is, failed as a commercial product because of bad user interface design.

I know there's a good 3D drawing engine in here, somewhere.

You stand a real uphill battle; the established Blender users aren't going to take any of this well, but if your mock ups look good, perhaps I can help you make a few icons.

Cheers!

DownshiftDX
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:05 am

Re: I want you to!

Post by DownshiftDX » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:16 am

Personally, I have been following Blender since 2.3 and I still can't use it. (Now more than ever thanks to my MacBook and Leopard's OpenGL driver kicking it in the face...) I got the book from the local Borders, worked an hour or two a day for two weeks and at the end of it, threw it down in disgust. . . but I keep coming back to see how it is doing.

I know the debate rages in various forums between experienced users of Blender loving its current UI and new users like me and other desperately trying to get a hold on it. I even read somewhere something to the effect of give it 6 months and it will start to grow on you. Sorry, I don't have six months to retrain my brain to forget everything I have ever learned about interacting with software.

A new UI does not have to replace the current UI. In my opinion, the devs should feature freeze Blender in its current state and separate the UI code from the core functionality code. Package the UI up in such a way that editing can be done by anybody who can read XML or something similar, draw their own graphics for buttons, etc... while the main functionality of the program simply reads this and presents it to the user. This way everybody can have what they want; the familiar interface that Blender ships with for those accustomed to it or any number of other interfaces assuming the options were robust enough to allow for emulation of X,Y, Z software through it. It doesn't need to have an interactive editor for the layout of the UI... just the option.

I am willing to keep working on learning Blender as it is, but I don't see what good being wickedly efficient once it is learned is going to do for anybody who doesn't even know the basics of modeling in general. Just because I can draw with pencil and pen doesn't mean I can pick up a paintbrush and pump out a masterpiece in no time even after I learn to use it. Nor could I necessarily grab a chisel and sculpt well and quickly even if I took the time to learn. But I bet I would do better if the tools in both of those were similar in form and function to other tools that I have experience with.

BrendaEM
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Re: I want you to!

Post by BrendaEM » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:44 am

DownshiftDX wrote:...A new UI does not have to replace the current UI...
Not in every case, but a lot a work would needs to be done to move Blender to anyone's GUI standards: Windows, Mac, Gnome, KDE. I am sure some, or most of the 3D widget system could be saved, but almost everything seen in 2D could use some work.

I don't think anyone who uses Blender now would want the changes; I don't think most people who try Blender wouldn't want the changes.

It sounds like a fork or split, and that won't bring a lot of happiness to the Blender community.

gendou
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Blender needs usability testing before starting a new UI.

Post by gendou » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:39 am

I have to chime in here also, hopefully adding something positive to the conversation not simply bashing blender and its potential.

First, to paraphrase William Faulkner, "sometimes you must kill your darlings..."

That being said, I am very interested in whitelight's UI proposal. Moving into professional User Experience and Interface Design myself, I have to agree that blender needs a great deal of work and testing in the UI department. I would stake a week's salary on the bet that blender's UI has never been put through usability tests. If it has, it seems as though the results were ignored.

blender is fantastic in its (developers) desire to be equivalent or superior to commercial software and it gets closer to that point with each release (and being super-crossplatform helps a bunch!). However, blender suffers from the same ailment as desktop Linux, it's designed by programmers with no regard for how a non-geek interacts with their creation. That is starting to change in Linux camps through distros like Ubuntu but this wave of change hasn't hit the blender island yet.

Please, please, I mean no offence to programmers. I have been struggling with learning various languages for the last fews years. I understand how difficult it is to learn and vastly appreciate all the technological niceties they have brought us but programmers are not designers, in the user experience sense.

Here are a few articles (book lists, links and online books) to get you (any blender programmer interested in refactoring the UI) started in user experience design:

Usability and Interface Design Books
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01 ... ign-books/

Evolve You User Interface to Educate Your Users
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01 ... our-users/

Top 10 Application Design Mistakes (Jakob Nielsen)
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/application-mistakes.html

User Interface Design for Programmers
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/fog0000000249.html

I know, blender doesn't need a new UI. It's fine the way it is, you just have to learn how IT works, not how YOU expect it to work.

Mistake.

Take a few days and read all of those pages. Then google search "interface design" and read more. You will come back enlightened, or well, disgusted; hopefully, the former.

Users don't want to re-learn how to interact with software just to use one program, unless that program generates ridiculous amounts of money.

I would, again, bet money on blender getting more UI complaints than, say, GIMP. People complain about the UI because it's cryptic. Look at how some Apple software labels things.. everyday words, no techincal jargon (please save the brand flaming for another discussion). blender's UI goes against almost every established GUI paradigm, right down to selecting by right-click, all for the sake of cross-platform support. The UI is the single, biggest thing that hinders the power of blender from a larger audience, more than today's dedicated 3d geeks and newbies.

whitelight is right in wanting to preserve the UI for those who are accustomed to it and do not want to re-learn its UI. Abstracting the UI into something that can be totally changed would probably be a good idea, even though a slew of new UIs would come out, most probably worse than the current one.

anyway, since I don't have the dedication to learn C just to redesign the UI all I can hope for is that some of the developers take the time and care to really examine blender's UI, think about it objectively and do some user testing.

Find 3 or 4 people that have never used blender (but are familiar with 3d). Give them 5 tasks, sit back and take notes on how they attempt to complete each task, what problems they encounter, how they overcome them or where they cannot complete the task and why. Then modify the UI based on that feedback and test again. Rinse. Repeat until the users can complete each task quickly and without help.

Set aside your bias to blender and test the heck out of its UI. If you really love blender and want it to be all it can be, you may just have to kill your darling.

DownshiftDX
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Re: I want you to!

Post by DownshiftDX » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:05 am

BrendaEM wrote:
DownshiftDX wrote:...A new UI does not have to replace the current UI...
Not in every case, but a lot a work would needs to be done to move Blender to anyone's GUI standards: Windows, Mac, Gnome, KDE. I am sure some, or most of the 3D widget system could be saved, but almost everything seen in 2D could use some work.

I don't think anyone who uses Blender now would want the changes; I don't think most people who try Blender wouldn't want the changes.

It sounds like a fork or split, and that won't bring a lot of happiness to the Blender community.
I don't believe choosing the "look" is the problem. One gui kit could be used, like GTK+ which already exists on all those platforms thus unifying it all. But this is not what I am talking about at all.

The biggest problem in making big changes I have read is that Blender has is its UI is so tightly knit into the source that it would be a huge task to pull it out. What I am describing is something like this:

Imagine you have a function to rotate an object around its axis called Rotate and it takes three parameters X,Y, and Z. Rotate(X,Y,Z). This rotates the vertex data and puts it where it needs to be.

Now it shouldn't matter how you hand that function the numbers, just that it gets valid numbers (floats / doubles / whatever). So you could pass is values from sliders, from the movement of the mouse, from a series of text fields that the user types into, or from a rotation manipulator. The UI element does not necessarily need to matter. Having everything separated and scriptable in someway (which could by default represent the current and well loved interface the Blender pros know) would allow me or anybody else to come in and say "You know I don't like this manipulator... I want it to be a series of text fields when I am rotating." or whatever. There just needs to be a messaging system in place that the user can tie into when they add a button it can tell Blender I am wanting to do a rotation on the currently selected object. Then Blender looks to the script, sees that it should be throwing up a couple sliders (or whatever) and should be using the values from those sliders to rotate the object, or if there is a cancel button, to exit without doing anything.

Look at FireFox for example. The plugin system allows a huge amount of add ons and changes, even whole mini apps inside the browser. (FireFTP is great!) Skins allow integration with the "look" of the OS while add ons can substantially change the functionality and way of interacting with the app. I doubt that the look of Blender is what puts people off, after all I use Wings all the time and its UI while plain, certainly doesn't look like any one GUI I am used to. It is the way of interacting with it. Would FireFox have taken the web by storm as it has if they decided to completely change the way links in a page are handled by putting them in some obscure bar at the bottom of a page and remove them from within a page because it could be said that having all the links in one place makes it faster to get to them? I doubt it especially if the response was always "You have to get used to it and it is amazing after 6 months!" (Cruddy example I know but I hope you understand the point. Also know that I am not meaning to come off as snarky.)

Blender could and with some serious work spent refining it should in my opinion be the standard suite of tools for digital content creation just as FireFox is the standard open free browser.

As I said in my previous post, once Blender is fully working on my MacBook with Leopard I will once again endeavor to get a grip on it because I am at the point in a personal project where I need to move onto animation and there just isn't a free / reasonably priced tool for a poor student like me to use. I want to use it. I need to use it. I can't afford Maya. Some of the lesser known tools like Cheetah 3D don't support exporting in a format I can do anything with though the price point is what I could afford. But I would gladly give that $99 to Blender if there was some roadmap that showed a UI overhaul would be coming anytime soon to simplify learning or open it for customization.

BrendaEM
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Post by BrendaEM » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:33 pm

If you look at my posts, in fact, all the posts have positive things written about Blender. I would not be using my time if Blender didn't have virtue and potential. The hard work is already done. Is not Bender complex 3D programming deserving of a better interface?

In my opinion, the Gimp's user interface is better than Blender's. The current Gimp adheres well to Gnome's GUI standards, which are preferable to no user interface guidelines.

With that said, the Gimp does suffer from "not being Photoshop," in that it's different. I personally like MDI interfaces better than a soup of pallets and child windows, but the Gimp does have logic to its work-flow. In the Gimp, everything is a layer, which is different, but not as alien as program that uses a right mouse-button to select things, which is needlessly destructive to most (read:all) current GUI "muscle-memory” learning. As mentioned, the RMB select can be changed, but that's not Blender's standard. If the best feature of a feature is that it can be changed, then it's not much of a feature, is it?

Any new user can open a Gimp document, copy, but and paste something, and edit their preferences because everything is right where they think it is.

id's Radiant also suffers from different, as well as some ruthlessly remapped keys, but it's fast because it's always in extrude and draw mode. The user can move scale an object in a single dimension by grabbing on or outside of it. It remembers the height of you last drawn object. Its edge and vertex modes are a single key away each.

Whoever designed Radiant must have stood behind a user's back for countless hours.

One of the greatest deficiency of Blender's UI, and also (older version of) Maya is: they cannot draw in place, which is not a big deal if you are character modeling, unless you are making any object with more than one individual part. You are screwed if you have to move 15,000 objects from 0,0,0 and resized them. We need to be able to draw in place too. Giving Blender this CAD-like ability that some people want would also make it a better game design program.

You mentioned "Rotate" command, and the complication of how the sliders are hooked into the GUI, but the slider are just going to slow me down. If I can't rotate an object in the 3D graphic window, then I am going to want to rotate it to a specific angle, such as 90, 180, 270, which it could snap to, or enter a number, if it really had to. Both Radiant and Inkscape have mirror buttons. Radiant has flip axis buttons, too.

[I have routinely drawn over 3,000 textured brushes a month in Radiant, all without messing with typing numbers in little fussy numerical widgets, as if I should congratulate myself after each, and take another sip of cognac.]

Almost all game programs have a need to work with the grid in a flawless manner (,which is something that many versions of Max cannot. )

[Zoom on some snapped to objects grid objects in an older version of Max, how many lines do you see. Good thing the vertex snap does work, or the model would be more polygon cracking than a...Riva 128.]

On the positive, Blender attempted to complete its interface; whereas Mayas is probably still very dependent on the command line.

On the negative, things like inserting a default object into a new document is akin to creating a workprocessor document, and seeing the words already in the document, "On a dark stormy night...."

I am going to pick on the "File" dialog again because it's the first that a user meets, and it's an easy target. I cannot believe that creating a Pac-man dot-file icon was a greater priority than creating an icon to go to the parent folder/directory. The Pac-man icon is very cleaver, but appreciating "cleaver" takes thinking, thinking about the interface, instead of just using it. The growing number of younger people aren't going to understand the dot-eating metaphor.

Still on the the "Open" dialog, the go-to parent folder should not be lower than the path. The change path drop-down should be somewhere near the path line, should it not? The "Open" and "Cancel" buttons touch the input boxes for some reason, suggesting that you can "Open" the path and Cancel the file. In an extra second we can figure it all out, but why should we? As humans we tend to break things out in groups and sections.

The "Add new" dropdown that reads “SR:2-Model” widget is taking up space better used for something, almost anything else. It's uses could be moved under "File/New/" How often do you add a new file in each session?

"CTRL-X" for create a new document is just plain heartless, as it is delete, stops, halt, in many programs. You need to trust your warning dialogs. Blender’s settings suffer from this too. Was Blender ever made in "Factory?" If you use "Default" to save, why not "Load" as well. I feel that this should live somewhere near our preferences menu. Using "Dump" as in screendump was dumped many years ago in favor of "File/Save Screenshot."

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, Blender needs graphical icons for primitives and often used manipulations. When I do graphics, I think graphics. Doing a graphic-to-text conversion wastes time. Everything in the entire "Add" menu should have pictorial icons. If it is going to have a text menu, I like "Create" better than add, but still I'd rather have buttons with little pictures on them. Icons would help simplify internationalization. A tool button bar on the left and an edit button bar on top would be sweet.

Almost all 3D programs use "Light" instead of "Lamp." In the U.S., when I see "Lamp," "Lamp" implies a real-word physical object; light implies an effect, which we ARE talking about here.

[When I see “Lamp,” I imagine Aladin's Lamp which, bears a striking resemblance to the Utah Teapot.]

If game stuff is under "Game," then why isn't "Timeline" under Animate? It's a minor point, but "Game" is a new feature of Blender, so it was given prominence, but I think less people will make game levels with Blender, so I think it should come after Animate. This is a variation on something that plagues commercial programs: Any new feature needs to be visible, whether it is used often or not. [At each doubling of the menu bar population will move everything all the way around back to where it was in the beginning.]

On the split window controls, the view widget is nice because it has icons, but it's nowhere near the "View" menu. The window split/join context menu works.

If selecting objects happens everywhere in Blender, then we don't need redundant “Select” and editing controls on each window/split area. The "Mode" and "Layer" widgets also have a global effect, and yet they appear on each window split, taking up real estate, adding needless visual clutter to our tired eyes. It's okay to let the layer lock control touch the layer widget because it would implies a relationship. I'd like to be able to context-click on the layer button, and give them a name, for mouse-overs. Using visual pushbuttons for layers in an example of an unique idea that also adds usefulness, cheers!

As Blender becomes more stable, seeing the version number will become less important, and showing that version number on the menubar takes valuable real estate. While not literal, it could go under help, where most people look when something has gone wrong.

What I meant to type earlier was that I don't think that many of Blender's established users will appreciate user interface changes...as much as the doubling of people who come later.

Blender is powerful. As mentioned, it is cross-platform, and equipped with Yaffray, Blender is a very provocative program, but a tool, any tool with enough sharp nails sticking out of its handle, is an uncomfortable tool to use.

(Edited typos and clarity.)
Last edited by BrendaEM on Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:23 am, edited 3 times in total.

gendou
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Post by gendou » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:29 am

@ BrendaEM: great post. Objective and informative.

I'm surprised there aren't more responses. Perhaps, to some, this is a tired subject and change is unnecessary, because, "hey, you don't code so quit whining". I am happy a flame war hasn't started over this topic.

Though, not expecting a tidal wave of positive reinforcement, some feedback on the good advice posted thus far would be encouraging. Thank you LetterRip for your interest. It is comforting that someone is listening.

I have been a blender user myself for several years and turn to it for the occasional 3d element when designing a piece. I do love blender but would also like to see improvements in its user experience.

Is there currently a developer assigned or working on the interface code?
What could we, as users and interface enthusiasts, do to help this progress?

BrendaEM
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Post by BrendaEM » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:50 am

The, "not a programmer" thing doesn't have a lot of weight.

[I would not attempt to layout a development environment for programming.]

I haven't programmed in years, but there's a lot of icons to be made, and the source could be made in .svg.

Work was done on the Gimp after it was Slashdotted. Hmm.

[Thanks, Gendou (Ikari?)

jesterKing
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Post by jesterKing » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:03 am

gendou wrote:I have been a blender user myself for several years and turn to it for the occasional 3d element when designing a piece. I do love blender but would also like to see improvements in its user experience.

Is there currently a developer assigned or working on the interface code?
What could we, as users and interface enthusiasts, do to help this progress?
I don't know if you're aware, but there is currently work in progress for Blender 2.50, which will feature a new event system, that lies at the very basis of the user interface of Blender. This entire rewrite of one of the most crucial systems (of not THE most ~) in Blender is aimed at laying a new foundation for improving the interface.

Believe it or not, but the developers also have since long understood that the interface can use improvement. The current rewrite is a humonguous task, so at the very best it will take a LONG time still before the enduser will reap the fruits.

I suggest you all go see http://www.blendernation.com/2008/02/18 ... f-blender/ , which talks about the rewrite. If you listen carefully, you'll here that the aim of current work is to improve the interface. Not only the tools, but the _interface_. Blender 2.50 will hardly see dramatically new designs in the tools, but at least the foundation will be laid to enable us to improve upon the interface.

Many issues have been raised over the past few years, they have been talked about at very great lengths, and being one of the developers, I have to admit it can grow very tiring. You can blame us for it, and I could try to make excuses for it, but I don't see why. We do our best, we will continue to do so. Both on the internals AND on the interface.

What probably will stay the issue is the course of development in the user interface. What design principles do we stick to, etc. But rest assured, there ARE strong design principles in play, there always have been, and there always will be. Maybe you agree with them, maybe not. See for yourself in the future (at least not before and during the summer).

/Nathan 'one of the developers' Letwory

BrendaEM
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Post by BrendaEM » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:03 pm

jesterKing, Thanks for chiming in.

In as much as I am sure that changing the interface will be complicated, setting it back five years, seems indicative that the user interface is a low priority.

In that time, many new features will be added to the present interface. Many users will try to use that interface, a great of them will become frustrated, and a segment of them of that do adapt to the interface will feel threatened and aggravated at the prospect of any user interface change, and they will join the fight against change. If the user interface is changed for the better, which seems unlikely in the present Blender culture, then much of their proficiency will be wasted.

Granting unlimited user interface flexibility is a power ability, but it may also indicative of the Blender developers throwing up their hands as if they were saying, "We don't know what to make. You're still not happy? There! You can make anything you want, now." This will result in many non-standard user interfaces, and, please forgive me, it's indicative of a lack of vision when it comes to the user interface.

Blender needs a dedicated user interface person, and the user interface needs some priority.

In the video posted, they (interviewer) are already talking about keeping 90% of everything the same, and so, even five years before the groundwork is even set for change to begin--already user interface improvement is being hindered.

There is an irony: The coders are putting in hour after hour of time, and still, people complain about the user interface, so the coders put in even more time, BUT, while you are coding so diligently on our behalf, we're thinking about Blender's user interface, thinking about it because were not drawing with it, not drawing with it because it needs so much work.

Yes, I may seem ungrateful, but in reality, I couldn't be ungrateful because I find Blender's user interface so frustrating that I don't use it. I download a version of Blender every few months, and try it, watch, read, and do some more tutorials.

Find it unfathomable...that Blender's user interface experience is so bad, that it makes more sense to try to create change here, of all places, than to learn it further, and yet, here I am.

You may ask yourself if you say that Blender's interface is so bad, why are some people using it. The answer is, Blender's, as a program is indicative of a program in which all the resources were given to it's potential graphic ability. Though...

Blender's interface needs to adhere to some standard or another: Gnome, KDE, Mac, or Windows.

it seemed that in the video the widgets and gizmos were discussed a lot, but there are a lot of changes--not dealing with the widgets and gizmos that probably could be changed before five years is up.

Blender needs a studied user interface person. The person who started this thread offered, other people posted who know about the existence of actual books written about user interfaces, and care. Why not give them a try?

lukep
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Post by lukep » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:16 pm

BrendaEM wrote:jesterKing, Thanks for chiming in.

In as much as I am sure that changing the interface will be complicated, setting it back five years, seems indicative that the user interface is a low priority.
...
Blender needs a studied user interface person. The person who started this thread offered, other people posted who know about the existence of actual books written about user interfaces, and care. Why not give them a try?
What you seem not to understand is that changing the interface is really not easy. As Jesterking indicated, We, the coders, are fully aware of the shortcomings of the existing one. And several of the more proheminent ones are interface sawy and know what we need.

Blender was developped at a time where needs were a lot less than now because the capabilities of the software were lower. the core code reflect the needs of 10 years ago

The problem is that this code dont allow to do what is now requested. We need first to completly rewrite the core of blender (how mouse clicks, keys etc... are handled) and that is a very big chunk of code, which will take a lot of ressources. This is akin to a brain transplant, and as far as the metaphor go, you'll better do it right the first time if you dont want to cripple the patient.

And once this is done, we will have to rewrite **all** the tools interface code for actually use it. we will need a coordinated effort of most of the coders.

adding one more feature, in comparison is easy, even if the feature is very complex. A single coder can do it, and has no urge, when it is ready it can happen.

That is why, after peach release, all efforts will be on this rewrite, and it could not have been done before, one small bite at a time.

But once this is done, beyond blender2.5, doing interface work will be a lot easier, so there is hope for the future

BrendaEM
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Post by BrendaEM » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:11 pm

I didn't imply that the changes to the interface were easy, but important.

The "future" may bright, but the word "future" is nice and open-ended word, suggesting no definite plans.

If you do have plans to change the interface, and you are still tacking things onto the old interface, then it appears that Blender is wasting not not only the users time, but also the programmers time.

Do any plans exist on the new interface, mock-ups, drawings, or sketches?

If you are programming for the new interface, what design goals are you trying to program for?

Still, it appears that whoever originally designed Blender's user interface shouldn't have been let or forced to. Perhaps I'm being harsh, but I'm also worried that whomever designed the interface, the interface that doomed a commercial product, would be once again allowed to make user interface decisions.

There is another problem: If Blender.org makes money selling books on Blender's usage, then do they have an incentive to make it easier, more coherent, and more intuitive.

The last-minute make-do concept is what led Blender's interface to the point it is now. If the programmers are working hard on the code that would allow user interface changes, the designers should also be working on Blender's layout and icons. Given Blender's tool set, that could take some time.

jesterKing
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Post by jesterKing » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:54 pm

BrendaEM wrote:Do any plans exist on the new interface, mock-ups, drawings, or sketches?
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/Blender2.5

/Nathan

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