Cleaner interface, please!

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

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M@dcow
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Post by M@dcow »

theeth:

lol, I did as you were posting :D

Edit........................

Misunderstood what you were saying, I'll do a better one tonight when I have a few minutes spare :wink:

M@dcow
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Post by M@dcow »

hmmm......maybe someone can re-introduce these buttons styles back into tuhopuu so I don't have to make dumb mockups and people can decide for themselves :wink:

Metallica
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Post by Metallica »

i would say i like the tuhopuu buttons style. why was it taken out of tuhopuu? thats just a waste of time and code :/

matt_e
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Post by matt_e »

I've moved this thread to Interface & Tools, where it belongs.

If you're interested, the rationale and design process for the buttons in 2.30 can be found here: http://www.blender.org/modules.php?op=m ... pic&t=1516&

While I understand you may have your own preferences for what you think looks good, many of the changes done for 2.30 were done for functional and communicative reasons, not for visual niceness. GUI design is more about making something work, by presenting information clearly and only commanding the attention it needs, than it is about making something pretty (and the 'prettiness' of the old tuhopuu buttons is surely debatable).

For example, the sliders are designed to more accurately represent the purpose of a slider (to choose between a range of values, a percentage). Rather than a box along the line, which is hard to spot at a glance, you can instantly tell how much of the percentage is selected, by looking at the proportion of darkness to lightness - like a thermometer filling up. You can keep your eyes on the 3D view or whatever, but are still able to keep an overview of the state of the system with peripheral vision, so you don't need to break attention by looking away so much, in order to see what values are set.

As an example, I've adjusted your original comparison image so there's more variation in the slider positions:
Image

And to simulate a quick look at a glance, here's a blurred version of it:
Image

Notice how you can still easily judge the value of the sliders on the left, while the sliders on the right have been lost completely.

The current buttons have less contrast than those you have posted (and certainly less than those faux-OS X style buttons from tuhopuu). The reason being that in most cases, the text on the buttons is the most important information to be communicated. The more visual distraction behind it, the more difficult it is for the eye to pick up word and letter shapes for skim reading.

If you're going to make claims such as 'gorgeous' or 'ugly' 'cleaner' or 'more professional' or whatever, you should at least back them up with some rationale from a design perspective. Saying "It's horrible and hideous because I say it is!" isn't the most convicing method of getting people like me to take these sorts of posts seriously, though constructive, well reasoned critique will not fall on deaf ears.

M@dcow
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Post by M@dcow »

Broken:

the simple reason that the blender foundation sliders are clearer in the blurred version is because as you put it "the sliders are like a thermometer filling up".

I agree with that totally -- But I'd like to point out that the same effect can be added to the tuhopuu buttons with relative ease, so I don't quite see the point you are trying to make here.

Lets reverse the situation then; How would the the blender foundation sliders look without the thermometer effect? would it be clearer than the tuhopuu version? No. I thought not.

sorry broken, but I just don't see the validity of this line of argument....would you like me to make a mockup of the tuhopuu buttons with this effect applied? Will that appease you?

And since I've spent the last five or so years learning about design I'd like to think that I have some idea of what Im talking about, and as for "rationale from a design perspective", I thought that the pictures would be good enough to convey what I meant-- But it looks like I'll have to write something up about the reasons that the tuhopuu buttons are more stylistically sound (In my opinion) tonight or tomorrow.

Oh, and I think that you are overreacting when implying that I said "It's horrible and hideous because I say it is!" because that simply isn't true. I was merely stating that I think the tuhopuu buttons are much nicer by comparison.

Cheers.

matt_e
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Post by matt_e »

M@dcow wrote:I agree with that totally -- But I'd like to point out that the same effect can be added to the tuhopuu buttons with relative ease, so I don't quite see the point you are trying to make here.
The point was that the design of the UI controls is influenced by function, not just form, and that there are subtle reasons for some of the choices made, that one may not be aware of on first glance. Therefore any arguments made on their design should include references to how they function and facilitate communication with the user, not just personal opinions about style.

With that particular example, the 'handles' are smaller in order to maximise the clarity of this effect - the wider the handles, the less accurate the information one can gather through judging the size of the dark area.
But I'll write something up about the reasons that the tuhopuu buttons are more stylistically sound (in my opinion) tonight or tomorrow.
Sure, go for it, but please keep in mind that style is not the only factor involved. Justification of how and why it visually communicates is more important. And unless you're advocating a special blender version for yourself, I'd rather hear facts and theory about how these things affect all users - not just your opinion :)

PS. Madprof is totally free to put his extra buttons back in tuhopuu, but it's going to take a pretty convincing argument to put them in bf.

Cheers

LeHomard
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Post by LeHomard »

broken wrote: The point was that the design of the UI controls is influenced by function, not just form,

With that particular example, the 'handles' are smaller in order to maximise the clarity of this effect - the wider the handles, the less accurate the information one can gather through judging the size of the dark area.
Whis smaller handles, the information is more accurate, but it gets more complicated to click on it. I keep on clicking just next to that little bar and the value changes more than what I wanted. With a bigger handle, it would be easier to use, to my mind.

But maybe the best solution would be keeping these little bars and adding the possibility to use the mouse wheel instead, as it has already been done in Tuhopuu.

pinhead_66
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Post by pinhead_66 »

I agree with LeHomard,

In my view and by using, i found the bigger handles easier to grab and to manipulate.

The looks I can care less about, as long as the functionality is good. and trying to grab the thin slider is kinda hard.

I use the rounded theme, I find it simple, less distracting and it makes it easy to view the buttons and and sliders when you glance over them. The gradient buttons are in my view too distracting.

just my 2 cent

greets

LeHomard
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Post by LeHomard »

I also use the rounded interface. It reminds me more of my long-lost Lightwave interface... sniff.

matt_e
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Post by matt_e »

LeHomard: Thanks, that was clear and constructive. The sliders are a tricky one - you don't actually need to drag the handle itself to change hte value, you can drag anywhere along the slider (not the number), which is why there wasn't much importance placed on having a large handle - though it seems that this drag-anywhere behaviour isn't communicated well enough, and kind of assumed, since I always drag anywhere on the slider anyway. But you're right - if there is going to be a handle that implies one whould drag it, it should be large enough to facilitate the dragging a bit better.

So two options are:
*1 Get rid of the handle all together, and visually emphasise the 'drag-anywhere-to-change' behaviour.
*2 Make the handle slightly larger and leave the drag-anywhere behaviour as a sort of hidden 'experts' feature.

*2 is a lot easier ;) and is more intuitive for new users. I'll fiddle with this in tuhopuu when I get a chance. However if anyone has any ideas on how to accomplish *1, I'd be interested to see, since it's far more efficient to use the sliders that way (fitt's law, etc).

Cheers

celeriac
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Post by celeriac »

I use the rounded theme too. nice and simple low-noise interface.

thorwil
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Post by thorwil »

broken wrote:So two options are:
*1 Get rid of the handle all together, and visually emphasise the 'drag-anywhere-to-change' behaviour.
*2 Make the handle slightly larger and leave the drag-anywhere behaviour as a sort of hidden 'experts' feature.

*2 is a lot easier ;) and is more intuitive for new users. I'll fiddle with this in tuhopuu when I get a chance. However if anyone has any ideas on how to accomplish *1, I'd be interested to see, since it's far more efficient to use the sliders that way (fitt's law, etc).
Hi!

I've created a special kind of slider, which was meant to be used especialy in audio applications, but will be part of a general toolkit design.
I call it fan-slider.

Image

As you might guess, I'm all for *1.
There's no handle to not mislead users into thinking they would have to aim at such a tiny area. Also I found a handle conflicts with the thermometer look, making it harder to read.
Instead a black indication line appears on mouse-over.

I hope the rest of the behaviour is clear enough from the mockup.

LeHomard
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Post by LeHomard »

I find Thorwil's idea quite nice.

But what about also adding to that the possibility to use the mouse wheel ? I noticed the sliders highlight when the cursor moves over them, but it doesn't do much else. Wouldn't it be much more simple to make the slider "active" then and use the mouse wheel (in combination maybe with Ctrl and Alt for higher or lower precision) to change the value ?

I think this has already been done in Tuhopuu.

matt_e
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Post by matt_e »

thorwil wrote:I hope the rest of the behaviour is clear enough from the mockup.
Eh, not exactly - what is the purpose of that trapezoidal shape to the side? Is that just for illustrative purposes, or is it part of the control? Got anything that works, to play with?

The original concept sketch for the current sliders is similar in that it's a more pure 'thermometer' - I can't remember why handles were added, probably as the result of some sort of compromise...

Cheers

Dani
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Post by Dani »

hello, thorwil's sliders are good. i think the trapezoidal shape expands the repcision of the slider. however, it may end up crowding the interface. That trapezoidal shape needs to be draw and erased extremely fast in order not to slowdown the workflow.

One think i REALLY would love to see fixed are the headers... they should be vertically tillable. And the button window header is aweful: buttons appear/disappear, skip from one place to another... it's really bugging.

Ciao
Dani

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