User Interface Design - A guide - Circular Menus

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

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User Interface Design - A guide - Circular Menus

Post by Loplin »

I found this a while back while investigating OS design. ... Fitts.html

It has some good things to think about for designing UIs. I think it would be a good idea to consider using Circular menus for Blender, it might further increase work speed.


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Post by matt_e »

Yeah, I already did some basic experiments with it. I'd like to go back and investigate after some current projects are over, and when we have the possibility to build custom pie menus.

Still needs some good thought about the interaction process though - I would love to be able to hold down a key (to pop up the menu) then while holding the key down move the mouse, then on key release, it selects the menu item that the mouse is over, or that the line from the mouse location to the original mouse location intersects. This isn't possible currently with Blender's events system though...

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Post by snow »

This has been done in one or two games I've played and I found it very intuitive. Make it so :D

One thing though. I would much prefer to have smaller circular icons instead of buttons for the different items since it's faster to access and takes up less space. Ofcourse this needs some kind of tooltips to work which isn't nice.

Either that or a circular "pie-chart" that automatically lights up any sector of the circle that the mouse is in (and perhaps expands it). It should be as fast as possible to get to a menu function. (This is what broken means by custom pie menu??)

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Post by reed »

Beware. I've seen some circle menus that make life much more difficult than they ought to.

For example, there is a hack or extension to Firefox somewhere for this, but instead of being a "pie" shape, it's a series of small round icons. First, it's hard to remember what the icons mean, and there is lots of "empty" space around the round icons-- you have to try very hard to get the mouse within an icon (vs. a solid "pie" which would merely require moving the mouse somewhere within the section you want).

Also, it doesn't have to be round. It is pretty much just as effective to have four or six buttons in a grid with the mouse in the middle. This has the advantage of not being too disruptive to the normal user expectations of a UI with a gridlike layout.

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Post by joeri »

Looks good.
If at all possible; make them user definable.
Maya has a setting where they don't lite up when you are fast enough.
Space-> LMHold-> Mouse UP -> LMrelease Goes to Prespective view pronto.

Firefox has a plugin that lets you draw a command using only L,R,U and D.
Gestures it's called I think. Very interesting to take a look at.
RMB-leftmove is L which translates to "back".
RMB-letmove, upmove is LU which translates to "stop".

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Post by freshveggies »

Alias Studio has been the best UI I have ever used. It is not exactly circular but somewhat. A different customizable menu for different mouse button combinations. I wish I could adopt that kind of UI for all of the software I use.

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Post by LetterRip »


mayas marking menus are patented and thus can't be implemented in Blender (can't be in the official Blender since it is distributed to US and hence must respect US patents, however a Europe only version could in theory be done that supports marking menus since software patents are unenforceable in Europe).


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Post by IanCalvert »

Blender used to have kind of circular menus. Then they disappeared, I don't know why, I liked them, still.


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