[Bf-committers] Actuall usability of some tools and new features
sjon at student.chalmers.se
Thu Nov 19 20:50:15 CET 2009
Thank you very much for the feedback, it is highly appreciated
now let me answer to some of your statements:
"Having to open a panel each time you want click a button in it just
seems quite slow to me, and also makes it harder to find things at a
- It is faster than having to scroll, and it is faster to find desired
settings since the interface is much less cluttered. It is much faster
to find things at a glance as this is the problem of todays layout, and
the very problem i am trying to adress. windows with little content can
be pinned by default.
"I can understand how it would be helpful in for example the particle or
material buttons, but in my opinion this works around the more
fundamental problem that these are not organized / modularized better.
The fact that you have to jump around between many panels to me
indicates that presets and nodes could better organize these"
I definately agree. if you can organize the settings so everything is
easy to access and find without having to jump between diffrent places
in the UI, it is definetly the best solution. My question is - can this
be done without navigation? I am not questioning the importance of a
well organized interface. I am questioning the current way of navigating
it. organization, grouping and a logical approach to the structure of
the UI is one thing. Navigation is another. This proposal can only be
enhanced by good organization
"The system should be designed such that only the panels/buttons are
shown that are likely relevant to what I want, rather than trying to
make a better UI to navigate through irrelevant options."
- Indeed. This is what i am trying to achieve by automatically hiding
the panels the user is no longer intrested in. If you have to work in
two panels simultaneously, use shift+LMB. If you have to work in three
panels: bad UI organisation.
"Right now we have one level for tabs, and a second level for panels
that you only sometimes need to navigate because usually it will show
what you want."
-I do not add another level of navigation, i only want to enhance the
current, and it is not true you do not have to navigate the panels as
you always have to navigate and scan the interface with your eyes. This
is easier when less content is displayed. And to say that the panels do
not have to be navigated is only to close your eyes to the problem. I
would not have proposed a solution if i did not consider that navigation
a problem. The truth is that currently i can see the most frequently
used data directly in the interface. the second truth is that the total
amount of usage of all the hidden panels are sometimes much greater than
the usage of the most frequently used panel.
"I think that is preferable over two levels of navigation that you
always have to take into account. I really think this is a critical
- It does add another function to the interface (it reduces none), and
this is a theoretical downside in the sense that it increses the UI
complexity. Personally i do not think i would have problems handling
this new function and enjoy it's benefits, i think however this has to
be experienced to be fully evaluated.
I can safely say you have created the most stimulating 3d software i
have ever used, and as long as you focus on the problems that are being
presented instead of solely the proposed solutions i have total
confidence in the developers. Discussions with the userbase is one of
the most important aspects of any type of product development, but
remember that what the user asks for is not necessarily what it wants. I
try to both demonstrate what i want , and give some input on how it
could be achieved
I hope this can be discussed further
Brecht Van Lommel skrev:
> Hi Jon,
> I don't really like this approach, as to me it feels like giving up
> trying to reduce the number of clicks. Having to open a panel each
> time you want click a button in it just seems quite slow to me, and
> also makes it harder to find things at a glance.
> I can understand how it would be helpful in for example the particle
> or material buttons, but in my opinion this works around the more
> fundamental problem that these are not organized / modularized better.
> The fact that you have to jump around between many panels to me
> indicates that presets and nodes could better organize these. The
> system should be designed such that only the panels/buttons are shown
> that are likely relevant to what I want, rather than trying to make a
> better UI to navigate through irrelevant options.
> Of course there will always be a need to have some levels of
> navigation, but I think we should keep the hierarchy as flat as
> possible. Right now we have one level for tabs, and a second level for
> panels that you only sometimes need to navigate because usually it
> will show what you want.
> 2009/11/19 Jon Sandström <sjon at student.chalmers.se>:
>> I wrote a proposal that adress your second statement (and more) some
>> time ago to the taskforce-25 list. It didn't get too much attention
>> then, but i'll include it in this mail as nothing has been done, and i
>> did not get very much feedback.
>> here is the original mail:
>> The buttons window (properties) has seen some major improvements in 2.5, however, even more can be done to improve readability and navigation of the interface. The biggest problem is that blender has to show a lot of data, but there is an easy way to solve this which is already practiced in the interface to some extent. The trick is to only show data which is of interest to the user. currently blender gives the user the ability to hide unneccesary data by for example collapsing tabs.
>> A more efficient way to work is to give the user the ability to show the requested data and then hide it automatically when it is no longer of interest to the user (Imagine having to close the windows start-menu manually every time after opening it). An easy way to extend this behaviour in blender is to automatically collapse all tabs when a new tab is opened. This way the interface will stay clean, and a minimum amount of scrolling is needed. (see mockup:
>> sometimes however, it is desireable to show multiple tabs. this can be done in two ways:
>> 1) shift+click - this opens the selected tab without closing the ones currently open.
>> 2) pinnig - all tabs that are pinned will remain open untill unpinned. This is basically a more flexible version of current behaviour.
>> this workflow will require an improved design of the "hotspot" area in the tab headers. currently the triangle is used to open and close the tabs, while the rest of the area is used to move the tabs. since the "open/close" hotspot is the one most frequently used, this should have the largest area, and a new third area could be used to pin the tab open (again, see mockup:
>> http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/5245/mockupr.jpg )
>> when the user opens a tab we can assume that he/she wants to see all its content, and therefore blender should if necessary scroll to a position were the entire content of the most recently opened tab can be viewed
>> if tabs are automatically closed, it will be easier and faster to find desired data. this behaviour can co-exsist with current behaviour (pinning) so i cannot find any arguments not to implement it
>> if anyone with the knowledge, time, and motivation required, could try this in action i would be very thankful. i'd also like to hear your thoughts on this, and maybe someone can find some arguments against this approach. If you like/dislike it, please let me know :)
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