[Bf-committers] UI changes from cycles branch

Matt Ebb matt at mke3.net
Mon Oct 24 01:39:52 CEST 2011

On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:21 AM, Brecht Van Lommel <
brechtvanlommel at pandora.be> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Here's a patch with a subset of the UI changes in the cycles branch
> that I'd like to merge into trunk. Are there any objections to this?

I'd personally like to hear the rationale for these rather than just saying
here's the patch. Some of it seems a bit more like a matter of taste too,
rather than something that's designed for a wide audience, so I'm curious to
hear the reasoning.

> I don't think they would need any documentation updates, it's just
> small things that wouldn't confuse anyone in screenshot:
> * Remove emboss on areas and regions
> * Remove button emboss
> * More subtle colors and gradients on buttons

Most of these I don't think it would be a problem to make the embossing a
bit more subtle, but I'm not keen on removing it all entirely. Even just a
subtle hint of shape and shading really helps to distinguish the buttons
from everything else - not just in the literal sense of give it an
affordance 'this is a button, you can click on it' but mainly for some
visual difference between the rest of everything else on screen.

When everything is flat with single pixel outlines (not just buttons, but
also other dividers, grids, scrollers, lines in other editors like the
animation/timeline editors), it loses a sense of visual hierarchy and rhythm
- it all tends to merge into one soup of lines and flat shaded areas, and
makes it harder to find things quickly in the UI.

> * Black arrows on menu button
-1, Way too low contrast, there's almost no point in having them there.
Makes them look like other dark UI widgets like radio buttons, which is not

> * Panel header changed look & smaller
Seems ok, but I would give it an extra pixel or so of padding both above and
below, it's quite cramped and loses its sense of importance in wayfinding
(becomes much more like just another button).

> * Screen splitting widgets look
Not a fan of how it is now, but perhaps if it was the dark triangle with a
hint of the 'gripper' lines blended on top it would work better.

> * Toolbar/properties expand button look
Looks great

> I'd still like to change the font in trunk, but it seems hard to get
> an agreement on this. Some tests:

Again, I'd like to hear the rationale - I think the font in trunk right now
is very good.

If it's to make things smaller and more condensed, be wary of cutting off
one's nose to spite one's face - you *need* whitespace in design, it's not
just wasted areas where more can be crammed in.



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