[Bf-committers] New-User Interface Proposal

patrick boelens p_boelens at msn.com
Sat Mar 31 01:51:47 CEST 2012

"The solution is not more documentation. The people who avoid Blender because it's difficult to use
are not going to change their mind because you offer them text to read, or
because it is more customizable. They may change their mind if Blender
becomes easier to use."

I have to disagree on this one. I think it's pretty much a given that trying any new software package will
require some reading/ explaining. At least, I know I couldn't jump right into Maya or Vue and get right
at it. Every software package has it's own paradigm that needs to be made clear to the user.
A different UI may help with this somewhat, but it would also make some information go lost.
I.e.: While buttons for Vertex Select, Edge Select, Face Select and Object Select make it easier for a
first-time user, it would not make them aware they're switching Modes, which is a bad thing for such
something as context-based as Blender.
I feel the previously mentioned in-line help could make a big difference though. Maybe the option to
have a taller splash screen, listing useful links and such (turned on by default)?

Also, I think it's difficult to define "easier to use" in this case; it all depends on where the new user's
coming from, and which paradigms they're used to.

Having the same button used to both start and confirm the action as shown in your video seems to
only make things more complicated imo though. Left-click or enter to confirm seems pretty intuitive to me.

Sorry I'm not more positive about your proposal. I can see part of the frustration for new users, but
I wonder if it's really -that- much harder than going from, say, C4D to Max, or Maya to Softimage.
(Could be though.)

> Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:26:59 -0700
> From: letterrip at gmail.com
> To: bf-committers at blender.org
> Subject: Re: [Bf-committers] New-User Interface Proposal
> Hi,
> while I laud your goals - realize that a complete UI redesign would
> include every area that blender supports.  Your proposal shows a UI
> for just mesh editing (maybe?) and really isn't complete enough to be
> a design doc.
> Any significant redesign has major implications - basically all
> documentation has to be redone, all video training has to be redone,
> etc.
> That makes a proposal that works on a new UI a bit of a difficult sell.
> Also realize that the UI design changes that were made after William
> Reynishes proposal took quite a while to be accepted and his design
> work was with lots of interaction with the dev team.  You have
> basically a couple of weeks to convince the blender dev team that your
> design should be implemented.
> All of those factors suggest that your proposal has little chance of
> success as currently proposed.  However, tools to customize the UI -
> which would allow you to rapidly create your proposed UI, would likely
> be readily accepted - since it serves the needs of existing artists.
> LetterRip
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