UI Redesign Battle

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UI Redesign Battle

Post  BnBGobo99 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:37 pm

Unless you've been busy working or on furlough from the government shutdown, you probably know that there has been a very very very heated argument about a UI redesign of Blender to entice more users.  Ton and others have staked one side, while Andrew Price is leading the other side.  I have been on Ton's side, partially because I don't think we need a redesign, but also because I can't stand Andrew Price.

I will say, Andrew's newest proposal looks promising.  What do you think?

Link to YouTube video.
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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Dobi on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:53 am

This is the exact same video I watched yesterday. To be honest, I am not sure how they could pull it off without rewriting a major part of the code from scratch. Though, if they can do it then why not? Hell, I would donate to the Blender Foundation if they decide to make it happen!

As a .NET programmer, I really love the idea of getting to a certain Blender wiki article by hitting RMB + "What is this?". You know, when you're writing code in Visual Studio and you see a class or an operator or something somewhere that you don't know what it is for, you position the cursor on it, hit F1 and BAM! you're taken to the MSDN page where you get a bucketload of info. Perfect! This way, you don't have to store any huge offline help content on your HDD and if the Blender Wiki page is maintained with up-to-date info regularly, then you're always sure about getting the latest stuff.

As a Photoshop user, I would love to have a vertical sidebar with the most common tools and also a history subwindow. Of course, it would be better if I can hide that tool sidebar once I get to know the hotkeys for the tools.

So basically, what Andrew did was to take the best UI features from professional software and propose to add them in Blender, which is really fine for me. Also, Blender community was viewed by many as a sect just because of its UI functionality. Changing the Blender interface would probably fix this. His ideas indeed look promising.

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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Yodaman921 on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:11 pm

I was unaware of a redesign. Glad you brought it up.

My thoughts on the matter are a bit split. Since from the standpoint of using Blender for the past 4 (5? I've lost track...) I don't see anything really wrong since I'm used to the interface and all of the shortcuts. The one thing that does bug me the most though is when you enable edge length and it tells you the length of your edge while that edge is selected, I swear it's always too small/hard to read the edge length value. Anyways, I'm getting sidetracked.

I do think Andrew brings up some good points in that for most things on a computer, left is select and right is a menu, and it would be helpful for beginners and even people currently using the program. Will a lot of the current users be clicking the wrong button for a while if they did this change, oh yeah, but would it probably be more productive in the long run, most likely.

It'll be interesting if Andrew's proposal ever makes it into Blender.
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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Xraygunner on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:28 pm

I replied in the Blender Nation thread about this. I'll summarize by saying that I can't see where it would hinder the software or a persons ability to use it. One of the posters (Brian, I believe) hit the nail on the head in relation to new features being added that essentially get lost in the wood pile. His position is that coders come up with some great stuff and then are scrambling for a way to make that feature easy to get to or easy to understand where to find it.

In the end I would think that this is something that could be done to make all those most used tools easily available, and still be able to split screens and whatnot. I really don't think what Andrew had in mind would change the way most people like to work in Blender. I would imagine that multiple windows could still be used. So, I guess what I'm saying is "Why not?". I really don't think that this is going to be any kind of deal breaker for anyone. There are those that have threatened to "leave" Blender, but I seriously doubt those people are going to ditch it for something that they already hate and will have to pay out the wazzou to use.

One thing for sure... call it what you will, but I LOVED the materials organization thingy. And yes, a default LMB select with RMB for info sounds like the stuff of legend! cheers 
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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Dobi on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:58 pm

Xraygunner wrote:There are those that have threatened to "leave" Blender, but I seriously doubt those people are going to ditch it for something that they already hate and will have to pay out the wazzou to use.
As I said, many people (in that count people I personally know) don't want to use Blender because of its interface. Those people view us (Blenderheads) as a secret society or a sect or something... Blender really has awesome features, but they are all buried betwean dozens of buttons, tabs and sliders. One has to actually navigate to some of them, because they don't really have any hotkeys. And as we all know, workflow has a lot to do with interface. People respect Blender for its capabilities, but not for its interface! My point is that if the devs refine the interface, there will be more people that will come aboard the Blender ship, than people that will leave it, so you don't need to worry about that.

Yeah, most of us old Blender users will be like fish out of water with the new interface for a while, but if we were smart enough to understand the old Blender interface in the first place, then we should be smart enough to quickly start using the new one properly too, right? Wink That is, if it actually gets implemented, of course, since I heard that Andrew is only discussing it with the Blender foundation, so nothing is quite sure as of now.

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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:27 am

Hey, did anyone notice this? A quote from the latest Dev meeting notes (Oct. 20)

◾Ton Roosendaal mentions he had a meeting with Brecht van Lommel about all UI work the coming period. Brecht agreed on accepting the responsibility to coordinate/lead this, also to look into expanding the UI ‘owner’ team with more developers and designers.

Sounds interesting to me!

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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Dobi on Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:16 pm

Here's something that I took my time to read today. I think you guys may find it interesting as well.
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Re: UI Redesign Battle

Post  Strangebloke on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:23 am

I just finished watching the rest of the UI videos. I do agree with a lot of what Mr Price is saying. I also understand why a lot of people have reacted badly to it. I've done a lot of his tutorials and learnt a lot from him, but he can be irritating to say the least. Also his title of the first video was bound to put peoples backs up. Saying the interface is broken is likely to turn new users away, exactly what he claims to be trying to avoid.

It's not broken, but it is clunky.

The right click to select drove me mental when I first tried Blender. I mean it's not even consistent, right click in the 3D view but when I want to click a button I'm back to left click? Obviously it's easily changed but now when you're a brand new user who doesn't know where the preferences are.

The inconsistency of the settings is much worse though. I'm talking about where you have a number to set (like say clumping on child particles) there are two arrows you can click in some settings. Others have none. Some have maximum values, others don't. Worst, some you can drag your mouse over and they reach what appears to be a maximum. But if you click in the box and type a higher number Blender accepts it. How on Earth are you supposed to work all that out?

I love Blender for giving me the chance to do what I wanted to try since Toy Story came out but could never afford to get any decent software to try. There is a team looking at the UI after the conference I heard. How much will change I don't know but it'd be nice if they just made it more consistent for me.

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