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For the UI, Don't Even Consider This...


Bob-H

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I am very content with Vectorworks present UI. The toolbars really work: you have the Basic Toolbar, the grouped Toolbars, OIP, Resources, etc., that you can move to the side, or the 2nd Monitor if you have one. I find little need to improve the toolbars, except if they can all possibly stick together at the edges while they are moved, so that they don't obscure or hide one another.

But my real concern is all of the buzz over Microsoft's Ribbon interface. After seeing this YouTube video on

, I was stunned over how the tool icons jump around and change layout on the upper 1/5 bar of the document screen. A full day of this would be hard on the eyes for me.

Looking through the online Forums, I've found the Ribbon in AutoDesk's Revit 2010 has left many Autodesk users with a puzzled reaction. One commenter described Revit 2010's UI as a feeble exercise in "Funtion follows Form." Another blogger, Phil Read , wrote a comical essay on the "drunken lephrechaun in the shed" who magically puts away all the tools.

So in summary, PLEASE DO NOT ribbonize Vectorworks! It already has an easy to comprehend Two-Fold UI......1) The Toolbars organize all the plug-in objects, and 2) the pulldown Menus handle all of the object modifying and file commands. I have always relied on this mantra for understanding the Vectorworks interface. I know NNA has better sense than to consider the Ribbon, but I thought I should mention it anyway.

Thanks.

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The workshop analogy was real helpful, and now I understand.

I too always enjoy stepping over the floor jack when I'm painting a chair.

And just the other day, I was worried that I might need the belt sander when I was changing spark plugs. That's why I got rid of all my tool boxes.

I've translated it to my computer too. In Vectorworks, I keep all my tool set pallets open all the time. Not that you notice because, the vectorworks window is only 100 pixels square and often covered...since I keep all my other applications open (though I did draw the line at every document).

The fact that one doesn't put one's tools away when one is not using them explains why the Jack is in the way when one is painting the chair one is sitting on, but cleaning deposits from the spark plugs with the belt sander is definitely overkill and one may find there's no electrode left to create a spark.

Personally, despite using more than one screen, i never seem to have to negotiate though a maze of other open applications debris as i tend to set up each UI in a manner that is most useful for each selected App without ever feeling the need to dig anyone in the ribs.

:)

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Perhaps instead of Vectorworks your should try an Application that teaches how to live with those that have different opinions to those of your own.

Choice, by the way, is still an option which is why i use a tablet/pen as well as a 5 button mouse. Horses for courses! i'm sure you can find an irrelevant wise crack for that one.

Edited by AndiACD
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The Revit user seemed to be moaning more about the changes to the model tools rather than about the interface.

I don't find the Ribbon interface that bad, it just needs the frequently used 2D draw/edit tools to be always visible. For once I disagree with Christiaan - I really don't like the Aperture interface or those similar Apple apps like Pages or Numbers...I find them a pain to work with. I think MS has the edge on usability, despite the clutter in some of their latest apps.

The way I see it, the dynamic ribbon is simply taking the VW toolsets palette and doing it horizontally, with an enhanced version of the VW mode bar (which is dynamic) below it.

I disagree that the VW interface isn't broke - it's a mess, with attributes detached from other object properties, two sets of class/layer settings, no controls over frequently used preferences (like View Line Thickness, Edit in Groups etc) and it needs tidying up to free up space for a more pictorial Object Info palette amongst other things.

There is good and bad in the Revit interface, and some of it might be useful.

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I disagree that the VW interface isn't broke - it's a mess, with attributes detached from other object properties, two sets of class/layer settings, no controls over frequently used preferences (like View Line Thickness, Edit in Groups etc) and it needs tidying up to free up space for a more pictorial Object Info palette amongst other things.

I must admit I'm not entirely clear on what the "ribbon" interface is, but I do agree with a lot of what Chris is saying. While I wouldn't say its broken, there is a lot of duplication and room for streamlining and improvement.

I customize my palettes so the tools are arranged horizontally across the bottom of the screen. I have done so for many version of Vectorworks/Minicad. With my OS dock across the bottom as well I find its efficient for most mouse movement and increases the usable space for the object info palette and navigation palette at the side. Screen real estate is at a premium when you are on a laptop. I used various workaround over the years to achieve this as the palette interface changes. Right now I find that the palette borders use up a lot of extra space. (My current experiment involves stacking the closest 3D equivalent tool above the 2D tool. My work is quite varied, so dividing the tools into categories as VWs does is not that efficient.)

Additional duplications include the object info palette and properties dialog, which are almost but not quite the same as I discovered recently. And even I have fiddled with scripts to try and make the prime preferences Chris mentions accessible from the tool palette (black and white is another).

Kevin

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i really don't want to see too many "Designer" changes to VW's UI. i would however appreciate a good clear-out and clean-up.

An improvement on the palettes right now can only make things better and as much as i like Aperture, sorry to say i'd HATE to see VW go down that route. i also had my fill of airbrushing Ribbons, so that can wait too.

Make the palettes sticky if you really must but don't oblige us to use that format. Get the palettes we have now usable. Allow us to keep the colour palettes open for as long as we need in a combination of as many palettes as we might need at any one time. Constant line weight options always available. Sort out the WP palette. Make the Resource Browser "Fully" functional so you don't have to keep on clicking on the drop down. There are a few keys that don't get used by VW, so allow us to assign a shortcut without the use of a Modifier . . . etc. etc. . . . . . .

i still like the old PS format so as long as we are given the choice in the Prefs of using the GUI as it stands, they can make VW as "Clunky" or "Streamlined" as NNA thinks they are able, as long as we maintain an option of keeping what we have.

Sorry to keep repeating myself:-

Make what we have work first, then get the "Go Faster Stripes" when the Guys at NNA have plenty of spare time on their hands. :)

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