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Thomas Wagensommerer

Hidden Information Syndrome - Please streamline the user interface

Question

Vectorworks suffers from hidden information syndrome. For no apparent reason, there is information hidden, several levels deep, in too many dialog boxxes.

Just one example: This is a big dialog box with plenty of empty unused space.

Why is the description not directly displayed?

Why is drop shadow information hidden?

Why is there empty space instead of directly displaying the info for roofs and other?

Bildschirmfoto 2016-09-21 um 13.37.00.png

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This and inconsistency drive me crazy when using VW. VW really needs a good interface designer (my apologies if there is one, it doesn't really show).

I love the flexibility of the C4D interface where the user can control almost everything.

Kevin

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Vw really needs a User Interface / User Experience 'Guru' who goes through each and every dialogue box and cleans up all of the inconsistencies and wasted space. Parts of Vw interface reminds me of that great Johnny Cash song 'One Piece at a Time'. It functions, but nothing really matches anything else.

Edited by rDesign

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It may very well have all started when there was very little screen real estate (I think the first machine I saw MiniCAD on ran 1024x768... yeouch), so having a very large dialog box or many items displayed onscreen at once wasn't wanted or possible. But now that screen real estate is more often at a surplus with huge or multiple displays, it's time for a step back and a rethink. A lot of the continuation of this type of multi-level concealed UI probably comes from engineers wanting to:

1) Maintain consistency (which is only acceptable if consistently GOOD!)

2) Any time they added a new tool, they didn't have to redesign or alter any other tools or command's UIs at all.

I can see WHY it happened over the course of so many years, but I think it is about time we did some spring cleaning. If I waited 20 years between spring cleanings of my house, I think my grandmother's ghost would start throwing rocks at me.

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On 21.9.2016 at 7:54 PM, JimW said:

It may very well have all started when there was very little screen real estate (I think the first machine I saw MiniCAD on ran 1024x768... yeouch).

I remember that time. It was a big improvement after using ClarisCAD on 512 x 384.

;-)

ClarisCAD.png

Edited by Thomas Wagensommerer

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This really is another vote for the updated UI.  Ther must be 10 threads that essentially are getting at the same thing.  I keep waiting for a "Master of Interfaces and User Interaction Enjoyment" job posting on your job board to indicate that this effort is underway.

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The object info palette is totally empty for stairs. OK. And then there is this. Windows.

Window.png

Why is everything visible, even when not needed?

In addition to that there are 20 (twenty) dialog boxes. I counted them.

I dont know what to say...

Edited by Thomas Wagensommerer
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You could activate Sill to make it another bit longer.

 

That is my problem.
I have not much indication when scrolling between different setting far apart. Everything looks so similar.
So I often preferred the real Settings Window which has a lag when opening.
 

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3 hours ago, Thomas Wagensommerer said:

The object info palette is totally empty for stairs. OK. And then there is this. Windows.

Why is everything visible, even when not needed?

In addition to that there are 20 (twenty) dialog boxes. I counted them.

I dont know what to say...

 

I use a lot of other software, and in some where you have really really long dialogues, such as 3ds max and adobe lightroom, each section header allows a "roll up" toggle. So if you find that there's a bit you rarely use, you keep it rolled up (showing just the header).

I seems to be a fairly standard across most software these days... and perhaps, like the navigation panel, an alt-click could roll everything up or down.

 

That would be lovely to see that in an upcoming spring clean. (but please before vw2018!!!!)

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1 hour ago, RussU said:

I use a lot of other software, .... where you have really really long dialogues

 

Windows and doors in VW are already too complicated, nonetheless they still dont do what I need. I think an improved concept is needed not only for the user interface also for the technical content.

 

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26 minutes ago, Thomas Wagensommerer said:

 

Windows and doors in VW are already too complicated, nonetheless they still dont do what I need. I think an improved concept is needed not only for the user interface also for the technical content.

 
 

I kind of like the Custom Cabinet tool as templet of how a next generation door / window tool could work.  You have a graphical representation of the door - and you are able to click to edit the panels, rails, jambs, muntins, mullions, sills.  That way all the options are not is this HUGE list - but just come up after you indicate that is the part of the object you want to edit.  

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So, opinions on this type of dialog? It has started to become the standard when tools get reengineered/rebuilt. Is this better than the sub-sub-sub dialog box button breadcrumb trails, or nearly as cumbersome?

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 2.08.55 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 2.09.02 PM.png

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The german equivalent has a preview with wall.
That way I could see if my Sill will cut the wall or not. And I don't see wich side is outside..
Beside the preview works great.

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On 27/09/2016 at 8:10 PM, JimW said:

So, opinions on this type of dialog? It has started to become the standard when tools get reengineered/rebuilt. Is this better than the sub-sub-sub dialog box button breadcrumb trails, or nearly as cumbersome?

I guess that would depend on the tool and the number of options.

Even though this is an improvement it might be useful to have an option for a reverse order. E.g. now settings for 2D and 3D for line thickness or colour have to be set through the 2D and the 3D items.

It would be nice if would could start from e.g. line colour or thickness property and then select whether this applies to 2D, 3D or both by selecting those. i.e instead of working from left to right in your window example you should also be able to start in the middle. Of course this would work only for items that are available in multiple categories.

 

I hope it is a bit clear what I'm trying to convey.

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