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Thomas Wagensommerer

Vectorworks User Interface Overhaul

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brown - purple - yellow - blue REALLY?

 

Looking at screenshots from VW 2018 makes me extremely sad. Seemingly Vectorworks is the last application adhering to the kindergarten color scheme.

 

A design application must not use colors in the interface!

 

Look at any self respecting or professional design application and please get rid of those colors in the interface.

 

 

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Autocad2015_refined_user_interface-742x417.jpg

Edited by Thomas Wagensommerer
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For example.
The New interface of the program solidThinking (Evolve+Inspire+ other applications of the ALTAIR complex based on the Parasolid Engine) adds new users:

 

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That's where it gets handy in C4D.

You can edit in 1 Tab or you can activate more than 1 Tab which contents

will be automatically extended in your list view, while everything else stays

hidden.

 

I love Hierarchies.

But I never use  hierarchical display for Classes.

Just because it is visually unreadable in VW.

And, together with VW's limit to drag Rows not from the complete Row but

from a special Field only (e.g. Layer Stacking Order) or expand/collapse

Rows on the small arrow only,

or switching visibility is so far away from Class Names without any horizontal

guide lining that it is hard to switch the wanted Class,

makes it unusable for me.

Edited by zoomer

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3 hours ago, zoomer said:

I love Hierarchies.

But I never use  hierarchical display for Classes.

Just because it is visually unreadable in VW.

 

^ me too. The VW version is completely unreadable. And it gets worse when you duplicate a class, the navigation palette class list scrolls for no reason and the duplicate drops into a new level of hierarchy making it difficult to find. Things only display properly if you turn it off.

 

KM

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kevin McAllister said:

 

^ me too. The VW version is completely unreadable. And it gets worse when you duplicate a class, the navigation palette class list scrolls for no reason and the duplicate drops into a new level of hierarchy making it difficult to find. Things only display properly if you turn it off.

 

KM

 

 

 

Shows how different users' perceptions are - I always use class hierarchies because for me it's very difficult to find what I want in a long list - makes my eyes glaze over.  Points up the benefits of a customizable interface.

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15 minutes ago, Chad Hamilton HAarchs said:

 

Shows how different users' perceptions are - I always use class hierarchies because for me it's very difficult to find what I want in a long list - makes my eyes glaze over.  Points up the benefits of a customizable interface.

When I turn it on, I have to close all of the sub-hierarchies. It reads fine as things indent, its when they come back out again it gets confusing as to where you are. I would use it all the time if the design of the graphics was better so it read clearly and your eye didn't get lost.

 

Kevin

 

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I like the mock up generally.

 

I prefer the colourful icons for resource types though rather than grey subdued.

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The buttons at the bottom of his second video are exactly how the Resource Manager filters should work! I'd use that constantly. (Does Stephan work for VW? He should...)

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1 hour ago, Jim Wilson said:

These may have been shared before, but I wanted to get some more current feedback. These videos include mockups of an improved Vectorworks UI by @Stephan Moenninghoff. Not only am I extremely grateful for the obvious time investment that went into these, I tend to agree very strongly with many of his functional improvement suggestions

 

This is fantastic! Bravo @Stephan Moenninghoff. As someone who has worked with a horizontal palette for years, I am grateful to see that given some consideration. I'm very appreciative of the amount of thought that has gone into these prototypes.

 

Kevin

 

My main tool palette looks like this. Unfortunately its un-dockable in the current implementation of palette docking since it needs to be a specific width to keep its organization. I think user organization is one thing that needs to be considered with palette resizing. I want to control my tool layout so tools appear in a consistent position within the palette.

 

1876155514_ScreenShot2018-10-23at9_23_47AM.thumb.png.4219efb94e692bc9553a3d578e444110.png

 

And I sure hope some of those proposed changes solve this 🙂 -

 

1704090082_ScreenShot2018-10-23at9_24_00AM.thumb.png.7183a25dbd24c684c1b8a3617691ffdd.png

Edited by Kevin McAllister

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3 hours ago, Jim Wilson said:

These may have been shared before, but I wanted to get some more current feedback. These videos include mockups of an improved Vectorworks UI by @Stephan Moenninghoff. Not only am I extremely grateful for the obvious time investment that went into these, I tend to agree very strongly with many of his functional improvement suggestions:
 

 

 

 

 

Oh man!!! These looke abolutely amazing. Stephan should be hired ASAP

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22 hours ago, Jim Wilson said:

These may have been shared before, but I wanted to get some more current feedback. These videos include mockups of an improved Vectorworks UI by @Stephan Moenninghoff.

 

I have only seen the 3rd Video so far.

But there are 2 things I disagree.

 

1. I hate the current trend of diminishing (Linux) or even hidden Scrollbars

a) I can't even see that there could be more to scroll, or not

b) Scrollbars are always a good indicator to estimate of how much Text

or other content will follow.

(like how much time it will need to read or how fast I will Scroll or pull the Bar)

 

2. I am totally fine with "Shortcuts" being displayed on the right row end of Menu entries

and I am totally fine with "Shortcuts" being displayed at the end the ToolTips,

which only appear when you hover an Icon for a while anyway.

Tool Tips :

1. Tool Name

2. Description what it does

(3. If it is so complicated than even the the steps needed to use it properly,

maybe only accessible when clicking a button to extend)

4. Shortcut

 

Edited by zoomer

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On 10/24/2018 at 2:43 PM, zoomer said:

I have only seen the 3rd Video so far.

But there are 2 things I disagree.

1. I hate the current trend of diminishing (Linux) or even hidden Scrollbars

I know what you mean @zoomer about those scroll bars. It can be irritating.

Nevertheless, tool palettes are unlikely to have a large number of hidden buttons if they are standard out-of-the-box palettes. If they are made by yourself and you know what's hidden, that's also ok. So I would really love to see how this works in the wild. Interesting though what happens when people start to use horizontal tool palettes. Does every user know about the Shift key for horizontal scrolling?

So, yes, there is some uncertainty there. But this is what user testing is all about. I firmly believe any radical departure from the status quo needs very thorough user testing. 

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BTW a scalable UI is nothing too exotic. Blender has had this forever. Not surprisingly - as they use vector-based UI-elements. Pixel-alignment is not too great for non-multiples of whole pixels but it applies only if a low-res monitor is used. On Retina/5K monitors, the blurring is negligible.

Edited by Stephan Moenninghoff

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Meanwhile I saw the other videos about RM.

 

I highly second that Multiple-Filter-Types at once, by separate Buttons.

(In fact I asked for that since the release of RM)

 

 

The missing or hidden Scrollbar would be a problem for me.

If I search through VW Libraries and I will see an Array of 9 Thumbnails,

accidentally nicely fitting into my current Content Window Area

but no Scrollbar,

I would think there are only 9 Objects in that Library and go on searching

in other Libraries.

Or start to scroll in any Content Windows or hovering everywhere any

Scrollbar could appear from now on.

 

1.

Another annoyance I find so often anywhere,

especial in UI Edit Settings,

are these Lists that pop out (like those from small Arrows in Quick Prefs)

that will disappear immediately after you input your first change.

You have to reopen each time and re-search.

(or like the list to open UI Palettes)

 

I wish there would be a standard Dialog list that stays,

shows your changes in real time,

and disappears only after you hit OK or Cancel button.

 

2.

Or for things like Publish or Export Options saved by Name,

When you open the Dialog and have a Named Saved Setting and change things,

when you click to export,

VW asks if it should Overwrite that Setting, Discard Setting Changes

or Save Settings As a new Named Saved Setting.

 

3.

An App completely locked up when a Settings Window like VW Prefs is open.

Which prevents from all Scrolling in Views or Lists.

In Modo or C4D you can go on working totally unrestricted in such cases,

even if you have 10 of such Windows open that wait for your input.

 

4.

"Preview" Buttons or even no Real Time Editing at all.

I wish all would work in real time from such Windows.

At their end there should be 2 Buttons OK and Abort.

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43 minutes ago, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

BTW a scalable UI is nothing too exotic. Blender has had this forever

 

Blender, C4D, Modo, ...

 

Basically any Software that uses their own UI System.

And e.g. in Modo (or Blender), each Pane can be anything or

changed to show any kind of content.

Like making one of your View Panes to a Dope Sheet, Timeline Editor

or Real Time Preview and such.

 

Screenshot-91.thumb.jpg.3b8df38cf6958a4867f47c868abe73ff.jpg

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28 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Meanwhile I saw the other videos about RM.

 

I highly second that Multiple-Filter-Types at once, by separate Buttons.

(In fact I asked for that since the release of RM)

 

 

The missing or hidden Scrollbar would be a problem for me.

If I search through VW Libraries and I will see an Array of 9 Thumbnails,

accidentally nicely fitting into my current Content Window Area

but no Scrollbar,

I would think there are only 9 Objects in that Library and go on searching

in other Libraries.

Or start to scroll in any Content Windows or hovering everywhere any

Scrollbar could appear from now on.

 

Yes, and I was only proposing a substitute for scroll bars for tool palettes, not the RM. I don't think it's too critical though, just a detail. However - It goes to show how difficult it is to craft a UI for two platforms if you don't want to create your own UI. The treatment of scroll bars is quite different on Mac and Windows and needs some consideration. It can be done though and it can be done quite well.

 

28 minutes ago, zoomer said:

1.

Another annoyance I find so often anywhere,

especial in UI Edit Settings,

are these Lists that pop out (like those from small Arrows in Quick Prefs)

that will disappear immediately after you input your first change.

You have to reopen each time and re-search.

(or like the list to open UI Palettes)

 

 

 

Agreed. That's why I am proposing a popover window instead of a menu. A popover is something that allows multiple choices and each choice is carried out or applied immediately. No confirmation necessary. Klick outside it and it goes away. As shown in the last prototype movie.

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21 minutes ago, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

Klick outside it and it goes away.

 

Yes, that's the better way.

 

 

23 minutes ago, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

Yes, and I was only proposing a substitute for scroll bars for tool palettes, not the RM.

 

I think I would miss my Scrollbars even then

(or forget my last 5 Icons at the end of the list of Palettes I seldom use)

 

But surly not as much as in a Content Window.

 

Screenshot-96.thumb.jpg.27a3e98d2ef01cccab2cb122e9d34913.jpg

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1 minute ago, zoomer said:

(or forget my last 5 Icons at the end of the list of Palettes I seldom use)

That's what the gradients are for. But you may be right after all. I suspect it would be too much of a paradigm-change 🙂

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OK, I watched the last Video now (Quick Settings)

Much much better.

 

 

Didn't realize the Gradients.

And maybe it is only me who loves Scrollbars, while all others hate them ...

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