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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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My vectorworks 2019 software is old from this evening. Please do it. Please now.

 

Amazing work @Stephan Moenninghoff and please let us know if we can share this videos! 

 

Danke Stephan! Gib uns meherere Nachricten! Toll!

 

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Presently the Resource Manager has two choices ALL Resources or ONE Type of Resource. I would really, really, really like to see the Resource Manager updated to allow for custom visibility of Resource types, like this:

Untitled 2.jpg

Edited by Jim Smith
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On 10/23/2018 at 10:37 AM, 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:
 

 

 

 

Wonderful work!!!
Vectorworks would look and behave like application for this century!!!

Edited by Diego-Resuelvectorworks
grammar

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On 10/24/2018 at 8:43 AM, 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

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)

 

I have a distinct, but possibly very personal, issue with having to use a middle mouse button for scrolling when there's no other way. I don't use a mouse. I use a Wacom tablet with the pen. Exclusively for all computer functions. There is no middle button, so I'd never be able to scroll.

 

I also agree that hiding scroll bars just makes things confusing. I use Macs for some things and Windoze for others. And this hiding UI elements is unnecessary and annoying.

 

OK. My 2 cents. 
Now back to your regular programming...

 

Kevin

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I also use a Cintiq Pen Display and Pen Input.

But my Pen has 2 Buttons so for VW I have LMB and MMB.

(Second Button set to "Navigation", which I use elsewhere,

somehow does not work in VW (well))

So Ok for View Pan and STRG+MMB Flyover.

But no Zoom Wheel available so no View Zoom - beside my Enterprise 3D thing.

 

And even with mouse, for me a Scroll Wheel is no adequate Mouse Button

in general and for such an important function especial.

(I extra bought an expensive CADMouse with real physical MMB + Scroll Wheel for that)

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I think the filter type tabs of your Resource browser would work well for object info as well.

 

We have had separate tabs for  Data and render for a long time and much smaller screens.

Meanwhile, the complexity of plug-ins has increased, renderworks has become stock and marionette has been added. All things pushing for more tabs to help find information but also less tabs because that information shouldn't be out of the way nor does it need to be now we have larger screens.

 

Thinking tabs would be, say, Location, Shape, Massing, Object Settings,  Attributes(incl render), Data, Tool Settings....

FIltering would then allow us to trim information to suit with nothing hidden more than a click away.

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31 minutes ago, Matt Overton said:

I think the filter type tabs of your Resource browser would work well for object info as well.

 

We have had separate tabs for  Data and render for a long time and much smaller screens.

Meanwhile, the complexity of plug-ins has increased, renderworks has become stock and marionette has been added. All things pushing for more tabs to help find information but also less tabs because that information shouldn't be out of the way nor does it need to be now we have larger screens.

 

Thinking tabs would be, say, Location, Shape, Massing, Object Settings,  Attributes(incl render), Data, Tool Settings....

FIltering would then allow us to trim information to suit with nothing hidden more than a click away.

^ that's sort of like in C4D, where sections can be opened and closed. Some modularity is definitely needed in VW.

Kevin

 

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8 hours ago, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

I made another little video. There were some comments and suggestions about the OIP earlier in this thread which I thought about. (There's more to come. I have been thinking about why the Attributes Palette is not part of the OIP and I think I must be overlooking something...) and I received some personal messages about how some of the things I proposed did not come across in an understandable way. Goes to show that everyone, including myself, struggles with that elusive chasm between sender and receiver. 

As always, here my little disclaimer: I haven't the slightest clue if any of what I am proposing makes any sense to anyone else or if it is even possible to implement in Vectorworks. Still, please upvote this if you haven't already (the little green triangle, right at the top...) 🙂 
PS - there's a little bonus extra at the end. Wait for it...

 

Looks great! Lock aspect ratio is a longstanding wish list item that is really needed.

 

Kevin

 

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3 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

I think the filter type tabs of your Resource browser would work well for object info as well.

 

We have had separate tabs for  Data and render for a long time and much smaller screens.

Meanwhile, the complexity of plug-ins has increased, renderworks has become stock and marionette has been added. All things pushing for more tabs to help find information but also less tabs because that information shouldn't be out of the way nor does it need to be now we have larger screens.

 

Thinking tabs would be, say, Location, Shape, Massing, Object Settings,  Attributes(incl render), Data, Tool Settings....

FIltering would then allow us to trim information to suit with nothing hidden more than a click away.

Tabs would definitely have to be more dynamic. Developers should be able to decide which tabs, besides the stock ones, they want to add. Also, why is the Attribute Palette not part of the OIP? There are some really nice opportunities there. Just think class attributes and the like. I still keep thinking I'm overlooking something though and there are some logical clashes there....

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This part of the Keynote left me wanting more.  More information on these interface improvements and please include them in the next version.

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I love that we're all obsessing over GPU's, multiple cores...  and then spend 15min individually updating a single revision note repeated on every single sheet of a drawing set. And the cherry on top is when I double click a revision note, nothing happens. Sort of like double clicking a column to autofit it will either A) autofit the column or B) minimize the column to 1 pixel wide or C) maximize the column 30' to the right.


Dark mode would be nice but these are the UI/UX issues that consistently keep me at work past 11pm.

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1 hour ago, Mark Aceto said:

I love that we're all obsessing over GPU's, multiple cores...  and then spend 15min individually updating a single revision note repeated on every single sheet of a drawing set. And the cherry on top is when I double click a revision note, nothing happens. Sort of like double clicking a column to autofit it will either A) autofit the column or B) minimize the column to 1 pixel wide or C) maximize the column 30' to the right.


Dark mode would be nice but these are the UI/UX issues that consistently keep me at work past 11pm.

All good and well but please let's not create the standard excuse for not caring about the aesthetics of the UI here. This thread is and has been about how VWX *looks*. Perhaps also a little bit about how it *feels*. But not about how it *functions*. A modern appearance is completely separate from functionality and what this thread is about is mostly aesthetics. Improving on features has never been a weak part of VWX, in fact I think we must admit that huge progress has been made over the past years. This all has happened while maintaining a dated and clunky UI. That is what this thread is about so please let's not muddy the message by such comments (although I'm sure it is a valid comment in a different thread).

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Architects and designers are graphic oriented people and and the interface needs to reflect that.   UI improvements that make the program easier to understand and use will improve the appeal of the program to them and make it easier for new users to learn and understand the program.  That will benefit all of us.

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9 hours ago, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

All good and well but please let's not create the standard excuse for not caring about the aesthetics of the UI here. This thread is and has been about how VWX *looks*. Perhaps also a little bit about how it *feels*. But not about how it *functions*. A modern appearance is completely separate from functionality and what this thread is about is mostly aesthetics. Improving on features has never been a weak part of VWX, in fact I think we must admit that huge progress has been made over the past years. This all has happened while maintaining a dated and clunky UI. That is what this thread is about so please let's not muddy the message by such comments (although I'm sure it is a valid comment in a different thread).

 

I'm very surprised to read this. What I like about the demo videos you've shared is almost entirely about how the interface you're proposing  *feels* and *functions*. I recently asked elsewhere on the forums what NV considers the UI -

 

 

While the visual nature of the interface is important and as @mike m oz said designers are visual people, I think you'll find that the vast majority of the people who upvoted this wish are looking for more than a shiny coat of paint.

 

Kevin

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

What I like about the demo videos you've shared is almost entirely about how the interface you're proposing  *feels* and *functions*. I recently asked elsewhere on the forums what NV considers the UI -

 

9 hours ago, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

All good and well but please let's not create the standard excuse for not caring about the aesthetics of the UI here. This thread is and has been about how VWX *looks*. Perhaps also a little bit about how it *feels*. But not about how it *functions*. A modern appearance is completely separate from functionality and what this thread is about is mostly aesthetics.


I think that the concern is we would focus on one to the exclusion of the other, which we will not. Theres also the ever present "X shouldnt be worked on until Y is complete" but again, that doesn't apply since these systems that seem to all be part of a single unit are worked on by very different teams and one is rarely waiting on the other. A lot of the time it can appear as if we had, say 200 engineers, and users will think "Well all 200 should be working on the UI until its great" when in reality, only a dozen or so have the skillset to work on our UI, and then a subset of that group[ are all who can work on it at a given time.

Don't let yourselves fall into that mental trap (I do on occasion), we can do quite a few things concurrently and we do not let any engineers sit idle. We are definitely focusing on UI in general at the moment and will continue to for 2020, but the Quality initiative isn't ended as of 2019, it will be carried through.

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While I would welcome an improved interface, I'm also cautious of how steep a learning curve this might represent. I see this each autumn when each new iteration of VW allows for little trip-ups creep into the software, quick key changes are one example. I'd be willing to work with a new & cool interface and the learning curve this would represent if the programme was limited to minor changes & improvements for a 3 year window. 

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Just now, Jim Smith said:

While I would welcome an improved interface, I'm also cautious of how steep a learning curve this might represent. I see this each autumn when each new iteration of VW allows for little trip-ups creep into the software, quick key changes are one example. I'd be willing to work with a new & cool interface and the learning curve this would represent if the programme was limited to minor changes & improvements for a 3 year window. 


I would think it very unlikely that we would dump a large number of changes all at once, for exactly this reason. Relearning new (and ideally, much better) UI elements over time is much less painful. I recall the jump around Vectorworks 10 through 12 era where the "Classic" workspace was still used by many and quite a few users didn't finally make the transition until they absolutely had to. 

As we saw in the keynote samples, many of the changes being experimented with are either extensions of, or additions to existing systems and likely wont require more than a few hours of drafting to grow accustomed to. In any case, new UI elements should be attractive enough on their own from a usability standpoint that they should make users enthusiastic about trying them out, rather than wary.

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For instance, we completely reworked the Resource Browser into the Resource Manager, and plenty of users have had time to acclimate. I think our eyes are on the OIP and Nav palettes next. If we had done all three at once though I suspect there would have been much more discomfort.

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4 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:


I would think it very unlikely that we would dump a large number of changes all at once, for exactly this reason. ...

.....they should make users enthusiastic about trying them out, rather than wary.

 

At the opposite end of this I was in a store a month ago buying a new mattress, the sales terminal was emulating an IBM AT running DOS & a dot matrix printer

😁

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2 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

For instance, we completely reworked the Resource Browser into the Resource Manager, and plenty of users have had time to acclimate. I think our eyes are on the OIP and Nav palettes next. If we had done all three at once though I suspect there would have been much more discomfort.

 

Jim, with the Resource Manager, users were not given a choice though. They *had* to use it. And while it's better than before, the UI does still not allow for the RM to be used in a docked state. I do tech support once a week (because I want to) and whenever I Teamviewer into customers' screens, I see the RM floating and collapsed. Why? Because its options are not visible in a docked and hence narrow state. This is a pure UX thing and I think it needs to be addressed. I have detailed how it could be addressed in my prototype. I am not proposing that my graphics be used (I think they are just next year's old UI and some young, talented designers will do a better job, no doubt) but the way it *behaves* isn't right. It's a usability bug if nothing else.

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Just now, Stephan Moenninghoff said:

 

Jim, with the Resource Manager, users were not given a choice though. They *had* to use it. And while it's better than before, the UI does still not allow for the RM to be used in a docked state. I do tech support once a week (because I want to) and whenever I Teamviewer into customers' screens, I see the RM floating and collapsed. Why? Because its options are not visible in a docked and hence narrow state. This is a pure UX thing and I think it needs to be addressed. I have detailed how it could be addressed in my prototype. I am not proposing that my graphics be used (I think they are just next year's old UI and some young, talented designers will do a better job, no doubt) but the way it *behaves* isn't right. It's a usability bug if nothing else.


SOME things we can leave the old system in along with a new one, but some larger components like the RM we weren't able to. I suspect that with the enhancement of the beta program we will be able to identify failings like that much earlier on and end up with better day 1 quality/usability.

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