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MartinFahrer

VW 2020 Tool Icons

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Besides the dimensioning tools that looks wrong in Dark Mode, the new icons are very confortable for eyes, when you work long hours in front of a screen, I think the icons are straightforward to use and there are always space for improvement, but the icons for Dark Mode are between Archicad abstract icons and the ultra cheesy icons of Revit..

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@Diego-Resuelvectorworks That's great for Mac users but according to JuanP earlier in this thread "we are hoping to improve the look of the whole UI soon. Unfortunately, it will not be for version 2021." So the PC users are going to be looking at this for (at least) two years. I mean its just an aesthetic thing, but why roll out new icons designed for a dark mode that won't be available to half your users for three years?  

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I agree with @SeanOSkea, thou I use a Mac and the Dark Mode is very comfortable to use, I also think the GUI are kind of one sided, that would be a first for the Mac platform, I understand that the new icons could not look correct on a windows platform, Vectorworks need to be a more professional looking software regardless the platform, and I think the GUI need to be polished, but there are a lot of tools that could use the programing time, our wall tool, stairs , doors and windows are laughable if you compare them with the competition, and makes me wonder if Vectorworks is even trying to compete anymore....

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I'm with you on @SeanOSkea that, the software makes way more productive until I bang my head with some issue that everyone is asking in the forum those days, but sadly the new features from the last keynote are going to use some obscure AI to enhance images and create models, with the, oh dear, VSS,  I only want a wall that i can stack components for skirting, and every other software has that, except Vectorworks, why? I dunno..

By the way, you used to have a Youtube channel? Right?
 

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1 minute ago, DBrown said:

I'm with you on @SeanOSkea that, the software makes way more productive until I bang my head with some issue that everyone is asking in the forum those days, but sadly the new features from the last keynote are going to use some obscure AI to enhance images and create models, with the, oh dear, VSS,  I only want a wall that i can stack components for skirting, and every other software has that, except Vectorworks, why? I dunno..

By the way, you used to have a Youtube channel? Right?
 

I know! Right? One of my #1 gripes: the embarrassingly complicated process we have to go through to add trim to a wall.  There's that Italian guy who has the $ plug-in that does what we want but why isn't something so profoundly basic like that in the default package?  Instead we have the new Hinged Truss tool! Thank goodness. My other one is why in the world is there no transform tool with axis locks like virtually every other software in the world? Fricken, TinkerCAD has that but we don't? They just need to give up on RW and make it easier to export models to 3rd parties. And not C4D, sorry. I'm not going to pay four grand for a one-way export to another package designed for an entirely different industry just so I can get some decent visualization tools. Don't get me started on Lucy holding the football of "improved performance" year after year. 

Sorry, went off on a bit of a rant. And yes I still do have the YT channel I just don't upload much anymore because I've kind of lost interest in teaching people this software. I've moved mostly to a 2nd channel hosted by my school where most of the stuff I put up is unlisted and for my students. Honestly, I work in performing arts (for now...assuming we can ever put on a show again) and if it wasn't for Spotlight, I think I would have given up on VW. I keep on using and teaching it year after year but I won't be upgrading again until some of these bone basic issues are addressed. 

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1 hour ago, SeanOSkea said:

I mean its just an aesthetic thing

For me it's more than just aesthetics.  I find the new icons much harder to distinguish quickly, so it slows down my workflow.  Eyes aren't getting any younger.

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VE4, agreed. Well summed up.

Dark what? Makes me think of MS DOS Autocad in the mid 90s. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, jeff prince said:

... icons should be minimalistic, strongly symbolic, and easily recognized...

 

You guys make nice software.  Focus on making our tools work and avoid unnecessary changes to our visual language for accessing them.  

 

...have some candid conversations with your customers who actually understand their industry

Everything the VW developers need to read from this thread, courtesy of @jeff prince

Edited by E|FA
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1 hour ago, E|FA said:

Everything the VW developers need to read from this thread, courtesy of @jeff prince

You didn't quote the part about the hardscape tool looking like a shoe from an old Atari game.  That was the essence of my rant 🙂

 

@drelARCH glad you enjoyed, it was writing therapy for me 🙂 

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On 12/9/2019 at 12:52 PM, RussU said:

@angelojoseph @MartinFahrer

 

I've listed below the points which have been raised to me, when I've been selling the virtues of why VW is the way to go.

 

VW Pros;

I've proven VW to be incredibly fast and accurate, leaving the others for dust on many occasions.

The cost is very favourable.

The industry specific tools (especially in the VW Designer package) as very versatile. From point cloud scans to terrain models, architectural tools and powerful revision managers

The sheer import/export capabilities of VW... talks nicely to everyone.

BIM Certified

 

VW Cons (from a directors perspective, not mine)

Not industry standard file type

Looks and feels cheap.... therefore, could it be putting the business at risk (despite seeing the output I give them)

Autodesk, household name

VW Draughtsmen would be hard to find as a replacement (ACAD designers are "ten a penny" (His words))

No one else can modify the files in my abscence.

Would have to re-train Two draughtsmen

 

ACAD Pros;

Industry standard file type

Widely supported

can find many users

No need to retrain anyone (I can already use ACAD, I just chose not to because I'm so much quicker in VW)

 

ACAD Cons

Cost

Slow

 

There is no good comparision, Autocad is slowly phasing out in favor of BIM programs, many of them are WAY better than Vectorworks at BIM, our wall tool, roof tool, stair tools, even our default window and Door tools are an embarrasment when you see the other BIM tools out there, even newcomers like BricksCAD are ahead than Vectorworks in BIM Solutions

If Vectorworks are trying to compete with AutoCAD, I think the target is way off.

I agree with you, we need a more elegant UI, but I think is the less of the problems with Vectorworks right now

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58 minutes ago, DBrown said:

we need a more elegant UI, but I think is the less of the problems with Vectorworks right now

I agree that the UI is not the most important thing that needs to be fixed.  What's irritating is that the previous UI from 2019 was much better, so this is entirely a self inflicted injury, and it seems to an outsider that rolling it back (and losing Mac dark mode) should be relatively easy to do without using resources that could be otherwise deployed to improve VW.  

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15 hours ago, DBrown said:

If Vectorworks are trying to compete with AutoCAD, I think the target is way off.

Well, I didn't expect one of my posts to be quoted.

 

A lot has changed in my opinions in the last few months, and I have to agree with @DBrown I was wrong to simply compare VW and Acad. I've recently taken a contract which stipulated the use of Revit. I have to say that I am impressed with Revit, after a steep learning curve and a re-working of the workflows, however it is targetted at the building industry, so no use at all for Lighting shows or Landscaping. (but that's not my core business)

 

To compare Vectorworks to Acad and/or Revit isn't really fair, as VW seems to be in the middle ground between the two. Revit's capabilities are very good, but there's no way I could use it to prepare files for CNC machines, or prepare shop drawings for manufacture in Revit. Doing this is acad is very slow, so VW definately still has a firm position in my workflow. VW has a unique position which isn't really comparible with any of the other products I've mentioned here.

 

I used to enjoy the Machine Design version of VW, and the decision was made for that product line to be ended, due to competiors like Inventor and Solidworks entering the market. I'm not sure which direction VW should take, but a lot of recent additions, Live section editing etc. are very good. Revit excels at having the sheets and "viewports" update instantly, but I don't mind updating views in VW. I would like to see VW take more advantage over extra cores, I have 8 cores 16 threads, but VW has a cap of only 3, last I heard, and GPU utilisation would really help too.

 

Pricing is still a key issue.... although Revit has been a core part of my workflow for the last three months, I won't make a permanent transition becuase it's costing a small fortune.

 

Also, probably the most important bit to highlight is the fantastic community and support available for VW. Much more personal, helpful and responsive than the others!

 

 

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8 minutes ago, RussU said:

stipulated the use of Revit

 

RussU post should be moved to a new thread,  this is a very interesting topic and I would like to hear more on it.....

 

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9 hours ago, RussU said:

which stipulated the use of Revit

That's happening all over the place in the AEC industry, there are fewer and fewer larger firms working with Vectorworks, mostly small or solo practices are using Vectorworks now, and every year the upgrades for the Architect part of Vectorworks are small or none existent, in 2020 we had the Barn Door!, but the key features architects needs are being neglected or added some makeup. If you see the webinars that Vectorworks offers, they are moving their efforts to Landscape design, Spotlight and now Interior Design, but for Architect we don't have any core enhancements, many of them have been gathering dust in the Wish list forum for years now

The UI needs to improve, but there are more pressing issues, that's my humble opinion...

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40 minutes ago, DBrown said:

The UI needs to improve, but there are more pressing issues, that's my humble opinion...

 

True.

If we don't have the tools to do our work in an efficient and profitable way, it doesn't matter how pretty the program looks.

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4 hours ago, jeff prince said:

 

True.

If we don't have the tools to do our work in an efficient and profitable way, it doesn't matter how pretty the program looks.

 

True but if clients are looking at the software we use and think it's less than autocad, then the job will go to the person who is perceived to have the more professional program.  It is about efficiency true but also about perception.  Throwing the bathwater out for 1/3 at the most of the users is a mistake.

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45 minutes ago, MartinFahrer said:

 

True but if clients are looking at the software we use and think it's less than autocad, then the job will go to the person who is perceived to have the more professional program.  It is about efficiency true but also about perception.  Throwing the bathwater out for 1/3 at the most of the users is a mistake.

 

That might be a valid concern for some I suppose.  Maybe they need better clients 🙂

My clients hire me for my expertise and the final product, not the tools I use to get there.

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Posted (edited)

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;

 

The Prologue:

We are rapidly reaching 100 days that covid 19 has totally killed the entertainment industry. My personal feelings on this can not be better described as that in E.A.Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum", where you get thrown into a dark pit, bound to a torture table, visualizing that the razor-sharp pendulum that swings above your body is moving down little by litte with every heartbeat you have left. You know that the death you are expecting is unavoidable and that you will feel the pendulum slowly but stealthily slice into your guts cutting your body into half in a long and painful process.

What E.A.Poe could not have known when he wrote his story, is that a 180 years later the black thoughts you have in the pit are interrupted by a daily pling that reminds you that you have new mails on the discussion about the vectorworks tool icons.


The Play:

So I consider myself as a man of practice and ignore that stupid pendulum happily swingigng above me with a sarcastic grin, while doing my personal summary on these icons:

- they look childish
- they are not distinct
- they are confusing

It's a bit like you are an actor on open stage when you can't remember your text. You feel that the audience will laugh at you since you don't look professional in this situation.

To avoid this situation there are a three things to do:

1.) learn your text. (=> learn your shortcuts, I totally argee with @RussU, who already mentioned this in this thread)
2.) play as a professional actor. (=> auditions with your client are nothing else than a big theatre play, only the result matters. If you can bring your audience to laugh or be impressed then you have won, no matter what means you used to achieve that.) I think this thought was also already mentioned here.
3.) make alternative text that you can use in such a situation until your brains are back in place and you can proceed.(=> create workarounds)

 

Points one and two are no software skills, but for point three I want to present my personal solution. Although it is generally not recommended to mix up your workspace too much I did the following:

- All tool palettes shown as "Icons and Text" (I admit, only suitable with two monitors and enogh space for the palettes)
- Remove all tools that you are 100% save using with shortcuts from the palettes or move them to the end of the list if you have enough space. A shorter list can be better gathered at a glance.
- In the workspace editor sort the tools alphabetically. After a while you will automatically search A,B,C tools at he beginning of the list and S,T,U tools at the end. You will find that you will not look at icons, since you won't need them to find your tool in the list.

 

Maybe someone will find this useful.

 

The Epilogue:

No question, the GUI has to be overworked. No reason why windows users should be excluded from "dark mode" and additionally be punished with these icons, forced to make workarounds which is not their original job. But I think this thread is long enough that the developers have learned their lession. I am shure they already work hard on this unspeakable icon thing, bringing us some solution some day.

 

So what do we do in meantime, while being forced to stare into the ceiling at this fateful pendulum? I am at a loss with that.
While browsing youtube for tutorials and clips for improving my VW skills in the meantime I stumbled over this video.

Looking at Larkin Poynton's masterpiece of choreography to Benjamin Clementine's crying out "I Won't Complain !" it triggered my deep craving for theatre, dance and culture. I'm starving to lean back again into a theatre seat, enjoying the show with hundreds of fellow visitors, pushing all icon problems away like a highwind in jamaica.


But No, Oh No, No, No, I wont't complain !

Edited by halfcouple

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On 5/30/2020 at 8:44 PM, SeanOSkea said:

I know! Right? One of my #1 gripes: the embarrassingly complicated process we have to go through to add trim to a wall.  There's that Italian guy who has the $ plug-in that does what we want but why isn't something so profoundly basic like that in the default package?  Instead we have the new Hinged Truss tool! Thank goodness. My other one is why in the world is there no transform tool with axis locks like virtually every other software in the world? Fricken, TinkerCAD has that but we don't? They just need to give up on RW and make it easier to export models to 3rd parties. And not C4D, sorry. I'm not going to pay four grand for a one-way export to another package designed for an entirely different industry just so I can get some decent visualization tools. Don't get me started on Lucy holding the football of "improved performance" year after year. 

Sorry, went off on a bit of a rant. And yes I still do have the YT channel I just don't upload much anymore because I've kind of lost interest in teaching people this software. I've moved mostly to a 2nd channel hosted by my school where most of the stuff I put up is unlisted and for my students. Honestly, I work in performing arts (for now...assuming we can ever put on a show again) and if it wasn't for Spotlight, I think I would have given up on VW. I keep on using and teaching it year after year but I won't be upgrading again until some of these bone basic issues are addressed. 

I hate to pile on here but there are 2 massive gripes we have and continue to get worse with Vectorworks

 

1. Number 1 biggest gripe...Exporting to DWG.  When in a saved view workflow vs sheet views.  VW likes to claim you have the option to present as you wish.  However; with the saved view method (which was actually show to us 10 years ago from a VW trainer) does not give you an easy way to export to dwg.  All the saved views must be converted into sheet views which can take a long time for just 1 package (we are often on the hook for 100's of dwg conversions).  Matt Panzer made a really nice plugin that did all that in a few clicks and we used it for years when customers wanted DWG's.  That plugin was bought by VW and for whatever reason shelved! The don't want to make it an offering because it's not moving toward the new Viewport workflow?!  We are not architects here so its almost non existent that we are doing 3d models. Our industry and parts change so quick libraries are of little use. Why can't they just integrate Panzer CAD View pack into VW! Bc they want to be bias to the newer workflow is what Im told. Pushing customers to adopt a certain workflow is exactly why we got away from ACAD. PLEASE give us a way to export a dwg package that is set up in saved views. Working in Viewports does not suit our workflow but I keep getting encouragement to do so.  We've tried and it actually consumes more of our time and is more complicated for new hires to learn.  Given we know our workflow it's hard for me to imagine on how VW insist Sheet views is more effective wo actually knowing what we do or how we work.

 

2. I also agree with the no axis locks. 3d can be super frustrating in some scenarios.  

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