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Jonnoxx

Change method of selecting Visibility status icons

Question

I find the current method of selecting the visibility status in of Design Layers etc in the Navigation Panel (and elsewhere) both tedious and redundant.

 

Currently, one must inspect THREE columns, and then move your mouse cursor to one of these columns, and then click to indicate your choice.

 

Problem Statement:

There is NO need for 3 columns to indicate different choices of visibility states!

 

Solution Proposal:

Use just ONE column to accomplish this SAME functionality.

 

In the proposed new SINGULAR column, the selection is by SUCCESSIVELY clicking at a SINGLE mouse position, sequencing either:

1. The Eyeball (indicating visibility)

2. a "X" (indicating visibility is switched off)

3. The Eyeball - Greyed Out (indicating grayed layer)

 

Benefits - Immediately Implementable with negligible recoding!

1.  Much Quicker, and much more User-Friendly!

2.  No need for muscle micro-movements to have to position cursor slightly from one column to another.

3.  Less cognitive load to have to visually scan what the current status of the eyeball in the columns is; and then have to make a decision on where to move cursor; then have to confirm the correct choice was made.  And move the cursor to another column if mistake made.

4.  All this is now unnecessary!

5.  Position the cursor in one-movement over the selected eyeball, then quickly click through the options.

6.  Make a selection mistake?  No need to move cursor to another column!  Just keep clicking on mouse to cycle through options again.  

 

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With a long list of Classes/Layers, I honestly like the 3 columns, as it's really easy to visually scan down the list and tell which things are in what state. If it were all in one column using different icons only, I think it would take longer for your eye to differentiate (especially between a visible eye and greyed eye).

 

I do see some of the advantages of what you're saying, I just worry it might cause more problems than it solves. Perhaps it could be an option to switch between though 🙂

 

 

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The ability to show/hide/grey a large selection of classes/layers with one single click makes this proposal problematic. Otherwise I think it’s a great idea.

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12 hours ago, Andy Broomell said:

I think it would take longer for your eye to differentiate (especially between a visible eye and greyed eye).

 

 

Thank you for raising this point, because it highlights a FURTHER inadequacy with the current "eye" depictions, which is that the existing contrast with the "Visible Eye" and the "Grayed Eye" is far too subtle as it is.

 

The "Visible Eye" should in any event have a MUCH more prominent use of a STRONG primary color in the eye.  For example, make the entire iris and pupil a single circle of say, a bright blue (or green, or whatever).  Such a bolder depiction will not take away from the symbolism of the existing icon.

 

Thus when you inspect the column, your eye is not having to carefully scan for subtle changes in shade between the current symbols , but is immediately - and strongly - drawn to the ONLY icon with COLOR in it.

 

😜

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3 hours ago, markdd said:

The ability to show/hide/grey a large selection of classes/layers with one single click makes this proposal problematic. Otherwise I think it’s a great idea.

Thanks for your  comment, Mark!

 

Not sure what you mean here.

 

Is it the "ability to show" ... or the "inability to show" that is the problem?

🙂

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What I mean is that often I want to select a large number of classes or layers (Whose visibilities vary) and an turn them all off at once.

 

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29 minutes ago, markdd said:

What I mean is that often I want to select a large number of classes or layers (Whose visibilities vary) and an turn them all off at once.

 

I see.

Seems it would be easy enough to incorporate this feature in the proposal.

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I think the Vectorworks team has it right in this instance. Right now, with 3 columns I can sort and easily see what is on/off/gray. I can CTL+Click in a column to quickly turn everything on/off for the entire file or a select subcategory based on a filter or search term. I think cycling modes in a single column would considerably reduce the efficiency when working with bulk changes.

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While I also find the "need for muscle micro-movements" problematic for the columns (and the active layer checkmark), and the proposal has some merits, I think the three column layout helps in easily see the class & layer settings to make multiple selections, so I prefer the current system to the proposal.  

 

The part of the UI I never understood was the order of the columns: On - Off - Gray.  It seems like the order should have been ON - Gray -Off, since gray is the intermediate stage between on & off.  However, given existing users' muscle memory, I think it's too late to change.

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I think the priority is VISIBILITY > ON/OFF

which I also want as on/off switch with a single(!) button !

(like in any other 3D App !)

 

If secondary visibility "type" is Grayed > ON or OFF doesn't matter

in that regard for me.

 

So, like I really love to be able to show or work on a hidden Class

by simply activating that class,

(ACAD even can't do that and throws an error message !)

for me Visibilities are exactly the same logic.

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On 7/23/2020 at 2:57 PM, ScottLebsack said:

I think the Vectorworks team has it right in this instance ...

I very much beg to differ - hence my proposal!  I appreciate this can only be a personal opinion.  And that others have every right to differ. 🙂

 

"Working with bulk changes" is not a constant, all-day, everyday, activity with this aspect of the program for the majority of users.   For those that it is a significant activity, such a feature would be easy to seamlessly incorporate this in the proposal.  And would thus overcome your objection.

 

It would be easy enough for Vectorworks to alpha-test a proposal like this in a "customer user-test laboratory setting" (they do have such a facility for testing new ideas? I certainly hope so!).

 

It alarms me somewhat - greatly! - that there seems VERY LITTLE interaction on a "Wishlist Forum" by actual Vectorworks representatives! 

 

Yet such user-forums present amazing windows of opportunity for Marketing executives!  They should be on daily patrol here.  Nothing less!  Indeed, I frequently advise marketing/sales executives to actively patrol the forums of their competitors as much as their own, for new ideas.  And especially, the valuable insights that can be gained into weaknesses of their competitors who do NOT respond to the opportunities presented on a plate right before their eyes!

 

Any company that boasts having an "Easy-to-use" interface, and being "eager to implement" it's customer's ideas ... as it's differentiating marketing advantage ... HAS to walk the talk

 

Unfortunately, however, there seems a HUGE disconnect between the exuberant visionary claims in CEO webinars, and the body language of actual implementation in the field. 

 

Experience has long ago taught me to ONLY pay attention to the Body Language!

 

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15 hours ago, Jonnoxx said:

It would be easy enough for Vectorworks to alpha-test a proposal like this in a "customer user-test laboratory setting" (they do have such a facility for testing new ideas?

 

From the way some features are rolled out, I'm not so sure they do much of this at all.  For example:

 

 

It would be interesting to hear from a VW employee in the relevant department.

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@Jonnoxx I initially begged to differ, as attested by my previous post, which you managed to to dismiss out of hand. It is important to provide pushback, and to show support for a feature that I use several times a week, and have used for the last 5+ years. If nobody pushes back, people with an open mind loose the opportunity to learn. 

 

What I find "tedious", is people who enter these forums using phrases like "tedious and redundant" as if we are not all professionals who may know something about what we're doing, afterall, it's how we make our living. I know there are things that need improvement, but please have some humility and respect for the users and developers who have been working with Vectorworks for years.

 

On 7/25/2020 at 5:31 AM, Jonnoxx said:

I very much beg to differ - hence my proposal!  I appreciate this can only be a personal opinion.  And that others have every right to differ. 🙂

 

"Working with bulk changes" is not a constant, all-day, everyday, activity with this aspect of the program for the majority of users.   For those that it is a significant activity, such a feature would be easy to seamlessly incorporate this in the proposal.  And would thus overcome your objection.

 

It would be easy enough for Vectorworks to alpha-test a proposal like this in a "customer user-test laboratory setting" (they do have such a facility for testing new ideas? I certainly hope so!).

 

It alarms me somewhat - greatly! - that there seems VERY LITTLE interaction on a "Wishlist Forum" by actual Vectorworks representatives! 

 

Yet such user-forums present amazing windows of opportunity for Marketing executives!  They should be on daily patrol here.  Nothing less!  Indeed, I frequently advise marketing/sales executives to actively patrol the forums of their competitors as much as their own, for new ideas.  And especially, the valuable insights that can be gained into weaknesses of their competitors who do NOT respond to the opportunities presented on a plate right before their eyes!

 

Any company that boasts having an "Easy-to-use" interface, and being "eager to implement" it's customer's ideas ... as it's differentiating marketing advantage ... HAS to walk the talk

 

Unfortunately, however, there seems a HUGE disconnect between the exuberant visionary claims in CEO webinars, and the body language of actual implementation in the field. 

 

Experience has long ago taught me to ONLY pay attention to the Body Language!

 

 

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32 minutes ago, ScottLebsack said:

@Jonnoxx ... which you managed to to dismiss out of hand. 

 

Not true, Scott!

 

I DID indeed pay proper attention to your comment and concern.  And respected it enough to address it head-on by pointing out that it would be easy enough to incorporate the feature that you regard as important INTO my proposal.  How is that DIRECT consideration of accommodating YOUR concern "not good enough" for you??

 

I pushed back on you objecting to a proposal on the basis your example of use, which - in my opinion - represents a somewhat exceptional situation.  And therefore NOT a rational basis to totally deny an improvement proposal out-of-hand.  As you just did.  If you felt otherwise (that the extreme use-case scenario you gave) is in fact - by far - the common scenario that you imply, then it is to be expected that you should have backed up, or at least re-iterated - in your response.

 

Instead of constructively defending the - imho weak example you gave -  and graciously accepting that I went out of my way to accommodate YOUR concern (to YOUR benefit!), you instead descend into personal attack ...

 

32 minutes ago, ScottLebsack said:

 

What I find "tedious", is people who enter these forums using phrases like "tedious and redundant" as if we are not all professionals who may know something about what we're doing, afterall, it's how we make our living. I know there are things that need improvement, but please have some humility and respect for the users and developers who have been working with Vectorworks for years.

 

A common thread over many years in this forum is that proposals in this forum are simply ignored, or slow-tracked to the back-burner.  And furthermore - to really rub it in - competitor products are in the meantime, developing BETTER, more User-Friendly and Intuitive tools in the same space.

 

This has become so frustrating for some users, that they have - quite reasonably - questioned why they should continue to invest in Vectorworks

 

Nemetschek has THREE similar mutually-competing products in the architectural field.  This seems TWO products too many!

 

It must stand to reason that in the long term, this is an unstable company situation, and at some point MUST eventually consolidate into a SINGLE dominant product.  Which one that will eventually be, and when, I have no idea!  All I know is, is that the other two products are going to be working pretty damn hard to make sure it's NOT them that are put against the wall.

 

Reading the responses over the years in this forum makes me wonder whether Vectorworks realizes the urgency of the task before them.  And how fast the curtain is closing on the space to address the existential threat they face.

 

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From the Moderator (volunteer user, not VW Employee):

 

Let's take the aggressiveness down a notch please. This is a potential feature request, not something that is being forces on anyone at this time.

 

VW looks at all these requests and sees how they will fit into their long term plans. At some point the user interface will probably change. When it does, perhaps this will be part of the change. I have no idea when.

 

Per the last comment, about two too many, please remember that VW is used by MANY different industries in many different ways. By many different users who think in many different ways. What you personally prefer may not be the best solution for the majority of users. There is no way that Archicad or Allplan would ever be able to do what VW is currently doing for the Entertainment and Landscape design fields.

 

Please go ahead and ask for what you think is best for you. But if VW does not agree with you then so be it.

 

If you don't think the way VW is set up, then you probably need to consider different software.

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