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Thread: Why have you stuck with LW all this time!

  1. #136
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    That is the stuff of nightmares. Text interface is a strength of LW. With good tool handles and OGL buttons as part of tool UI, like LWCAD for instance, there is no need for icons along the side. I'm all for a customizable UI though, so those who want icons can put them in place of, or alongside text. But please don't pretend icons are about speed, when often used functions are performed with keyboard shortcuts by speed users. Less used functions are better described by text, because it literally tells you what it does without having to roll over it. Right click menus are the other speed up. If you are going to the edges of the screen to click icons, you are wasting time. That said, I am not in that much of a hurry myself. Hopefully LW will always be text by default. It works, and it is distinctive in a good way, when all the others look the same.

  2. #137
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    Maybe it's a left brain, right brain thing.

  3. #138
    Super Member Chris S. (Fez)'s Avatar
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    Primarily text with a spattering of common sense icons please. But, yeah, customizable to keep everyone happy.

  4. #139
    Registered User Marander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S. (Fez) View Post
    Primarily text with a spattering of common sense icons please. But, yeah, customizable to keep everyone happy.
    Yes I agree.

    For LWNext I don't expect any icons and I'm fine with it.

    But at least some UI enhancements, high res display support (scaling), decluttering (better default organization of menus and tools) and dockable panels should be there.

    Nice to have would be a global, context sensitive attribute manager, but again, I don't expect this in LWNext.

    The endless drop down menus and More... submenus are highly inefficient. Same for the various floating dialogs. I noticed that in many LW tutorials alot of time is wasted moving these dialogs / panels out of the way. There should be a way to stack / dock (and of course detach and lock) them.

    But since they have a UI/UX engineer (Matt) there is hope.
    Last edited by Marander; 09-13-2017 at 03:46 PM.

  5. #140
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    Note how, although C4D uses a lot of icons, their choice to use a VERY few colors in each icon (black, white, and a color) allows each one to be understandable AND color coded as to functionality.

    Generators are one color: deformers are another, etc.

    Someone shoulda clued in the Truespace designers.

    (Also, the C4D icons are well designed, not mysterious and/or puzzling. For the most part. )
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  6. #141
    I think a lot of it has to do with nouns Vs verbs. Nouns work great with icons. I never, in any application get confused if they show me an icon with the picture of the primitive that will be created by that button. If I see a sphere, I know it will draw a sphere. I might not know what the word Torus means, but I will easily know that the icon that looks like a doughnut will produce a shape that looks like a doughnut. Likewise with edges points and polys. Those are nouns and the icons in all applications that let you switch from vertex to edge to face mode are clear to anyone at first glance.

    Icons get confusing when they try to represent verbs. If I see a picture of a dog running with a big smile and they ask me for the noun, I'll easily know it's a dog, but if they ask me for the verb, it could be running, smiling, being happy, escaping, hunting. And with a picture it's easier than with an icon. After the "Big Easy 3" verbs (move, rotate, scale) trying to make clear icons for the dozens or hundreds of verbs that a 3D app has to perform is just... not possible.

    I think we all use 3D apps in a similar way. We use a few tools a lot of the time, and the rest of the tools very seldom. That means that we can't memorize the app's 300 icons because we normally only use 20 on our day to day work. Those 20 can look like anything, because we know them by reflex. But when we need to perform one of the operations that we seldom use... how do we find it? If we look at text buttons, we'll eventually find a verb that sounds like what we want to do. If we look at dozens of verb-icons that we don't normally use, we will probably have no clue what any of them do. So we have to move our mouse over them and wait for the tooltip. Which effectively makes those icons a very slow form of text buttons. And imagine calling support and they tell you to click on the kumquatchize icon and you looks through the menus trying to imagine which one that could be. Whereas with a text button you'd just have to ask if that's with a K or a C (because the people who invented languages were masochists and just couldn't keep to one symbol per sound :P ).

    So having a poor designer trying to come up with a clear icon for each and every command is a massive waste of time and sanity and will not be useful for the user. If noun commands are clearer (and smaller) with icons than words, make them just icons. The 10 super-common everyday tools that almost everyone uses all the time and will easily memorize, make them just icons or icons with text. All other verb commands work better as just text.

  7. #142
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    I like intelligently labeled text buttons or properly descriptive illustrations such as sculpting tool illustrations or brush presets for most tools. Icons are great but primarily when the function is something that may appear anywhere in the interface or multiple places at once and therefore needs to be as compact yet readable as possible. A typical example would be an eye that is open or closed to represent visibility of a layer. Icons are also great when used in tandem with text like a little custom hieroglyph or emoji. Blender's modifier list is very good example of this, a nice little icon next to a word makes it very easy to quickly find the modifier you want if you already understand the concepts but are not familiar with the interface. Problems arise when icons are built into the design of an application's UX in a way that means space is not reserved for text i.e. horizontal rows of icons. Maya's shelf strikes me as a case like this. Custom shelves are great in Maya, but because they chose a horizontal row of icons there isn't really room for a good label for each icon. You can use a custom icon, but in my experience we usually had the default icon and then some cryptic little label so we knew what it was. A vertical list like LW would be much better in this case.
    Last edited by hypersuperduper; 09-14-2017 at 12:37 AM.

  8. #143
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    One thing that might be of relevance is that I can imagine a non-English speaker better understanding an English tutorial video if the video shows a guy using icons. In that sense maybe icons are a universal language for some. I think I recall a thread here where people were requesting translations of Dstorm Japanese language tutorials, so possibly "universal" icons might have helped a certain percentage of English speakers to figure things out from Japanese. I prefer text though.

  9. #144
    One interface that I realy like is MOI, It's very clean and organized, the icons are big and all have text and some are only visible when needed. I think that could also be taken further, for example some icons for polygon specific operations could only be made visible when you have polygons selected.

  10. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
    I think a lot of it has to do with nouns Vs verbs. Nouns work great with icons. I never, in any application get confused if they show me an icon with the picture of the primitive that will be created by that button. If I see a sphere, I know it will draw a sphere. I might not know what the word Torus means, but I will easily know that the icon that looks like a doughnut will produce a shape that looks like a doughnut. Likewise with edges points and polys. Those are nouns and the icons in all applications that let you switch from vertex to edge to face mode are clear to anyone at first glance.

    Icons get confusing when they try to represent verbs. If I see a picture of a dog running with a big smile and they ask me for the noun, I'll easily know it's a dog, but if they ask me for the verb, it could be running, smiling, being happy, escaping, hunting. And with a picture it's easier than with an icon. After the "Big Easy 3" verbs (move, rotate, scale) trying to make clear icons for the dozens or hundreds of verbs that a 3D app has to perform is just... not possible.

    I think we all use 3D apps in a similar way. We use a few tools a lot of the time, and the rest of the tools very seldom. That means that we can't memorize the app's 300 icons because we normally only use 20 on our day to day work. Those 20 can look like anything, because we know them by reflex. But when we need to perform one of the operations that we seldom use... how do we find it? If we look at text buttons, we'll eventually find a verb that sounds like what we want to do. If we look at dozens of verb-icons that we don't normally use, we will probably have no clue what any of them do. So we have to move our mouse over them and wait for the tooltip. Which effectively makes those icons a very slow form of text buttons. And imagine calling support and they tell you to click on the kumquatchize icon and you looks through the menus trying to imagine which one that could be. Whereas with a text button you'd just have to ask if that's with a K or a C (because the people who invented languages were masochists and just couldn't keep to one symbol per sound :P ).

    So having a poor designer trying to come up with a clear icon for each and every command is a massive waste of time and sanity and will not be useful for the user. If noun commands are clearer (and smaller) with icons than words, make them just icons. The 10 super-common everyday tools that almost everyone uses all the time and will easily memorize, make them just icons or icons with text. All other verb commands work better as just text.
    This.

    I still remember when trying the early MAX releases demo. I think a lot of side button were text, only the bar up screen were icons to something simple we understand.

    http://download.autodesk.com/us/3dsm...UIOverview.htm

    This is an example of what I like. If it wasn't for the price and now it became rent only, I would have been user of MAX.



    Back then, even creating items are represented as text.



    Come to think of it, maybe this is one of the reason why I stay with LW, and if the next version come with enough improvement, I will upgrade my LW10 edu to full commercial.

  11. #146
    Man of many cells. shrox's Avatar
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    With an icon heavy interface, one must spend quite a bit of time learning and rememering what is basically a new language. And every icon heavy program uses a different language. Even the magnifying glass has two different meanings, search or enlarge.
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  12. #147
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    Ten pages. Wow, glad to see some passion about LW. Did I read them? Nope; no point. The OP asked a straightforward question so I'll drop my response and then move on.

    I stick with LW because it gets the job done, does it well, and I know its strengths and weakness so there are no surprises and no need to absorb a learning curve while working on the client's dime. Buying into an alternative software solution does not make fiscal sense for my studio.

    Simple as that.
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