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View Full Version : DECLUTTERING LAYOUT: How would you do it?



robertoortiz
04-18-2018, 05:38 AM
One of my biggest gripes about the Layout interface is that for me it feels incredibly cluttered and a bit to multy click happy.


How would you STREAMLINE in an INTUITIVE WAY the Layout interface?
What would you consider to be BEST PRACTICES for a great layout FOR YOU?
What kind of Interfaces you have seen that you have liked?




I am looking forward to your comments.
-R

Tim Parsons
04-18-2018, 06:49 AM
How to declutter Layout? Add modeling tools! :)

RPSchmidt
04-18-2018, 09:11 AM
1. Combine Objects and Bones into a single panel and just call it Objects; make the bones a hierarchical sub of the object they are attached to in the panel that is opened via spinner. Would make it easier navigating objects / bones via a single panel. Make Motion Options part of this panel so that the user can see all of the objects and bones in a more accessible window and choose parenting, etc., much faster.

2. Make all panels attach-able to other panels. I want to be able to build out a panel set that I can place off on another monitor that has the items I reference the most often in my workflow, like I do with After Effects.

3. Make the File menu a collapsible drop-down. The whole menu doesn't need to be present all the time. Most of the operations you use the File menu for regularly are things you use shortcut keys for anyway. Just make it a button with a drop down menu that collapses after X amount of time without focus.

4. Make all of the tabs top drop-downs connected to a sub-menu with their content at the top of the layout GUI instead of in a sidebar. Make the active tab and its drop-down menu a contrasted tone to non-active tabs. When you click a tab at the top of a GUI, the expectation is that whatever the tab reveals will be connected somehow to the tab, not in a sidebar. It may seem like a small thing, but it would be more organic to the actual intent of tabs.

5. Put the graph and scene editor in a single combined panel and make each collapsible.

6. Make the node editor and the image editor flyout panels connected to the Surface Editor so that they are always accessible without opening in separate windows and they can be left open if desired. When you select a surface in the Surface Editor, you should be able to open a single flyout that has the node editor and the image editor in it and displays their information in reference to the selected surface.

7. Make viewports detachable. Would really like to have a VPR viewport off to the side while I use camera, back, top, perspective in the main viewing area.

Those are my suggestions. It would definitely make my workflow faster and make Layout appear cleaner (for me, anyway).

jeric_synergy
04-18-2018, 10:34 AM
4. Make all of the tabs top drop-downs connected to a sub-menu with their content at the top of the layout GUI instead of in a sidebar. Make the active tab and its drop-down menu a contrasted tone to non-active tabs. When you click a tab at the top of a GUI, the expectation is that whatever the tab reveals will be connected somehow to the tab, not in a sidebar. It may seem like a small thing, but it would be more organic to the actual intent of tabs.
Sorry, can't get on board with this one, and in fact think it's a spectacularly BAD idea. Sidebar seems 'wayyy more efficient, and "discoverable".

Perhaps a mockup would clear this up.

raymondtrace
04-18-2018, 10:35 AM
...2. Make all panels attach-able to other panels. I want to be able to build out a panel set that I can place off on another monitor that has the items I reference the most often in my workflow, like I do with After Effects...

Is Adobe still suing others for UI software patents? That's how they started to kill Macromedia with a jury award in 2002.

Photogram
04-18-2018, 10:44 AM
There is one thing i like in the scene editor of C4D.. It is so easy to duplicate items and copy properties among them..
Another thing i like is the drag and drop. For example to make camera target on a specific object, you click on the camera and then drag the object item into the target field on the camera property panel.

I also like the Unity interface that is clean and easy to snap panels together.

prometheus
04-18-2018, 11:06 AM
1. Combine Objects and Bones into a single panel and just call it Objects; make the bones a hierarchical sub of the object they are attached to in the panel that is opened via spinner. Would make it easier navigating objects / bones via a single panel. Make Motion Options part of this panel so that the user can see all of the objects and bones in a more accessible window and choose parenting, etc., much faster.

2. Make all panels attach-able to other panels. I want to be able to build out a panel set that I can place off on another monitor that has the items I reference the most often in my workflow, like I do with After Effects.

3. Make the File menu a collapsible drop-down. The whole menu doesn't need to be present all the time. Most of the operations you use the File menu for regularly are things you use shortcut keys for anyway. Just make it a button with a drop down menu that collapses after X amount of time without focus.

4. Make all of the tabs top drop-downs connected to a sub-menu with their content at the top of the layout GUI instead of in a sidebar. Make the active tab and its drop-down menu a contrasted tone to non-active tabs. When you click a tab at the top of a GUI, the expectation is that whatever the tab reveals will be connected somehow to the tab, not in a sidebar. It may seem like a small thing, but it would be more organic to the actual intent of tabs.

5. Put the graph and scene editor in a single combined panel and make each collapsible.

6. Make the node editor and the image editor flyout panels connected to the Surface Editor so that they are always accessible without opening in separate windows and they can be left open if desired. When you select a surface in the Surface Editor, you should be able to open a single flyout that has the node editor and the image editor in it and displays their information in reference to the selected surface.

7. Make viewports detachable. Would really like to have a VPR viewport off to the side while I use camera, back, top, perspective in the main viewing area.

Those are my suggestions. It would definitely make my workflow faster and make Layout appear cleaner (for me, anyway).

Not sure about combining bones and object to one list, feels like outliner or shader tree in blender...and I donīt wanīt that.
as for your point 7, I think that now is possible in 2018

RPSchmidt
04-18-2018, 12:51 PM
Sorry, can't get on board with this one, and in fact think it's a spectacularly BAD idea. Sidebar seems 'wayyy more efficient, and "discoverable".

Perhaps a mockup would clear this up.

Here's a quick mockup example.

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rustythe1
04-18-2018, 01:13 PM
How can we declutter when we get a new OD tool every day? :)

dlvphoto
04-18-2018, 06:16 PM
Tear-off or customized panels. The ability to open a blank panel, drag commands from all over Layout, even 'custom buttons' that I can add scripts to, to that panel and assign it back to it's own button and/or shortcut.

That kind of 'build it yourself' modularity lets the artist remake the interface into what works for them. Photoshop sort of has it with their palettes but it's not that elegant and I hatehatehate icon based systems like that. Give. Me. Text.

There are already a couple of plugins out there (Hi, Oliver!) that do this, but baking it into the application would be a major step towards decoupling the interface structure from the functional structure. The othre requests above about separating the VPR window, attaching the node window to the surface panel, etc.. all come down to the same thing. Modularity.

MonroePoteet
04-19-2018, 08:31 AM
Yes, I think the ability to put Command / Plug-in buttons into more than one menu and having User-Defined, floating, drag-n-drop menu-type panels would be excellent. And not just in Layout, but Modeler as well. When I get into a work flow of some sort, I'm repeatedly using exactly the same set of tools over and over and it'd be great to be able to define a floating panel for each work flow with *just* those commands / plugins in it.

mTp

hrgiger
04-19-2018, 09:06 AM
Only so much you can do in layout since the UI is so static and inflexible. When they can do docking panels, collapsable shelfs or fluid layout design, then ask again.

Nicolas Jordan
04-19-2018, 10:28 AM
The one change to Layout UI they made in 2018 that I really liked was going back to the Light, Object, Camera properties panels having their own separate pop up window instead of having them all in one tabbed window and having to always switch between tabs. They used to be like this in LW 10 and earlier if I remember correctly and for some strange reason they were changed for LW 11.x and 2015 only to be changed back again in 2018.

hrgiger
04-19-2018, 11:45 AM
Lights and cameras are together in 2015 but object is separate.

Nicolas Jordan
04-19-2018, 05:29 PM
Lights and cameras are together in 2015 but object is separate.

Right objects are separate. All the Render tabs were grouped in with Lights and Cameras in 2015. I like being able to open windows and arrange them on my screen and leave them open when needed.

jeric_synergy
04-19-2018, 05:31 PM
Does anybody KNOW if Adobe is still enforcing their panel patents?

Photogram
04-19-2018, 11:06 PM
Hello :)

I did a mockup for a new UI for Layout.

Panels can be docked and float
Each side can be collapsed.
Panels can be docked into viewports.
Panels can be stacked side by side.
Multiple configuration are possible and can be saved as workspaces.

When doing shortcut to see any collapsed panel it will appear as a floating panel.

I wonder to have a file browser integrated directly inside Lightwave.
Scenes files, objects and images can be dragged and dropped onto the Layout to be loaded ;)

141342141343141344141345

:hat:

Ztreem
04-20-2018, 01:57 AM
Hello :)

I did a mockup for a new UI for Layout.

Panels can be docked and float
Each side can be collapsed.
Panels can be docked into viewports.
Panels can be stacked side by side.
Multiple configuration are possible and can be saved as workspaces.

When doing shortcut to see any collapsed panel it will appear as a floating panel.

I wonder to have a file browser integrated directly inside Lightwave.
Scenes files, objects and images can be dragged and dropped onto the Layout to be loaded ;)

141342141343141344141345

:hat:

I think it looks good. Reminds me of blender, which I really like. I love the docked panels instead of all floating windows. Right now I have all this in blender so I don't have to wait 10 years for NT to implement it, that's the best part. :D

robertoortiz
04-20-2018, 08:15 AM
Does anybody KNOW if Adobe is still enforcing their panel patents?
I am not a Lawyer/Examiner but I work at the US Patents Office.(but Obviously my post does not represent the official standing of my agency)

I do know that for a fact that US Patents DO expire.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of_patent_in_the_United_States

and the last thing i have found about the Adobe design patent is from 2002
https://www.macworld.com/article/1008577/lawsuit.html

Photogram
04-20-2018, 02:29 PM
I think it looks good. Reminds me of blender, which I really like. I love the docked panels instead of all floating windows. Right now I have all this in blender so I don't have to wait 10 years for NT to implement it, that's the best part. :D

Thanks Ztreem :)

Everytime i listen to Blender videos i think how good is the look of the blender interface and i guess it may be interesting to work with that kind of interface.

tburbage
04-20-2018, 11:51 PM
I would so love to see panels be dockable, at least several key/constantly used ones... While those layouts are much busier than I would usually want (referring to Photogram's specific layouts), it would be great to be able to do that if that's what you want. It's floating panels that lead toward clutter to me. I'm just worried that either 1) there is this thinking internally that floating panels are "the LW way" ever and always; or 2) either limitations of their UI toolkit, or the amount of effort which will be required to do the panel redesign work will keep it from being considered.

For me, Modeler UX would be much improved by a tabbed panel set on the right hand side including Tool (aka Numeric), then Statistics+Layers+Vertex Maps in a stack.

Per the OP, I've always thought of Layout and Modeler's startup UI as being pretty much the most un-cluttered interfaces of any apps I use. But then floating panel clutter ensues...

jeric_synergy
04-21-2018, 12:31 PM
For me, Modeler UX would be much improved by a tabbed panel set on the right hand side including Tool (aka Numeric), then Statistics+Layers+Vertex Maps in a stack.
That's pretty much how Jonny Gordon suggested you set up modeler, using the existing UI infrastructure.

Photogram
04-21-2018, 02:15 PM
I would so love to see panels be dockable, at least several key/constantly used ones... While those layouts are much busier than I would usually want (referring to Photogram's specific layouts), it would be great to be able to do that if that's what you want. It's floating panels that lead toward clutter to me. I'm just worried that either 1) there is this thinking internally that floating panels are "the LW way" ever and always; or 2) either limitations of their UI toolkit, or the amount of effort which will be required to do the panel redesign work will keep it from being considered.

For me, Modeler UX would be much improved by a tabbed panel set on the right hand side including Tool (aka Numeric), then Statistics+Layers+Vertex Maps in a stack.

Per the OP, I've always thought of Layout and Modeler's startup UI as being pretty much the most un-cluttered interfaces of any apps I use. But then floating panel clutter ensues...

Sometimes i need cluttered interface because i like to see all my settings visible. So the ability to dock the panels is a good way to declutter because there is no panel over the viewports so you dont need to move them all the time or open and close them many times.. And when you need extra space you can simply collapse the panels in one click and the grouped panel are disapearing.
When collapsing the grouped panels the viewports area is resizing automatically.

Then if you only need to see camera properties for example, you click on the camera and then use ' P ' shortcut and only the camera panel appear as a floating panel.

When you are satisfied of your workspace you can save it. So this way we will have workspaces for animating and in the future for the modeling tools in Layout for example.

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tburbage
04-22-2018, 06:29 PM
Sometimes i need cluttered interface because i like to see all my settings visible. So the ability to dock the panels is a good way to declutter because there is no panel over the viewports so you dont need to move them all the time or open and close them many times.. And when you need extra space you can simply collapse the panels in one click and the grouped panel are disapearing.
When collapsing the grouped panels the viewports area is resizing automatically.

Then if you only need to see camera properties for example, you click on the camera and then use ' P ' shortcut and only the camera panel appear as a floating panel.

When you are satisfied of your workspace you can save it. So this way we will have workspaces for animating and in the future for the modeling tools in Layout for example.

141384141383
With you all the way. If you are familiar with Maya, it's UI is perhaps even more configurable than you are suggesting (pretty much all panels can float or dock, panels can be tab-grouped, elements like timeline can be excluded, customized layouts can be named and saved) and it is all based on QT, which LW is also using. It also seems to scale well for HiDPI. So there's hope.

I've attached a couple of images of my current Maya Modeling/UV UI workspace/layout just as another point of reference per benefits of highly configurable UI. The second is what it looks like simply by way of hitting Ctrl+SPACEBAR, for those who are under the impression Maya's UI has to be hopelessly cluttered.

141398141399

Photogram
04-23-2018, 09:07 AM
I've attached a couple of images of my current Maya Modeling/UV UI workspace/layout just as another point of reference per benefits of highly configurable UI. The second is what it looks like simply by way of hitting Ctrl+SPACEBAR, for those who are under the impression Maya's UI has to be hopelessly cluttered.


I very like you uncluttered Maya workspace!

Photogram
05-09-2018, 03:11 PM
With you all the way. If you are familiar with Maya, it's UI is perhaps even more configurable than you are suggesting (pretty much all panels can float or dock, panels can be tab-grouped, elements like timeline can be excluded, customized layouts can be named and saved) and it is all based on QT, which LW is also using. It also seems to scale well for HiDPI. So there's hope.

I've attached a couple of images of my current Maya Modeling/UV UI workspace/layout just as another point of reference per benefits of highly configurable UI. The second is what it looks like simply by way of hitting Ctrl+SPACEBAR, for those who are under the impression Maya's UI has to be hopelessly cluttered.

141398141399

Well i prefer Lightwave interface with no icons...

JohnMarchant
05-09-2018, 05:19 PM
Well i prefer Lightwave interface with no icons...

Agreed its the one true strength of LIghtWave is very few icons.

MonroePoteet
05-10-2018, 08:03 AM
Agreed - the fewer icons the better. As I posted earlier, IMO the simplest solution is to 1) allow commands / scripts / plug-ins to be contained in more than one menu, 2) implement *floating* (undocked) customizable menus which are populated by the user with work-flow specific tools in both Modeler and Layout.

Those are the minimum, and I think would clean up both Modeler and Layout for me substantially without having to modify the *default* menu settings. Ideally, LWDG would also implement a quick method of assigning shortcut keys to the custom floating menus - have single button on the menu to bring up the shortcut selection, then just type the shortcut with warnings if it's already assigned, etc. like many other applications do.

It'd also be nice to have the "hover" function over menu buttons, so if they're truncated due to font size, panel width, number of tabs or whatever, hovering the mouse pointer over a button will display the full menu item text until the mouse moves again.

I suppose (only half jokingly) that if someone wants to design their own custom icons to represent tools, LWDG could support adding a small tile to the custom menus.

mTp

Marander
05-10-2018, 09:01 AM
Agreed its the one true strength of LIghtWave is very few icons.

Icons are optional in other applications and text-only is possible too, so I see this as a limitation, not a strength.

Additionally icons save a lot of screen space. Imagine your remote controls with text buttons or street signals.

And after getting to know icons, finding tools and functions is much faster to me. Think of how many logos or pictogramms you easily and fast recognize.

Having said that, LW Layout is much more convenient to use for me using OD Pie in 2018 (as well as OD Workspaces).

BeeVee
05-12-2018, 07:24 PM
I have recently bought a new monitor and can say that LightWave's interface is very uncluttered, spartan even :D

B

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MarcusM
05-13-2018, 01:45 AM
I have recently bought a new monitor and can say that LightWave's interface is very uncluttered, spartan even :D

B

141660

Great, now you see why LW need support 4k :D

Bill Carey
05-13-2018, 05:06 AM
That's pretty much how Jonny Gordon suggested you set up modeler, using the existing UI infrastructure.

zbrush style would be great, have those panels in a list, click it to expand. As is I just have numeric and layers on the right permanently open.

prometheus
05-13-2018, 06:28 AM
zbrush style would be great, have those panels in a list, click it to expand. As is I just have numeric and layers on the right permanently open.

Not so sure..at least not restrained to be locked to the viewport UI, like blender for instance where you drag and scale the windows and affect the viewports or vice versa, change the scale of the viewports and the toolbar windows get smaller.
Ideally I would want some sort of floating toolbars anyway, they just need to be dockable, preferably just the way they do in photoshop, illustrator..just drag and snap the toolbar panels in the order you want, and have them stay on whatever postion you want on the screen, hidable or not with a single shortcut, and fully rescalable in size.

I think the lightwave team has started to use more expanding windows currently, so something is going on.