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View Full Version : How NOT to make an interface!



harlan
01-17-2005, 11:41 PM
Hey,

I just saw this new plugin for 3dsMax, and couldn't help but laugh. This should be a lesson in how NOT to make an interface. That thing is harder to read than the Wall Street Journal. Seems like it could be a cool plugin, but I'm not a Max user.

They need to re-read the guidelines for proper UI design.

Mylenium
01-18-2005, 12:17 AM
So what? Look at some LW plugins (Worley, some Japanes ones) and they are just as bad. I agree that this isn't good interface design, but it is far from illegible and after some closer inspection, I think i could live with it and know what to do. Seems like this is some in-house tool developed for some TDs which is now being released to the public.

Mylenium

harlan
01-18-2005, 12:36 AM
Well Excuuuuuuuse me for joking around! :)

Of course it's a perfectly usable interface, but ahh screw it...it was just meant for a little laugh.

private
01-18-2005, 02:11 AM
Speaking of UI's and UI improvements...any word on the stuff you were working on Harlan?

harlan
01-18-2005, 02:17 AM
Actually, I hadn't had much time to work on them lately, but the schedule is slowly beginning to lighten up which is terrific. I've been doing like 16 hour days for the past several months now wrapping up a gig, so the break will definitely be welcomed.

private
01-18-2005, 02:41 AM
Rock on. Glad it's not forgotten! :)

Matt
01-18-2005, 05:03 AM
This is the problem with 3D software, there are so many controls needed is such a small area that it's very difficult to create a clean interface with all the functions needed on show.

Having said that, the example shown is particularly bad in the amount of 'noise' created by having all the controls simply lined up one after the other, this makes it difficult to focus in on one control, it actually hurts your eyes whilst scanning the interface.

More space around gadgets, lower contrast levels and less gadgets on-screen (put lesser-used functions under secondary windows) would all help in this case.

Obvious stuff - but rarely are they followed by programmers.

Matt

caesar
01-18-2005, 05:11 AM
Max interface sucks...and Maya

Mylenium
01-18-2005, 05:54 AM
Max interface sucks...and Maya

I agree with Max, but not with Maya. Sure, it's not the prettiest girl in town due to cross platform compatibility, but at least it's largely configurable - nobody stops you from modifieng the default MEL scripts that actually are responsible for creating the interface.

Mylenium

anieves
01-18-2005, 09:55 AM
my first thought was "and that's different than everything else in max, how?" :)

JML
01-18-2005, 10:15 AM
I think the interface is excelent, you don't have to scroll down 50 menus to get what you want.
it saves time.
but of course for people who doesn't know how to use it, it may look too complicated
(like any other 3d program/plugins) or also for people who think max is evil.
I used to use max, and I liked it, I personnally prefer LW.
if some of you think max is evil, that's because you don't know how to use it

Zarathustra
01-18-2005, 12:13 PM
I think if you had the flexibility in any 3D app to customize interfaces, combine elements from different interfaces, etc and you were a veteran user you'd probably clump a lot together into something like that.
It's what somebody who knows what they're doing would find useful but anyone else would just stare at in bewilderment.

theo
01-18-2005, 12:43 PM
I think if you had the flexibility in any 3D app to customize interfaces, combine elements from different interfaces, etc and you were a veteran user you'd probably clump a lot together into something like that.
It's what somebody who knows what they're doing would find useful but anyone else would just stare at in bewilderment.

Yeah- my thoughts exactly.

Interfacing is certainly a science but to term a particular GUI as successful or the opposite is a highly subjective determination which is based on factors that lie on two totally opposite ends of the graph. Which are, for example: " is GUI useful for new user" and "is GUI useful for experienced user". Which is why the need for "liquid" GUI's is so crucial.

In this case the interface would obviously rate very low on the "useful for newbie user" scale but may rate very high on the "useful for professional user" scale.

A non-subjective determination on the success of a GUI would be just how easy is the GUI to modify for said user's growing level of expertise with the application, whether a large or small app.

I personally think that all application interfaces need to be free from the proprietary nature inherent within them. There should be universal approach to GUI that can span ALL of the software I use. In my opinion this is probably the FAR future of code. Taking ten different software applications and meshing them into ONE visual access system.

The efficiency of such a system would be phenomenal.

.................................................. ...........................................

Hey Harlan- by the way I love that saying- "The more you know the less you feel". Would you mind telling me who said that? Thanks

Titus
01-18-2005, 12:43 PM
Harlan, you're right about the interface of this plug-in. I have made a couple of plug-ins for LW and Maya and the most difficult part if the GUI, both in terms of aestetics and programming.

theo
01-18-2005, 12:47 PM
Ouch- accidental double post.....which has now been fixed.........dang interface ;)