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

  1. #121
    Super Member CaptainMarlowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post

    And I stick to my opinion based on my vast experience in applications in various flavors as architect, developer and end user the last 25 years, that (good) icons are superior.
    I beg to disagree. Your experience is worth for you, but not for everyone. It really depends upon people frame of mind (sorry for the bad English). In some designers schools, teachers explain that some people have a mind better suited for icons, some others for text, not a question of cleverness nor experience or whatever. The same way people are small or tall. That's why a good UI must have icon/text+icons/text options. Because what's good for some may not be for others.

  2. #122
    Scene Destroyer DrStrik9's Avatar
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    Why have I stuck with Lightwave all this time? Because text or icons.

  3. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by jeric_synergy View Post
    UI designers don't have that luxury of assuming the way they'd prefer things is The Best Way. Because it is not.

    I mirror your response in that I find it silly anyone prefers icons, but there it is.

    Flexibility is best. You prefer icons, I prefer, mostly, text. Designers should allow both.

    http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....ning-off-icons
    Well that would be all OK if we were talking about something fixed. Which we aren't. At least I am not aware of any program that forces it on you.

    So that point is already a done.

    In Maya you can turn off the shelf or even ignore it an go menu as well as context based menus and pie menus all text. Everything else is text based mostly. And the icon shelf is nothing more than an optional aid. Does not take up a lot of space and can be hidden or even customized with icons and text or text only.

    My point was only that in the context of graphical feedback in Maya all around. I prefer that over purely numbers and text and it is not at all a sterile environment.

    And we already accept the existence of icons all around us. Not just in computers but in the real world. Text is nothing more than an icon. Some sophisticated languages are purely icon based. Language is after all nothing more than a series of symbols that convey ideas. Icons are another symbol to convey ideas. Even though you are telling me you prefer not to use them. You have used them to get here and tell me. You used them to drive your car and go to work or wherever you go. You have used them - long since forgotten that letters were once merely icons that conveyed ideas - to tell me you don't like them.

    I could go on and on. I will spare the boring dissertation.

    I would say the argument against them is purely semantics.

  4. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMarlowe View Post
    I beg to disagree. Your experience is worth for you, but not for everyone. It really depends upon people frame of mind (sorry for the bad English). In some designers schools, teachers explain that some people have a mind better suited for icons, some others for text, not a question of cleverness nor experience or whatever. The same way people are small or tall. That's why a good UI must have icon/text+icons/text options. Because what's good for some may not be for others.
    We all use icons. All the time. Most programs already give you these options. It is really not even a subject for discussion. Like not knowing that a program actually offers edge selection before going into a dissertation about needing edge selection.

    We already have options. People against icons are only voicing a preference that they can already control themselves. It is really a non issue.

  5. #125
    Super Member CaptainMarlowe's Avatar
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    Of course, choice is better and already here in a lot of applications. I certainly don't contest that, nor did I advocate for a text only UI being better than icon only. But I'm not comfortable with dismissing other people preferences on the ground one own experience is a universal truth and superior to others. Once again what is true for one may not be for the other. A good UI is the one that let you choose. For instance, I like a lot 3D-coat UI because you have a lot of choice (text, text+icons, icons, dockable windows...). But you're right, it is a non issue.

  6. #126
    Remember Wade's Avatar
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    I know it, it works for all I need and a lot more and more to learn. It gets faster and faster - as each new workstation gets much faster. This last part is huge as where once a lot of work in LW or Photoshop for that matter took time to just save a file or render a frame now goes so much quicker. I don't have to buy it or pay for an upgrade or monthly fee so it has been a good working low cost tool that I enjoy using. W.
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  7. #127

    we like text .......... that doesn't mean we can't add optional icons

    i didn't see anyone complain about for example the Transform tool icons. Rightfully so.

    icons can be Alright.
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  8. #128
    Shhhh... quiet now. Don't give it away. Next thing you know they will realize they use icons to turn on the computer, stop go or yield at an intersection... know if something is hazardous (and a zillion other warning labels and signs) or a pedestrian crossing... (and hundreds of other street signs) ah.... the list is endless. And the argument pointless.

  9. #129

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  10. #130
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    If you want a concrete demonstration of the difference between text and icons and mixtures, fire up 3d Coat. In my current configuration (YMMV), most of the "rooms" have ICON+TEXT buttons, but the Paint "room" has Icons only.

    The are almost completely opaque in meaning. For instance, one looks like a beaker on its side: balloon help tells me (thank gahd) it is "SHIFT" tool. The balloon help is good, and that's fortunate since it's pretty much a necessity.

    But examine your mindset as you toggle between the ICONS only, ICONS+TEXT, and TEXT only settings in the other rooms (apparently this isn't an option in PAINT), see how quickly your mind grasps what each button is for. See which mode makes you most productive, most satisfied.
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  11. #131
    Yes. You hit the nail on the head. What it cones down to - if you really want to be objective - is that those things you don't understand you reject. It is natural.

    What is wrong with this picture if all around us in every day life there are icons? Think about it. What is wrong with this argument? It contractions itself. Why?

    Why are people who "hate", "dislike", in general reject the idea of icons, appear to be walking contractions?

    They really aren't. At all. I am just saying that for effect. Should put one of these .

    The reason lies in the study ironically of language. A language is nothing more than an arrangement of symbols that convey meanings. A letter is nothing more than a symbol with a meaning. Same with a character. Same with the elements that make up the complex characters of Chinese and Japanese languages. Each element is nothing more than a symbol with a meaning. And like letters or script in other languages they are arranged in clusters to convey more complex meanings.

    But the entire thing falls apart if you don't know what the individual symbols mean. You need to be told, shown, have demonstrated or discover for yourself, what the meaning is behind the symbol. Same is true with icons. They are just symbols with meaning. And that is all an icon is.

    And this is why an icon with a text is needed. Or if not present why all icon based apps that I use have a balloon that pops up next to it when you hover over it. So you can learn what it means, and of course what it does, what tool it represents and so on.

    An icon without its associated meaning is useless. Some of them are better at being self explanatory than others.

    But a graphical icon is nothing more than a progression of conveying complex ideas in a shorthand way. After you have come to understand what they mean. And this is why icons are a vital part of so much of our lives in areas where ideas need to be conveyed much quicker and more universally than other forms and complex clusters of symbols which take longer to assimilate each time.

    Even studies of text interfaces prove that people stop reading the text as far as its meaning and associate the general shape and location of the word. In other words, because this is a natural progression for human interaction, text also becomes an icon after repeated use. And why we have short hand way of saying things and slang. It is all the same concept.

    It is how we are wired.

    But it requires that the link not be broken. And you have to understand that people who design interfaces know this stuff. That is why you have balloon pop ups.

  12. #132
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    In general we're agreeing here. But to continue what I consider an interesting conversation to kill the time until LW Next is released.....

    Well, I reject that phonetic writing is equivalent to [whatever Chinese et al is]. Because you can derive meaning from the bits of a phonetic language, where you need to KNOW the entire symbol (to a great extent)(cue the Chinese readers) to get the meaning in Chinese.

    When researchers found that ACCOMPLISHED readers recognize whole words without looking at each individual letters, they tried to teach children to read that way. Predictably*, it was a miserable failure-- you have to have some fluency first, you have to crawl before you walk.

    For me, there's little to no advantage to using icons once I'm familiar with a program (and some penalty for little used features, PShop proves that to me every day), but there's a HORRENDOUS deficit to not having explanatory text during the learning phase. Having a CONSTANT visual presence is a great deal different than having balloon help: I noticed that when Modeler (well, Stuart actually) finally put the hotkeys ON the buttons (yes kids, there was a time when the hotkeys were not displayed on the buttons constantly) I finally learned hotkeys that had resisted memorization for years.

    Same with entire tools: the training wheels mode should definitely have TEXT, and with an eye towards mastery, TEXT & ICONS (+hotkey). Once the user is familiar s/he can decide for themselves whether to consolidate real estate by excluding the (presumably space intensive) text, although I doubt an icon could be crammed into the same space a LW button takes up.

    Just for interest, here's the difference in living pixels (I haven't yet found an option for 3dC: PAINT that includes text beyond balloon help):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    * i mean, c'mon!? Who thought that would work???
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  13. #133
    Yes. It is important to not sever the link. Methods to try and teach a language - or anything for that matter - that try to jump to shape recognition right away all fail. Because they overlook the obvious point that to get to that level of simplicity you have to fight through a lot of complexity of learning. Icons are not an initial level of understanding, unless they are super obvious. Which can happen. Icons and icon type recognition are the end of a progression of learning. They always are.

    We always progress towards simplicity through complexity in learning and in all concepts of doing things. People who "hate icons" are doing this already as well. My theory -if you will - thinking on this, is that all that has happened is icons were initially rejected because they were not understood and put at the start of the chain. Rather than the end.

    You go to text base and you see something like "Rounder". This is really a disassociated concept until you use it. ( and find it performs questionably... lol) But, only after you use it does Rounder have any true meaning. And after you use it several times you start to think in terms of short hand. What tab it was in, what section, where on the list. Or you memorize the hot key or assign one and bypass everything and just go to the tool. The keyboard shortcut then becomes your "icon". It is just that simple of a concept.

    Icons are at the end of the chain. Not the beginning. They were never intended that way. You should not mistake the presence of them on your initial exploration as something you need to immediately understand any more than you would about any other concept.

    I am always in favor of advocating more understanding and not less. Rejecting something is fine. No one has to accept everything. But I think it is better to come away from a discussion on this with more understanding of icons and how they can and should be used, and not just more blatant rejection.

    My opinion.

  14. #134

    30 icons = yes please
    300 = no thanks
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  15. #135
    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    30 icons = yes please
    300 = no thanks
    ~240 in this screen - Truespace could get worse, though.



    Icons, text-only, a combination of both: moderation is key in any GUI. Cognitive overload is to be avoided at all costs.
    Any good GUI can be skewered to become a truly horrendous one:

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