hows this for a simple interface?

3 May 2007 - 7:31am
7 years ago
4 replies
403 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

http://www.evanyares.com/the-cad-industry/2007/1/3/in-praise-of-simplicity.html

The above link takes you to a blog entry and in it a screenshot of a
CAD interface. CAD interfaces are infamous for being incredibly
complex. This takes it to the other extreme.

Personally, I think there is something missing here. Communication layer.
When I deal with paper and pencil (the inspiration here), there is a
long history of use and well my schooling in it. Think about it. We
are taught from a very young age how to work with paper and pencil. It
is not something we figure out overnight. Not at all.

But I'm assuming there is a lot more functionality here which implies
a greater abstraction for the user to figure out.

Of course, I can't use it, so I guess I have to just critique and wait.

What do others think?

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

3 May 2007 - 7:38am
Ari
2006

interesting approach.

WordPerfect 4.1, which hails from the days of DOS won accolades when it
presented the user with a simple blank screen for editing since its
competitors all had complex and crowded user interfaces.

history is starting to repeat itself again.

On 5/3/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> http://www.evanyares.com/the-cad-industry/2007/1/3/in-praise-of-simplicity.html
>
> The above link takes you to a blog entry and in it a screenshot of a
> CAD interface. CAD interfaces are infamous for being incredibly
> complex. This takes it to the other extreme.
>
> Personally, I think there is something missing here. Communication layer.
> When I deal with paper and pencil (the inspiration here), there is a
> long history of use and well my schooling in it. Think about it. We
> are taught from a very young age how to work with paper and pencil. It
> is not something we figure out overnight. Not at all.
>
> But I'm assuming there is a lot more functionality here which implies
> a greater abstraction for the user to figure out.
>
> Of course, I can't use it, so I guess I have to just critique and wait.
>
> What do others think?
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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>

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VP, Product
TargetSpot, Inc.

3 May 2007 - 8:05am
vutpakdi
2003

Without seeing what lies underneath the right mouse button, I don't
think that we can really say much of anything other than all of the
functionality is effectively hidden from view.

For example, if what if you could take the same approach to Microsoft
Excel? Just put up a table without anything else on the interface, and
then put the entire menu structure in the right mouse button context
sensitive menu. Now, everything is hidden and you either have to
navigate a ridiculously long scrolling menu or you have to navigate at
least 2 levels of cascade menus.

And his comparison with a simple pencil and paper interface is a bit of
an apples to oranges comparison. Pencil and paper is very simple,
elegant, and powerful, but, it takes considerably more work to handle
scales, scale objects, duplicate objects, move objects, etc with just
pencil and paper alone. Ideally, you want to have the simplicity and
elegance of pencil and paper, but the additional power and functionality
that most people need. Until we see how he really intends to provide
the additional power and functionality, I don't think that we can say
much without (in all likelihood) erroneously filling in the blanks.

Ron

3 May 2007 - 11:20am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

The linked blog entry tells us absolutely nothing. It is pefectly
useless. There is so much about CAD interfaces that goes on several
other pieces of hardware that this kind of "news" is a joke.

I ran an internal CAD shop for several years, and I had one of my
employees spending a good deal of his time continuously customizing
Autocad for the others. In the many CAD places where you have the
staff to do this (or the funds to contract it out in a regular fashion)
CAD interfaces are not complex or simple, they're just tailored to a
particular user and a particular set of tasks, by project and by yearly
software/hardware upgrade.

I've seen such customized interfaces where you had a clean sheet like
this blog shows. Sometimes there wasn't even a pop-up menu because all
the frequent commands had been put on the digitizing tablet, sometimes
you had a two screen setup with one huge screen showing nothing but the
clean sheet and with another smaller screen showing the contextual
commands in addition to permanent menus.

The only CAD people I met who took a software package right out of the
box without customizing the interface where computer-semi-illiterate
architects who treated their machines like big Xerox copiers.

Alain Vaillancourt

--- David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> a écrit :

>
http://www.evanyares.com/the-cad-industry/2007/1/3/in-praise-of-simplicity.html
>
> The above link takes you to a blog entry and in it a screenshot of a
> CAD interface. CAD interfaces are infamous for being incredibly
> complex. This takes it to the other extreme.
>
> Personally, I think there is something missing here. Communication
> layer.
> When I deal with paper and pencil (the inspiration here), there is a
> long history of use and well my schooling in it. Think about it. We
> are taught from a very young age how to work with paper and pencil.
> It
> is not something we figure out overnight. Not at all.
>
> But I'm assuming there is a lot more functionality here which implies
> a greater abstraction for the user to figure out.
>
> Of course, I can't use it, so I guess I have to just critique and
> wait.
>
> What do others think?
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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3 May 2007 - 12:16pm
Arias, Jovino
2006

Type "F" twice, then hit the "Tab" key on Photoshop, and you get the
same thing. I don't think there is much ground-breaking going on here.

I seriously doubt that a right-click contextual menu will contain all of
the necessary commands to make the application fully functional. Unless,
of course, it's a full-blown hierarchical contextual menu. Without a
screen-shot of it, we'll never know.

JOVINO
WEB SLINGER

JOVINO at FALCONSTUDIOS.COM

415.321.6636
415.SWINGER CELL
415.431.1553 FAX

1177 HARRISON STREET
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103.4508

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