Vector GUIs and display sizes (branch: You decide)
7 Jan 2005 - 5:00pm
10 years ago
One thing that the pace of innovation has taught us over the last 100
years is that we often grossly underestimate the potential speed of our
progress. ("640k ought to be enough for anybody." -- B.G. 1981)
>> [...]the original Macintosh from 1984 had a 9" screen (and before that, people worked with Osbornes and their stamp-sized 5"
displays), the first iMac from 1998 had a 15-incher, and the current
offerings sport 17" or 20" LCDs, without any obvious intentions to stop
I've heard a lot of dissent regarding scalable design (especially for
Web stuff), but I guess I don't really understand why. Sure, it's a
challenge, but with everything from the 4-inch Palm up to a 30-inch flat
panel (or bigger!), I'm not sure that the 800x600 vs. 1024x768 vs. X x Y
static size design debate makes any sense anymore. Especially
considering that, from what I've seen & heard, more and more users are
*not* working full-screen, but arbitrarily sizing & arranging their own
windows. I'd be interested to know what others think about this --
from desktop ui as well as Web design perspectives.
For anyone interested in where gui design is headed, if you haven't yet
watched the WWDC2004 Keynote
(http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc04/), ya outta. Really exciting
stuff. (*Two* 30-inch flat panels side-by-side -- 8 million+ pixels?!?)
On the Microsoft front, I've been fortunate enough to get to play around
with Avalon/XAML lately - the possibilities coming up in vector-based
gui design are really quite exciting.
>> I've seen some vector "masters" of Windows XP icons. They weren't particularly attractive after zooming to full screen.
True, but it's all about *how* they are designed. Vector graphic design
is fundamentally different from bitmap graphic design - scalability
needs to be accounted for straight from the get go (concept stage).
I've seen vector graphics that don't scale well too, but it's usually
obvious in these cases that the scalable nature of the vector format was
an afterthought to the designer. I've also seen some beautifully
created vector graphics that scaled well from 16 pixels up to full
screen and larger. With photorealism and alpha effects.
With all that's on the horizon, I (a traditional [bitmap] designer) am
realising that I need to learn some new techniques. I wonder how many
of us are starting to make the transition to vector-based design?