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THE GUI SHOULD BE BETTER

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:39 PM, Grey Tide said:

Haven't read the thread so I don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but I was looking into how to make my phone and PC look more like TNG era Star Trek computers. I found these:

http://lcarsx32.org/ - Looks like development ended on this one a few years ago. Features "Computer" as a voice activation line to preform different functions with the ability to add your own. Very clunky. Star date is set as the default for the clock, and that's in the negatives right now. Looks like the guy also had a youtube channel.

I was also really interested in what kind of results I could get with my phone given what I see online.

EDIT: Some people have even done this with their cars. I don't know if I would go that far on a vanity interface. It has potential but suffers from some of the same issues as modern GUIs.

 

Quoting myself as a repost with pictures.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Isaiah said:

My issue here is not with the ideas themselves as much as Ross' contradictory positions pertaining to these ideas when criticizing the Windows GUI. 

 

No, I think you're misunderstanding me.  Ideally, I want accuracy to barely matter.  Take that pie menu I demonstrated.  Say I want the upper left, so I flick the mouse that direction.  Maybe I flick it 10% of the screen, maybe I flick it 60%.  Ideally, it won't matter.  It detects I moved it to the upper left, so it draws a new menu where I am (or returns me to the center automatically).  In other words, the GUI adapts to my movement and intentions, not the other way around.  I don't see what's contradictory about this.  When you press most buttons or a D-PAD in a videogame, does it matter EXACTLY how hard you pressed it, or just that you pressed it?  It's a similar concept. 

 

This is also why I got excited about mouse gestures.  It opens up a wide world of possibilities where accuracy isn't important. I think you see what I said as contradictory, because you're looking at this in terms of hitting a target of a certain size across a certain distance.  I'm talking about the potential of targets where distance and size are irrelevant.  In other words, Fitt's law doesn't even apply for that kind of manipulation.  It transcends it!  Seeing how that concept isn't even USED in most modern GUIs is why I think it's woefully underdeveloped.  I see that as a huge potential breakthrough.  I would compare to the early days of FPSs, where keyboard aiming was dominant.  The mouse rapidly displaced that because it was SO MUCH BETTER.  I see that kind of potential in where we are now with GUI concepts.  In my eyes, it's like we never left keyboard aiming, just made lots of refinements.

 

Now for more conventional GUI menus where that's simply not an option, I want what's fastest and feels best.  That's where that Fitt's law thing people are talking about come into play.  Tiny targets take longer to hit.  Targets far away take longer to hit.  You want everything semi-big and close-by, which is probably why I thought of that pie menu system.  Truth be told, the Fitt's law thing I was never even thinking of consciously (nor aware of when I made the video), it was totally a subconscious understanding on my part.

 

2 hours ago, Collapsar77 said:

I feel like it's a bit much to go after him for throwing out ideas that are at cross purposes, given that his thesis was essentially: "I know this is inefficient, and I need help figuring out what a more efficient GUI would look like". It's sort of like complaining that ideas in a brainstorming session don't all fit together. Pretty sure that if he knew what he wanted exactly, he wouldn't ask.

Yes, I think you get it.  This video is essentially:

 

"what are the answers?"

"What are better ways of doing things than we have now?"

"I can imagine MANY different possibilities, but I haven't seen much information on this to know what's best, hopefully someone out there has all kinds of ideas on this, but hasn't had much of an outlet"

 

and I tried to show a FEW efficiency shortcomings as proof that what we have now is indeed, not the penultimate in GUI design.  Instead, a bit many comments seemed focused on me not providing solutions.  From my perspective, it's a little insane that's on my shoulders to begin with, but I plan to slowly figure out something for myself in the absence of other ideas.  I'll detail what I plan to have / what I think could be better in a followup later on, but it's a little disappointing seeing how narrow the range of ideas have been.

 

"Criticizing a brainstorming session" is exactly how some of the commentary comes across, however, I was inflammatory in the video, so I expected a certain amount of that.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ross Scott (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Collapsar77 said:

...Hilariously I think you just accidentally strengthened Ross's argument while trying to explain why you don't like it.

image.png.094acfcafb5a3b1f4d271a46fe955ac2.png

I'm sorry but you don't seem to understand the formula or what I was saying. My whole point was that they are at best equally efficient according to Fitts's law, and your diagram only confirms that. However, Ross has claimed both ways are worse in difference situations, which is a contraction. Now I'm not claiming this was intentional deception and I may be wrong about the reason behind it, but none of this changes the fact the two criticisms are not only contradictory but untrue according to Fitts's law. At least in the way he presented them.

Edited by Isaiah (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Grey Tide said:

  

Quoting myself as a repost with pictures.

Yeah, this is a good point actually, since I was bringing up 2 different aspects of the GUI, design AND looks.  Even if things are just as inefficient as regular windows, if it LOOKS the way you want it to, you're simply going to be happier using a computer longer (or I would be if it was a design I liked).  It's definitely a form AND function problem, more power to you if you can nail down the "form" part for yourself.

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2 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

Yeah, this is a good point actually, since I was bringing up 2 different aspects of the GUI, design AND looks.  Even if things are just as inefficient as regular windows, if it LOOKS the way you want it to, you're simply going to be happier using a computer longer (or I would be if it was a design I liked).  It's definitely a form AND function problem, more power to you if you can nail down the "form" part for yourself.

Well--- okay, switching gears to aesthetics, have you seen some of the custom desktops people put together for themselves using RainMeter as a basis? Genuinely have no idea what your aesthetic preferences are exactly, but it can serve a pretty wide range of tastes. You might already be using it, to be fair, you've got a CPU, RAM and drive-space monitors and it's kinda the go-to for those things in my mind.

I've been playing around with it a bit on this Win 10 system myself, and I'm kinda into it so far. Can't recall if someone else in here mentioned it or I just remembered it from the last time I worked seriously at modding my desktop GUI. But as some of the examples on DeviantArt show, you can REALLY push it, just make the computer a feast for the eyes.

... the, um, downside is that if you want to customize anything in a way that the creator of the skin didn't explicitly design it to be customized, you need to jump into a config file that is all-but-code. OTOH, that's just for the setup. It's very much a GUI after that. Also bear in mind that even I, an almost complete code neophyte, who can't stand to use the console, can actually puzzle out RainMeter script.

Mentioning it if hasn't been mentioned, amplifying it if it has. I don't want to re-read the whole forum to figure it out. :P

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I was thinking about this today. Microsoft should sell different GUIs. They could even let you try before you buy, but they should have a quick button to change back to the standard Windows GUI quickly. In workplaces, some employees might like all kinds of different GUIs, but then the next person who needs to use that computer should be able to switch GUIs quickly as needed.

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On 6/16/2020 at 5:40 AM, Tom said:

I'm going to go out on a limb here, since your computer sits centrally and you didn't mention a pen or pencil anywhere

You apparently didn't read very carefully...

On 6/16/2020 at 2:56 AM, BTGBullseye said:

a note pad and pen

 

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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For anyone wanting to continue using Windows 7 for a few more years, it's reportedly possible to enable security updates in Windows 7 until 2023 on, I think, any Windows 7 installation.

 

 

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9 hours ago, BTGBullseye said:

You apparently didn't read very carefully...

 

My sincere apologies.  I can assure you that I did, carefully and repeatedly, but somehow missed it every time.  My brain gets very literally stuck in a loop sometimes, and if it missed something the first time around, it'll generally miss it on every subsequent pass as well.  It's as frustrating to me as it is to you, I promise.

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some more stuff o my linux gui

Linux Mint + Gnome Pie + Ubuntu-Touch desktop theme

Screenshot_from_2020-06-18_16-18-14.png

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Posted (edited)

The perfect solution to both Ross's all buttons mouse concept and keyboard / mouse switching issue: KeyMouse

 

Both-Hands_01c-800x468.thumb.png.1641bb59e3e3cf5172b620ebfbb8bee7.png

 

Only downside is it's a weeeee bit expensive.

Edited by Isaiah (see edit history)

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I've hesitated coming into this conversation, even when I first saw the video, because this conversation had already become really long and complecated. I haven't read everything, so I don't know where the conversation has progressed, but please hear me out!

 

Forums like these aren't really built for discussion on complex topics. Information gets buried, subjects get lost, and it get difficult to pull anything useful out of the discourse in the future.

 

I humbly ask that we try to start a discussion on Kialo, as all of the work everyone puts into this will be easy for anyone to access. Check out one of my favorite discussions on better voting systems for the U.S. to get an idea for how the site works.

I would be happy to start discussions for you all, I just need to know what questions we're trying to answer. For example, a few I could think of are:

  • What is the best OS for a customised GUI?
  • What GUI features are the most important for efficiency?
  • What is the best way to make Windows 10 look better?

Please let me know what would be most helpful.

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Posted (edited)

Looking at all these pretty pictures, I've no idea why it didn't occur to me to attach a picture to my own post before!

God I miss this thing.

zodiac_cradle.jpg

 EDIT: Earlier post where I mentioned it.

Edited by Tom (see edit history)

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10 hours ago, Tom said:

My sincere apologies.  I can assure you that I did, carefully and repeatedly, but somehow missed it every time.  My brain gets very literally stuck in a loop sometimes, and if it missed something the first time around, it'll generally miss it on every subsequent pass as well.  It's as frustrating to me as it is to you, I promise.

Don't worry, I very rarely take offense, and never over something that could just be a simple mistake. :)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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On 6/18/2020 at 3:39 AM, Collapsar77 said:

Well--- okay, switching gears to aesthetics, have you seen some of the custom desktops people put together for themselves using RainMeter as a basis?

My main issue with Rainmeter is that it's all on the bottom z-order wise.  So if I have a maximized window, most of those options are gone until I show the desktop again (at least that's my understanding of it).  Alternately, if they showed up on top of Windows, I don't know how you would get the GUI elements to hide themselves for full screen applications. I think it will still be good for some things though, but I look at it from the perspective of both how nice it looks and how practical it's going to be for long term usage.  It of course depends on the person's preferences however.

11 hours ago, Isaiah said:

The perfect solution to both Ross's all buttons mouse concept and keyboard / mouse switching issue: KeyMouse

While that wouldn't work for me personally due to my freakish typing style, this is exactly the kind of outside-the-box thinking I'm trying to encourage.

 

15 hours ago, 0x13f said:

I made a quick and dirty interactive proof of concept based on the weapon wheel-like idea from the video.

www.hydrateyourself.moe/pages/weaponwheelgui

That's awesome as a proof of concept.  Some thoughts that come to mind:

-While faster, the instantaneous nature of it can be a bit jarring, this could be the sort of situation where extremely fading or morphing might make the transition nicer for the user.  That, or removing the wheel background since that throws up a lot of white against the background, whereas just seeing icons pop in and out might be less of a "shock" visually.  Alternately, if somebody wanted to go max eye-candy mode, the second layer of icons could start appearing out-of-focus underneath the selection as you got closer to it with the mouse cursor, coming into focus as you fly over the selection (and fading / blurring out the former layer).  That would take more work though and I don't even know if it would look better, just a thought I had.

-I think the key for something like this would be to have it heavily customizable, with just a suggested template people could modify.  People could choose how many selections on the wheel, skin it, have different wheels trigger via different hotkeys or mouse buttons, etc.

-For your final destination, I notice if you fly past it, it becomes unselected, I would have it stay selected as long as you're in the corrected direction to allow for maximum sloppiness from the user.

-It might be better to just have a button to bring it up, but after you've pressed it, it's no longer needed (or press another button to cancel it)

 

Anyway, don't think I'm trashing it, it's neat seeing it in operation.

15 hours ago, Galo said:

hey man, i found out about Gnome PI, it literaly do what you wants

 

It looks close, but I couldn't tell from the options if it does quite what I was talking about.  Is it possible to trigger the next menu simply by dragging the mouse to it, or does it require you to click on it?  That makes a substantial difference speed-wise.  I wasn't sure if that's what "Turbo mode" was or not.  I can try and test it out when I have more time.

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50 minutes ago, Ross Scott said:

Is it possible to trigger the next menu simply by dragging the mouse to it, or does it require you to click on it?

I tested it out quickly and it seems that it requires you to click.
Turbo mode is just "keep menu open only while I am holding shortcut keys pressed", so it closes instantly when you release the keys.
But whole project is free and open source. I'm sure that if some of us went to tinker with it, we could make it behave similarly to the interface draft that you made.

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19 hours ago, 0x13f said:

I made a quick and dirty interactive proof of concept based on the weapon wheel-like idea from the video.

www.hydrateyourself.moe/pages/weaponwheelgui

 

Here's a showcase video

(Can't figure out how to embed YouTube videos)

 

That rocks! That is so good. I actually like how this feels a lot better than I thought I would. There's only one thing that would SLIGHTLY improve it, but whether it makes sense to implement depends on the longer-term use plans.

I do find myself overshooting the icons and that slows me down a bit. I wonder if it's possible to highlight an icon based on the position of the mouse relative to the center of the wheel rather than based on whether I'm actually over an icon? EG, if I overshoot the top icon but am still in the triangle of space above it, I select it?

Of course, if you plan eventually to have several tiers of icons stacked on top of one another, that isn't such a good idea.

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