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Waste from left to right, not top to bottom


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#1 Conner_Bw

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 23:52

First, an image to get you started. Please click and look before reading the rest.

All (my) monitors are wide screen. This has been the case for years now. Gone are the VGA cathode tubes of yesteryear. What that means is I have more pixels to waste from left to right than I do from top to bottom.

IMHO Since trackers are vertical it is extremely important to design for them, not against them!

Problem:

space-wasting.png

In the above screenshot the red arrow is "reserved space" for a scrollbar while the green arrow is unused space that does nothing. I can pull up half a dozen vertical bars (that do more or less nothing) like this in the current interface but am too lazy to makes more screenshots...

Problem:

As a thought experiment, try to make as much room as possible for the tracker (the spreadsheet) by hiding everything else.

No matter how hard *I* try to hide everything I end up with 3cm of task bars on my laptop that sit there idling. 2cm at the top and 1cm at the bottom. That's 20% of the screen for my X220!

Contrast:

space-wasting-2.png

Above is as small as I can get Pattern Sequencer. So much empty space here? No actual information? Much worse if you expand it? At least it's horizontal space, but couldn't it be put to better use?

Executive summary.

I just want to bring this up because the new Renoise interface, although slick and improved, seems to me a hodgepodge of tabs stacked on top of taskbars stacked on top of status bars stacked on top of accordions. If you guys are going for a total revamp please think about the space you are using on the monitors we now have. Simply stated, it makes me think of the first image I asked to be clicked and every time you put a horizontal task bar in my face I cry.

Thank you for your consideration.

Disclaimer: I understand the second screenshot is misleading. There is usually some valuable info here. Still, this is a screenshot from an actual demo song (The Path). Still, I cannot hide this space...
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#2 68000

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 00:19

I agree, first thing I noticed after launching 3.0b1 was the huge amount of grey wasted space. GUI definitely needs some more polishing.

One thing I think would be beneficial, is moving sample list and file browser from right side to the left side, to make it more consistent with native/vst fx list. Now it's a bit cluttered.
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#3 noby

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 00:24

I'm all for saving the actual workspace in any and all applications, but I don't think you can position those buttons much better. Here's a couple of points:
  • From hierarchical and gui design standpoint they shouldn't be within the actual section that they affect
  • This also creates the problem that they are very likely to be at a completely different position at the envelope editor, not to mention mixed with the editor's main buttons
  • That part of the interface has always been there, and it's also used as a statusbar for displaying messages and such. Adding the buttons there actually increases the bar's functionality from previous versions :)
A thing I don't like about their place though: they're farther away from the working area where your cursor most likely spends most of its time, so currently you need to spend slightly more time and effort switching between the views, where as with previous versions they tabs where right adjacent to the pattern editor/mixer/others. Sadly, I can't think of a better way to position them really...

#4 delt

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 00:27

Goes pretty much in the same direction as an earlier post:

http://forum.renoise...ns-for-the-gui/

btw nice screenshot conner (the browser one) :D :D
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#5 Conner_Bw

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 00:29

I'm all for saving the actual workspace in any and all applications, but I don't think you can position those buttons much better. Here's a couple of points:


Sure, but I'm not (necessarily) proposing that the buttons be moved. Instead, I'm proposing that the current GUI needs work and shouldn't be considered "locked down" if possible.

I just want to open the door for a discussion about the GUI revamp which is one of Renoise 3 big features.

Cheers.
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#6 noby

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 00:42

Sure, but I'm not (necessarily) proposing that the buttons be moved. Instead, I'm proposing that the current GUI needs work and shouldn't be considered "locked down" if possible.

I just want to open the door for a discussion about the GUI revamp which is one of Renoise 3 big features.

Cheers.


Oh I absolutely agree, and I kind of jumped into it without actually reading you're whole post, sorry about that (I'm writing this on an X220 too btw! ;) ). I think relatively big GUI changes like this should definitely be discussed and possible problems with it resolved; I almost made a thread like this myself in haste, but after playing around with it for half an hour it starting to make more sense. This is also sort of the subject that I study at university so it's definitely interesting to me from by that merit itself, and it's also the reason why I'm playing a bit of a devil's advocate in these matters :).
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#7 Paurini

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:05

I noticed this too... the rounded rectangle shape seemed as if it was put in as a nice filler. Totally agree with utilizing horizontal space efficiently and must say that the new browser placing is much better as the pattern area needs as much vertical space as it can get.

I would love to see the track DSP panel collapse to bottom edge to allow for more vertical gain in the pattern sequencer with maybe an "overview/universe" view until expanded to a fixed size.
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#8 Conner_Bw

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 14:53

Anyone know PHPStorm? (or any JetBrains IDE?)

There is a small square button in the lower left of the GUI. When you click it, all the taskbars + statusbars get hidden (or squashed as much as possible) to show only the text editor.

This would be nice to have in "Spreadsheet" mode.

For example:

Posted Image

Everything that is "blurred" above (and I would say the taskbars too) could be easily toggled to make more space for "tracking"
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#9 68000

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 20:02

there is still room for improvements without any major revamping eg, currently it's like this:

Posted Image

and why not streamline that into this:

Posted Image

there are more tweaks like this possible, and every vertical pixel counts I think ;)
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#10 Conner_Bw

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 20:17

@Johnny!

Noby said it in the other thread. You can't be putting buttons you want to be clicking in the middle. Ie. "Central elements like these that you need to access continuously and usually with as little trouble as possible, should be positioned at edges of the screen (or corners, better yet) for easier and quicker access.", and I agree with him. You have to determine what people are always clicking VS. what people are rarely clicking and position (or hide) accordingly. Also, resolution doesn't work with your example? My Laptop is 1366 where as your screenshot is 1920. Yes I have a second monitor but what about composing on a train? Or worse a netbook? And what if Renoise-dev wants to add more tabs in the future? Your screenshot will not degrade gracefully.

@ Renoise-Dev

Don't get me wrong I think what Renoise 3.0 brings to the table VS 2.8 is an improvement. That said, there are still tweaks that need to be done IMHO. The most important thing to take away is the idea of vertical space. That every line in the tracker speadsheet interface counts; even the empty ones - because they represent a measurable pause in between notes (so this information is valuable!) vs something like BPM 174. Why do you need to see this 100% the time? You set this once? Or weird empty slots that sit there taking space "waiting" for something to happen that could be hidden until the user really needs them.

Cheers.

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#11 Conner_Bw

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 20:47

For example: Here's what I'm thinking

cheapo-mockup.png

The "RED" blotch above is a new tab called "Init" (or some better name) that contains all the meta data like LPB, BPM, OCTAVE and whatever else you don't need to always see.

I would even argue that most of the time people don't even see them anyway. New users could instinctively look in a single place for this info instead of "look for 30 pixels somewhere near the top but not really you because accidently set this using a shortcut" support mails I remember answering more often than I would like...

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#12 68000

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 21:21

Screen layout could be different depending on the screen resolution. Different screen layouts for different resolutions or something like that. But it definitely needs some work. Also - you could just switch the tabs on my screenies with transport buttons or whatever, there's really a lot that can be done to save that precious vertical space ;)
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#13 Akiz

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:27

What seems logical isnt always ideal "thanks to" the human brain and our behaviour :(. I´ve made bachelor work about GUI in e-learning app learning music theory, so i understand a lot of design steps renoise team have made (important things on the sides etc.). I dont have any major problem with new layout :rolleyes:.
Just little thing i´ve pointed out is that these "sampler, plugin, midi" are duplicated when you detach instrument window (and have it on the other monitor) but it is not problem exactly. It is just useless in situation when you see both windows. On the other hand I dont wanna use R3 with just one monitor. :yeah:

Edited by Akiz, 23 December 2013 - 22:32.


#14 Conner_Bw

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:35

"sampler, plugin, midi"


I don't have that much problem with these.

First, they are logically grouped together. Good!

Second, the information in here (samples, envelopes, chains) are read from left to right, so vertical considerations aren't that important here. Good!

Basically, my issues are more pronounced in "spreadsheet" mode. Top to bottom information where little to no mouse activity occurs. The type touch programming window of an IDE so to speak.

Thusly, if we are revamping the GUI then we should go all the way and improve where it can be.

Cheers.
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#15 Conner_Bw

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:53

And by "we" I mean "for me by not me..."

:)

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#16 vV

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:02

Anybody tried 3.0 on a netbook? post some screenshots of that :)
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#17 68000

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 04:26

@ vV - just lower your screen res to something near the minimal required res (1024x600) - I was able to try 1280x600 - it was a nightmare in it's purest form ;)


Also - more ontopic - why not move this whole edit/mix line (including spectrum switch etc) to the bottom?

Edited by Johnny!, 25 December 2013 - 04:58.

Posted Image

#18 Conner_Bw

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 18:31

I like this idea:

http://forum.renoise...post__p__303263

Tabs at the bottom so it's easy to mouse aim for them in fullscreen mode.

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#19 terminalbash

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 21:17

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#20 Conner_Bw

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 21:58

My proposal:

idea.png

Renoise branding has been removed (as if we don't know it's Renoise by now...)

BPM, LPB and other non esential data has been moved to the "META" tab. This can be a catch all for non essential info such as Song Title, Description. Or in a theoretical future for something like an UNDO HISTORY Interface.

Status messages are "floating"

PS: Bonus Linux WM decorators bug...

(Tabs should be flipped [most important to the right], floating message should not be ugly, i suck at Gimp, etc)

Edited by Conner_Bw, 25 December 2013 - 22:39.

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#21 68000

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 00:25

yeah, both mockups above are much better than current setup
Posted Image

#22 eeter

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:18

BPM, LPB and other non esential data has been moved to the "META" tab.


Why not master track? Makes sense because that's where we also see the automation of those parameters.
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#23 KMaki

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 20:29

Status messages are "floating"

This is gold. Even makes them more noticeable.
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#24 Conner_Bw

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 14:17

On second thought maybe scrap all my tab ideas in this thread and go with this?

+ http://forum.renoise...post__p__309946

Tabs on the side is how every IDE I've used in the last ~5 years works. Now, I know Renoise isn't "programming", but it is a text editor of sound, and I would automatically feel comfortable with this change.

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#25 Cas

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 00:13

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