New 4-column layout for the editor-type-selector menu...
Closed, ResolvedPublic

Description

MOTIVATION: The current editor-type selection menu is a confusingly long vertical list of 17 items, 47% of which end in "Editor" (8 of them). After seeing a bunch of suggestions to improve this, I decided to experiment. After discussion and a bunch of experimentation, I settled on this patch. This is based on the same menu-style as the multi-column Modifiers menu, which works well.

http://www.pasteall.org/pic/54986

The four-grouping categories are defined as follows...

+ /* Workspaces - author new data directly */
+ /* Tools - alternate editing views on the data being created in workspaces */
+ /* Asset Management (Tools) - browse, manage, load, mix, and process assets for use in workspaces */
+ /* Scripting - Script 3d objects, the UI, and the BGE. */

..this patch obsoletes my previous patch for this menu...

Details

Type
Patch

attached a patch for the lasted 3-column layout with no headers..

this is nice, gonna check it out

+1 - though the name "Node Space" should stay as "Node Editor" imo, I understand "editor" is used very often, but "space" just doesn't make sense. The rest of the name changes are good.

+1. This is a great idea, and "Game Logic" is definitely an improvement. I agree on using "Node Editor" or even just "Nodes". I would remove "Editor" from "Video Sequence" too.

+1! I love this direction. Node Editor should be called such. Video Sequencer is a shorter name. The "Tools" column doesn't quite seem to be the right name. Perhaps there should be an Animation Tools column that includes Timeline, Graph Editor, Dope Sheet, NLA Editor, and Movie Clip Tracker (never actually used any of these since I don't animate so maybe not all of these are animation related but you can still see my point)

This is a nice idea, but I'm not sure about the categories. Asset Management: How is Movie Clip Tracker and NLA Editor related?

Tools: There are no tools here. Seems random. Why do some of the animation editors go here, and some other places?

Proposed change:

Workspaces:

  • 3D View
  • UV / Image
  • Nodes
  • Video Sequencer
  • Movie Tracker

Animation:

  • Timeline
  • Graph Editor
  • Dopesheet
  • NLA Editor

Scripting:

  • Text Editor
  • Game Logic
  • Python Colsole
  • Info

Data:

  • Outliner
  • Properties
  • File Browser
  • User Preferences

Agreed, I like billrey's grouping too.

Added patch based on @William Reynish (billrey) arrangement

So, we're getting close to Bcon3. Any chances of this landing in 2.71?

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I still think this would be great :)

@Julian Eisel (Severin) & @Jonathan Williamson (carter2422), could you guys take a look?

To summarize: The editors list is large and confusing, with a lot of redundant use of the word "Editor". It sounds like most of us agree the following grouping would be nice:

(from @William Reynish (billrey))

Workspaces:

  • 3D View
  • UV / Image
  • Nodes
  • Video Sequencer
  • Movie Tracker

Animation:

  • Timeline
  • Graph Editor
  • Dopesheet
  • NLA Editor

Scripting:

  • Text Editor
  • Game Logic
  • Python Console
  • Info

Data:

  • Outliner
  • Properties
  • File Browser
  • User Preferences

Which would be arranged similar to this:

@Greg Zaal (gregzaal) I find your arrangement very confusing, cannot understand logic behind it. What timeline and properties window have in common? What Move clip tracker has to do witch asset menagement? IMHO its obvious that it it fits to workcpaces.

Second thing- We have whole bunch of animation editors (too much imho) in blender and many people ask me constantly where they do this or that. With "Animation" column things will be easier, learning curve will straighten a bit.

I propose to stick what @William Reynish (billrey) did. Everything is perfect clear in his solution.

@Bartosz Moniewski (monio) the screenshot was merely to give an example of how the editors could be layed out (in 4 columns) the actual names and categories would be better like billrey's proposal, as I said.

@Greg Zaal (gregzaal) OK. Sorry for misunderstanding. Then, +1 for this!

@Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) Can we add this to 2.74 UI targets? Path by @Aditia A. Pratama (aditiapratama) is already done so all it need is a review.

Re design: Assuming we use the grouping as per @William Reynish (billrey)'s proposal -> LGTM
Re code: Looks mostly good from a first glance, only one code-style concern for now: Use tabs instead of spaces (see our guidelines). I'd like to know if @David Jeske (jeske) is still available to work on the patch or if I shall commandeer it? (I'll give you 2 days ;P)

And let's invite Pablo to the party as well, as he's the other module owner of the UI-team :)

The four-column is a good improvement, when combined with the column titles. It works for this specific case, but in others it wouldn't work as well. And I like @William Reynish (billrey)'s names and organization much better as well. It gives us more room to grow and makes it much easier to choose an editor at a glance, even if it does take slightly longer (mouse movement) to select some of them.

@Julian Eisel (Severin), assuming @Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx) is on board as well then I'll leave it to set the target for 2.74 or 2.75; since it'll be dependent on any and all changes that may be needed.

David Jeske (jeske) added a comment.EditedFeb 6 2015, 12:32 AM

I also like billrey's categories better than my initial proposal !

Keep in mind, the main goal of this change is not to establish what the categories ARE, but to stop the menu from coming up in a different order based on the orientation it opens, and to put the items in groups to make it easier to specially remember where things are.

I would love to see this implemented with billrey's categories.

I have mixed feelings about this. It really increases mouse movement a lot, makes the menu quite wide which reminds me of the same issue we have in the modifiers list right now.

Splitting the options using William's categories could help even with the current vertical layout. Also cleaning the naming for some options (removing the word "Editor" from most of them) as it was mentioned before.

The space-switch menu is a bit long, yes, and it's only going to get longer. But this needs to be solved with a different approach that can be used elsewhere (on modifiers list, color management, or the ridiculous example shown below)

One solution we already have is shortcuts for some options, by using the numbers or by hitting the letter underlined for each option. On top of this we could have a search field, that's activated on tab for example. So you open the menu, you can press any number or letter underlined to quickly go to that option (as it is now), or just tab and start typing what you want to search for. The search field should be non-intrusive like we have now on any datablock fields.

Anyway, this needs testing. Is there a patch with the new categories/sorting, that works against current master?

How does it increase mouse movement? By my measurement, the 4 column layout reduces mouse movement, by putting more items within a short-distance mouse reach. It also encourages muscle memory mouse movement, instead of visual-servoing.

http://www.pasteall.org/pic/show.php?id=55034

The patch is really simple, I have not tried it, but it should apply on current master.

@Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx), although I like the idea of having a search menu in there, I think there's a bit more involved to do that. I also don't really see why this should increase mouse movement, I think it highly decreases it.

@Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx), you showed extreme example but its completely different situation. If we remove word "Editor" from "Video Sequence Editor" whole menu shrink drastically in width (gaps behavior) resulting even less mouse movement. Next thing- in layout proposed by @William Reynish (billrey) we operate mostly on two first columns which also reduce mouse movement in practice.

IMHO even if mouse movements will be increased (which in fact is not the case) we still can get clear visual key for quicker and more intuitive navigation.

So... this patch went back to sleep :)

@Julian Eisel (Severin) what do you think about applying this patch to ui-experiments, so everyone can test it?

Actually I thought about reviving this again the other day, but think we're mainly awaiting @Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx)' input.

Moving things forwards: Updated patch (see P239) and pushed it to the UI-experiments branch for testing.

Looking like this currently (in UI-experiments branch):

Friendly ping!
Maybe we can get this in for 2.8? What do you think @Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx) ?

Looks good! One thing: since Workspaces are a thing now, I would rename the "Workspaces" column to "Editors".

Other than that it looks good to me. Go!

PS: Thanks for the friendly ping @Diego Gangl (januz) :)

Agree that "workspaces" isn't the best term by now, but "Editors" sounds ambiguous too. Everything in this list is an editor, most even have the term in their name. Maybe something like "Main" or "General"? Or "Interaction"/"Interactive" since these are the main editors to interact with data visually. Or something like "Graphics"?

I preferer either general (main works too but I like general more). I would avoid Interaction"/"Interactive because it might be confusing with T54389. I dont really like graphics either.

+1 for general. Main makes it sound like animation/etc are a secondary thing and graphics applies to prety much everything we do in Blender.

PS: @Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx) no prob! 👍

"General" sounds like the most fitting indeed.

Go!

Julian Eisel (Severin) closed this task as Resolved.Mar 23 2018, 2:34 PM
Julian Eisel (Severin) claimed this task.

This finally landed in master! Committed rB60712d12eb89f.

Thanks all for the feedback and patience!

I don't see any real benefit with this change. It seems it was mostly designed to cater to some users visual preference but it doesn't actually change anything for the better. It seems it was modified just for the sake of changing the layout. If you want to argue that it was a long confusing vertical list you might as well start changing the File menu (which has a "confusingly long vertical list" of 20 items and wherever else you see fit (following your logic). I'm aware the File menu has plenty of shortcuts but like I said, organizing the Editor types menu horizontally doesn't make it easier to navigate.

For the modifier list I can understand since it has a LOT of them, but for this simple menu which actually looked much better vertically, I simply do not understand. Also, before, the 3D View was the first one to pop up on the list which I would say is more important and more widely used than the movie clip editor (further mouse travel now, tsssssk).

And by the way, you still have 8 items with the word Editor, and I don't know about you, but I'm mostly guided by what the editor icon looks like, which you could follow either up or down easily, and now with the new layout you have to navigate up and down and side to side ;)

If you wanted, you could have added the same General, Animation, Scripting and Data headers to the vertical list if proper distinction is what you needed/wanted.

No wonder this task had been hanging around since 2013, I'd say it was because hardly anyone deemed it important. If this is the new design paradigm for the 2.8 UI overhaul, may god help us.

Well, anyways, I don't mind the new layout but it didn't really solve a thing, it just made it different.

Take this with a grain of salt, these are just my 2 cents.