Better User Interface

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ptram
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Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:20 pm Post

Working everyday with the Creative Suite, I don't think it looks great. But it is logically laid out, and its floating/dockable palettes allow for quick access to the thousand available features.

I don't think Scrivener should follow that path. Creative Suite tries to emulate the drawing/cutting table, where you have several tools needed to develop photos, cut films, apply filters, add text snippets to a grid. Scrivener is your whiteboard, your notepad and your typewriter. Different concepts, to be implemented in a different way. The way its parts are laid out seems very handy to me.

What I would love in Scrivener, is a reorganization of the menus. I like Nisus Writer for the great order it could achieve with so many features. Scrivener has some areas that are not yet clear to me (an everyday user, older than Keith and with a slower mind).

For example, I find that the Convert to Folder command (relevant to structure) should not live in the same menu as Convert Formatting to the Default Style (relevant to text style). Also, I'm a bit confused by the presence of two Convert menu items (one in the Document menu, the other in the Text menu, and with some analogies to the Convert Formatting with the Default Style command).

Having to deal with so many features is not easy for a developer. The UI has grown version after version, and what I like most in Scrivener is that it is growing after listening to the many users. In the end, it is Keith to decide, but there is always something of us in this application.

Paolo

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Turgon
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:58 am Post

AmberV wrote:
Turgon wrote:That's a cool look you did there. I can't figure out how to change my set up to look like that. Is there a video that would show me how? A forum post that details it? Also, how hard is it to change back to the default when working on another project?


For the most part these are default colours. The main exception is the fixed width editor background colour, which I changed to dark grey to match the Ulysses look. So you need fixed width editing turned on in the Editor preference pane (I think I recall a setting of around 580 width matches the Ulysses default). I also played with the margins a bit here.

The rest is all tweaks to the project. The Binder only affects the left column, done with the `View/Binder Affects/` sub-menu command. I've then set up clicks in the left column (which is an Outliner view with only the Title & Synopsis column) to automatically load in the text editor on the right by clicking the double-facing arrow in the footer bar. Then I hid the header and footer bars for both editors (`View/Layout/`).

As to your last question, check out the `Window/Layouts/Manage Layouts` tool. You can save this look (the part not set up in preferences that is) and apply it to other projects, and quickly switch in between it and other views. But each project has its own layout. If you create a new project after having done this, it will look normal. Everything that you can do in the menus or buttons within the project window is saved into the project's appearance settings---that project alone.


Excellent - thank you for the detailed reply. I love Scrivener, and this has made it so much better for me - I love tying the two panes together with the double-facing arrow. Can't wait to use the Layouts Manager more! Huge increase in my understanding of this app and its customizability.

Would you guys ever do a video with the details of the customizations available, maybe including vastly different looks and feels? Even a user video on youtube so it doesn't have to be an expensive undertaking.

me
menteb
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Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:32 pm Post

I would LOVE an updated, more modern look for Scrivener...

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KB
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Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:41 pm Post

menteb wrote:I would LOVE an updated, more modern look for Scrivener...


Have you actually read the rest of this thread? What does an "updated, more modern look" even mean? Scrivener uses the standard Mac UI - the standard toolbar using graphical elements that are based on those recommended by Apple for modern UIs, the standard Cocoa buttons provided by Apple for modern program interfaces, the standard source lists as used by other Apple programs, and so on. So do you mean that you wish Apple would provide OS X with an updated, more modern look (whatever that means), because you don't like the way Apple programs look? Or do you mean you would like us to completely change all the UI elements so that they override the Apple UI code just to try to look different? Scrivener looks like a modern Mac app, so I don't really understand requests for a "more modern" look. I think you must mean something other than "modern"?

(Before replying, please read Ioa's - AmberV's - first two replies to this thread.)
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ang
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Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:43 pm Post

Image

With these icones the Blinder is terible

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Etched-for-IP-270983507

Image

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KB
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Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:10 pm Post

ang wrote:Image

With these icones the Blinder is terible

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Etched-for-IP-270983507

Image


Yep, the binder is a good example of a UI element that should never be monochrome, because of the amount of information its icons need to convey.
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Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:05 pm Post

Never say never

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Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:58 pm Post

ang wrote:Never say never


You were the one who said they looked terrible - I was just agreeing! It would indeed be terrible trying to navigate a monochrome binder like that. Even Apple realised this and reverted to colour for iTunes, reserving monochrome for source lists that require fewer icons.
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ang
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Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:48 am Post

Sorry, this is a translation problem. When I say "terrible", I mean beautiful and very simple. When you work 4 or 5 hours a day on scrivener for years, and you've built your own Binder, I think the problem does not arise. You know where things are. Now, maybe for new users, actually, the color is needed, new users or for thick novels like dictionaries that you tell the story of man since time immemorial to the present day.

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MimeticMouton
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Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:22 am Post

Well, document icons can be customised via Documents > Change Icon, so you can always create your own monochrome binder if you like. Set up some document templates with the default icons you want for different file types and you're all set.

Simpler still, you can invoke the hidden preference to hide binder icons entirely (c.f. §D.4.1 in the user manual).
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Niran
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Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:59 pm Post

Color is a great shortcut - monochrome makes me work harder, looking at the icon. Although the current finder in Mac Os X is monochrome, icons remain colorful because they look pretty and they color information makes it much more easy to find what you are looking for. As for modern, what is modern about the lack of color ?

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jeffnesh
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Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:51 pm Post

As a colorblind person, it's the 'great shortcut' part that often gets interfaces into trouble. Relying on color to convey information is problematic for me as a user (I know I'm in the 10% minority, but still).


Niran wrote:Color is a great shortcut - monochrome makes me work harder, looking at the icon. Although the current finder in Mac Os X is monochrome, icons remain colorful because they look pretty and they color information makes it much more easy to find what you are looking for. As for modern, what is modern about the lack of color ?
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KB
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Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:14 pm Post

jeffnesh wrote:As a colorblind person, it's the 'great shortcut' part that often gets interfaces into trouble. Relying on color to convey information is problematic for me as a user (I know I'm in the 10% minority, but still).


This is why both shape *and* colour are important: both should be used as cues so that the maximum number of users can distinguish them easily. As a colourblind person, I bet you would struggle if an application's icons were all the same shape - distinct shapes are crucial for those who are colourblind. But colours are vital for those who see colours better than they see shapes. I'm one of those people - the Finder's sidebar has been useless to me since it lost colour, and now I read the text rather than using the icons. I frequently click on the wrong buttons in Mail's toolbar, too.

The only reason computer programs use icons is that they are quicker to register than words. And the reason for this is that they can quickly represent a concept using shape and colour. Omitting one of these pieces of information when the user is faced with dozens of icons is poor design, in my opinion.

This isn't to say that all monochrome icons are bad. They look clean, and there are places where monochrome icons work well. They can work well in certain toolbars, even - Ulysses 3.0 makes very good use of monochrome icons, for instance. The reason they work well there is that there is very few of them and they never change place. So you not only have shape but also position, and you don't have to squint to try to differentiate between dozens of icons of the same colour. Safari's toolbar works well with monochrome icons, too, because there are very few icons there, likewise iTunes. So monochrome icons work well where they aren't likely to change position and where there aren't many of them, but they are completely inappropriate for Scrivener's binder or for Scrivener's toolbar so long as the latter offers so many commands.
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robertdguthrie
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Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:51 pm Post

Yup, what Keith said.

I'd say that I'm "shape blind" in the same way that some people are "color blind"; sure, some shapes clearly mean one thing or another, but I focus on color almost to the exclusion of shape. With Apple's not-so-recent implementation of monochromatic icons, it's like I'm relearning the whole interface as if I'd never touched a computer before.

And I too have difficulty with Apple's Mail app icons; I'm always confusing the "mark as unread" & "mark as read" icons for the "get new mail" and "compose a message" functions. I have to scan the whole toolbar to re-discover the icons for the later functions so that I can correctly interpret the former; and since they're so far away from each other, this confusion persists long term. I never had this trouble with colored icons.
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Niran
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Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:28 pm Post

This is interesting finding out different ways of processing UI. I have to say that I prefer consistent position,then colour and lastly shape to find an icon. If an icon/box moves (Windows 8), I have no hope of finding it.