some random thoughts for interface designer

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reaby
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some random thoughts for interface designer

Post by reaby » 28 May 2014, 12:55

Hi,

I tried the designer and it is very nice tool!

It is little pity that currently it can't be used for serious editing for titlepacks, manialink pages and for server controller graphics, mostly what i think it misses:

* bigger design area
* rulers and snap to ruler
* frames should be treated as groups, which they in a fact are, so give possibility to focus / lock and move frames like a other elements, no bounding box is needed.

!!! LOCK ELEMENTS from focusing, this is important !!!
* it could be perhaps a mouse focus lock, so when you focus the element from source it gains focus on editor and you can move and alter it normally..

* arrow keys should move the element by 0.1 or 0.2 to the direction for precise positioning
(* a ingame color picker would be a nice tool to have, use "styles" manialink color picker and add brightness + saturation sliders and a preview color + inputbox to copypaste the colorcode :) )

a fast mockup of what it could look like:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/105 ... i_idea.png

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noyranea
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Re: some random thoughts for interface designer

Post by noyranea » 28 May 2014, 16:06

Hi !

nice post, nice mockup !
reaby wrote:* bigger design area
The way you've put the elements in your mockup is quite convincing and I guess we can find a way to increase the design area's size. I'll work on it.
reaby wrote:* rulers and snap to ruler
reaby wrote:(* a ingame color picker would be a nice tool to have, use "styles" manialink color picker and add brightness + saturation sliders and a preview color + inputbox to copypaste the colorcode :) )
The current version of the Interface Designer is quite basic and is more like an alpha version. Thus, a bunch of new tools will come with the next update of the Designer.
- There is a variable step grid which snaps your coordinates, as well as a variable step on rotations to do 45° rotations quite easily.
- There is a color chooser which generates the 8 digits hexadecimal color and puts it directly in your code.
- There are file browsers to help you finding images, media data, etc...

There are other features, I'll write a topic about them when the update comes out.
reaby wrote:* frames should be treated as groups, which they in a fact are, so give possibility to focus / lock and move frames like a other elements, no bounding box is needed.
You can actually select frames right now, but the least I can say is that it's not very easy :
- Toggle frames display by hitting Ctrl+F
- Select desired frame with Ctrl+E/Ctrl+R
- Selected (blue) frame can be dragged

An other upcoming feature is the MultiControl selection. For now, you can only use it to create a new frame. In the next update, you'll be able to drag, modify attributes, put in selected frame and take out of parent frame multiple manialink controls. This should enhance your ability to move groups.
reaby wrote:!!! LOCK ELEMENTS from focusing, this is important !!!
* it could be perhaps a mouse focus lock, so when you focus the element from source it gains focus on editor and you can move and alter it normally..
I'm quite surprised your elements aren't locked from focusing :D I've corrected this problem very early in the development, and you shouldn't see it again after the next update (displayed elements are read only and can't receive inputs). If it appears again, please report it.
reaby wrote:* arrow keys should move the element by 0.1 or 0.2 to the direction for precise positioning
Great idea ! I just didn't think about it and it would be a good way to use these keys. I think that they'll move the position by one grid step.

Well, that's all :D

Again, thanks for this feedback and ideas, the mockup looks great and might be a solution. Have fun !

-- noyranea

reaby
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Joined: 29 Dec 2010, 23:26
Location: Eastern Finland
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Re: some random thoughts for interface designer

Post by reaby » 28 May 2014, 16:51

noyranea wrote:
reaby wrote:!!! LOCK ELEMENTS from focusing, this is important !!!
* it could be perhaps a mouse focus lock, so when you focus the element from source it gains focus on editor and you can move and alter it normally..
I'm quite surprised your elements aren't locked from focusing :D I've corrected this problem very early in the development, and you shouldn't see it again after the next update (displayed elements are read only and can't receive inputs). If it appears again, please report it.
Maybe i just didn't know how to use the feature as i didn't read the help :roflol:

I tried to do the mockup using the interface editor, but since i couldn't find easily the lock elements, i focused the background elements all the time, which lead to frustration and opening a image editor and doing the mockup there :)

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noyranea
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Re: some random thoughts for interface designer

Post by noyranea » 30 May 2014, 09:15

---- Lock Elements ----
Sorry for misunderstanding you "Lock elements" problem (thought it was about another problem which has effectively been corrected).

I thought about a solution, and I came up with this : a "lock element" button (as shown in your mockup).

Clicking the button would store the id of the locked element, and then prevent elements whith the same id from being selected (tell me if I'm wrong, but I think you're not supposed to use the same id on different controls).

If your control has no id, locking it would generate a unique id (like quad#2 or label#3).

If a frame is locked, all it's children are locked as well.

---- Increase Design Area's size ----
I got a first new design here : https://www.dropbox.com/s/pfvuzz346inri ... I_Idea.png

You can easily see that both the script editor and the properties' size have been reduced to increase the design zone's size. I think there's a choice to be made so here's the question : would you rather have a great design zone, or more room for tools / properties / buttons / script editor ?

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