The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > OmniFocus 1 for Mac
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
Aesthetics of the New Filter Bar Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by intranation View Post
You've both been very rude
No, it is neither rude nor irrelevant to suggest the reading of something like Tufte.

Quote:
Originally Posted by intranation View Post
the contrast is out of whack
Indeed - shouting lozenges and frame edges, and useful but over-insistent new labels.

Omni has, alas, a bit of a track record of inadvertent regressions in graphic design. Quite understandable (and helpful) to hear a range of irritated voices whenever this occurs - distracting design (a bad signal-to-noise ratio in the management of contrasting edges) wastes attention, which is a scarce and jealously guarded resource for any professional.

The fact that these regressions continue to occur suggests two things to me:
  1. The company culture has yet to acquire a pervasive awareness of the need to carefully manage levels of visual stimuli (contrast levels at edges), and align them closely with information hierarchies. Visual signal-to-noise ratios do not seem to figure very prominently or explicitly in discussions of software design goals.
  2. Project coordination does not seem to explicitly manage the issue of visual contrasts created inadvertently at the borders between sub-projects. For example: edge-detection in the retinal system is particularly sensitive to vertical and horizontal edges, so some of the strongest visual stimuli in the 1.7 default screen are generated at the two high-contrast edges between the filter area and its gray neighbours. Do these very strong visual signals convey correspondingly significant information ? No, they are virtually information-free, (dispensable, in fact), yielding an appalling ratio of cognitive processing cost to cognitive benefit. Did anyone advisedly decide to place strong visual stimuli at these positions ? No, I would guess that they didn't - these look like inadvertent and unmanaged artefacts of adjacent subprojects. Cognitively costly spandrels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by intranation View Post
not to wave the pedant flag too much, but Tufte is generally aiming his work at the presentation of information, rather than interface design.
As for particular reading material, these matters are not discipline-specific: they emerge from the structure of the retinal system, and from the general balance between information acquisition and cognitive processing cost. Tufte happens to have a particular interest in software design, and states the basics of visual communication in good non-technical terms ('minimum effective difference' is a very useful formulation, for example), One could, of course, learn the same lessons from completely general accounts of communication, such as relevance theory.

No need to plumb the depths of communication theory or retinal physiology, however, when the basics of visual signal-to-noise ratios are so easily grasped, and so central to software quality and customer satisfaction.

There is clearly room for them in Omni's design culture, and Tufte is an excellent place to begin.


RobTrew

--

Last edited by RobTrew; 2009-08-29 at 08:00 AM..
 
[QUOTE=xmas;65474]The old view bar had the issue of being hard to understand what was actually being controlled:


I always thought those icons were supposed to indicate what was being controlled. ;-)
 
[QUOTE=ricot;65591]
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas View Post
The old view bar had the issue of being hard to understand what was actually being controlled:


I always thought those icons were supposed to indicate what was being controlled. ;-)
I agree with ricot. The labels in the new view bar are unnecessary. For example, the simple flag icon was sufficient in the old version. Now we have the redundant label, "Flag Filter," vertical space added for the labels, and the dark background for contrast.

The Sort, Status, and Time choices were also clear enough because of the icons. The Grouping icon is weak and the Project Filter doesn't have an icon, but those functions were clear by simply viewing the selected choice, such as "All Projects" and "Active."

I love many of the improvements in 1.7, but I prefer the previous view bar.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Yes, here's a link to the OmniFocus 1.6 default theme.
Great! Thanks Ken for the theme link!

Hopefully we could have a sytle setting in the next version to have a less shouting view bar!

Cheers,
Gam.
 
[QUOTE=PatrickH;65601]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricot View Post
I agree with ricot. The labels in the new view bar are unnecessary. For example, the simple flag icon was sufficient in the old version. Now we have the redundant label, "Flag Filter," vertical space added for the labels, and the dark background for contrast.
While I think you are correct in theory, I think several of the icons were weak. And I don't think it's a design issue-- while any of us would select a clock or a flag for Duration or Flagged Status and 94.7% of users would make the connection right away, the others just don't have any intuitive or obvious a priori choice. Quick, what's the universal symbol for Grouping?. Sure, once you *know* what they stand for they make sense but that doesn't help the new user. So, I totally defend the additional labels, despite the fact that they take up real estate.

However, given that normal toolbars can have icons, text, or both, MAYBE a preferences setting that would allow the old icon embedded in the buttons (but not as default) for advanced users?

I do share the opinion that the background of the view bar is WAY too dark. Make it closer to the regular toolbar color and go with black text.

Did anyone comment on the BLUE button text? I find it marginally unreadable. A slightly darker blue would be welcome.
 
Well, I must be an odd-ball, because I love the new view bar! It's easier to understand and, frankly, it looks great on my 24" iMac (running 10.5).

I am, however, a bit less enthused about the giant font used for projects on the left-hand side. That said, it's easily changed in the Preferences, so no problems there. It just seems a bit too big for my taste.

Keep up the good work OmniGroup!
 
I'm not one who often takes back his initial thoughts, but I'm growing more accustomed to the large Lucida Grande font choice. I've been working with it for the last several hours, and it works well, especially on my 24" iMac. I would imagine those with smaller screens would be more upset.

The font choice is super easy to read. I support it now!
 
Well, after 24 hours, I've stopped noticing the bizarre contrast - because I keep getting distracted by the icon that looks like, yet is not, a checkbox.

Status filter? Yes, please! Oh. I see. Well then.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas View Post
The old view bar had the issue of being hard to understand what was actually being controlled
I agree; the old view bar conflated data type and data value. It could cause confusion.

The new one avoids that, with the unfortunate side effect that being smacked in the face with strangely-floating lozenges and (yes) chartjunk ALSO causes confusion.

This is exactly the kind of thing that a human-factors designer is good at fixing.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by intranation View Post
What is it about software consumers that makes them think outright insults are okay to level at developers
Because good software developers don't interpret "something is wrong with your software" to mean "something is wrong with you". At my last job, 25 people were paid to do nothing but find bugs in my team's code. And each time they did, we learned something new about the world. How cool is that?

Last edited by Jay Levitt; 2009-08-30 at 04:46 AM..
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
iPad Aesthetics :-( moons OmniFocus for iPad 4 2010-10-08 05:53 AM
Filter Bar (Again) ricot OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2010-02-21 01:18 AM
Omnifocus Interface Aesthetics/ Visual Design uxable OmniFocus 1 for Mac 25 2009-09-28 01:38 AM
filter by 'due soon' markbrown00 OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2007-11-17 02:01 PM
Sort filter + Next filter + repetitive actions santra OmniFocus 1 for Mac 4 2007-10-28 12:28 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.