Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

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Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#1

Post by SecondMan » Mon May 20, 2019 12:18 am

Following from here: viewtopic.php?p=23762#p23762


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#2

Post by Tory » Tue May 21, 2019 2:49 pm

Yep that was funny :)
At the very least they should "fix" that by adding a number or letter to that default icon so that it can at least be quicker to sort visually ;)


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#3

Post by SecondMan » Tue May 21, 2019 11:23 pm

Tory wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:49 pm

adding a number or letter to that default icon so that it can at least be quicker to sort visually

Not at all, they should just keep text labels. They're trying to solve a problem that is not a problem, by introducing an actual problem.

What with custom tabs, for starters? Have you looked at KAK lately? It's like taking a tour at Hogwarts.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#4

Post by JPDoc » Wed May 22, 2019 1:51 am

And as regards Hogwarts, just installed fu16studioBeta3 and the icons and UI haven't changed, still incomprehensible and unusable. This is getting very worrying, maybe one of the famous WSL polls might help to have something to chuck at BMD before the beta becomes a release and we're all screwed? Just a thought . . .

The "magic wand" icon reminds me of the old image magick icon, which at least had the merit of being amusing -
http://imagemagick.sourceforge.net/http ... ndows.html


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#5

Post by Tory » Wed May 22, 2019 8:12 am

SecondMan wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:23 pm
Tory wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:49 pm

adding a number or letter to that default icon so that it can at least be quicker to sort visually

Not at all, they should just keep text labels. They're trying to solve a problem that is not a problem, by introducing an actual problem.

What with custom tabs, for starters? Have you looked at KAK lately? It's like taking a tour at Hogwarts.

Well the only "problem" that it maybe solves, to me, is when the properties window is too small and the text labels stack and then "jump" or like they said it keeps the UI consistent when translating into other languages. I understand it is a personal thing but I find it easier, and more enjoyable, to navigate the app with the icons rather than just text or initials. But it all breaks down when they are the same icons ;)

They did break some serious stuff and the KAK is a mess :)


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#6

Post by SecondMan » Wed May 22, 2019 3:40 pm

Tory wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:12 am

Well the only "problem" that it maybe solves, to me, is when the properties window is too small and the text labels stack and then "jump"

Another "problem" that is not a problem to begin with. Consider the below where I've added a number of User Tabs to a Custom Tool:

Image

Image

Top picture. I see lots of tabs, all named, I can immediately see where I am going, even when I open the tool for the very first time. Of course the labels are stacked, that's exactly what I would expect them to do.

Bottom picture. Leaving aside that all the icons are the same, at best you'll be hovering over those icons every time you use the tool, or clicking tabs at random. That alone is slowing the workflow down - by a LOT.

But there's something else wrong with that picture. Look closely and you'll notice that 2 tabs are missing. You have to drag the Inspector window to get to them. What was it that Grant said about less clicks and working faster?

Tory wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:12 am

they said it keeps the UI consistent when translating into other languages.

Yes, I remember this quote:

Peter Chamberlain wrote:

Something to consider; Resolve now supports half a dozen languages and in many locations text just won’t fit where icons will. To grow Fusions user base we need to appeal to the many non English speakers and good icons do that. We clearly have a number that need improvement and all the repeats need their own but a text only I/f isn’t easier translatable given the sizing considerations on screen.

Sorry to be blunt here (not towards you, Tory, of course) but that's just not true. Not only that, it also introduces another new problem. Names in Fusion aren't just "GUI names", they are IDs used by comps, scripts and tools. So say those would be localised, you would end up with an absurd situation where when someone makes something in the French version of Fusion (if such a thing existed), it won't run in the English version and vice versa.

I shudder to think of the implications if someone would decide to decouple GUI names from IDs...

The space argument is equally rubbish. Fusion 9 allows for much longer parameter names than Fusion 16. There are conscious choices being made here, but they are not based in functionality. Of course now in the current UI, replacing the icons with text with no further changes does cause an issue because they don't stack anymore, but that is also entirely self-inflicted.

Chad's response to the quote is spot on: https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/view ... 36#p500836

Tory wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:12 am

I find it easier, and more enjoyable, to navigate the app with the icons rather than just text or initials.

That's nice you find it more enjoyable, and I won't argue your personal experience, but it's irrelevant until you can also show me that it increases productivity. Measurable productivity. The current UI is demonstrably and measurably less legible, slower and - to go with what Grant Petty seems to find very important - demands much, much more clicking than before. It also ignores the most common and useful input device for compositing apps, which is a pen tablet. And don't forget, we're not being given a choice here. Fu16 is much less customisable than Fu9.

I mean, we have a benchmark. We have 3 decades worth of benchmarks. Centuries of experience. I'm sure if you're coming from Resolve and you're new to Fusion, all of this is just stuff that you haven't been able to do before, and it's all terrific and exciting, but Fusion has been around for a while. And the old "people just don't like change" mantra does not apply. Just look at Fusion's history. Change was everywhere throughout it, in big leaps and bounds. Furthermore, Fusion users have been gagging for change these last several years. The Fusion community has always been one to be progressive, to be inclusive, to welcome change and new horizons. To boldly go...

For the longest time, one of the main arguments for using Fusion has been that it's fast to use. Not Fu16. And as we're seeing, the changes have been entirely intentional. It's not dictated by Qt, Fu9 was Qt as well. The text IDs exist, but they have been intentionally erased from the UI. None of this is accidental. This looks stubborn and ignorant, and reeks of hubris.

I may sound harsh but I'm obviously also happily spending copious resources on running this forum, so it's not like I'm crapping all over Fusion as a lifestyle choice or losing my sense of humour.

But anyway, feedback has been given and this ball is now firmly in BMD's court. Good times.

JPDoc wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:51 am

maybe one of the famous WSL polls might help to have something to chuck at BMD before the beta becomes a release and we're all screwed?

I'm all for it!

In fact I have been adding some functionality to the forum to increase the visibility of such endeavours. I'll think of a good poll question - send me suggestions if you have them? :)


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#7

Post by gez » Wed May 22, 2019 5:45 pm

Well, I'm a graphic designer and putting icons everywhere and making stuff look "nice" is sort of part of my job description, but I have to agree on this one that icons are a step back.
The first time I looked at the Fusion UI with all those initials in the quick menu above I thought "damn this looks ugly" but it took no time to realize that it was a great hint of a super productive workflow with Fusion: you can type in those initials/letters to quicly insert nodes in your flow, and that's a massive boost in productivity.
Replacing that with icons brings no benefit at all. Does that bar look nicer now? Maybe. But that's at the expense of a reduced productivity.
And that's not to mention that in general monochrome symbolic icons are quite bad conveying the meaning of the tool and producing a good differentiation between them. Designers want them to be stylistically homogeneous, while keeping them "symbolic" and minimal, which in the end makes differentiating them quite hard.
And hey, I've been a designer for 20 years, I think I can read icons.
A couple of icons here and there are fine, but replacing any readable stuff with icons is something that quickly becomes bloated and unreadable.

TL;DR: Those icons are a step back. Kill them with fire. :-D


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#8

Post by Tory » Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 am

Great points... I "like" the design work but I agree that when it limits the readability it is going backwards.

I have also been frustrated that while it can look clean when all the icons make sense there are many times where there is not an icon that is possible to clearly communicate. What icon perfectly symbolized "legal" or "Inter" or "setup."

This will also become much less "clean" if many developers or fusioneers make fuses, settings files macros etc. Would they be expected to create Icons that match the style guide? I agree that the best way to keep the setting headers consistent and readable is to have them text. There are too many variables and they NEED to communicate so that they can function as a heading.

With regard to the productivity speed up because of the icons... well of course, I can not quantify that. I think that good design can spark joy and that can help with creativity. But that is subjective :)

One thing that I think would be good for BMD to keep in mind is that the icons or design function best when it enhances the meaning... they should not rely on icons to create or communicate meaning. If an icon is going to be able to stand in for text it needs to be super clear and consistently used. Not possible in the setting headers...


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#9

Post by Chad » Thu May 23, 2019 9:05 am

Tory wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 am

Would they be expected to create Icons that match the style guide?

Would they be expected to create icons at all?

Right now the vast majority of extant macros and fuses (>99%) don't have any icons. Forcing users to suddenly make icons and giving them no alternative isn't going to go well, even if BMD makes an icon template and makes icon publishing easier.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#10

Post by Tory » Thu May 23, 2019 9:16 am

Right that is what I was thinking through there... it would hinder the ability to have a thriving community for sure.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#11

Post by gez » Thu May 23, 2019 9:23 am

Tory wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 am

With regard to the productivity speed up because of the icons... well of course, I can not quantify that. I think that good design can spark joy and that can help with creativity. But that is subjective :)

I don't think it's that subjtective. If you need to think a moment to identify the icon of the function you're looking for that's a distraction. The distraction itself may only mean a few milliseconds, but staying in flow when you constantly need to consciously think about which is the damn icon you have to click is going to be quite difficult.
The older UI paradygm in Fusion, albeit not perfect, was way better than that.
Maybe you end up getting used to this new stuff and your brains adjust eventually, but right now the change in the UI brought nothing good to current users but headaches.
Alienating seasoned users just for the sake of lowering the entry barrier for new ones is not a good idea (and it's not clear that in this case the new UI is actually easier for newcomers).

Don't get me wrong. It looks modern, streamlined. It gives a nice impression at first sight, but that means nothing if it doesn't bring anything good to productivity and usability.
Of course it's better to have something that looks great and works great, but if you can't have both I think most of us would pick works great, because that's the first thing one expects from a tool. Being beautiful is a plus, but not a must.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#12

Post by Tory » Thu May 23, 2019 9:39 am

gez wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:23 am

The older UI paradygm in Fusion, albeit not perfect, was way better than that.
Maybe you end up getting used to this new stuff and your brains adjust eventually, but right now the change in the UI brought nothing good to current users but headaches.
Alienating seasoned users just for the sake of lowering the entry barrier for new ones is not a good idea (and it's not clear that in this case the new UI is actually easier for newcomers).

This is were it is subjective... for me it is faster to get to know the tool icons rather than reading the initials. But like you said that is going to be dependent on what you are used to looking for.

I think this is potentially going to be faster in the tool bar... especially for tools that you don't use quite as much it may be easier to keep the icons in mind rather than holding what 3lm, 3Sh, or 3Cm mean at instant access in your mind... This is one area where well designed modern icons can help.

I agree though if you are a power user that currently has a custom tool bar and has memorized the initials it will not be faster.

I think it is not just a matter of ICON vs TEXT but where and in what hierarchy does that make sense.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#13

Post by Chad » Thu May 23, 2019 9:44 am

BMD has had, what, 18 months to make decent icons? During the current beta, how many icons have been changed? According to a quick diff on the skins, none. They aren't even trying to make the icons better.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#14

Post by Tory » Thu May 23, 2019 9:48 am

Well this is why I think at the very least they should paginate the default icon. And they really should allow text under the icon, or text only options.

I think that having icons, that make sense, for some of the settings pages will be too hard.


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Re: Fusion 16 - icons vs text labels

#15

Post by gez » Thu May 23, 2019 6:05 pm

Tory wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:39 am

I think this is potentially going to be faster in the tool bar... especially for tools that you don't use quite as much it may be easier to keep the icons in mind rather than holding what 3lm, 3Sh, or 3Cm mean at instant access in your mind... This is one area where well designed modern icons can help.

I agree though if you are a power user that currently has a custom tool bar and has memorized the initials it will not be faster.

I think it is not just a matter of ICON vs TEXT but where and in what hierarchy does that make sense.

Keep in mind that the top bar Fusion Standalone has with commands is meant for quick access. It's intented for tools you use often, and you want handy to click and forget.
For tools you don't use that often you have three options: The Add Tool menu and the Tools menu, and the tool browser you invoke with shift+space. The add tool command has the nodes arranged in sections, and those have the quick access letters along the name of the tool. When you find that you use a certain node a lot, you memorize those letters, then next time you're not going to look for them, but just shift+space+letters.

I don't see how finding icons can be faster than that.
Sure, replacing the quick access top bar with icons can work, but it's more consistent (and educational) to keep the letters there in my opinion. And yes, this last sentence is completely subjective :-D