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> 3D Smart Dimension Behavior, Some Questions

B. Ludin
post Mar 28 2011, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE(Cary OConnor @ Mar 28 2011, 08:49 PM)
...The main thing missing at that point is the dock location...

Yes, that is one crucial point. The toolbars are arranged in a logical fashion (for me, that is) around the screen. I find that a lot more effective than the ribbon interface. I still haven't got used to it in MS Office either...
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snelson
post Mar 29 2011, 01:11 PM
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A custom ribbon 'solution' would just make me put every single command I use onto one big one so i dont have to search anywhere, at all, no extra clicks.

With the instability of the toolbars and the need to delete the xml files all the time, i sure dont want to recreate that one big custom ribbon just because an xml file got corrupted or whatever happens to them.

With a widscreen monitor, I'd rather not cram the top few inches with this big ribbon.

Hiding both the ribbon panel name and the ribbon panel buttom name may get you down to a single row up top, but it still uses pulldown buttons so you still have to think about it and search. (doesn't help when pulldown buttons in the new UI are greyed out when they shouldn't be but that can go in a bug report) So if the new ribbon were with all the buttons I use, will it be too long for the screen? Will it format itself to 2 rows? Even so, if it can't be split go to the sides or bottom, I'll stick to the old UI.

QUOTE(Cary OConnor @ Mar 28 2011, 01:49 PM)
Let me ask this question on the UI while we are here. If you had full ability to customize a Ribbon Tab and ability to hide others, would it not be better than or similar the toolbar UI to a degree? The main thing missing at that point is the dock location (it would be at the top - but you can turn off the command name and panel name and it would be about the same size as the toolbars). The Browser is a different item as we know.

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Cary OConnor
post Mar 29 2011, 01:49 PM
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Hi Steve,

I understand you comments. I think our direction will be focused on the customization ability in the Ribbon and hopefully Dockable Ribbons if the provider supports them. In this process, I think the toolbar UI may still exist for a while, but we will probably drop the customization of those in the standard product. What I mean by that is that we will not customize it with all the options we deliver today. It would just default to the standard set (basically delete all the XML files under the user and the program files and start up IRONCAD to see what it would default too). Today we spend a significant amount of time customizing the toolbar to have extra commands available (which can be added by the user if needed using the customization options). So we may have the toolbar for a while, but we will spend less time setting them up in favor of making the Ribbon method more productive.

From your comments: If the Ribbons could dock, it basically gives you a toolbar method. I'm not sure if it is supported at this time, but at least we understand your concern.

Personally, I see the most value in the floating pop-up "S" toolbar. If that is customizable, I would use that far more than the toolbars or ribbon.

Cary
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snelson
post Mar 29 2011, 03:26 PM
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Hitting an extra key to hopefully get a few buttons that I may or may not use isn't cuttin it for me. I've tried using it, I don't see value in it since, for one, I can't see it. Plus, if you just right click on anything, you find more useful commands in that menu along with some of the ones from the S menu.

To make it slightly better, you'd have to start by making each situation it pops up in, customizable. (again, something else to set up if an xml problem occurs, or every hotfix, PU, new version....)

Why hit S to get a menu to use the most common commands that I would bet most of us have set to single shortcut keys anyways? I'm sure someone asked fot this but I don't get it.

Since I don't think you 'use' the program 8 hours a day to push out drawings and models, I'm sorry but theres only so much value I can put into your proposed usage of toobars we've come to get comfortable with over the years.

If the ribbons could dock on the sides or bottom, and remove all the names and such, yea, it would look just like the current toolbars and probably be just fine but just promise me I won't have to re-set everything up a few times per year for each PU/HF/Ver...

Steve
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IronKevin
post Mar 29 2011, 04:08 PM
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UI's must move forward, we need to keep improving what we have but if we stay with the old ways....
(It's the same reason companies don't use the same Trade Show both decade after decade and why cars don't look the same as they used to, the UI is a bit of marketing)

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Cary OConnor
post Mar 29 2011, 04:20 PM
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The S key is to help remove the need for HotKeys. I for one cannot remember 10-15 hotkeys where as the button is easy with 1 hotkey. And yes that sucker would need to be customizable to be useful.

All customization need to be supported for migrations. We have this issue with the toolbar UI today as well. But in the future I would like to see a way to migrate customization in new versions.

Cary
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EricFoy
post Mar 29 2011, 05:25 PM
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Cary:
I'm afraid I'm really a dinosaur here... When you talk about "ribbon" I really don't know exactly what you're talking about. Could you please expound, for the edification of myself and others who may be in my situation...?

Here's what I do know:

menu: a text-based resource, usually at the very top of the application window.
toolbar: an icon-based resource, usually just below the menu.

menus and toolbars can generally be floated or docked to any edge of the application window.

-----------------------------------------

Now when someone says "ribbon," the first thing I think of is that new version of MS Word that came out and made a perfectly good program almost impossible for any experienced user to use.

Am I correct that "ribbon" always refers to the "Brave New Interface," or do I have that wrong?
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Cary OConnor
post Mar 29 2011, 07:27 PM
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Ribbon in IRONCAD is that Tab at the top with the commands. It has options to show small icons, names of icons, and ribbon groups (inside the ribbon tab) names.

Today, these are not customizable and thus hinder the workflow. If they are customizable, users could create Ribbons for there workflow to be more productive. Then the next item would allow these to move. Either as a dockable item or to another monitor.

The Quick Access Toolbar is a pop-up toolbar in the scene. This occurs at the cursor location and give commands based on the current selection level. Again, today it is not customizable.

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cborer
post Mar 30 2011, 02:16 AM
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QUOTE(B. Ludin @ Mar 28 2011, 03:56 PM)
I think the SDs work fine now. However, I would like to have the unidirectionality visualized graphically, e.g. by a circle for the fixed end and an double arrow head for the moving end. In the properties, you could have a bi-directionality setting which should result in displaying a double arrow head for the end that moves primarily, and a single arrow head for the end that move secondarily. Just an idea...
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Beat ....I like that!

This post has been edited by cborer: Mar 30 2011, 02:17 AM
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snelson
post Mar 30 2011, 09:11 AM
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"It's the same reason companies don't use the same Trade Show both decade after decade" Nice try, but you're way off.

And "the UI is a bit of marketing" its not a flashy new toy to show off.

Looks like you've got your direction planned already though so I'll just hope it improves before I need to use it.
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mwalls558626
post Mar 30 2011, 02:46 PM
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My simple sum up of the UI for me, is this, if I can do something using one mouse click, I want to keep being able to do it with one mouse click.

The deceiving part is this.....a one click action to do a command as before, hidden under two mouse clicks to get to the "ribbon" that lets you use the one mouse click for the command.
I am constantly reminded of the ProE days, and the hundred million trillion clicks of the "done" box to close down the windows you used to just create a line. ( slightly exaggerated, but not much ) It was astonishing.

I started using IronCad for the simplicity, and the SPEED of creating parts. I understand that looks will change, but I have a problem when now it seems as if IronCad is going backwards to look like all the other applications, which still use a flawed interface, MS Office included.
I'm OK with a change, but not at the sacrifice of speed. It will take away what is good about IronCad, and I would bet a large amount of something, that most every user of IC feels the same.

I know IronCad does not want to make things more difficult, and I am sure you are working hard to try and keep it flowing proper, I just want to make in known that I for one, love the old UI, and if anything new does not work as smoothly, and the old UI goes away, I won't like it, and would consider other software at that point.

Mike
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tlehnhaeuser
post Mar 30 2011, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE(snelson @ Mar 30 2011, 08:11 AM)
"It's the same reason companies don't use the same Trade Show both decade after decade" Nice try, but you're way off.

And "the UI is a bit of marketing" its not a flashy new toy to show off.

Looks like you've got your direction planned already though so I'll just hope it improves before I need to use it.
*



I have to agree, I dont things need to move forward unless its for the better. I for one was a proponent of updating the UI to a more refreshing and mdern look, however I liked the old tolls just fine. I thin just refeshing up icons would have bee good enough for me. I have to say I LOVE LOVE the S hotkey!!! that alone would have its weight in gold.
I to a dinosar. If updating means going backwards, is it really "updating"?
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IronKevin
post Mar 30 2011, 04:02 PM
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It will always be impossible to please everyone with any UI.

One metric to consider is the number of customers who call support each day (much higher number than post on this community) and a majority of them are pleased with the current UI.

Either way, the team here will never stop listening and whenever a consensus builds then decisions are influenced.
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dhovatter
post Mar 31 2011, 07:53 AM
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I agree in big part with Carlo.
It seems that over time the imphise has been placed more on keeping up with what the other Cad systems had. If they have a cool too get it no problem. But cosmetics is not why I like IC. Down and dirty is fine if it is functional and fast.
I can still produce a part faster then some other Cad systems but that speed has been greatly reduced by the hunting for the tools. And by the time my speed has built up after getting accustomed to tools or setting hot keys, the new version comes out and I need to start hunting al over again.
Like Eric says moving to look more like a windows program is not necessarily the best thing in all areas.
I have always thought that the problem is that the ones doing the software are more then likely young non users who have not needed to produce parts for a living just computer code. Granted you guys help direct them and use the input from users but I do not know what you use as judjement tools in whose suggestion you listen to. I some times think that it must be people who are new to doing Cad.
Like when the version came out where when you export part it was default linked unless you deselected that, you had to fix that, and now when you offset a curve it is constrained unless you deselect (which needs to be changed. and when you project in 2D you need to pull down menu and select the project because the default is Project constrained.
When are you guys going to get it that the majority of users do not link everything and do not want things constrained!
Dallas
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IronKevin
post Mar 31 2011, 08:37 AM
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Dallas,

Cary would more qualified to answer your questions about how we make these decisions but since he out, I'll take a shot.

1) Democracy, more users asking for something makes it happen. (about 90-95% of our users don't typically post ERs here, they send them to us directly).
2) Our sales team, they are in front of potential customers everyday who our very vocal about what they need.
3) Market/Industry trends and future technology that we suspect users will want.

With all that said we do still need to pay closer attention to the fine details such as the defaults you mentioned and setting IronCAD to work the way the majority works but you must understand that we are an international company and opposing requests come in from all corners of the globe.
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EricFoy
post Apr 1 2011, 02:54 AM
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Since this thread has already clearly been derailed (I think I might have some culpability there), I'll chime in again:

My bottom line is this:
A soon as the new interface (I think that's the one called "ribbon," but I'm still not sure...) shows promise of being more productive than the old one, I will start learning and using it. So far it has not. It sounds like it may be getting close, but I don't believe it's there yet. That's the simple (and only) reason I don't use it.

NOT AS FAST == NOT AS GOOD

Conclusion: The new interface isn't as good as the old one.

Sorry, guys, but it's clear from the outside that corporate has ram-rodded this thing, or you let your coders talk you into an easier path, or they talked you into a romance with some really slick code library, or something... because it certainly wasn't a mandate from your user base. Or maybe it was the marketing guys...

What you need to understand is that your users have no love affair with Micro$oft - they simply tolerate Microsoft because there really is no other choice. I hated Microsoft's revamp of their office suite (which I no longer use AT ALL), and I am not the least bit impressed by a CAD vendor's use of their libraries. Whatever you pay for them, it is too much.

I've made some rash assumptions here, but I'll bet I'm not the only one thinking these things. So these are some user impressions I think you should address.

When I hear even the slightest remark that there is a possibility of abandoning the old interface, it sends chills down my spine. I don't want to find myself in a couple years writing about the demise of a great CAD application. Remember, I and many others, no longer use any MS Office Suite programs. In my case, their new UI was a significant player in that choice.

What is particularly scary is the typical response to our complaints. We say, "This is broken, and here's why." You reply, "No it's not. See, It's supposed to work that way. You're just doing it wrong." So we say, "No. Really. It's broken." Then you say, "No it's not." It's like scene right out of bloody Monty Python!

-------------------------
I think some of this disparity between perceptions is explained by the different viewpoints of the parties involved: IC staff, programmers, and testers come at it with the intention of discovering how well the thing works. They are looking for things like continuity, uniformity, conventionality, ease of use, clarity, etc. --All good things. They are, however, watching to see if things work the way they are supposed to work.

Users, on the other hand, have an entirely different goal. They are looking to see if curves are offset, edges are blended, faces are drafted properly, etc. They have no predisposition toward how the UI "is supposed" to work, except that it should flow easily from their intended work. They're not building a UI, they are building a model.

So from all the interactions between us users and you developers that I've seen, it seems clear to me that you have no one on the inside whose sole job is to use IronCAD to develop 3D models and 2D drawings.

I hired a seasoned drafter a while back. He's got years of experience in AutoCAD, so he took to CAXA (IronCAD DRAFT) quite readily. After spending a week or so getting into IronCAD, he was coming along well. One day I leaned over and said, "Well, there is this other interface - the old one - that I kinda like." I purposefully hadn't shown it to him until he'd been in the new one for a while. Fifteen minutes later his voice came from over at his desk: "Well, hell, that's a lot quicker."

Should I say it? I dunno... my inner diplomat is telling me to shut up while I still have some respectability... but I just... can't... keep...

Guys. Seriously. Step away from the Kool-ade.
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EricFoy
post Apr 1 2011, 03:29 AM
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Kevin:
Please don't take this as an attack. Nothing personal here. Just a response:
QUOTE(IronKevin @ Mar 30 2011, 03:02 PM)
It will always be impossible to please everyone with any UI.
An obvious statement, absolutely true. But you need to realize that your making this statement communicates the following:
"Until your concerns are echoed by a significant number of users, they will be ignored."
QUOTE(IronKevin @ Mar 30 2011, 03:02 PM)
One metric to consider is the number of customers who call support each day (much higher number than post on this community) and a majority of them are pleased with the current UI.
We who post on this forum, and who have been with you for years, consider ourselves immanently more qualified to offer valid, objective input on these issues than those callers. Sounds arrogant, I know, but it's what I think (anybody else?). Plus, I have some questions:
<ul><li>Are most of these callers new users?</li>
<li>Do you readily offer them the old UI as an alternative?</li>
<li>Do they even know of its existence?</li></ul>
QUOTE(IronKevin @ Mar 30 2011, 03:02 PM)
Either way, the team here will never stop listening and whenever a consensus builds then decisions are influenced.
I truly hope that y'all are taking note of the existing consensus that, on a scale of zero to one, the new UI is a zero, and the old UI is a one.

But I get the feeling that there is no acknowledgement of this consensus within the halls of Irondom.

But just do me this one big, fat, hairy, solid favor: Don't let them abandon the old UI until getting the OKAY from us. Thanks.
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dberge
post Apr 1 2011, 04:10 AM
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time for a poll?
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EricFoy
post Apr 1 2011, 04:11 AM
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<a href="http://www.ironcad.com/support/community/index.php?act=Attach&amp;type=post&amp;id=6109" title="800px_AutoCAD9.jpg - Size: 106.01k, Downloads: 22" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.ironcad.com/support/community/uploads//post-27213-1301429319_thumb.jpg" width="100" height="69" class="attach" alt="Attached Image"></a>

Hey Kev:
I got all excited when I saw that image. I get the point you were making, but it got me thinking:
You know, I've been a professional CAD user since AutoCAD v1.4. This was before the offset command, before the display list existed (every screen rewrite was like a regen), before the compiled menu file (the menu was a big text file). I developed custom screen and tablet menu systems for AutoCAD, managed drafting departments for aerospace and architectural outfits, wrote custom file management systems and utilities. I know what CAD productivity is.

Now, I know that a number of the other guys here have very similar backgrounds to mine, and one thing we all witnessed was the inception and sudden death of AutoCAD 13. Somebody correct me if I'm having a senior moment, but that's the first port of AutoCAD to Windows, right? Or was it just called AutoCAD for Windows? Anyway, the thing was as good as DOA - not because it was unusable, but because it lacked the excellent, time-tested user interface of its DOS-based predecessor. Yeah - the one shown in the picture above.

Of course, AutoCAD eventually recovered (if only to subsequently slide into obscurity), but I can't get this image out of my mind: somewhere in the inner workings of AutoDesk, a core development team orders out for Starbucks and Crispy-Cream to watch the televised unveiling of their latest collective brain-child -AutoCAD for Windows. Will the world not adoringly embrace this lovely creature with the sleek and beautiful new interface?!?!

Sleek and beautiful? Yes.
Functional? Depends who' you ask.
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dhovatter
post Apr 1 2011, 08:18 AM
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Kevin
I understand that you need to try and comply with the wishes of the mass but consideration need to be tempered with real knowledge of what others think as well. The ones who yell the most are not always correct. Us old users are not always correct, sometimes we are a little reluctant to change. I am not reluctant to changes that are definite improvements or are sort of gradual. I just get tired of basically having to retrain myself ever time a new version comes out becaue what I had depended on for years does not work the same way, but accept it if it is truly better way.
I also understand that all sales people are not to be trusted for there input in the case where if a change is made they stand a chance of making a sale.
You mentioned the international connection. I also know there are vast differences in the way we do things here in US and the way they do things in europe since my company has been be bought by a German company.
I do not think people like Eric and myself are attacking IC we just want you to understand that the changes you make "make a change in our lives" Since we sit and use IC almost all day and some of the protesters and proponents for change only use IC for a couple hours a day and most of them did not start IC till Vista and windows 7 era. I started doing cad and NC programming with a Tandy Color Computer. Trust me when I say I have seen my share of changes and have openly embraced the.
When I see a post about something someone wants changed I have not always voiced my opinion about it when I did not agree, but I will in future.
I also look at the "Member #" it lets be know in some ways how long they have been using IC and I am member 131 and Eric is right there with me in the beginning of IC.
Do not get me wrong I value IC I just want to keep productive and not have to "Hunt and Click" my way thru a model.
I think I can live with ribbon bar if only is is totaly customizable and the "S" key popup as well.
The other thing is that you need to have more in "options "where people can set "ALL" or most of the defaults so all will be happy with the way things work. Back years ago When I wrote code I tried to have options changable when at all passable because I was not argent enough to always assume that My way was the only way.
Dallas
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