Disclaimer

Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Recent thoughts...

Recently i have been busy with thinking instead of working, i came to the conclusion that something has to be changed in the Interface again. This time i'm thinking about the main User Interface layout which was the default since this Viewer was started. It includes the Statusbar, Navigationbar, Favoritebar, Toolbars, Chiclets, Chatbar, Main Menus and Chat/IM Toast placement.

So...what is it what i want to change on these? They were perfectly fine and designed to take as less space as possible while making the most use of the available space. Well...let me compile some things together...

First off, i wanted to get rid of the whole Status/Navigation/Favoritebar as one, then remove all widgets up there, throw out the Search, Clock, Favorites and the Quickbuttons aswell as the FPS count, they will be reimplemented later. The Navigationbar will be centered, torn off from everything else at the top most place. The main menu will probably stay at the left side, below it there should be a button to slide out favorites. The right side will feature the stats packed together, which would be the Clock, Network Statistics and your FPS, a seperate part will be for your money and below it there will be the Media/Draw Distance/Sound buttons. Last but not least the Quickbuttons will probably moved below the Navigationbar part and those next/previous/home buttons will remain on the left side just like in any browser. Not sure how or where to implement the search right now...





Second major thing i wanted to change is the Toolbars, Toolbars are the areas in which you can place your buttons freely, i wanted to move the bottom one to top, place it aside of the top one and make the top one align left and the bottom one align right, no bottom buttons anymore, the bottom should be totally button free. This habit of having buttons at the bottom is old and annoying, buttons dont belong at the bottom where your character or avatar is centered at camera wise. In other words they overlay your avatar and thats not the point of them, they should not overlay the "important" part of your world rendering.

Third and last major thing i want to change is the whole Chat layout, i want to make the Chatbar fixed at the bottom left, show/hidable via the Chatbutton or Enter, Chat toasts should be more simple, less fancy looking and in generally a bit smaller and more transparent, same for the Chatbar and History, both should be more simple, no floater background, just a black slightly transparent background, plain simple and still providing some look into the world behind it without making it unreadable. Only thing that probably wont be changed much here is the IM system itself aswell as its chiclets, they are totally fine and should absolutely remain there.


What do you think about this idea about redesigning the whole main UI area?

48 comments:

  1. well, i love your actual layout and really done need nor wish to have to learn all again!
    Im one of those that still places the bottons i need on the bootm, call me old fashion, but thats the way i like them to be, so if you change that, pls let users still be able to place them anywhere trhey want.
    Its your viewer, but freeedom of customization can only be good!

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  2. More important to me, to be honest, is to see spell check fixed and to have a simple option that lacks in your viewer:
    Hide all controls: Crtl +shift + u
    That is some i cant understand why you dont use!

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    Replies
    1. Spellcheck is working fine.
      Also i see no need in changing Hide all controls to CTRL + Shift + U. I dont even know where you get that from.

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  3. I was about to ask in your forum for a ui that upon command everything would be cleared from the screen making this more a window into virtual versus a game screen .. and I quote it's your viewer and Im fully supportive of what ever direction you choose to follow.. Rock on.. Just do it..

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  4. Well.....

    Not all users have the same layout preferences. One of the nice thing about the viewer is that it allows you to customize you your individual preferences. I am a bottom button person. For me, that makes sense and makes it vastly easier. Others may like the sides, or the top. Taking away user choice, IMO, is a step backward, not forwards. Modern web technology allows for user customization for a reason - user research has found that it is preferred.

    I am finally getting used to the layout as it is. I switch back and forth as it is between FS and Nirans, so even the small differences can be a little of a pain.

    My guess is, and is a guess only, Linden performed quite a bit of User testing to come up with the UI they did, so there should be pretty compelling reason and user data to deviate radically from that. Sure, Linden has to set the bell curve down to the pretty clueless user, and Niran's is a specialized viewer, but, user testing always shows patterns that users of all experience levels of how they expect to use an interface or find something within a user interface

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  5. I think you are onto the correct track. However, have the buttons able to be assigned (like they currently are) to anywhere. Personally, I have my buttons at the sides. I hates stuff at the top, and bottom. :O)

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  6. Oh my! I absolutely love the idea of a totally new interface! Since I get bored too easily about any kind of layout it would be so refreshing to see a totally new one.

    Also I really like this new chat concept, it would look great! The current chat we have always annoyed me so much!

    Do it, please! This is really exciting, I can't wait to experience it!

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  7. I want the favorites to stay somewhere, I use them a lot. Aside from that, it's not a big deal one way or the other.

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  8. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/All_keyboard_shortcut_keys

    For sure exodus has them working as kokua, the 1 i have or tested latest versions!
    Obviiously also LL official viewer since v3.2 as per spreadsheet on top!
    Sad to see you deny some you should be moere then aware and its really usefull!

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    1. ahahahahah! xD
      What the fuck even is HIDE ALL CONTROLS. My Viewer doesnt seem to have this option xD such an unneeded function loool.

      I mean common CTRL + T for Toolbar buttons
      CTRL + T = Show XUI Preview with Advanced/Develop/Debug menu enabled (they are always enabled in my Viewer, therefor this needed a different one as example)

      Do you really think what LL offers is anywhere near good?

      And why the fuck should i be aware of this useless option? xD I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT IT DOES AND IM SURE I DONT NEED TO KNOW BECAUSE THIS FUNCTION SERVES NO PURPOSE.

      *falls onto the floor and dies while laughing*

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    2. You can and will do what you want, but keep in mind that just because something is useless to YOU doesn't make it useless for everyone else.

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    3. A function hiding 2 windows, shouldnt have any point for anyone.

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    4. Hiding all aspects of the UI including menu bar(s) is helpful for doing what your viewer targets as an audience - Machinima. I have done a few myself, but end up cropping down the field of view in post production. (Pan -n- Scan in post production is no big deal honestly, just part of the job but one less thing to do(tm) when hiding IM popups, local chatter, etc.) Just a bare window into a virtual world without clutter is a *nice* option for some.

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    5. Just use the Hide UI Function, it hides ALL THE UI (CTRL + Alt + F1 if i remember correctly), i use that to make my videos.

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  9. Spellchecking never worked in any of your versions i tried!
    Never shows any dictionary active!
    I even tried to upload a dictionary, but its not working at all, i even forget it existed until i test other viewers and see how usefull is it!
    Im being harsh cause you say shift crtl u does not exist when i use it all the time on Exodus and now on kokua as well and finding that probably also on the official Ll v3.2 viewer (Cause i dont use any LL viewer i can only post the official shortcut wiki from Sl site!)

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    1. Others tell me that this function is supposed to hide "Move" and "View" floaters (movement and camera controls), which totally pointless, such floaters shouldnt even be on your screen at any time other than when you change your camera preset when setting the viewer up for the first time or when showing off something (like in my Streams)

      And NO. You are talking about CTRL + Alt + F1
      Which is known as Hide UI. This one works perfectly in my Viewer.
      Btw the spreadsheet even contains it.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Then those functions are broken in those Viewers. Its supposed to hide View and Move floaters, not hide the whole UI.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. That includes the knowledge of when and where to implement certain features like this. A feature that closes floaters that shouldnt even be on your damn screen is unnecessary and bloatcode.

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  12. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Adding_Spell_Checking_Dictionaries
    Its workming now as per the guide!

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    1. https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0zgWzcZDgks/UWgu-h1iOgI/AAAAAAAAIPY/J0CBmr_e4zg/s1920/Snapshot_1257.png

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  13. The idea to have a totally clean UI is very good. Addressbar, favourites and so on are useful sometime but most of the time they could be hidden.
    In the MMORPG i used they have a consolidated and homogeneous communication system lying in the lower left side of the screen and of course resizeable and moveable. LL with CHUI I think was trying to do something like that but honestly CHUI disappointed me because it has not an autohide function. I mean, I love NV feature that allows me to start writing and immediately the chat bar appears and when i press ENTER/RETURN the chatbar hides automatically. This is cool.
    The best way (to me) would be:
    1. Chiclets on the BOTTOM LEFT (just under the autohideable chat bar)
    2. Minimalistic chat bar that appears when start writing. Chat bar could have some buttons optionally to add to it (like gestures and voice controls) and consolidated IM tabs (like CHUI but much better) that appear/disappear along with the main chat bar after pressing RETURN/ENTER key.
    3. Hotspots on the screen corners that will show/hide UI sections (as Niran described). UI sections would be nice if they could appear with a slide in / slide out effect.
    4. UI buttons panel on the top center with autohide: I move the mouse over there and the button panel slide in from the top.
    5. Every autohideable panes should have the pin button to keep them visible overtime.

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    Replies
    1. Good ideas Laura :-)
      chiclets on BOTTOM RIGHT is still okay for me, everything else would be cool, yes.

      Delete
  14. For some reason it does not show any dictionary as active in my system, but i downloaded the USA 1, followed the instructions and imported it and it did accept that 1 as active!
    So if any other are having issues or wish toi instal diff dictionaries:)

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  15. I agree that in your viewer the function does not make sense as you clean already a lot of the useless crap that bloats the screen!
    But the function works and on those viewers, where you can't hide moast of the uselss tabs like destination guide and and so on, it makes sense!
    So lets bring your changes to daylight, you know you will do what you feel and wish and one can never be fearfull of inovation!

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  16. I don't suppose you could have tear off menus and floaters draggable to a second monitor so I can control everything while capturing a full screen machinima? As long as we are dreaming here :-)

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    Replies
    1. That tear-off system was mentioned and developed long ago, there was a Viewer featuring this system but it went down.

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    2. I know it's specialized, but machinima makers would all love it I'm sure. Do you remember which viewer had it?

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    3. It was a "plugin" enhancement back in the viewer 1.1x days. It was buggy and crashed plentifully and was thus abandoned. The retooling of the GUI with v2.3 public really broke (reworked) everything which has prevented any further development. I forget the name of the plugin but I happened across it when the project shut down do to lack of any foreseeable improvements to stability.

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  17. Just gonna say it. Don't make the bottom button bar be removed. Add an align left/right/center feature to all the bars. Or rather, Align Top/Bottom/Center for the side bars. Saves user customization.

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    Replies
    1. Added from Firestorm. Crashed my Viewer. Never again.

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  18. Hi Niran^^ the whole idea of new interface sounds cool to me with all your ideas... I was not sure about the bottom bar (I use it too) but I tried it with top bar and it's okay too.... so I am curious for this new interface style. Navigation- and especially Favouritesbar would be cool centered.... I do use the IMs and chatwindows at the places you suggested, so this wouldn't be new to me but it's very good. Can't wait for it!

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  19. Replies
    1. Do as you will and are wont, Niran. People will ultimately vote with mouse clicks, downloads and LL 3rd party stability listings. Personally, keeping the UI interface as close to bone stock standard to make it easier to support newcomers and keep the playing field between users is king - but enhancements and usability for us seasoned users will often pull ahead.

      How much rounder can we make the wheel?

      What your viewer does above all else is produce a stable, faster and qualitatively BETTER SL experience with forward thinking use of render engine optimizations and leveraging high performance hardware. Others focus on hackish, intrusive tools and stability on rock bottom, poorly inadequate hardware thus being more popular.

      I say stick to your guns, do what you can to help yourself and improve SL as a whole, those that can follow - will. I really do not need to see avatars or know of them outide of the borders of a sim I am standing in or script counts, etc. I film and create/mod with the best, representing (graphically) and stable viewer I can find.

      YOURS and yours alone if the only one I recommend without a flinch to friends.....especially when I want them to see SL as I can and do create it and myself to be. Let the FS/Phoenix/whatever users stand out in the cold, shivering and trying to keep warm with i7, Intel HD 3/4K graphics enabled notebooks if THEY want to. It's not your fault they try to run SL on the equivalent of HP-11c calculators. :> *LOL*

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  20. love the ideas, I hate buttons on the bottom of my screen, even taskbar is moved to the right. Go for it

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    1. mine is at the left side, everytime i use someone elses PC im used to moving my mouse to the left xD

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  21. Left as well:)
    I believe it has to do with western languages, we are used to read from left to right and top to bottom!
    Don't know about other cultures enough, but thats why i think all on a xui should be able to be moved to any place!

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  22. This is most likely unrelated to the issue at hand, but every time I TP somewhere, the objects on my avatar [head, hair, paws, tail, ect] vanish and I have to click on each one to see it again. Does that happen with everyone else's viewer or is it just me?

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    1. It is, coupled with the fact that linksets in general vanish (when rezzed) parts of my collar started vanashing every TP recently.

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    2. Reproducible, happens to me, but more often to other viewers users. They will say "Where's your hair?" And I see it fine. Other times - people see it fine but it's gone to my viewer. I blame LL on sim/asset side more than anything.

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  23. Its a LL bug, i do belive so and a recent one introduced on the latest rollouts!

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  24. Tried new firestorm and new singulaity!
    They work fine but the fps when using them at the higest graphics settings!
    And their look with them , still so behind your's!

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  25. But if i may, pls consider inplementing Flirk upload and if LL adds a viewer side ao, that as well!

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    1. I said already that if LL implements a Viewer Side AO, i will do aswell. As far as i know they are NOT. They just did the Server Side AO which was the answer to Client Side AOs.

      No, no Flickr upload.

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    2. A penis runs over your lips as you lick it.

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