2021-02-17 - User Interface

Present: Hans Goudey, Julian Eisel, Nathan Craddock, Pablo Vazquez

Announcements

  • The UI module is headless from now on. There is no module owner, which means the module can not accept changes on its own and only work on preapproved or operational tasks (bug tracker, documentation, etc).
    • The module restructuring brought confusion to the roles and processes the team introduced in fall and which it felt were working well and improved things.
    • Julian discussed implications and possible ways forward with Dalai and will discuss things further with Ton.
    • Julian keeps the role as module coordinator (organizing meetings, keeping track of release ToDo’s, ensuring documentation, …).
    • Design decisions may have to be signed off by Ton as the acting product designer.
    • The module can propose a list of changes & tasks for approval by Ton.
    • We’ll also propose a shared module ownership between Pablo (as design lead) and Julian (coordinator & code design lead).
    • Pablo has more time to dedicate to the UI module anyway and wants to be more involved.
    • Plus, Julian worked on some module planning documents some time ago that he wants to share with Ton.
    • An additional designer would still be welcome.

Organization

  • The meeting discussed ways to improve communication to the public. It generally wants to be “louder” and more visible:
    • Do blog posts on code.blender.org.
    • Add info and announcements to the developer meeting notes.
    • Improve general documentation & project infrastructure, e.g. through information pages on the Wiki or the developer.blender.org project.
    • Some software projects have social media accounts for their design groups. We could have one too :slight_smile:
  • Daily work could be done more project-like. E.g. focused sprints on bugs, patches, human interface guidelines, etc.
  • There’s a question of how much the UI module is responsible for UX topics. Julian suggests that usability (as a subset of UX) should be the focus, not just the mere UI.
    • In response it was discussed to rename the module to “Usability Module” or such.
    • One of Julian’s hopes is that over the next year, the module can get some formal education on human computer interaction. There are some real experts interested in working with us.
    • That way standard practices from human computer interaction and usability engineering can be introduced (usability testing, personas, evaluation techniques, better tooling, …).
  • GSoC:
    • The team may not have the time to mentor and review GSoC projects, last year we had to neglect review of two projects.
    • So no UI projects will be added to the ideas page.
    • A good UI project proposal may still be accepted.

2.93 Release

  • Asset Browser
    • Tag filtering UI design needed.
      • How to you filter by tags? How can you choose between AND and OR operations? How can you exclude certain tags? … For complex asset libraries this flexibility may be needed.
      • Pablo will create a mockup.

General Design Review and Tasks

  • Active modifier feedback
    • The team would like to bring back shortcuts on hover.
    • One option: Keep active modifier, but still allow shortcuts on mouse hover. Could be confusing, some subtle highlight might help.
    • Or: Remove active modifier concept.
      • Instead allow the node editor to select a modifier (like slot selection for materials).
      • When there is no geometry nodes modifier, the node editor could show a helpful message, plus a button as shortcut to create the modifier (could be merged into the breadcrumbs?).
      • Would also solve design issues raised for the node group selection (T84927: Create geometry nodes modifier when selecting an existing one in the editor).

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 3 March, 4PM CET

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@julianeisel Did this meeting not happen?

It did happen but there were things that needed some review/clarification. I will do some edits to the notes in a bit again and publish them.

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