Suggestions for improving the interface


First off, I want to say that I am really liking the way the interface is shaping up. As a newcomer to Blender and having only used it for a month, I have had a surprisingly easy time finding most of the stuff I want to do in the program (been digging through all the keybinds as well and rewritten a huge portion of them to work better for my workflow, which helped quite a bit as well). However, I wanted to give some suggestions about improving some stuff in regards to the UI, the keybinds system, and more. In no particular order, let’s begin!

  1. Remove the upper toobar completely. It is for the most part just a waste of space, and all of the functionality can be moved to the black pop-up box that appear for several tools when using them, which is honestly quite handy and more user friendly if you ask me. Stuff like “mesh options” and “normals” can just as well be moved alongside the other menu options next to overlays menu (they are honestly very easy to miss, which is a pretty big UX problem with the current iteration).

  2. When selecting any tool, have the black pop-up box in the lower left side of the screen appear automatically when selecting a tool. So for example if you have the “select box” tool selected, you will then right away see the pop-up box which you can expand to show options like new, add, subtract, difference, and intersect (as brought up in my 1st point). As it works right now, you first need to do an action on the screen with the tools before the screen pops up, which can be a bit annoying when I prefer using it to make some very precise adjustments, especially since ctrl and shift allows you to drag and snap very precisely on the slider menus.

  3. Add the ability to save presets for more tools. I noticed that you could make presets for brand new meshes, which I think could be pretty handy for a few more tools (i.e. being able to add an X amount of loop edges as well as saving stuff like which type of proportional edit you want to get a specific shape).

  4. Make every menu able to be added to quick favourites, as well as allowing you to change the shortcut for them. As of now, menus can’t be assigned a shortcut, and some of them can’t even be added to favourites (i.e. separate menu under the mesh menu inside edit mode can’t be added to favourites).

  5. Next to “assign shortcut” when R clicking a tool/menu option, add the option to “search shortcut location”, which will then automatically open up your keymap inside preferences to find your key. As someone who has been trying to remap the entire program to my liking, it has been an incredibly tedious process to find the exact key under all the menus. Being able to just R click any button to search for its specific key would be of tremendous help.

  6. Add a warning for when you assign a shortcut to a key where something else is already assigned to it, as well as giving you the option to either go back on your decision to add it, switch the keybindings around, or simply ignore the warning and do it anyway. You can very easily assign several keys to the same keybind without any indication that it is happening, so I have had to double check every decision I’ve made just to make sure I don’t break something else. Literally wasted countless hours trying to figure out this entire system, and I still am trying to figure things out.

  7. Give your keybindings proper names so you can actually find them when searching. Right now we have names like “call menu”, which can be literally any menu in the entire program, and you have to manually check inside the shortcut to see what menu it actually is. Then there are things that have a more specific name, but they are called something different in the keymap than what they are called in the actual program. Examples such as “select box” being called “box select” in the keymap settings, and the search bar will only search the first part of the name, so if you write “select” instead of “box”, or “select box”, you will in fact not find the shortcuts for select box at all. This is the case for all the select tools like the lasso and circle, actually. Someone needs to go through all the names and give them all specific names that are consistent between the keymap and the rest of Blender as well as make the search bar a little smarter than it currently is so it doesn’t limit itself to just the beginning of a name.

  8. Make the pie menu add-on baseline. This brings me to my next point.

  9. Use R click+modifiers (using L click select) to add the pie menus to your mouse. Here’s a neat little trick I learned from messing around with the keybinds; you can in fact assign two pie menus to the same shortcut by having one of them activate by using double click and one for just one click. So basically, you can do stuff like shift+R click and shift+double R click to open up two different pie menus. This works also by having mixes of modifiers like shift+alt, ctrl+alt, ctrl+shift, and ctrl+shift+alt. That means that you are able to have up to 8-10 pie menus assigned to your mouse alone along with your context menu and quick favourites, saving up a lot of room for other keybinds on your keyboard. Another fun fact; this double click command works even for the tab key. I will link my WIP keybinds along with my own documentation (also WIP) to show what I mean. You will realize how useful it is once you’ve tried it (link to my keybindings).

  10. Add a way to export your settings like personal themes, your tool presets, and your personal quick favourites, like how it is done with your keybindings.

  11. Add a warning message when you are about to delete a keybind setting from your list and ask if you want to go ahead with it or not. Right now it immediately removes your keybindings, and it happened to me one time while I was working on my keybindings (luckily I save often).

Well, that’s all I can think of as of now. Will keep working with the program and beta testing 2.80 some more, and I am really looking forward to the final release! Again, great work on making Blender as great as it can be! Cheers! :slight_smile: