Workflow ideas

A subforum for research and development of the user interface of FreeCAD

Moderator: agryson

antoniovazquezblanco
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:42 pm

Workflow ideas

Postby antoniovazquezblanco » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:09 pm

I personally find FC difficult to use. I would like to start a conversation aobut some ideas that may not be new to many of you but that may lead to concrete tasks that may improve FC.

As a begginner, FC was very confusing me due to the high amount of workbenches available and too many options available. It would be nice if the UI was more task oriented.

Taking inspiration from other software packages, you pick a task and the UI adapts to that. For example, when you want to create a part, only related stuff is shown but in FC the user is expected to know what every workbench is used for in order to get started. Once you know about Part Design workbench, FC is quite easy to create following the suggestions in the Tasks panel, but the first step is not intuitive.

What do you people think of this? Do you share this experience?
chrisb
Posts: 11401
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:14 am

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby chrisb » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:37 pm

antoniovazquezblanco wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:09 pm
What do you people think of this? Do you share this experience?
You are probably right - and it is difficult to see for longterm users. Do you think of newbie versions for all or some workbenches? Or do you think about a basic "Newbie Workbench" which contains only basic functions? What should be in such a workbench?
triplus
Posts: 7452
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby triplus » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:58 am

I just gave an answer here:

https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 60#p267197

In addition if this is going to be a general discussion thread. Likely best if conducted in Open discussion forum section.
antoniovazquezblanco
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby antoniovazquezblanco » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:37 am

chrisb wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:37 pm
You are probably right - and it is difficult to see for longterm users. Do you think of newbie versions for all or some workbenches? Or do you think about a basic "Newbie Workbench" which contains only basic functions? What should be in such a workbench?
The problem I see is that maybe the workbench concept makes sense from the developer point of view but maybe the final user should not care about that...

Maybe the workflow should be organized even before the user reaches the point where to select the workbench. Maybe even when creating a file (?). Other cad solutions clearly split what a part is, an assembly, a simulation etc by means of different file types.

I agree that some workbenches should be streamlined and simplified but I think that adding a "newbie wb" or taking buttons out of normal wbs will not make our UX comparable with other solutions available.

Maybe we should analyse how FC is used and show a workflow diagram so that we can design around it (?).
triplus wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:58 am
I just gave an answer here:

https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 60#p267197

In addition if this is going to be a general discussion thread. Likely best if conducted in Open discussion forum section.
I am sorry I did not have the time to go over that thread. I will have to find the time to go over the 7 pages available. Wow, that thread is going fast.

From reading over it diagonally I kind of remembered about Ansys Workbench UI concept. I think it may be a good way to organize FC projects now that have so many workbenches.

Image
User avatar
microelly2
Posts: 3935
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby microelly2 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:22 am

I see two ways:
1.
create meta workbenches where workflows over different workbenches are combined in menu lists.
I used this approach some years ago for teaching: give the pupils tasks list they have to run.
The concept works but the users have to discover the workbenches later to find all the nice other methods

we also have toolbar and pie menu tools which support and refine this approach.

2.
a machine learning solution:
the system tracks the actions of the user and gives suggestions for the next steps.
the knowledge database of an expert can be reused by a beginner.
fot this case we have to develop a tracking system.
a graph database which connects actions and counts how often connections are called in a special context.
triplus
Posts: 7452
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby triplus » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:56 pm

antoniovazquezblanco wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:37 am
From reading over it diagonally I kind of remembered about Ansys Workbench UI concept. I think it may be a good way to organize FC projects now that have so many workbenches.

Image
Could be. But looking at the image (as somebody that newer used it) i am not exactly sure what button i would press first. Therefore i don't know if such UX is trying to addressees the "new user friendly approach"? It expects some prior knowledge for it to start making sense?

@microelly2

Basically providing more straightforward options available for end user customization. As i doubt we will do that by default in FreeCAD anytime soon.

P.S. Maybe someday we could try it out with the Complete workbench. But trying to gather general consensus on what to put in it by default. That would likely prove to be difficult task to achieve.
User avatar
Kunda1
Posts: 3223
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:03 pm

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby Kunda1 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:36 pm

maybe a little off-topic but still relevant: Visual Programming on top of FreeCAD https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7442
Want to contribute back to FC? Checkout:
#lowhangingfruit | Use the Source, Luke. | How to Help FreeCAD | How to report FC bugs and features
User avatar
bitacovir
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:23 am
Contact:

Re: Workflow ideas

Postby bitacovir » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:19 am

I used Ansys Workbenches. It allows you to establish a workflow to perform several tasks. But what justifies this approach are the many simulations tools that the program has. CFD, CFX, thermal, etc, etc. In fact, you can set up the workbench's parameters and make it work without open the workbench itself. This speed up the process of work considerably.

Not sure if you need to improve the workflow speed in FreeCAD now.
::bitacovir::
===================================
One must be absolutely modern.
Arthur Rimbaud (A Season in Hell -1873)

My Blog
Mini Airflow Tunnel Project