Can I Help with The Useability Key?

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chrisb
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby chrisb » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:22 pm

ChrisWesley wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:13 am
Could you respond on that please?
I understand what you say, I understand where and which message you want to transport. I fully agree that it is desirable to have such small helpers.
However, in this case it still is the wrong message. If you want to help users, the right message could be "... or select any face to place your sketch on that in case you fancy an unstable model. However it isn't possible now anyway, you would have to cancel this function to do do so".

Don't get me wrong: I don't say we should not listen to the newbies, but the newbies should listen to the long term users too.

I get the impression that you had a very well meant idea with this example in mind, because you had some learning experience and want to share it with other users.
It makes me feel uncomfortable seeing that you insist on your opinion without really reading what it's all about and make yourself familiar with the matter. Read about attachments which I still think would be the right thing to optimize.
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JulianStirling
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby JulianStirling » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:54 pm

One thing this thread highlights once again is that constructive criticism, and (non-code) offers to help are so often rejected on sight and even ridiculed on this forum.

FreeCAD is fantastic in it's technical ability. The learning curve is steep and that is inevitable for something so complex. The curve is steep for all CAD packages. In the early days of a project the solution is "we need more code", but as the project matures other things become just as important. (For example code review delays and scheduling issues are a large part of why realthunder's toponaming innovations have not made it into FreeCAD yet, this is not fixed by more code either!). No UI is going to rid CAD of its steep learning curve, but consistent, carefully planned UI can help.

There is a reason why software development teams usually have designers that don't write code. Focusing from the design down gives a important and totally different perspective from working from the code up. Insulting someone who offers to help with what is a highly neglected task in so many open projects is shooting FreeCAD in the foot. Bellyaching about spellchecking is pure idiocy.

I know I have issues with the FreeCAD UI. I also know that I am awful at UI design so I couldn't really help. Perhaps asking for sketches and examples of how a UI might guide the user around common pitfalls would be of help. Then we can get to commenting on the the proposal rather than being rude to those who have the inclination to help.
chrisb
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby chrisb » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:04 pm

JulianStirling wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:54 pm
...
and even ridiculed on this forum.
...
Then we can get to commenting on the the proposal rather than being rude to those who have the inclination to help.
Do you mean me, with these rather general accusations?
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JulianStirling
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby JulianStirling » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:22 pm

Sorry for the generality, I suppose the actual rudeness was just Bance. For example:
Bance wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:10 am
I'd be surprised if somebody that is unable to use a spellchecker, would be able to overhaul anything.
and
Bance wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:53 am
Unfortunately, you just want to project manage, thanks but we get at least one offer a week, sometimes from people with more/better experience than you.
It polluted the whole feel of the discussion. The rest of the discussion was much more polite. But I think the discussion gets into the weeds of the technicality too quickly.

Toponaming is a hugely technical issue. So we can think of it from the code/technical implementation up. i.e. understanding what causes what in freecad, and hence why things go wrong, and hence how we can design to stop that happening. This is super useful.

What ChrisWesley is suggesting is looking at it from the other side. Think about what the user interface is implying a user should do, and understanding whether adjustments could mean less people get into the situation in the first place. It is a job that takes some skill, and it usually takes time watching new users use a program and documenting what they have done, and getting real statistics on whether 1% or 95% of new users make the same mistake. Understanding UI/UX is an art form, and applied well it can save tonnes of documentation and tonnes of signposting people to the same thread and expecting that everyone reads it.
obelisk79
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby obelisk79 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:00 pm

Perhaps, it may be better to clarify exactly what is being proposed in order to guide discussion. At first I interpreted this as an offer from someone with development experience to coordinate (including contributing pull requests) an overhaul of the general UI of FreeCAD with the intent of unifying the experience across workbenches including a proposed GUI/Workflow design language to operate within.

This would allow FreeCAD to have a more cohesive feel to it rather than the semi hodge-podge vibe it gives off now. This could be things as simple as, simplifying the naming of features and functions to be more clear and avoid naming conflicts, developer-friendly abstractr names/terms or highly technical temrinology that a new user would find foreign. (These would be largely cosmetic changes for the sake of the end user and general cohesiveness). I would also assume this would include some reorganizing of tools within the UI to improve their logical flow during use. For example, pad and pocket are essentially inverse functions of each other. Why couldn't you combine them into a single icon and have a check box and/or keyboard toggle to easily switch between the add/remove functions?

There may be good reason for this and I just provided that as a simple example for the purposes of illustration, but these questions should be discussed somewhere central and pros/cons weighed out. Ultimately though, good intentions only go so far.

This kind of endeavor needs at least one highly active person committed to draft actual code before anything will change. Without that, anyone who proposes anything whatsoever is just spinning their wheels and the more time you spend on these forums, the more apparent that will be. So, if some of the responses to this thread come off as rude or dismissive, that's the manifestation of genuine frustration, it's just coming out in a negative way. Remember, most of us are here because we use FreeCAD and want to see it continue to grow, mature and flourish as a software.
Last edited by obelisk79 on Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bance
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby Bance » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:14 pm

JulianStirling wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:22 pm
I suppose the actual rudeness was just Bance.
I'm sorry but exactly what is rude about pointing out a badly spelled post, particularly when that post purports, that the poster is going to clarify the FC UI for the world.
JulianStirling wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:22 pm
Toponaming is a hugely technical issue. So we can think of it from the code/technical implementation up. i.e. understanding what causes what in freecad, and hence why things go wrong, and hence how we can design to stop that happening. This is super useful.
Except that chris wesley wants to propagate the issue.
obelisk79 wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:00 pm
So, if some of the responses to this thread come off as rude or dismissive, that manifestation of genuine frustration, it's just coming out in a negative way. Remember, most of us are here because we use FreeCAD and want to see it continue to grow, mature and flourish as a software.
+1
Bance
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby Bance » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:12 pm

JulianStirling wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:54 pm
Bellyaching about spellchecking is pure idiocy.
Where I come from basic literacy is considered a value. With technology available to prevent this ignorance, and to wilfully disregard it, is very much worse than idiocy.
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Kunda1
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby Kunda1 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:19 pm

Please stop the toxic remarks or this thread will be moderated.
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JulianStirling
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby JulianStirling » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:04 pm

obelisk79 wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:00 pm
This kind of endeavor needs at least one highly active person committed to draft actual code before anything will change. Without that, anyone who proposes anything whatsoever is just spinning their wheels and the more time you spend on these forums, the more apparent that will be. So, if some of the responses to this thread come off as rude or dismissive, that's the manifestation of genuine frustration, it's just coming out in a negative way. Remember, most of us are here because we use FreeCAD and want to see it continue to grow, mature and flourish as a software.
I agree. I spent far longer here than the number of post I make suggests. I am a persistent lurker, infrequent poster. I understand pure dev time is a resource the community is short on. I wish I had the bandwidth to get to grips with the codebase and pitch in. However, unification guidelines themselves can be useful even without the committed developer effort to unify. Whenever I develop and don't know how to do an interface I make an ad-hoc decision. Someone committing to actually researching how people interact with the UI, and writing guidelines based on evidence not personal opinion would be of value. At least it takes the guess work out for new features.

It would be interesting to hear what ChrisWesley's suggestions are, and what his suggested work would be.
Bance
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Re: Can I Help with The Useability Key?

Postby Bance » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:03 pm

JulianStirling wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:04 pm
It would be interesting to hear what ChrisWesley's suggestions are, and what his suggested work would be.
Whilst wading my way through lots of poorly spelled pap, I found this:-
ChrisWesley wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:29 am
I think I can contribute by trying to influence implementors.
And so far as I know this is not a stated aim of FreeCad.
ChrisWesley wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:13 am
if your goal is to spread FreeCAD across the globe
YMMV.