Usability questions

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catman
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Usability questions

Post by catman » Wed May 15, 2019 12:44 pm

I am interested to get feedback on some usability items on the FreeCAD GUI/user workflow. Mainly to see if I am alone with those insights or if not if there are already good workaround or if those might lead to feature requests of some sort. Its my first post in this section, please advise if there is a better place.

I have a couple of items like those below. Maybe its better to have seperate posts for each.

Would be interested what you think about those
  • Project name: The first clickable item in the tree is the project name. I remember as new user I have been very confused because I could not change that name. I never found where its documented, but by chance many hours later I noted that I rename it by saving the file. I can rename it by "save as...". I think it would be consistent to add a context menu entry "rename" as for the others, just here open the Save/Save as dialog.
  • The project name context menu could show a grayed out "delete" function. It then would tell explicitly "you can not delete this". Now its unclear to new users.
  • Workbench selector: This is a very often used item. But a combo box is not the best way to do it - however its still the best way in V0.18. I have tried to tabs toolbar, but in every WB it seems to have a different position and size, so I come back to the combo box. The combo box has no context menu. A context menu could open a dialog where I could select/select the WBs displayed. Example: the robot WB or ShipWB are rarely used, but I do not want to uninstall them, in case I might use them in the future. I would deselect them in such a dialog. If the dialog would furhter allow me to order the WBs, I would but Sketcher, Part Design, Part on to, because its the quickest to reach after opening the combo box.
  • Property Editor. I find that 99% of the time when I open the Data/Plancement tree item in the Property Editor its to change the Position values. Each time its 2clicks and scroll. It would be handy to have it open to Position as default. Alternatively, since defaults are always a bit difficult, it should be possibel to have it remember what I opened last time and do it again
  • Wouldn't it helpful to be able to close a sketch by context menu? The task tab close button is often scrolled away
  • What are the best de-clutter strategies for the Sketcher WB? I find in V0.18 the toolbar "Sketcher Virtual Space" very useful. I have no idea what "virutal space" refers to, but I found that the button allows me to toggle the checkboxes in the constraints list field. When I manually uncheck constrains I want to hide I can declutter my skech signigicantly. Should I need any of those, I just press that button - extremely useful. What remains tedious is to select all the automatically created items (e.g. vertical and horizontal constraints) because I can not sort the list by type and mark all and context/Hide them in one go. The filter settings are not helpful for this use case.
Last edited by catman on Wed May 15, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joel_graff
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Re: Usability questions

Post by Joel_graff » Wed May 15, 2019 3:49 pm

catman wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:44 pm
Workbench selector: This is a very often used item. But a combo box is not the best way to do it - however its still the best way in V0.18. I have tried to tabs toolbar, but in every WB it seems to have a different position and size, so I come back to the combo box. The combo box has no context menu. A context menu could open a dialog where I could select/select the WBs displayed. Example: the robot WB or ShipWB are rarely used, but I do not want to uninstall them, in case I might use them in the future. I would deselect them in such a dialog. If the dialog would furhter allow me to order the WBs, I would but Sketcher, Part Design, Part on to, because its the quickest to reach after opening the combo box.
Not sure what you mean by the icons being different sizes on the TabBar. I've been using it for quite a while and have never seen that issue.
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chrisb
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Re: Usability questions

Post by chrisb » Wed May 15, 2019 3:58 pm

In a hurry only some quick answers.
catman wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:44 pm
  • Project name: The first clickable item in the tree is the project name. I remember as new user I have been very confused because I could not change that name. I never found where its documented, but by chance many hours later I noted that I rename it by saving the file. I can rename it by "save as...". I think it would be consistent to add a context menu entry "rename" as for the others, just here open the Save/Save as dialog.
This is a one time issue, which you will never face again, and I haven't seen any discussion about this either.
[*] The project name context menu would be improved in
don't understand that one
[*] Workbench selector: This is a very often used item. But a combo box is not the best way to do it - however its still the best way in V0.18. I have tried to tabs toolbar, but in every WB it seems to have a different position and size, so I come back to the combo box. The combo box has no context menu. A context menu could open a dialog where I could select/select the WBs displayed. Example: the robot WB or ShipWB are rarely used, but I do not want to uninstall them,
You cannot uninstall them. You can configure the workbenches set and sequence in Tools->Customize->Workbenches.
[*] Property Editor. I find that 99% of the time when I open the Data/Plancement tree item in the Property Editor its to change the Position values. Each time its 2clicks and scroll. It would be handy to have it open to Position as default. Alternatively, since defaults are always a bit difficult, it should be possibel to have it remember what I opened last time and do it again
That's your use case, and it sort of remebers the opened Placement nodes: If I have selected an Item there, e.g. position z, and change the selected object then the placement subtree remains opened.
[*] Wouldn't it helpful to be able to close a sketch by context menu?
+1

catman
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Re: Usability questions

Post by catman » Wed May 15, 2019 6:51 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:49 pm
Not sure what you mean by the icons being different sizes on the TabBar. I've been using it for quite a while and have never seen that issue.
How did you get that single one to be vertical? :shock:
That should solve the issue.

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Joel_graff
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Re: Usability questions

Post by Joel_graff » Wed May 15, 2019 6:55 pm

catman wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:51 pm
How did you get that single one to be vertical?
That should solve the issue.
There's a grabber point on the TabBar panel (vertical dots at the left, I think). Mouse over it and the mouse pointer should turn into a move icon. Click and drag over to the side of the FreeCAD application window and it should snap into place vertically.
Capture.JPG
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It seems kinda silly to say it, but it's probably my favorite feature of the FreeCAD UI. :)
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
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catman
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Re: Usability questions

Post by catman » Wed May 15, 2019 6:58 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:55 pm
There's a grabber point on the TabBar panel (vertical dots at the left, I think). Mouse over it and the mouse pointer should turn into a move icon. Click and drag over to the side of the FreeCAD application window and it should snap into place vertically.

It seems kinda silly to say it, but it's probably my favorite feature of the FreeCAD UI. :)
Cool. Never saw that in any other GUI. At least never tried that :roll:

If FreeCAD would have those annoying "Tips of the day" (which I am glad it does not have) this would be a useful thing to put there.

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HakanSeven12
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Re: Usability questions

Post by HakanSeven12 » Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:55 pm
There's a grabber point on the TabBar panel (vertical dots at the left, I think). Mouse over it and the mouse pointer should turn into a move icon. Click and drag over to the side of the FreeCAD application window and it should snap into place vertically.

Capture.JPG


It seems kinda silly to say it, but it's probably my favorite feature of the FreeCAD UI. :)
Tabbar is good but I think FreeCAD needs Ribbon UI. I don't like the default menu.

For example FreeCAD based Ribbon UI program: http://www.qwed.com.pl/qw_modeller.html

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Joel_graff
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Re: Usability questions

Post by Joel_graff » Wed May 15, 2019 7:32 pm

HakanSeven12 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm
Tabbar is good but I think FreeCAD needs Ribbon UI. I don't like the default menu.

For example FreeCAD based Ribbon UI program: http://www.qwed.com.pl/qw_modeller.html
For your reference... :D
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=27348
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails

Jee-Bee
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Re: Usability questions

Post by Jee-Bee » Thu May 16, 2019 6:50 am

HakanSeven12 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm
Tabbar is good but I think FreeCAD needs Ribbon UI. I don't like the default menu.
why even windows goes back... https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microso ... xperience/

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