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All those "the Blender UI is awful" might be correct, I don't know because I don't have a comparison, apart of freecad, which has a possible even more awful UI. But what I love about those two projects is the UI mode where you can open a console which shows the API calls which are triggered if you make an UI action. This enables you to easily write some scripts making the UI obsolete. Of course you still have to understand the UI which sometimes needs a lot of googling.



It's true that typically "craftmanship" (I don't know a better word) software has a "terrible" UI in the sense that it doesn't follow typical (let alone platform) conventions, has bad discoverability, etc.

The issue is that these tools are used in day in and day out by a specific audience that is willing to make the investment to surpass the bad parts of the UX. It's not like a 3D artist can choose to skip using a 3d package - and in many cases the choice which one will also be dictated by external factors. Once the initial hurdles are surpassed, the UX of the tools does work well for that flow. It has to, because that's the customer base.

Basically, these tools can afford to suck in the basic UX because they can't really "bounce" users there.


I think it is reasonable to judge the merits of professional software by its usability for trained/experienced professional users. And then suddenly many UIs that might superficially appear bad become very efficient tools.

I do believe that by that metric Blender UI is not that bad.


I think there's a really interesting point brought up between Blender's UI and this 'pro' conundrum that's been going on lately.

How do we design effective UI's for 'pro' users?

At what point is an application 'pro' enough that it requires a couple hours and some video tutorials or a user's manual to actually get a sense of how the tool works, versus how much effort should be put in on the developer's part to make it 'intuitive'?


Interfaces in "pro" apps are not necessarily complicated, but there's often an impetus to expose more functionality rather than hide things because professionals are more demanding and are willing to put in the time to learn if they see some benefit.

Consider what your aspiring aviator sees: http://i.imgur.com/bRmpbjg.jpg

You can dumb that down, but you put people in danger if you do. Burying rarely used things beneath a layer of abstraction is fine in the case of consumer software, but for a pro that might be a huge hassle, or even a dangerous liability in the case of a plane. Engines don't catch on fire often, but if the controls to shut them down involve six tedious steps (Preferences, Engines, Advanced, Shut-Down, Next, Confirm) instead of one quick tug of a lever that could be disaster.


They are correct. And, at the same time, they are not.

Since most people here are programmers: some will love VI. VI has an awful interface for beginners. It's incredibly fast once you get used to it.

Since I've learned how to use both VI and Blender, I'd say that Blender is the VI for artists. The interface is great to work with, once you get past the initial steep learning curve.


The UI is for the initial learning curve. In every editor there is a expert mode. Saying that the UI is for Experts, basically equals saying it doe sent exist.


Soo... Vi has no UI?


Yes, it has a API made of Shortcuts. Nobody can learn those, without additional documentation. A good User-Interface is something that adheres to a common users expectations of the virtual world. There are people out there who never in there live opened the windows help- or any help file- and they get by, due to hard work, meaningful defaults and relentless testing against normal people.


Wait, what? Seriously, please improve your English.

>it has a API made of Shortcuts.

That... makes no sense. At all.

>A good User-Interface is something that adheres to a common users expectations of the virtual world.

So, because it has a bad UI, it had no UI? That doesn't make any sense. Just because a UI is bad doesn't mean it's nonexistant.


Only improvement I would personally want is addons being able to use PyQt and the operator options and parameters being a popup window on mouse location (or something as accessible).

Building a good 3D modeling package UI is really difficult. Just look at MAX, Maya and MODO. Blender isn't really much worse. Some consider it better.


That's also the case with Maya, it's all melscript/python under the hood.




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