peter (yahvuu) wrote:

> peter sikking wrote:
>> to have a reason to add these icons to GIMP, they really have to
>> add something for usability, not just be different enough icons that
>> happen to be similar in their group. what the icons have to deliver
>> is additional _user_insight_ into the modes, in addition to the name
>> of the mode. also this insight must _feel_ to be true, it must match
>> users' experience.
>
> OK, i can't imagine that it's possible to visualize the subtle  
> difference
> in _feeling_ between, say hardlight and grain merge.

actually you are doing all right in the difference department, but I  
started
seeing disinformation in the feel-true department. I think you can  
have a
shot at trying to fix that.

> Surprisingly enough, the
> 'brightness diff' plots turned out to be so characteristic that i  
> soon started
> to identify blend modes by their plots instead of by their names.  
> But then,
> i've probably been looking at too many such diagrams lately :-)

don't forget you have an engineering background and can do the math.
I expect the majority of our core users to simply use this by feeling
and build up a wealth of experience that that can retrieve by using the
names of the modes.

> i guess that litmus test can be used in the opposite direction as  
> well:
> if it is impossible to create suitable icons for layer modes, then
> they probably should not be presented as a drop-down list.

no that is not true.

what you run into is the very limited possibilities to express something
(usable) in an icon of this size vs. the incredible richness that
language has. I do admit that these mode labels have their legacy  
issues,
nothing to be done about that.

> I wonder if the criteria are different for preset selection, e.g. for
> the curves tool. Here, any visual hint of distinction seems like an  
> improvement
> over pure textual choices like 'curves 2009-08-01' or 'curves  
> 2009-08-02'.
> Even if there's no correspondence with the 'feeling' of a certain  
> curve.
> Or is this case within the same category as general icons?


I have discussed ages ago with Mitch what is needed on the levels/ 
curves/etc.
(remembered) presets.

for the automatically created presets what is needed to help selecting
is not only date + time, but also the the result: the thumbnail of the
layer _after_ applying this levels/curves/etc. to it. this gives two
orthogonal ways to identify an automatically created preset.

for the presets that users saved + named, the richness of language is
enough and no icon is needed.

     --ps

         founder + principal interaction architect
             man + machine interface works

         http://mmiworks.net/blog : on interaction architecture



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