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Beyond the color pickers

User avatar jstaniek
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Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:25 am
Andy, thanks so much for picking up the topic of color pickers (pun intended).

I'd like to discuss cases when accuracy is not as important at results. In this case there's a problem of abundance of choice. You don't have time to quickly and correctly pick one from the 16777216 colors. Plus alpha value? Come on! Whenever you're confronted with a photoshop/gimp-like color picker you either choose random color, or single color that's globally predefined in a palette. I also understand that very few 'casual' users maintain own palettes for consistency.

More at https://blogs.kde.org/2014/10/27/beyond-color-pickers

Can I hear your thoughts below?


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User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:12 am
My first idea: Isn't this a different use case as for the color picker? Perhaps we should provide a different control, a "color chooser"; simplest solution would be a dropdown with colors. That could be handy in most situations but if it comes to precise definition of the color you need the exact value. Libreoffice is rather annoying in this respect.
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:17 am
Heiko Tietze wrote:My first idea: Isn't this a different use case as for the color picker? Perhaps we should provide a different control, a "color chooser"; simplest solution would be a dropdown with colors. That could be handy in most situations but if it comes to precise definition of the color you need the exact value. Libreoffice is rather annoying in this respect.

Exactly, that's what I mean (EDIT: but theme selector gives results faster). MS Office does this since 2007 already, and they do not own a credit for the idea, just introduced the themes (and preview interaction) to the masses. iWork, for the matter, also feature previews I think.

And yes, live previews is a third case too.

I like the color selection, it just belongs to a specialized place. A kind of "theme builder" would use it a lot for example.

Last edited by jstaniek on Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Sogatori
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:44 am
I have to disagree firmly. Every time I have to use these colour selectors my blood starts boiling. I want my colour of my colour palette to be used and not the closest approximation.
LibreOffice has this too, but you can add your own colour, just in a very very complicated way. So I say if you don't want to allow a "real" colour picker at least provide a way for me to add my custom colours, and entry field for the hex code would be enough, I think.
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:59 am
Sogatori wrote:I have to disagree firmly. Every time I have to use these colour selectors my blood starts boiling. I want my colour of my colour palette to be used and not the closest approximation.
LibreOffice has this too, but you can add your own colour, just in a very very complicated way. So I say if you don't want to allow a "real" colour picker at least provide a way for me to add my custom colours, and entry field for the hex code would be enough, I think.


LibreOffice is extreme here, agree. I know no other app that does this that way.. even code editors.

LibreOffice exposes internal implementation from the early days (I believe) here to the user in this area and in a really bad way. It's not even related to file format (ODF for example) because there are styles in ODF that can handle global or document-level colors nicely.

Yes, providing exact color shouldn't be that many clicks away. This doesn't mean apps should ask for colors when styles/themes can be available with awesome defaults.


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User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:06 pm
Andytosan suggests to have a user-defined swatch, i.e. your personal palette. I understand this idea as a small set of colors that you easily can define, save, load, share etc.

Last edited by Heiko Tietze on Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:33 pm
Heiko Tietze wrote:Andytosan [url=(http://anditosan.com/blog/2014/10/26/color-pickers/)]suggests[/url] to have a user-defined swatch, i.e. your personal palette. I understand this idea as a small set of colors that you easily can define, save, load, share etc.

Yes, except that swatch looks a bit like a special case: a set of colors. General thing would be tied to document's/content's theme: colors applied to particular roles. Example for a simple word processing app:

Heading color
Normal color
Background color
Table background
Table border color
[...]

Plus fonts (in same pane; user typically picks colors & fonts in one go, all with live preview).

The colors play with each other in the theme.

That said, I wouldn't vote for delivering generic implementation of that, but only drafting general guidelines. Generic implementations tend to be, well, too clever, and depart from the context.

Implementation of the exchange format, why not, is possible, but how to translate theme for app A to a theme for app B?
Maybe super-generic Heading, Normal, Background color, all could be defined near the KDE's color themes, in a Document tab or so?
Users could keep a set of favorite themes then. They do not have to play well with color themes for the GUI of course. They can but that's not necessary.

Interaction for all this needs to be analyzed first... :)


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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:26 pm
I like the idea of random and/or auto-generated colour palettes, e.g., sets of matching colours. Some examples from the Web:

http://www.themaninblue.com/experiment/Technicolor/
This page has a very simple interface that lets you select a colour, and generates matching colours of various shades and hues (a colour ‘theme’).

http://paletton.com/
This page is based on a similar idea, but with many more options (take some time to explore them all).

http://tools.medialab.sciences-po.fr/iwanthue/
This is my favourite, partly due to the very nice colour combinations it creates, and the nifty use of the k-means clustering algorithm. (Note that you can either select presets or change the sliders manually.)

The colour theme feature in MS Word is nice, but I would much prefer a ‘select a colour and let the computer generate a nice (matching) colour theme’, or even a ‘click a button and let the computer generate a nice random colour theme’.
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:01 pm
huftis wrote:I like the idea of random and/or auto-generated colour palettes, e.g., sets of matching colours. Some examples from the Web:

http://www.themaninblue.com/experiment/Technicolor/
This page has a very simple interface that lets you select a colour, and generates matching colours of various shades and hues (a colour ‘theme’).

http://paletton.com/
This page is based on a similar idea, but with many more options (take some time to explore them all).

http://tools.medialab.sciences-po.fr/iwanthue/
This is my favourite, partly due to the very nice colour combinations it creates, and the nifty use of the k-means clustering algorithm. (Note that you can either select presets or change the sliders manually.)

The colour theme feature in MS Word is nice, but I would much prefer a ‘select a colour and let the computer generate a nice (matching) colour theme’, or even a ‘click a button and let the computer generate a nice random colour theme’.

Awesome!
The ‘select a colour and let the computer generate a nice (matching) colour theme’ feels like a feature of a theme creator. Using color wheels and all these theories, perhaps giving the user more than one way of experimentation. Having that, I see the generation of color sets itself can be delegated to a separate KDE component, while the theme consumer can be still given app.


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User avatar colomar
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:58 pm
It seems that we all agree that a predefined set of colors that work together well, with an option to easily add freely defined colors, is what we want.
Predefined color themes or swatches are useful for both professional and recreational users. Professional users need them for compliance with corporate design, and for amateur users, they help them create graphics that don't look like... well... an amateur made them.
Yet it should not be difficult to define one's own color if the swatch doesn't contain the one you want.
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:29 pm
I think that the best here is to separate this reduced functionality from what the color picker idea is. The color picker for KDE is used to define colors that are specific. You can choose one at a time and you apply it one at a time. The color picker is now somewhat hard to single out your color preference. Therefore I thought of adding the swatches to save and add color combinations that work for you. It is also a social tool where you can get inspiration from people who share their colors online as well.
Or we can have the simple option and when you click avanced on the color picker, you can get the full color wheel and all the extra options.

Maybe the idea here is to make 2 color tools. One that is advanced (color picker) and another that is reduced and predefined (color palettes). I think of it this way

Image
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:21 pm
Aurelien put something into practice: http://agateau.com/2014/colorpick/
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:53 pm
As I reviewed a few more color picker applications, I found a few features that I have really liked.

Here is a list

- The possibility to dock the color picker to the system tray for heavy color work
- Color picking from any graphics on the screen
- Color picking pixel by pixel rather than an area
- Automatic color naming for the color you selected
- Possibility of changing the color mix you want to use CMYK, RGB, WEB RGB, HSL, etc
- Recently found colors list

What do you think?
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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Re: Beyond the color pickers

Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:26 pm
anditosan wrote:What do you think?

Looks as if we get close to perfection :-).
What we need now is a prioritization and classification into normal (simple) and advanced requirements.

(The idea we discussed on G+ to paste a hex code (or whatever) onto the UI and get the color is not needed with an edit control that provides this translation directly.)
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