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New Document dialog redesign

User avatar kamathraghavendra
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New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:05 pm
I read on IRC someone asking for a overhaul of New document dialog box. so i created a mock-up and shared in IRC
Scott thought that we should discuss this on the forum instead of IRC. I request everybody to share their ideas and use-cases for the redesign .

The main goal is to make it compact and simple. The current dialogue box has many option which confuses some user. And also in smaller screen the dialog box appears big.

So in order to make it simple we were thinking of removing certain items which are already present in File and Edit menu e.g. Recent document, Create from clipboard
(Edit> Paste into New Image), Open Existing Document. Basically New Document dialog will only deal with creating a new document from custom inputs or presets ( templates)

This will reduce the clutter and make it simple and compact

I did a quick and dirty mock-up for the dialog here it is

Image

let us know what you guys think.

Edit: updated the image


torpak
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:55 pm
Hi, this looks great.
I have just one question: do presets in your proposal only apply to dimensions?
User avatar scottpetrovic
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:07 pm
Where are the templates going? I do not see them on the mockup.
User avatar mmolch
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:45 pm
Looks nice! I wonder what the description field actually does? Is there anyone out there who uses it? I put a "Hello World" in there when creating a new image but didn't see any change. Since it is in the contents-field I first thought it might add text to the layers or something, then I looked into the "document information" but I can't find the string anywhere...
I also don't understand the purpose of the name field. When I tried krita for the first time I thought it wants the filename and I don't really get what it is actually used for. Sorry, I am no artist and I am completely new to digital painting (and old style painting as well...), so it would be kind if someone could actually explain the purpose of those fields.

Kind regards
User avatar kamathraghavendra
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:56 pm
Hi,
(forgot to mention this in the earlier post)
I am sorry to just post a redesigning topic out of a blue without specifying a proper use-case and listing out all the pros and cons of the existing UI.
I am not a proffessional UX designer and the above mockup, as i mentioned on the IRC, is just a re-arrangment of the existing UI elements.

I thought i can help too, so I did whatever is possible from my end.

I humbly request anybody with any knowledge of UI/UX design help with this redesign.


@scott,

If i may pressume, the template can be in the presets drop-down like shown below.
Image

some of the texture templates are already in that drop-down, so I presume other templates can be added to the drop-down.


User avatar mmolch
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:09 pm
It's a really bad idea to mix up presets and templates imho. I'd actually vote for making the "New" entry in the file menu a menu itself with the options "Custom", "From template", and "From clipboard" and give the custom and template ones their own windows.
User avatar Quiralta
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:46 pm
It looks good to me, clean, simple, reminds me GIMP's, and I would agree that templates can go under presets since they are in practice the similar if not the same. I also always thought of the Background option as an "overkill", and wonder how many users actually use predefined canvas color instead of a bkgnd layer, but that's just me.

The button for "cancel" besides the "create" one is way more practical (as shown in the mockup). little details that can go quite far.


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User avatar scottpetrovic
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:10 am
kamathraghavendra: Thanks for the UI ideas. Don't worry about not being a "professional" UX person. Anyone that uses a program is going to have ideas and feedback. Without ideas and feedback, user interfaces would never be able to get better. User interfaces are never done. ever. They are like programming. They are always evolving and improving. We constantly need ideas for that to happen.

This is a direction I was going. Forgive me in advance for this long post. :)

Existing Design
Prior to Krita 2.9, the New Dialog had a lot of hats to wear. It was the first screen presented in the application, so it had to do the job of an entire menu. It was more of a "Start Here" dialog then anything else. Starting in Krita 2.9, the starting area became the empty canvas interface. There are now many ways to start off: using a menu item in the File menu, using shortcuts, or dragging images on the canvas area directly. When you open the new dialog now, it feels like it is trying too hard.

Let's start by looking at the existing UI elements in the New Dialog
http://www.scottpetrovic.com/uploads/kr ... dialog.jpg
  1. Recent Documents - This can also be accessed by going to the file menu directly without a dialog. With the dialog, the preview is nice, but I am not sure if the previews alone are nice enough to keep the redundancy of it existing here.
  2. Custom Document - What many people believe to be the default view of a new window. This area usually doesn't have a label called "Custom". The options are just presented.
  3. Create from Clipboard - The goal of this option is usually to create a document based off contents of your clipboard. There is really nothing needed to configure. It just needs to "go".
  4. Templates - This is a variation of a new document. It doesn't just contain a variation of image settings, it creates a framework that includes content and layers.
  5. Name - A label that will get populated if using a tabs display. It does not seem to be used in file saving though. This makes it a bit difficult to know if a file has been saved if you add a name label.
  6. Portrait/Landscape buttons - Its main purpose seems to switch the width and the height. The icons are quite small, so it can be difficult to tell what you have selected.
  7. Description - As noted by mmolch, this seems to have no impact on the document.
  8. Open Existing Document - This option can be done faster in other ways: Shortcut, Menu, Dragging on canvas
  9. Cancel - This operation is a high level setting. It is not grouped with the other high level setting, "Create"
  10. Screen size - I couldn't figure out a use case for why this is valuable. Boud mentioned that it was for development purposes.
  11. Everything else - these settings all seem like they have value. While they are all useful, some appear to be infrequently used such as the "Background" option near the bottom.

Now that I think I understand the framework for why everything exists, I took a stab at a revised design.

New Design
http://www.scottpetrovic.com/uploads/kr ... update.pdf

Going with the logic above, this is a high level direction I went.
  1. Hide options that are infrequently changed
  2. Give preference to the "Custom Document"
  3. Provide ways to do other "new document" type operations separately.


Items that have been removed
  • Recent documents area - easier to access from the menu
  • Screen Size button - no uses that I know of
  • Open Existing Document button - easier to access from the menu
  • Name textfield - little to no value
  • Description text area - little to no value


My separation of basic and "advanced" areas are subjective based on my usage. The basic idea is to let people just "go" with only dealing with the most common properties. All of these options are changeable at any time later (height, ICC, background color), so there is little value to force people to look at everything at the beginning.

I have switched the portrait/landscape icons to a switch toggle.I think it is visually easier to use. I have also combined the Color model with the bit depth since they are tied closely together. Other applications do this as well.

The create from clipboard is just a button now. If there is nothing available in the clipboard, the button will be disabled and text changed to "Clipboard is Empty". It does the following when there is something on the canvas and it is clicked:
1. Create a new document the size of the clipboard area.
2. Automatically paste the clipboard contents into the canvas.

Note: I have heard talk about having a menu item in Edit such as "Paste clipboard as new document". This is a really nice idea. People currently expect this behavior to be in the new dialog (in more programs than just Krita), so it might be a good idea to have it in both areas at the beginning. It is redundant, but creative ideas take a little time for people to catch on to and use.

The templates need to have their own section since they are quite different than the normal document settings. I have put this in the new dialog in my wireframes, but it can just as easily be in the file menu if it is heavily used.


That is it! Is this too simplified? Too complex? Other cool ideas that we might be able to use and make this better?
User avatar kamathraghavendra
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:20 am
Thank you for the mock-up Scott. It looks great.

One thought - can predefined be called as presets.

Regarding open existing document in addition to drag and drop, shortcut and a file menu, can we open the open dialog box when user double clicks on empty window background. It would be simple to open krita and double click to open , the user can double click anywhere on window background ( the one for which we can set custom color and texture)


User avatar mmolch
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:40 am
You are all amazing! It is really inspiring to see people with such dedication.
What I as a user would have expected would have been a menu such as this:
Image

Templates are a lot more than just "advanced presets", because they also invite the user to browse and explore the possibilities what can be done. When I got my wacom and started up krita, the first thing I did was browsing the templates with the previews, loaded the manga template and drew a small story. I suck at drawing but it was fun. And notice that I used the word "loading" for the template. At least for me, it is a completely different operation from simply creating a new image from scratch hence I think that is shouldn't be placed in the "create image" dialog.
User avatar boudewijn
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:53 am
Yes, templates and size presets are completely different. The size presets only set size and resolution for the new image, none of the other items. I'm not convinced that we should hide the icc profile selector behind advanced: in contrast to other apps like gimp or photoshop, you really cannot create an image without a profile. (Which is then disregarded if you use the opencolorio color management path.)
User avatar scottpetrovic
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:10 pm
mmolch; Yes. That is definitely an option to put the different types of new documents in a sub-menu. That would also clean up the new dialog a little bit. I am not sure how much templates are used, so it was hard for me to decide where that should go. I also do like the shortcuts. I imagine people will use one or the other quite a bit, so the shortcuts will be a nice convenience.

kamathraghavendra: In regards to the "predefined" vs "presets". I have noticed Krita uses that word "presets" for a few different things. I have heard brushes referred to as presets as well. It might not be that big of a deal, but it would be nice to avoid too much use of the word to avoid ambiguity. It might not be able to be avoided though. For the double clicking an empty canvas background, I didn't even think about that. There is also another option for open. There is an icon on the toolbar for opening documents (far left). The double click idea is neat though. I wonder if that could be used for something else?


boud: for the ICC profile selector. What is shown and hidden is definitely up for negotiation. I didn't think that most people knew what ICC profiles were. And the people that do, maybe they would set it once, then never worry about it again. It looks like you can go into the image properties and change it at any time as well. I was mostly just thinking of the 'bare minimum' things people need to get started doing art. If you think it gets a lot of usage, we can certainly add it back in.
User avatar TheraHedwig
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:25 pm
maybe they would set it once, then never worry about it again.


No, sorry, that is not true.

Between HDR, linear and various bitdepths, there's a lot of different jobs that someone could switch between:

1. 8bit sRGB: pixel art, texture, graphics, sketching.
2. 16bit linear: paintings, textures, retouching. There's a difference between using adobe RGB, or prophoto or sRGB here.
3. 16/32 bit float: textures, hdr painting, matte painting, experimental painting.

Similarly, icc might come across as scary for newbies, but at the least proffesionals will be reassured imidiately that their workflow is supported by Krita rather than to have to toggle secret buttons. I mean, we also don't hide PPI/DPI, do we? And that is definitely more abstractable. (That's honestly just a number that's embedded into the document for conversion to inches and other units)

I have a lot of faith in what you guys are doing, but please consider my defence of the icc profiles.

EDIT: note how I didn't actually defend the icc profiles, but rather the bitdepths? That's because they are inseperable:
Linear spaces don't work in 8bit, but you absolutely need to use them for HDR painting. And while krita automatically sets a linear space for those spaces now, it's only sRGB linear, maybe someone was expecting adobe RGB, and you can't assign profiles in krita, only convert, which means that if you were well under way with you work, thinking you were in adobe RGB, but instead it turns out you were working in sRGB, you can only do conversion, and thus your colours won't be right anymore on a mathematical level.

Edit: In the perspective of having UI educate and guide, maybe this could be done better. There's currently no radical difference for the newbie user between profiles.

So, we need to give feedback, and the best simple feedback we could give for this is visual.

To wit, this is the sRGB space:



This is the sRGB space in comparison with other spaces:



Suddenly it's much easier to digest what these slaces are, isn't it?

So, how about we make a widget that displays the selected profile on this horseshoe shape of visible colours, and then compare it to the display profiles?
That way, the user can see the differences between profiles.

Few problems:
* this takes up space
* krita doesn't have the functionality to read this information from the profiles.

For the latter, I had been saying I wanted to implement this functionality anyway: it can actually be used pretty well in a lot of places.

For the former, I suggest we make a button called 'configure colour space' and that opens a window that allows the user to configure the bit depth, colour model, the widget showing how the profile is relative to the gamut of visible colours, and we can even stick in other info like precise coordinates and the trc(whether it's linear or not).

Users who are curious will press that button and they'll be able to get direct feedback about what configuring the space does, and on top of that, it will help proffesionals with precise values as well.

Until this is implemented though, I suggest we keep the current setup as a place holder.
User avatar scottpetrovic
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:28 pm
TheraHedwig: Thanks for the information. There is a quite a bit more going on than I realized. In my mind I have always separated it out as the following (RGB = monitor, CMYK = print). DPI helps me know the quality of a printed piece. The higher the bit depth, the slower my computer goes. After that my mind begins to melt. :)

We have your vote and Boud's vote to put the ICC profiles in the "main" section of the new dialog. As long as the default ICC is good, it should be fine. I can move it up. The idea of the "secret" menu is to help people not worry so much about configuring everything all at the start. If people really want a little more control, the options are there to change later. I don't think people change every setting every time they start a new document.

For the educational aspect of certain topics. I like the idea. Maybe some type of "?" symbol that could take you to a webpage. We could do more educational aspects with certain subject matter like color math. That might be more flexible than trying to have something hard coded in the application. That would probably be better as a separate discussion as that idea would potentially be used in many places besides just the new dialog.
User avatar mmolch
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Re: New Document dialog redesign

Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:30 pm
Regarding the New menu, we could also move the awkwardly named "Open existing Document as Untitled Document..." entry into it:
Image

 
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