Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

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Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

Ryan Lerch-2
HI all,

I just noticed the new "Do Geometric constructions" tool in the inkscape
trunk, and this got me thinking a few things about this new tool (and
inkscape usability and UX in general).

First up, this tool provides (among other things) two new ways to create
a circle: "a circle by three points", and a "circle by center and
radius". These are pretty neat additions, but my first question when I
saw this was why is this in a completely separate tool, not as a
sub-tool of the circle tool. I understand these are implemented as LPEs,
but from a user point of view, if you want to create a circle, wouldn't
you expect these options in the circle tool? If they were in the circle
tool, there might even be the option to create a circle with the
traditional mode of the circle tool, then fine-tune it with one of the
other two "editing" modes, rather than it appear to the user to be three
completely separate object types that can't be converted back and forth.

Something similar is also in play with the (present in 0.91 "shape"
option of the pen tool) the "shape" option only works when creating a
new line with the pen tool, while other tools (such as the star/polygon
tool) allow changes in the tools control bar to impact the currently
selected object.

I know this is kind of out of the blue, but i have been thinking a lot
lately about some of the inconsistencies like this in the inkscape
interface, and would love to try to help contribute to fixes / be
involved with helping with the usability of new tools we create. Has
there ever been anyone involved with doing usablity reviews / testing of
this sort? (doctormon, i know you did some last year :) ) I know of
plenty of UX people that use Inkscape that would probably be keen in
contributing in this area.

cheers,
ryanlerch





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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

Alexandre Prokoudine
On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 1:20 AM, Ryan Lerch wrote:
> HI all,
>
> I just noticed the new "Do Geometric constructions" tool in the inkscape
> trunk, and this got me thinking a few things about this new tool (and
> inkscape usability and UX in general).

It's by no means new :) It's probably 6 years old or so.

> First up, this tool provides (among other things) two new ways to create
> a circle: "a circle by three points", and a "circle by center and
> radius". These are pretty neat additions, but my first question when I
> saw this was why is this in a completely separate tool, not as a
> sub-tool of the circle tool.

Because the idea was the create a set of CAD-flavored features that
are not limited to drawing circles, and that idea was, in fact,
implemented :)

> but from a user point of view, if you want to create a circle, wouldn't
> you expect these options in the circle tool?

What would you do about drawing bisectors and suchlike? :)

> I know this is kind of out of the blue, but i have been thinking a lot
> lately about some of the inconsistencies like this in the inkscape
> interface, and would love to try to help contribute to fixes / be
> involved with helping with the usability of new tools we create. Has
> there ever been anyone involved with doing usablity reviews / testing of
> this sort? (doctormon, i know you did some last year :) ) I know of
> plenty of UX people that use Inkscape that would probably be keen in
> contributing in this area.

It's definitely something that needs tons of work :)

Alex

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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

alvinpenner
I have not been able to find this item on the menu, where is it located?

Alvin
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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

Alexandre Prokoudine
On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 2:08 AM, alvinpenner wrote:
> I have not been able to find this item on the menu, where is it located?

There's an

#ifdef WITH_LPETOOL

in src/widgets/toolbox.cpp, and you might need to check the list of
commented out LPEs for relevant effects.

Alex

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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

su_v-2
In reply to this post by alvinpenner
On 2015-02-26 24:08 (+0100), alvinpenner wrote:
> I have not been able to find this item on the menu, where is it located?

The geom tool is not in a menu, it has a tool icon added in the toolbox
to the left of the canvas, at the bottom, and displays its own toolbar
when active.

The geom tool and the experimental path effects had been enabled for
autotools-based builds in revision
https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~inkscape.dev/inkscape/trunk/revision/13889

AFAICT this change was not ported to the build system config files used
on Windows:

https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~inkscape.dev/inkscape/trunk/changes?filter_file_id=build.xml-20091128124040-aej0x7yhxng1m6ly-8813


Regards, V


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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

alvinpenner
thanks, I'll check it out,

Alvin
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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

doctormo
In reply to this post by Ryan Lerch-2
On Wed, 2015-02-25 at 17:20 -0500, Ryan Lerch wrote:
> I know this is kind of out of the blue, but i have been thinking a lot
> lately about some of the inconsistencies like this in the inkscape
> interface, and would love to try to help contribute to fixes / be
> involved with helping with the usability of new tools we create. Has
> there ever been anyone involved with doing usablity reviews / testing
> of this sort? (doctormon, i know you did some last year :) ) I know of
> plenty of UX people that use Inkscape that would probably be keen in
> contributing in this area.

You're not the only one thinking about these issues Ryan. I've had to
put a lot of code contributions on the back burner while I contribute to
the website, but I think conceptually we need to bring generated shapes
into alignment.

For example star, 3dbox etc. They clutter up the code quite a bit and to
be honest bringing them out of the code into something more like an
python extension or LPE. It would certainly express the flexibility of
the UI to be able to incorporate extensions into toolbars and tool
options.

Sadly this will have to continue to wait this end of the line.

Martin,


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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

Ryan Lerch-2
In reply to this post by Alexandre Prokoudine
On 02/25/2015 05:35 PM, Alexandre Prokoudine wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 1:20 AM, Ryan Lerch wrote:
>> HI all,
>>
>> I just noticed the new "Do Geometric constructions" tool in the inkscape
>> trunk, and this got me thinking a few things about this new tool (and
>> inkscape usability and UX in general).
> It's by no means new :) It's probably 6 years old or so.
>
>> First up, this tool provides (among other things) two new ways to create
>> a circle: "a circle by three points", and a "circle by center and
>> radius". These are pretty neat additions, but my first question when I
>> saw this was why is this in a completely separate tool, not as a
>> sub-tool of the circle tool.
> Because the idea was the create a set of CAD-flavored features that
> are not limited to drawing circles, and that idea was, in fact,
> implemented :)
>
>> but from a user point of view, if you want to create a circle, wouldn't
>> you expect these options in the circle tool?
> What would you do about drawing bisectors and suchlike? :)

Yeah, that is something that would need to be considered too. What I
would love to get from this discussion is some sort of loose consensus
on how new features and tools should be integrated into the interface,
with a focus on making things behave similarly to the tools we already have.

All the new features being added are awesome and useful, but having them
behave in all different ways does make it less useful for artists, IMHO.

--ryanlerch

>
>> I know this is kind of out of the blue, but i have been thinking a lot
>> lately about some of the inconsistencies like this in the inkscape
>> interface, and would love to try to help contribute to fixes / be
>> involved with helping with the usability of new tools we create. Has
>> there ever been anyone involved with doing usablity reviews / testing of
>> this sort? (doctormon, i know you did some last year :) ) I know of
>> plenty of UX people that use Inkscape that would probably be keen in
>> contributing in this area.
> It's definitely something that needs tons of work :)
>
> Alex
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dive into the World of Parallel Programming The Go Parallel Website, sponsored
> by Intel and developed in partnership with Slashdot Media, is your hub for all
> things parallel software development, from weekly thought leadership blogs to
> news, videos, case studies, tutorials and more. Take a look and join the
> conversation now. http://goparallel.sourceforge.net/
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

Sebastian Zartner
In reply to this post by Alexandre Prokoudine
On 25 February 2015 at 23:35, Alexandre Prokoudine <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I know this is kind of out of the blue, but i have been thinking a lot
> lately about some of the inconsistencies like this in the inkscape
> interface, and would love to try to help contribute to fixes / be
> involved with helping with the usability of new tools we create. Has
> there ever been anyone involved with doing usablity reviews / testing of
> this sort? (doctormon, i know you did some last year :) ) I know of
> plenty of UX people that use Inkscape that would probably be keen in
> contributing in this area.

It's definitely something that needs tons of work :)

There is surely some more discussion needed, though I think that's a good starting point.

Sebastian

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Re: Do geometric contructions tool / general Inkscape UX discussions

ravas
In reply to this post by Ryan Lerch-2
Ryan Lerch-2 wrote
...
I understand these are implemented as LPEs,
but from a user point of view, if you want to create a circle, wouldn't
you expect these options in the circle tool?
...
 
What someone will expect is subjective.
I have used Autocad and LibreCAD,
which both have separate circle tools.
Therefore, I would not expect what you suggest.

Personally I don't want to check what mode a tool is in,
and possibly have to change that mode.

Something else I like about the idea of these tools being separate is
that the circles created with them can simply be saved using the svg circle element.