[Scribus] Thus is has been with Scribus.

Roger hovergo
Mon Feb 4 03:13:11 CET 2008

  For that matter, there is no perfect layout design -- at some
point you must say, "This is good enough, it meets my standards of
quality, but I have learned something with which I can make the next
design better." Thus it has been with Scribus.

Many of the complaints we hear about "why doesn't Scribus do
such-and-such like AppX?" really relate to us being creatures of habit.

I would add also the reluctance to learn, or fear of learning a new AppX (which
produces the same result ) with a different UI.

An example close to home for me is my daughter and her learning Blender3d.
Dad, why doesn't blender do this or that,   ---  It does, like this.
I can't find the nnn funcion ---- its here.
Why aren't there any icons, yadda , yadda, yadda. ----  It doesn't need them, it
uses hot keys.
And it wasn't until she began using 3dmax that she realised how easy Blender
actually was to use.

I used MS Publisher until I found Scribus and my workload eased once I knew Scribus.

My point is that Scribus has a good UI, it is clear and unobtrusive.
My daughter, who has never used Scribus did an explanation sheet for me in 10
Simply because she has no fear of different UI's.

Thank you Greg and Craig
Your explanations are of great help.


My daughters comments are below:
I use on average, 15 completely different applications every day, and and push
them to their limits, yesterday I found that I could
model for a project, in Blender in 2 hours, where in 3dmax and maya its double
or more time because the functionality is completely different and the UI is
much more complex. The blender UI is far easier and less time consuming, less
mouse intensive than any other proprietary software.

I have spent a lot of time with user interfaces due to my university course,
where I study how games are created and how the interaction works with those who
"use" the application.  The UI of any application is vital to how the user uses
the application. The way the UI looks and feels depends on functionality. This
functionality is dependant on the user. If the user finds the UI difficult or is
too many mouse clicks away from performance, the user tries to find a more
"basic" or "simplified" way of making the program work.

Most applications are bent on the "mouse clicks away from performance",  they
feel that the more clicks they make the better off the user will be. But sadly,
this is not the case. During my studies I found that a meager 10% of any
application is used at any one time and the remaining program is gone to waste.
This is due to UI.
Most major applications, for example, Studio Max, have menus - menus, menus and
more menus - and the user has to find themselves immersed in these menus before
they actually can use the program.
Menus are the bane of any applications existence, they are unnecessary in their
present form and fill up much needed work space on screen.
To do away with the current menu system will be a leap forward in UI development.

Menus can be changed to an interactive dynamic pop-up, like in Blender when you
hit Space Bar, or in Bryce where each object has a small vertical "box" menu on
the right side made up of four 10x10px squares and each has a pop-up that
appears when you click on it. With Bryce, the user must be coherent with what
each "box" does, although the name is clearly marked on the top of the dialog
box that appears, this makes the workspace clutter free.

Basically, what UI developers can ask themselves is :

1. Are we making a user friendly piece of software? - If so, then the
application must appear friendly. (not necessarily icons)
2. Do we want only 10% of our hard effort to be used? - No, then become dynamic,
use the all technologies available to create program dynamics.

We all have had experience in word dynamics, where you're typing something in
Open Office and the remainder of the word suddenly appears highlighted in blue -
and Wow! how did it know I was going to type that? Applications need menu
dynamics, like that.
The application should not be annoying - like in Microsoft Word where the little
yellow dog appears and suggests something ridiculous like "are you typing a
letter?" but something more advanced, more user friendly, more upbeat and up
with the times.

Each application needs to read what the user is doing at the point in time that
the user is doing it. 'Dynamics'. And show the alternate routes to getting the
most out of the application in the less amount of time.

Basically, the way games are going now is that they are pre-reading the human
mind and the AI characters choose to act in a way that "prevents", "deters" and
"suggests" a better route to the players character. This technology needs to be
included in software. This is what is neglected in applications. The technology
is there for games, why can't it be used in applications?

In reality it doesn't matter what the UI looks like, simply because the ones who
use it will become accustomed to it over time. It seems as though many programs
have  'all of the same problems', and this is because all UI's are based on the
"fundamentals" of program layout and not on "how does the user actually use it".


A simplistic instance that came to mind with Scribus was:
Open a new document, a popup says (T)ext  (I)mage; (G)et, (A)ppend, (E)dit
depending on which selection is made opens the appropriate editor or files.
If text is placed in a text box and a spell or other error is apparent the
word/s is/are highlighted, the editor opens and the highlighted word offers a
list of alternatives with a possible recommendation for replacement . Just this
alone removes a number mouse clicks. The 'requestor' asks the user to enter
distances from page borders and other items or 'move with mouse'. then pop up a
'requestor' to enquire about locking, grouping, etc once the page is done.

If an image is placed near a text box: The 'requestor' shows the current
distances from text and page border and asks about the appropriate relationship
questions such as distance from text, page borders, scale to frame size, etc.

Mouseover a placed filled text box or image box a pop up 'requestor ' asks
(E)dit (T)ext  (I)mage.

More information about the scribus mailing list