I started working on this (OOo daVinci as I call it) before Renaissance was
announced, and I had never planned on sharing it since I thought
Renaissance's goals sort of frowned upon final GUI concepts. Since Joshua
presented FLUX, I thought I would present the GUI as long as I had spent
time on it. It has a lot of ideas that were talked about in email threads
and some of my own. I uploaded everything on to the Wiki to make it easier
to view, and I just copied the wiki below for comments.
Hopefully something here might be useful. I am reluctant to spend too much
time discussing it since I would like to focus my time on the "research"
stage of Renaissance but I will do my best to respond to any
questions/comments. Keep in mind that my artistic skills are somewhat more
limited than others and my icons and such are quite plain; use your
imagination to envision everything prettier. ;-) Thanks for taking a look
P.S. The file was created in Inkscape, so if you want a copy of the
original file to play around with let me know.
== General Layout ==
Here is the general layout, and I will explain some of the features below.
You can see at the top that there is an "insert" and a "format" tool bar as
well as some "edit" tools. The toolbars are contextual based on the
navigator which will be explained later.
My artistic abilities are somewhat lacking compared to others so just use
your imagination to make everything prettier. ;-) For lack of time many
icons are incomplete so if there is just a box, once again use your
== (Minor) Feature 1 - Lined paper ==
I like the idea of having a grid that is lined paper for Writer. Here the
user can clearly see the difference between tabs versus line indents,
paragraph returns versus paragraph spacing and has a nice visual guide to
assist in reading.
== Feature 2 - Navigator and View Pane ==
The navigator can show a preview of the pages in the document to allow for
quick navigation through the document. The user may also navigate by other
document objects by clicking on the other tabs on the right side of the
screen (or another way as I will mention below). The menu, as-shown, pops
left on-mouse-over the entire right column of the screen, or can be fixed
upon double click of the tab or some similar mechanism. I show the view
options at the bottom right for quick and contextual access (that is, I
suggest the user should have different view options when navigating by
different objects). To get a better sense of what it is like to navigate by
a different object I have included an example below in feature 5.
== Feature 3 - Style and Format Pane ==
The style pane (also shown on-mouse-over, or fixed upon double clicking)
allows the user to quickly apply, manage, and edit styles. Since selection
of objects in OOo is ambiguous (if the user has their cursor anywhere in the
document they could desire to format character, paragraph or page) they can
select the object tab for the desired object to format in the style pane.
(I don't currently like this way of selecting different objects and have
been considering some other method.) For example, the character tab is
currently selected, so the character styles and character formatting options
The format pane allows the user to quickly access all the formatting options
available for the object, organized by different tabs and the user could
even create customizable tabs with their most valued formatting properties.
For example, for character objects these tabs would be "font," "font
effects," "character spacing," etc... The format style versus selected
indicator tabs at the top of the pane allows the user to quickly switch
between formatting the current style or selected text depending on their
needs. This way the user's formatting experience for styles and hard
formatting are the same. (While I am not sure that this is the best
solution I wanted to advocate clear wording of styles versus hard
formatting, and promote the use of styles by making it easier for the user
to understand what they do and how they work).
== Feature 4 - Object Navigation ==
As I mentioned, I envision the user being able to navigate the document by
different objects using the navigator. Here I am suggesting that navigation
by an object invoke contextual changes in the UI. My intended goal is to
make a given object editing/formatting experience a uniform experience
across the suite. So when navigating by spreadsheets in Writer, the user
has the same interface and tools available as they would in Calc. Here I
roughly sketched out navigation by figure canvas and roughly detail how the
UI could change to include additional tools like a modify menu. Figure
canvas here would have the same tools as the default navigation setting for
Draw, for example.
In this first picture the user is doing normal page layout navigation. When
they select the figure canvas they can access the canvas position and size
properties in the format toolbar (and you can see on the left that the
selected object is now "picture 1"). To edit the actual canvas they click
edit, which switches them to navigating by figure canvas.
''User selects the Figure Canvas while navigating by Page Layout:''
''User selects "Edit Figure" which invokes navigation by figure canvas:''
*!Scroll down to next image!*
In this second picture, they are now navigating by canvas and so the
available tools change. I chose by far the simplest example; the benefit of
this feature would be fully realized for more complex objects like
spreadsheets where the formatting tools change significantly.
== Features 5-7 ==
=== Feature 5 - Format Toolbar ===
If you take a look at the Format pane and the Format toolbar you will notice
they have the same tools. Since the user desires quick access to key object
properties, I envision the Format toolbar to allow the user access to the
key "format pane" tabs. The user can change which tab is being displayed,
or even show multiple tabs, but I would imagine having one customized
"format pane" tab displayed by default will provide the most utility. This
is similar to the way we currently handle our contextual toolbars and is a
feature I believe users like. Here I am only showing one of theoretical
"factory default" (required) tabs, "Font," to illustrate how it would work.
= (Minor) Feature 6 - Contrast and Coloring =
I am trying to use color and contrast to focus the user's attention on the
workspace and away from the "clutter" of the UI. If you compare previous
images of the tool bar to this image you will notice a significant contrast
change. Additionally, I am showing how icons can be colored on-mouse-over.
= (Minor) Feature 7 - Simple but powerful drop-downs =
OOo is stuffed to the brim with great features that can be cumbersome to get
too. Here I am showing how the user can simply click on a drop down menu
(in this case for underlining) to quickly select colors and underline
styles. I envision the underline icon to work as follows: if the user
clicks on the main part of the icon then the current underline style is
applied (as indicated by the preview inside the icon itself); if the user
clicks on the arrow then this drop down menu prompts them with the most
common format options.
== Feature 8 - Tabbed documents ==
The user can switch quickly between documents, and organize the documents in
the work space through drag and drop actions. I placed it at the bottom
because Windows and Mac both control navigation of programs and windows at
the bottom of the screen (by default), and it seems more convenient for the
user to be able to quickly switch between tabs, windows, and/or programs if
tab access is closer. Many people have made good points about tab versus
window document organization so I don't think this feature will prove to be
== Feature 9 - Direct Manipulation Snippets (or pockets) ==
As the UX team has discussed before and as posted on the wiki, here I am
showing the Direct Manipulation Snippets, (or pockets as I like to call
them). Once again, I promote use of tabs in Snippets for overlapping
grammar and spelling errors.
== Random other features or comments ==
I also show the help search or command line interface we have discussed in
the top right corner. The OpenOffice.org logo in the top left is a menu
dedicated to OOo options and customization. I tried to make everything
grayscale with on-mouse-over coloring, so the user's focus stays on the
active work space; the coloring of scroll bars ''would'' enforce what the
scroll wheel will effect had I put scroll bars in the examples. In Mac OS X
the logo can be replaced by the native OOo menu name.
Jaron Kuppers schrieb:
Very nice - I hope you will be able to incorporate some of those ideas
with the FLUX proposal ... can't wait to see FLUX da Vinci Reloaded ... :)))
Vince (o o)
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Wow! Very impressive work, Jaron.
Thanks for putting it on the wiki so we will have it to refer to when
the solutions phase comes!
Have a great weekend,
On 09.01.09 18:29, [hidden email] wrote:
> Jaron Kuppers schrieb:
> Very nice - I hope you will be able to incorporate some of those ideas
> with the FLUX proposal ... can't wait to see FLUX da Vinci Reloaded ... :)))
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In reply to this post by Jaron Kuppers
Just a quick note. I noticed that the images look blurry when I view them
on my PC versus my Mac, so I will see if I can improve the image quality a
little, though it may be an OS limitation.
Also, to clarify a little, I played around with some of the ideas within the
design (such as showing the navigator tabs all the time and the not showing
the format and style tabs); I thought this might be perceived as UI
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