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[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

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[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Richard Gitschlag 27 May 17:12
  [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Michael Natterer 27 May 19:05
   [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Bruce 27 May 19:17
  [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Bruce 27 May 19:07
   [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Richard Gitschlag 27 May 20:17
    [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Richard Gitschlag 27 May 20:30
     [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Rob Antonishen 27 May 21:02
      [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Rob Antonishen 27 May 21:05
      [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Richard Gitschlag 27 May 23:36
       [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons gfxuser 28 May 07:14
        [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Bruce 28 May 07:40
         [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons Richard Gitschlag 28 May 16:43
Richard Gitschlag
2012-05-27 17:12:15 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Very tempted to file this one on GNOME already, but going to check here first in case I missed something (e.g. is it configurable?) .

When you hide a layer group in GIMP 2.8, all items inside it get a new eye-with-slash icon to indicate that they are visible individually but hidden as a group.

This icon is . . . too visible. It needs to be something LESS visible than the normal eye icon.

Attached is a mockup of what some alternate icons can look like. One uses a 50% opacity, and another uses a 50% dither. (Myself, I prefer the dither look.)

Response?

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
--------------------
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.

Michael Natterer
2012-05-27 19:05:23 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

On Sun, 2012-05-27 at 10:12 -0700, Richard Gitschlag wrote:

Very tempted to file this one on GNOME already, but going to check here first in case I missed something (e.g. is it configurable?) .

When you hide a layer group in GIMP 2.8, all items inside it get a new eye-with-slash icon to indicate that they are visible individually but hidden as a group.

This icon is . . . too visible. It needs to be something LESS visible than the normal eye icon.

Attached is a mockup of what some alternate icons can look like. One uses a 50% opacity, and another uses a 50% dither. (Myself, I prefer the dither look.)

Response?

How exactly is that better?

On my monitor, your 50% opacity version looks hardly different from full opacity, and the dithered version is not exactly obviously different when quickly looked at it.

I don't see how going from something that is clearly distinguishable to something that is hardly different from a visible icon is any improvement of usability.

Regaeds, --mitch

Bruce
2012-05-27 19:07:37 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Nice idea.

I think the slash across the eye serves a purpose: it conceptually differentiates that icon from the other eye icons, indicating that those layers are part of a group.

At least for me, the eye-with-slash allows for faster recognition of that difference.

I did some experimenting with your mock-up image.

Below is an image of 50% opacity and 50% dither with a solid grey line. I found dithering the dash made the icon not look very much like an eye. (I didn't test out making it opaque.)

I think I'm leaning more towards the 50% opacity with the line through it than the 50% dither with the line through it (simply because the icon is clearer), but both are pretty good.

[image: Inline image 1]

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 3:12 AM, Richard Gitschlag < strata_ranger@hotmail.com> wrote:

Very tempted to file this one on GNOME already, but going to check here first in case I missed something (e.g. is it configurable?) .

When you hide a layer group in GIMP 2.8, all items inside it get a new eye-with-slash icon to indicate that they are visible individually but hidden as a group.

This icon is . . . too visible. It needs to be something LESS visible than the normal eye icon.

Attached is a mockup of what some alternate icons can look like. One uses a 50% opacity, and another uses a 50% dither. (Myself, I prefer the dither look.)

Response?

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
--------------------
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.

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Bruce
2012-05-27 19:17:51 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 5:05 AM, Michael Natterer wrote:

On my monitor, your 50% opacity version looks hardly

different from full opacity, and the dithered version is not exactly obviously different when quickly looked at it.
I don't see how going from something that is clearly distinguishable to something that is hardly different from a visible icon is any improvement of usability.

How the icon looks on different monitors is indeed a consideration and probably a good reason to have the line over the eye icon. (Though the eye can still be 50% dithered or opaque.)

At least on my monitor, the 50% opacity or dithered look visually conveys that those layers are "in the background." It feels good to me.

An important part of this conversation is that people process visual information differently (we don't all see the same thing), so that may account for the difference in preference that crops up.

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 5:05 AM, Michael Natterer wrote:

On Sun, 2012-05-27 at 10:12 -0700, Richard Gitschlag wrote:

Very tempted to file this one on GNOME already, but going to check here

first in case I missed something (e.g. is it configurable?) .

When you hide a layer group in GIMP 2.8, all items inside it get a new

eye-with-slash icon to indicate that they are visible individually but hidden as a group.

This icon is . . . too visible. It needs to be something LESS visible

than the normal eye icon.

Attached is a mockup of what some alternate icons can look like. One

uses a 50% opacity, and another uses a 50% dither. (Myself, I prefer the dither look.)

Response?

How exactly is that better?

On my monitor, your 50% opacity version looks hardly different from full opacity, and the dithered version is not exactly obviously different when quickly looked at it.

I don't see how going from something that is clearly distinguishable to something that is hardly different from a visible icon is any improvement of usability.

Regaeds, --mitch

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gimp-developer-list@gnome.org
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Richard Gitschlag
2012-05-27 20:17:52 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

From: speakwithbruce@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 05:07:37 +1000 To: gimp-developer-list@gnome.org
Subject: Re: [Gimp-developer] [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Nice idea. >

I did some experimenting with your mock-up image.Below is an image of 50% opacity and 50% dither with a solid grey line.

I found dithering the dash made the icon not look very much like an eye. (I didn't test out making it opaque.)

I think I'm leaning more towards the 50% opacity with the line

through it than the 50% dither with the line through it (simply because the > icon is clearer), but both are pretty good.

A grey slash over the icon is also an improvement -- the current icon just has too much visual 'weight'. Quick experiment: apply a 3-5px blur over the current icons and which one is more easily noticed from 5 feet away? The one that indicates a hidden layer . . . but why?

Perhaps it's also that long slash is long. Trimming it by a few pixels on each end can also reduce its visual weight. Attaching another mockup for brainstorming and discussion:

- Right column shows what the icon would look like with the slash trimmed 3px from each end. - Second row has the slash lightened by 50%, now grey instead of black. The rest of the icon is unchanged. - Bottom row has the entire icon lightened by 50%.

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
--------------------
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.

Richard Gitschlag
2012-05-27 20:30:00 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Whoops, had a suspicion I was forgetting something on my previous message.

Attached is another mockup illustrating some improved(?) eye icons.

- Right column shows what the icon would look like with the slash trimmed 3px from each end. - Second row has the slash lightened by 50% (now grey instead of black), but the rest of the icon is unchanged. - Bottom row has the entire icon lightened by 50%.

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
--------------------
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.

Rob Antonishen
2012-05-27 21:02:47 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Why re-invent the wheel?

Attached are Inkscape's. Very clear.

-Rob A>

Rob Antonishen
2012-05-27 21:05:17 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Sorry - maybe not so clear!

It doesn't change the icon of sub layers when a parent layer's visibility is toggled.

-Rob A>

On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM, Rob Antonishen wrote:

Why re-invent the wheel?

Attached are Inkscape's. Very clear.

-Rob A>

Richard Gitschlag
2012-05-27 23:36:22 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Yeah, I use Inkscape too. Note that with Inkscape's visibility icons, the eye-open icon has more of a visual presence to it than the eye-closed icon. Even if you only cast a momentary glance at a Layers dialogue in Inkscape, you can tell that the darker, more obvious symbols mean a visible layer and the lighter symbols mean a hidden one.

Whereas with GIMP, if you go by simple visual weight, the current behavior is (hidden layer) < (visible layer) < (layer in hidden group) when it should be (hidden layer) < (layer in hidden group) < (visible layer).

Why should layers-in-hidden-groups get a special icon? Indeed, if you collapse the tree then

Perhaps part of the issue is that the visibility icons are (necessarily) displayed as a flat column. That was sufficient when GIMP could only have a flat layer stack, but now that layers can be grouped into a tree ... if there was a way to make the visibility icons nested accordingly, that might help, although it would also mean said icons are no longer in a single convenient column.

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
--------------------
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.

From: rob.antonishen@gmail.com Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 17:02:47 -0400 To: gimp-developer-list@gnome.org
Subject: Re: [Gimp-developer] [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Why re-invent the wheel? Attached are Inkscape's. Very clear. -Rob A>

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gfxuser
2012-05-28 07:14:29 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Hi,

as we already realized the current solution to show hidden layers' icons in groups is a bit confusing. IMO less opacity doesn't change this much. A slashed icon indeed has more visual weight than a non-slashed one. But this suggests exactly the opposite of the actual visibility. The second drawback is that the user has to keep a third state in mind: a visible layer in a hidden group. Actually two states are sufficient - a layer is visible or not.
Informations about visible sublayers are relevant only if the group itself is visible. So why not simply hide the icons in the sublayers if the group itself is hidden? This would show the facts and only the facts and thus be less confusing.

Best regards,

grafxuser

Bruce
2012-05-28 07:40:54 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Good discussion. :)

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM, gfxuser said:

as we already realized the current solution to show hidden layers' icons in

groups is a bit confusing. IMO less opacity doesn't change this much. A slashed icon indeed has more visual weight than a non-slashed one. But this suggests exactly the opposite of the actual visibility. The second drawback is that the user has to keep a third state in mind: a visible layer in a hidden group. Actually two states are sufficient - a layer is visible or not.
*Informations about visible sublayers are relevant only if the group itself is visible. So why not simply hide the icons in the sublayers if the group itself is hidden? This would show the facts and only the facts and thus be less confusing.*

Good point.

We've been trying to improve the current icons, when perhaps something like what you suggested would be better. (A forest for the trees type situation.)

But that's okay. I feel all of this helps provide feedback and useful examples and ideas the developers can draw on.

Stratadrake, you could probably file this as an enhancement in GNOME and just link to this mailing list thread. We've probably covered most of the different ways of approaching this.

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM, gfxuser wrote:

Hi,

as we already realized the current solution to show hidden layers' icons in groups is a bit confusing. IMO less opacity doesn't change this much. A slashed icon indeed has more visual weight than a non-slashed one. But this suggests exactly the opposite of the actual visibility. The second drawback is that the user has to keep a third state in mind: a visible layer in a hidden group. Actually two states are sufficient - a layer is visible or not.
Informations about visible sublayers are relevant only if the group itself is visible. So why not simply hide the icons in the sublayers if the group itself is hidden? This would show the facts and only the facts and thus be less confusing.

Best regards,

grafxuser

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Richard Gitschlag
2012-05-28 16:43:21 UTC (over 2 years ago)

[enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

From: speakwithbruce@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 17:40:54 +1000 To: gimp-developer-list@gnome.org
Subject: Re: [Gimp-developer] [enhancement] Improved layer-visibility icons

Good discussion. :)> [ ... ]

Stratadrake, you could probably file this as

an enhancement in GNOME and just link to this mailing list thread.

We've

probably covered most of the different ways of approaching this.

Done. There was one more alternative icon that hit me this morning - an outlined version of the eye icon - but yeah, there are enough alternative ideas brought to the table already.

Also, as gfxuser suggested not showing an icon at all could also work, however we would lose the ability to tell at a glance whether or not the layer is individually visible (i.e: with respect to its group). Aka, it no longer conveys that hiding a group does not affect or destroy the visibility states of items inside that group. This was probably the reason we even have the current behavior in the first place rather than, say, Inkscape's behavior where all layers show only the icon that corresponds to their individual visibility status.

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
--------------------
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.