Friday, 3 August 2012

Pretty = what you expect

Spent a day making things look "pretty" (as I was thinking of it at the time - lots of pixel nudging and colour shading). This is really in response to Luke's comment that the next thing needed is some usability improvements. At first, prettiness was just a side effect of adding some more conventional visual effects - in particular, the tabbed menus in the illustration, which replace the previous minimalist (semi transparent) menu layers. However, as I spent more time getting them right, I realised that "right" actually means that they look like they work.

Interestingly, all of this surface ordinariness was achieved without any compromise on the underlying behaviour - these tabbed menus are still live code, and any of the icons can be dragged elsewhere or incorporated into execution behaviour by the user. Making them look ordinary to start with is just a bit of reassurance for the new user, and perhaps even adds to the surprise and delight :-) when it turns out that you can do things with them beyond the ordinary.

One more picture, just to show that  things made with Palimpsest don't often look ordinary. Here's some processing of the blog logo:

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