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Starship Krupa

Control bar>Radio Button decoded

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Posted (edited)

This might be something for TYLIP, but I'll post it here for all. @Colin Nicholls may add it if he chooses.

I decided to take on the task of figuring out the button logic for the Project/Selection radio buttons in the Export Module. I saw an opportunity to have fun with green circles and orange dots.

This required a lot  of button/image logic detective work, because the image has 8 cells, 6 of which are used for the button states. Yes, 6 different button states, all used. Since the buttons are so small, when I tried to create a test image with numbers in each of the cells, the numbers were too small to read, so I put colors in in the order of ROYGBIV.

As follows, in order of the cells in the image:

  • Position 1 is normal for the unselected button
  • Position 2 is for when the unselected button is pressed
  • Position 3 is for when the unselected button is hovered over
  • Position 4 is normal for the selected button
  • Position 5 is for when the selected button is pressed (this seems odd to me, I can't think of anywhere else in the UI that pressing on an already selected button results in an image change
  • Position 6 is for when the selected button is hovered over (again, odd)
  • Positions 7 and 8 are what is displayed with no project loaded

I wound up using the same button image for conditions 4, 5, and 6, because I don't believe that the user should get any feedback from pushing or hovering a button they've already selected. It's not a toggle.

I used a darker circle for condition 1 and a brighter one for condition 3. I had some fun with condition 2, I have a green dot for the pushed state that switches to an orange one for selected.

It's fun to dig up these locations that are often left alone due to it being a pain in the neck to change them. I hope this helps.

Edited by Starship Krupa
added positions 7 and 8
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Thanks for this, @Starship Krupa, I've added it to the YLIP for the next update.

>> I can't think of anywhere else in the UI that pressing on an already selected button results in an image change

Try Track View /  Add Track Flyout / Checkbox.

Also any of the Track Pane MSR buttons, specifically Track view / Track Pane / Mute as documented in the YLIP.

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And lane buttons (drives my niggling sense crazy - why should a button's glow status change just because I clicked on it once???).

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@Kevin Perry, lanes don't exist until you expand them for the first time. Then that track has a lane associated with it, and the button changes to reflect this. This behavior is one of the things I try to highlight in my themes:

CW_Take_Lanes_In_Flight_Deck.gif

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7 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Try Track View /  Add Track Flyout / Checkbox.

Also any of the Track Pane MSR buttons, specifically Track view / Track Pane / Mute as documented in the YLIP.

I misspoke, I guess. The add track flyout buttons will change state if clicked on, they're toggles. I think the UI should let you know when you hover that if you click here, something will happen (it fails to do that in many other locations, like add and remove lanes). It's appropriate visual feedback. The thing about the Export module is that it's really a radio button, click on this empty circle and the state changes, click on the other empty circle and it changes again. Clicking a second time on an active button will not result in a state change.

1 hour ago, Kevin Perry said:

lane buttons

Which lane buttons do you mean? The expand buttons work correctly as far as I can tell. The behavior can be changed with Theme Editor like I've done with my Export Module. I made the hover image the same as the normal image so there's no longer a change when the selected button is hovered or pressed. I can do it on any other buttons that exhibit incorrect (in my mind) behavior.

If there are any other buttons that act like this, please let me know and I'll eventually fix it in my themes.

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The create/show lanes buttons work in an interesting way. It has a logic. Before it's clicked on it's grey to indicate there are no lanes, and it responds to a rollover. Then when there are lanes (the first of which are created the first time you click the button to open the lanes), it changes color to indicate that lanes exist, so that when the lanes are closed, you know that they are there, but hidden. If you delete all your lanes, the buttons go back to their original state.

I'd like every button to have an appropriate rollover (meaning you'd have a rollover button state for any button that can be pushed and get a result), but once the lanes exist, the buttons are static, with no rollover state. The bakers of yore seem to have been more into pressed states than hovered states.

This has me thinking that it would be good to have more of an indication that lanes exist, because I didn't understand or even notice this behavior until you all started discussing it. The "lanes exist" buttons on the stock themes seem kinda dull for their function. So do mine because I didn't understand it.

There's plenty of weirdness around with hover states. For instance the buttons to expand a track header have a hover state when they're in the "expand" mode, but not in the opposite ("contract?") mode. So there's visual feedback for expanding but not for the other way.

As with so many elements in Cakewalk, less consideration for consistency was given to this than I'd like.

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8 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

@Kevin Perry, lanes don't exist until you expand them for the first time. Then that track has a lane associated with it, and the button changes to reflect this. This behavior is one of the things I try to highlight in my themes:

CW_Take_Lanes_In_Flight_Deck.gif

I know, but consider this case...

I have a single audio clip in a track.  I've never clicked on the expand lane button.  I click on it, and the lane shows; I click on it again and the lane vanishes.  Nothing has been done to the lane, CbB is in the same state as it was before I clicked, but the button is now a different colour - to me, this implies that there is something "interesting" going on with the lanes.  This is clearly not the case, so the button should reflect that (to be honest, I don't understand why there should be a third state for the button colour - Mute doesn't go into a third state just because I clicked on it once!  I think this is poor UI).

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I just checked it out using the numbers method and the Take and Automation Lanes work thusly:

  • Cell 1 is normal state with no lanes
  • Cell 2 is the pressed state, which only appears in "no lanes" condition
  • Cell 3 is the rollover state, also only appears in "no lanes" condition
  • Cell 4 is lanes open
  • Cell 5 is unused
  • Cell 6 is lanes closed (but present)

Cell 1's look of white on grey is Cakewalk standard for inactive buttons waiting to be pushed. Same with Cells 2 and 3, Cakewalk standard. Cell 4 is the brightest one, which is appropriate for open lanes. The relation between Cell 1, Cell 4 and Cell 6 is important. Cell 6 stock is a dimmed version of Cell 4, which is appropriate, but considering it's supposed to let us know at a glance whether or not we have lanes, it's too muted. I think I'll lighten it up in my themes.

Again we have a rollover and pressed state that are only used for one operation, the initial opening/creation of a lane. Once that happens, they're never seen again. There's no reason not to use those when closing and reopening the lanes as well but Cakewalk doesn't.

Also: why is the button for removing a Take Lane an "x," while the similar button for removing an automation lane is a "-?" To add either type of lane is a "+" sign, so bye-bye "x."

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7 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

I have a single audio clip in a track.  I've never clicked on the expand lane button.  I click on it, and the lane shows; I click on it again and the lane vanishes.  Nothing has been done to the lane, CbB is in the same state as it was before I clicked, but the button is now a different colour - to me, this implies that there is something "interesting" going on with the lanes.  This is clearly not the case, so the button should reflect that (to be honest, I don't understand why there should be a third state for the button colour - Mute doesn't go into a third state just because I clicked on it once!  I think this is poor UI).

I have to disagree. The UI is telling you something, and you're choosing to ignore it.  CbB is NOT in the same state. We can debate about whether it is useful or not, but the fact remains, the state of the track is different and it is informing you: the opposite of poor UI.

Mute button behavior is not relevant here.

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4 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Again we have a rollover and pressed state that are only used for one operation, the initial opening/creation of a lane. Once that happens, they're never seen again. There's no reason not to use those when closing and reopening the lanes as well but Cakewalk doesn't.

Thanks for double-checking my evaluation of this behavior, Starship.

I would agree that Cakewalk's default appearance of the 6 impressions in the button stack is sub-optimal, I do believe that Cakewalk is using them apporpriately. Please review the screencap above (I have refreshed it using the latest version of Flight Deck) and tell me if you still agree with your statement.

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9 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Please review the screencap above (I have refreshed it using the latest version of Flight Deck) and tell me if you still agree with your statement.

Ha, what kind of minds think alike? I tried to post last night with a photo of my new states 1-3 buttons, which like yours add a "+" sign. See it below. I like what you've done with the rollover, and I agree that it now makes sense. Cakewalk just isn't using it in a way that indicates anything other than "your cursor is now over this button" unless you already know about the behavior. I may change my Cell 1 image back to the standard now that I've seen yours, but I do like static buttons that suggest what will happen when I click on them. I will mull it. It's a fine line, isn't it, between functional and clever. Was this always in Flight Deck and I just didn't notice? This is proof that a good theme can add functionality that's not there in the stock themes. Anything that makes it easier on new users is great by me.

Here's an image of what my new lanes buttons look like in all their static states:

1711589690_Lanesbuttons.jpg.a8aba0a5ee6ab4afc0676d7e6d600dd0.jpg

As you can see, the "loud" button is for the state when lanes exist but the lanes panel is closed. When the lanes are open, it switches to a black background image.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Was this always in Flight Deck and I just didn't notice?

So tempted to say "yes".

No, I added it this morning to reinforce my argument, and then decided it was worth keeping as a feature. So I refreshed the theme.zip in my other post.

There may or may not be other enhancements in the theme that _were_ there in 1.0.0 but I'll let them be discovered naturally.

Edited by Colin Nicholls

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I see by SK's screenshot that there's still an issue displaying the Folder data screen. Sonar did this on occasion with my older systems.

With CbB on my newest laptop, I haven't seen it until now.... The data screen fades from right to left.

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3 hours ago, sjoens said:

I see by SK's screenshot that there's still an issue displaying the Folder data screen. Sonar did this on occasion with my older systems.

With CbB on my newest laptop, I haven't seen it until now.... The data screen fades from right to left.

Ha, @Colin Nicholls, did you get this? It seems to happen at my house for no reason I can pin down. I thought at one point it was odd or even days.

I'd never paid much attention, I guess I write my notes in take lane headers and don't put enough tracks in a folder to be concerned with how many there are.

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7 hours ago, sjoens said:

I see by SK's screenshot that there's still an issue displaying the Folder data screen. Sonar did this on occasion with my older systems.

With CbB on my newest laptop, I haven't seen it until now.... The data screen fades from right to left.

@Starship Krupa and I have been talking about this, whilst working on our respective themes. We haven't identified a pattern of when Folder Stats/Notes uses the "correct" theme element (Description Field) and when it reverts to some gradient area.

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On 5/27/2021 at 4:38 PM, Colin Nicholls said:

I have to disagree. The UI is telling you something, and you're choosing to ignore it.  CbB is NOT in the same state. We can debate about whether it is useful or not, but the fact remains, the state of the track is different and it is informing you: the opposite of poor UI.

Mute button behavior is not relevant here.

I kind of see what you mean (and with envelope lanes, there is an envelope created - it's a dummy volume one so it's moot if it's an actual change or not, but with track lanes, I think it's very debatable whether a change has been made - I'm sure that a track always has lanes, it just may have only one that you've chosen not to see).  I do think it's misleading as it implies more than is actually happening, at least in some cases - I don't think an "action" button should also reflect meaning in this way.

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23 minutes ago, Kevin Perry said:

I'm sure that a track always has lanes, it just may have only one that you've chosen not to see

Fair point, although my own personal theory here is that the track actually does change state, from "old-school track" to "new-school track with a lane" and the show/hide button reflects this state change even though it has limited practical use to the end user, as you point out.

 

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