[LAU] Some new things to play with

Arnold Krille arnold at arnoldarts.de
Wed Oct 13 17:52:29 UTC 2010


On Wednesday 13 October 2010 18:56:27 Folderol wrote:
> I personally think it's a bad idea where colour is concerned. If you have a
> couple of editing windows open in several different apps, it can very
> quickly become extremely confusing, if they all look the same.

When several windows are open, conformity is the key to usability.
Things get much worse when every app uses its own colors and one editor is 
white on black, the next is green on black, the third is blue and red 
waveforms on light-violett tracks on dark-gray windows. While browser, email 
and office are all in the standard selected by the user. Which could be black on 
white or white on black or yellow on blue(*). Or its red on black because its 
all running on an foh-machine in the dark (where light colors are generally 
offensive to the darkness-adaption of the eye), unless you don't want your 
audio apps used under these 'special' use-cases.

(*) Yes, that sounds and looks strange. But only to use not-impaired people. 
Some will get an un-usable experience with your app if it doesn't follow the 

Rant: Its quite funny that more and more application- and environment-
developers both from free open-source and from closed source, paid business 
invest more and more time and money into getting the visuals and the overall 
experience right and usable. And at the same time the audio community (okay, 
audio, not visuals...) is using pixel-based widgets and each-app-its-own-
color-scheme. In a field of application (aka use-cases) where its important to 
quickly see the important parts without adjusting to different colors on every 

@Fons, this is not about your apps specifically.
Its about the general direction of color-scheme development I see with many 
apps from many audio developers. We argue about rotation-vs-sliding on our 
knobs, can neither find a consensus nor a global way of settings so users can 
choose their behaviour. And we fail miserable by in anything concerned with 
usability (proven by studies of usability-experts! [*]) and claim its for 
better usability (but only in the eye of the programmer). This kind of sucks. 
Being told that my desktop sucks in usability because each app uses the same 
color-scheme is just a joke. I use that desktop every day and its much more 
confusing when I have to work with the very few (gladly!) apps that have 
different colors...

Have fun,


[*] No, I don't have references at hand. I just look at the big projects with 
their usability experts and their guide-lines. Which they create so that 
developers like you and me don't have to worry about colors, knob-behavior, 
widget movement and key shortcuts...
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