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I suggest that there should be two distinctly but slightly
different shapes for on-screen soft buttons based on
the action behind it is putting information into a system,
example, storing a setting, or for retrieving information
out of a system, for example, making a predetermined
Whatever is decided the most appropriate visual clueing
arrangement should be widely adopted (i.e. as widely
adopted and understood as the FF/Stop/Play/Rewind icons
tape transports of olde were).
The initiative for this idea came from using the Blackmagic
Design ATEM controller software, where there is a pair of
buttons to set the DVE at a certain size and position (A and
positions) and just below it, a pair of buttons to make the
DVE move to position A and B. The top pair say ['set A] and
[set B] or something like that, and the buttons that make
DVE go there are [A] and [B], but its too easy to hit the set
buttons, which are look the same and are too nearby. If you
youre screwed, as youve lost the settings for the DVE
position, the new position is where it happened to be when
you pressed the set button.
Its partly a UI flaw in that those
buttons should not be so near each other, but it occurred to
me that in general, buttons like this are basically either
inputs or outputs and
therefore need not look the same the rectangles with
gently rounded corners we have the opportunity to make
buttons that demonstrate whether theyre to put
in, or grasp information out, of a system, by their shape.
||Sounds like bad design in the software you're using, mostly. But this reminded me of how often the same buttons in real life are "output" or recall buttons, but when pressed and held, become set buttons. Example: The radio station buttons on your car radio.
||Maybe we should adopt this more readily in software design. I'm imagining a Photoshop tool palette where pressing the brush button gives me a brush, while holding it down opens up the brush manager. Pushing a layer brings me to that layer, while holding it down could pop open the properties for that layer. An interesting idea but could conflict with drag/drop functionality in places.
||Interesting. But, I'm seeing buttons going away as a UX
||With mobile UX, we're seeing a growing use of swipes, auto-
saves, and other invisible UI elements that are a frustrating
mystery before you discover them, but elegant once
||For desktop UX, where buttons will still reside, it does make
sense to separate "save/edit/transform" buttons visually
from those that are "open/view/expand tools" type.