Interface / interaction

every professional tool out there was created with two user groups in mind:

  • heavy mouse users
  • heavy keyboard users

vvvv doesn’t care about different user preferences. it wants you to use and learn very strange shortcuts. period. and for some other random tasks you need the (3 button) mouse, that can’t be done via keyboard shorcuts.

please add some of the standard GUI / interaction ideas that have been invented in the last 30 years to make working with windows easier and more efficient.

  • add a close button to a patch window (it should not close the patch, it should hide its window; you almost never want a patch to really close)

  • add scroll bars. you don’t need to show them all the time, look how it’s done in os x 10.7 lion. perfect solution.

  • i’d love to have a quick way to access the parent patch; or the parent’s parent (Windows Explorer has a very good solution for that).

  • add some switch toggles to the patch navigtor to quickly enable / disable view option. there is no reason to do this via tags you have to manually enter. especially in a graphical programming environment.

there are many more things that are out of my mind at the moment. i’ll at them later. basically i think vvvv should be way more accesible. it’s the very opposite of that right now.

and it should be more like an ipad app ;)

I usually work with only one or two (sub-)patches open and have the rest of the patches (except the root patch) hidden. tabbed patches don’t make sense in big projects and seem to eat a lot of performance.
my favourite way to navigate to an other patch is to press CTRL+tab and left click any of the patches. All parent patches will stay hidden while only the patch I want to see does open. I love this feature.
I agree that a nice button to hide a patch (equal to Alt+3) would be nice.

@rrrr I think you just need to pass period of adaptation. Yes, i know, VVVV interface design is not great, but it’s very conceptual. Hotkeys allows you to patch a lot faster. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to manage more then 2 or 3 windows, but VVVV have really nice Ctrl+Tab hotkey, that allows you to switch between modules. Also, if you using hotkeys, 3 button mouse is not needed. I think VVVV interface asceticism was dictated by non-graphical programming languages and if you compare it with Grasshopper, VVVV is more textual than GH.

it seems really on the point of view. for me vvvv feels quite natural to the extend that i sometimes try to generate a document by double clicking on the desktop.

not sure why, but i’ve never run into the trouble of confusing shortcuts between programs. the only thing which happens all the time is copy paste on osx and windows because these shortcuts are very close but not the same.

i’m a fanboy of joreg’s interface ideas :)

i often try to move in some window with rightclick-n-drag

jo kalle, that brings me to the conclusion all the other programs need to be changed

have to agree with rrrr that vvvv is a little ambiguous in the mouse/keyboard matter.
i don’t mind using both input devices, but i hate it, that i have to move my mouse-hand between keyboard and mouse all the time. often i want to just quickly create all the nodes i need and then do all the value tweaking and connecting.
but at the moment i always have to use the mouse to even start the process to type the nodename resulting in my right hand hopping.

e.g. a solution for that would be to press enter to open up the nodebrowser just below the last node created.

with installations, where the computer is hidden somewhere within some custom casing i had the case of either not having a keyboard or a mouse.
the onscreen keyboard helped in one case, but for the other it would be handy to be able to eg select through all the nodes with tab. and open up the value input for the pin with shift-tab.

and maybe noticable, i don’t like scrolling too much either. just love to grasp the whole patch with one sight.

just saying. would be super to have the possibility to use vvvv with just one device. doesn’t need to be the most convenient way, the mere possibility would suffice

@woei, thats the tool i have always with me when working on installations or exhibits. mouse and keyboard always available

i’m with u7angel and kalle on this :)

+1 for ctrl N

Was thinking about right hand having to hop between keyboard and mouse. I just downloaded autohotkey, and I think VVVV’s canvas interface would make it very easy to get along with. Might be a handy way to both play with and share interface ideas…

My first attempt: Running this exe (or the script file if you have AHK installed)

mouse click + 1 creates lfo
mouse click + 2 creates quad
mouse click + 3 brings up transform category

AHK has a lot of read write functionally so you could certainly do much more advance stuff too. (382.1 kB)

i’m don’t have to do the hand hopping thing - mouse in right hand, keyb on left. What do you need to do with your right hand in vvvv via the keyb?

However, I have started developing RSI over the last year :( and have started having to use the mouse in my left hand. This is extra extra hard with vvvv! Other software not so.

I think vvvv really has to start improving accessibility. Imagine poor sighted people or those with physical impairments trying to use vvvv. Can we not have a decent zoom feature or just options for pin sizes and node font size etc.???

@nitro make sire your desk is set correctly, I’ve suffered RSI and it was caused by too much clutter on my desk papers etc moving my keyboard and mouse into none optimal positions. Also make sure your monitor is raised, well google ergonomics!

I think the interface is incredibly fast non standard but very functional, ctrl shift p is on of the only right handed keyboard things ive noticed, but someday of using just mouse might be good for those times on site where a key board is tricky, triple+ clicks, morse code? Hehe
The main interface improvement I can think of is an auto subpatching command as discussed in other threads everything else is sweet!

reduce the resolution of your screen and everything gets bigger and/or buy a bigger screen. and there is also the windows magnifier…

i doubt someone asks adobe to change their software for poor sighted people.

but i can imagine having to use the left hand is kind of tricky. i hope your hand gets better at some point.

@cat, i can do ctrl-shift-p with one hand …haha…kind of

@ u7angel, haha but how many times can you do it in a row before you also have rsi?

«period of adaption» ----> :)))

i haven’t even started writing about the big topics:

  • double click convention: if you double click on something, it opens. if you click on text it gets selected. there’s no single other application out there that I know that breaks that convention. in vvvv: double click on a sub patch opens the sub patch. simple.

  • right click convention: this one is big. to make it short and easy: right click on something: a context menu (or the like) opens where you can choose an action. vvvv examples: click on a node -> context menu with ‘show in inspector’, ‘rename’, etc… right click on an IObox -> context menu with stuff like ‘convert to / toggle / bang’, ‘label’ etc. opens. right click in empty patch space -> ‘hide’, ‘show in inspector’, …


while i totally agree with rrrr on the benefits of consistent ui behaviours/metaphors, i don’t think the concept is applied to highly specialized “pro applications” (as opposed to consumer apps) like vvvv easily.

i mean, you wouldn’t expect to create a new document in let’s say autodesk flame/flint by hitting the same hotkeys as in wordpad now would you?

the latest final cut imho is a perfect example for applying the wrong ui concepts to a perfectly fine application and thereby ruining it for all. (except for the imovie crowd i guess, but hey…)

as always just my 2 cents, so ofcourse ymmv ;)

typing with 10 fingers? typing the name (or part of it) of the node and then hit enter. so the only thing i need the mouse for is opening the possibility to type again, since i do the connecting and tweaking later.
i agree with rrrr about the doubleclick. anybody noticed that the ultimatively basic single left click in a patch is left unused?

i like how to interact with vvvv. and i guess most of us have it in their blood already.
and i’m not talking about the right or wrong concept. but just because we got used to it, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to improve.
and just like you can hide or show or a window with either mouse or shortcut, patching speed would benefit from more of these overlapping possibilities.

the double rightclick + Quicknode or the nodebrowser parsing for substrings is also kind of an example for an interaction enhancement for both keyboard and mouse usage.