Some people complained in another thread
, that the IW3 gives them "a headache" and "burning eyes". Since Jim invited us to report any issue in the present thread, I try to give general explanations here.
Personally I do not feel this with the iW3/SL3, but I too have a general bad feeling with the interface. -Wrong interface:
When we discover the IW3, we are totally lost. Well, some complained it is too complex, but this is not the issue: I never felt lost with the SL1 viewer. It had many menus, but we just had to test them all, or to ignore the ones we do not understand. The IW3/SL3 interface is much more troublesome, as it hides essential functions: cryptic icons, hard to find functions, icons which all look the same, riddles to open this and that, having to search on top, on the right, on the left, on bottom... even after several months there are still common functions I could not find. Even for a seasoned user, the IW3 is unusable, not to speak of a newbie. difficult color scheme
All happens as if the SL3 designers loved so much the black, that they put it everywhere. Problem, black on black with dark grey details, it becomes very hard to see. I am lucky to enjoy an excellent vision (with glasses), but even so it is impossible to see a black field in a black frame, for instance the fields where we type our loggin. I know that the fields are here, so I click at guess, but for a total newbie the login window is just randomly placed characters with no hint of what to do with them. This lack of contrast forces the eyes,
and in doing so by reflexe the eyelids don't bat. This can fairly well explain why some feel burning eyes with this viewer. (general note here: people feeling burning eyes with computers can use "artificial tears" eyedrops. I was given "lacryfluid" by my physician, and it saved my virtual life) ugly colours
that I summarise with "hearse look". Well, an interface has to be in some colour anyway, but since we may visit all kind of places, it has to be neutral. So the grey-brown colour of the SL1 viewer was not nice, but finally I preferred it, because it was neutral. The black everywhere of the IW3/SL3 is not neutral. It may fit some vampire theme, but in all other cases it totally spoils the vision, as if we were seeing the world through a cop's car window. (nothing against cops, but we would love you much better in pink...
As a conclusion, there cannot be a general agreement with a given interface method (menus, shortcuts, icons) or colour scheme (vibration, people with impaired vision...) but there still are some fundamentals which remain,
and any attempt for "innovation" is just confusing: Text menus
remain the reference, since they explicitely list all the functions
Menus have to be organised in a logical way
, by categories of functions, and with redundency if there is no clear criteria. The IW2 viewer was the best in this regard.
All the shortcuts
are indicated in the corresponding menus. Many people like shortcuts, but they are difficult to retain. So that the quantity of shortcuts a given person uses, versus menus, is different for each person. Hence the interest of telling each shortcut in the corresponding menu, instead of having to know them by telepathy (I am not against telepathy, but I am just not good at that
are easy too, provided they are explicit. For this they must not be stylized ("cellphone style"), and they must use all the resources of color, while keeping contrasted enough for people with a bad vision. color scheme
There cannot either be an agreement here. So several different can be used. I remember Emerald as one of the best on this regard, with a choice of neutral greyish skins with shiny coloured buttons.
Ideally, if we want to allow the user to customise the interface
, then he may select which icons he uses. The ideal with this was Paint Shop pro 8, where there was several sets of icons, sorted by functions, that we could drag on a single icons bar, just under the menu bar. (more a sidebar dedicated to selecting tools) Unobstructed window
. When we look at a scene, we look at the scene, not at the interface. Our brain is perfectly able to substract the window frame, and consider only the window content. But if there are chiclets and other appendages dangling in the window, then the brain understands them as a part of the scene, and thus they are disturbing, like a fly or a scratch on the screen is. In more of hiding some content. beware of focus theft.
There has been several complains of this one. In the iW2 I noted that incoming objects or textures steal the focus from the chat bar. This is very annoying.