Author Topic: PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics  (Read 615 times)

Offline Coldblackice

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PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics
« on: June 29, 2019, 07:29:31 AM »
I've been looking forward to dark mode, but yeah, it could definitely use some refining :)

As I was playing around with it, I decided to mark up some other misc. suggestions and ideas I have on PL's design/aesthetics. PL's functionality is where the real magic's at, of course, but it never hurts to also have things look and feel sleek, too. Look what John Ive and Steve Jobs did for Apple with the original iPhone. And this is especially beneficial for any non or less-than-engineer type customers who may be more accustomed to "prettier" looking software, like the Adobe Suite. At the end of the day, if it helps PL sell, then that's what counts, right?

And yes, I'm aware my notes markup/scribble session below may look like a hot mess, but there's a method to the madness, and I'm not trying to sell it  :) So quickie scribble and mark-up had to suffice for now.

Again, PL's functionality is what's important, this is just icing. So a disclaimer that there's nothing below that's crucial or truly significant, the biggest probably being color choices in both modes. But take any of it or leave it all, no offense taken either way. Just thought I'd offer some input/help.



Offline Jeremy Collake

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Re: PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 04:41:02 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, and for taking the time to compose them in a visual format.

I agree the appearance is important. I am definitely not done modernizing the GUI. Some little changes will go a long way, like those fonts. They are next on my list.

9.2 was a long overdue step in the right direction. Expect to see continued improvements now that this can of worms has been opened.

UPDATE: The latest beta series adopts many of your more simple suggestions.

Please continue to provide your feedback, it is very helpful!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 03:46:15 PM by Jeremy Collake »
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.

Offline Coldblackice

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Re: PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 10:58:24 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, and for taking the time to compose them in a visual format.

I agree the appearance is important. I am definitely not done modernizing the GUI. Some little changes will go a long way, like those fonts. They are next on my list.

9.2 was a long overdue step in the right direction. Expect to see continued improvements now that this can of worms has been opened.

UPDATE: The latest beta series adopts many of your more simple suggestions.

Please continue to provide your feedback, it is very helpful!

Anytime! Happy to help.

I also happened upon another task management program recently that I've been vetting for feature comparison, but it happens to also have some pretty fresh design that I've been liking. Not necessarily saying it's the way to go, just another example for reference/discussion.

My eyes are just entranced with its design at the moment, both layout wise and graphically, such as:
  • The general layout and sizing of panels (also note the thin/singular division bars between panels)
  • I really dig the smooth, anti-aliased graph edges. Looks very modern/new, which may be a psychological "selling" point to users that correlate such looks with newness -- particularly anti-aliasing, which has had a positive correlation with its improvement over time (i.e. the further back in time you go, the more aliasing you'll see across all software).
  • I like how it compartmentalizes clusters/groups of data together, and then how each cluster is laid out spatially.
  • How it overlays multiple points of data on top of each other, such as:
    • the overlayed line graphs
    • colored bar graphs with process name + percentages on top of each other (top right)
    • bar graphs colored to show intensity of usage (middle-right)
    • Line graphs stacked on top of bar graph showing equivalent information in bar graph + percentage (without much additional window space used)
    • etc.
  • The color choices are good, especially the primary graph and the varied shades of green (and also how they correlate to the CPU-bars at the right). The varied tones are cohesive and work well together.
  • Misc. primary graph elements, such as the lowered opacity of graphs, the thickness and shade of the grid lines, the resolution of the graph data, etc.
  • I like the crosshair cursor on the main graphs which shows a floating panel of text for that point in time underneath the cursor, showing individual CPU percentages (with process name, PID, and percentage) at that point in time.
  • Uniform font choices and bolded headings.
  • The 3D/shaded memory bar is nice, too. But I also like PL's flashy effect!
Anyway, just some more thoughts!
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 09:54:10 AM by Jeremy Collake »

Offline Coldblackice

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Re: PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 12:31:10 AM »
PS - Minor bug, when maximizing PL, it switches everything back to dark mode colors, despite having changed the look already (via menu, also via graph clicking). v9.2.0.14

Offline Jeremy Collake

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Re: PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2019, 09:52:55 AM »
I do see that when you double-click on the taskbar it can (not always) cause an extraneous click to register on the graph as the window resizes so that the graph is now under the previous taskbar/click location. It seems to be most prevalent with trackpads. I'll address that. Thanks!

Note I launched a new final yesterday, 9.2.0.32. It has many of your suggested changes.

Whilst continued improvements to Process Lasso's UX are certain, it is important not to get too carried away trying to compete as a task managers replacement. There are several free ones with fancy UIs.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 03:36:24 PM by Jeremy Collake »
Software Engineer. Bitsum LLC.

Offline Coldblackice

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Re: PL Dark Mode and other misc. design aesthetics
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 01:08:46 AM »
Just tried the updated version... Wow! Looks great! Much better. You wouldn't think just a few changes could make a difference, but it's amazing how they can. Comparing before/after screenshots between the versions, it's amazing the sum difference they've all added up to. The updated/unified fonts on the tabs make a bigger improvement than I even thought they would.

And major props for not only being open to community feedback, but lightning quick turnaround timing, too. Impressive!

I totally agree on the UX. For the record, I haven't minded it at all, and have never even thought to say anything about it as I never saw a problem. Only when the discussion was invited re: dark mode did I think to offer some opinion. Heck, I've been using this utility for years and love it, despite its ancient, sprawling UX:

https://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Shots/mainscr.png

(PS: is there a hyperlink function available or am I overlooking it?)

If you were open to any further UX improvement, my vote for what would be best to prioritize would be the dark mode, assuming you are interested in continuing with a dark mode. Personally, I seek dark modes when they're available, but I'm also fine without.

Currently, the only "dark" available in PL is a color inversion on a per cell basis. I can't speak for others, but for me, it causes eyestrain, similar to the "flashing" effect with certain shades of blue and red next to each other. I believe it's due to the dark cells contrasting with the white/bright in-between framework/tabs/dividers/menu bar, especially intermixed so closely together, as it causes a clash of direction on the pupil, conflicted whether to open up further on the dark parts, but then having to constrict on the bright parts.

Ideally, the entire window canvas would be dark, similar to Adobe's dark mode, Sublime Text (attached), or even Windows 10 explorer's recent dark mode. My hunch though is that this might require a big revamp of swapping out the entire current GUI framework, as maybe an entire canvas, borders, menus, etc. being dark isn't possible ???

Anyway, I've spouted on enough! Take or leave anything for what it's worth. Above all, functionality's king, keep up the fantastic work, and it's one of my favorite pieces of software in use!