Visual annoyances

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
posssu
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:58 am

Visual annoyances

Post by posssu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:21 am

There are two things in the visual side of Max4Live that bug me.

1) I think the Max-devices have way too inconsistent look. Because the programmers aren't GUI-designers (all of them), there should be a one-button solution to apply Live-look to a max-object. This should include font size, font color, object size etc. Something like:
-Select wanted the objects in Max editor
-right-click to open context-menu
-choose "Apply Live style")

2) I still don't quite get why there is a Max splash-screen... I get it if people were running an external program, like Max editor or some Rewire-host/slave, but the splash-screen appears when you add a max-device.

I heard the reason for this (=max engine being loaded), but in this case the loading-notification should be in the bottom-bar of the Live-window where every other device/engine/library/licensed technology within Live manifests itself. We don't see a splash every time Complex Pro -algorithm initializes. We don't see a splash screen when you add an Applied Acoustics -device to your set.

The splash screen should be moved to when the user opens the editor, not when you add a device. It doesn't feel like an integration to the end-user the way it is and people don't need/want to know where the border between Max and Live goes when they're just USING devices!

Splash screen appearing when entering the editor - that would be more logical.

--

EDIT: cleaned up the way of expressing myself a bit in my nightly post... sorry guys.
Last edited by posssu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Juhana Lehtiniemi - Film composer with Ableton Live

Tone Deft
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by Tone Deft » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:00 am

ummmmm...

"I haven't used max but I have demands..."

what?

1. you should have seen max prior to version 5. version 5 looks stunning compared to prior versions.

2. there's the Inspector for setting the look and feel. have you used max before? I haven't tried to get it to look like Live's fonts, are you sure you can't?

3. I like that it looks like max/msp because it IS max/msp. I like the look. spend a few hundred hours using the GUI you'll learn to like the look.

4. I want the splashscreen to appear ANYTIME max loads so I know there will be another load on the CPU. I do not want it small.


use the software, I know it's a drag when we have day jobs. I get past this by running the TV through it. I get home, I'm tired, I veg out in front of the TV waiting for my batteries to recharge. then I just play with the audio, simple stuff, but time spent using max is time climbing that learning curve.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

cudnylon
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:50 am

Re: Visual annoyances

Post by cudnylon » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:20 am

Tone Deft wrote:1. you should have seen max prior to version 5. version 5 looks stunning compared to prior versions.
If it wasn't for M4L I would still be using Max 4 (and still do for non-Ableton use). The aesthetics were better, smaller fonts were easier to read, pieces fit together (use to use message boxes in my layouts, the current rounded versions just aren't as pleasing), plus is less less taxing on my computer because there's no fancy design to tie things up. And I didn't start using Max until after 5 was released so it's not just nostalgia. If i could combine snap-to-grid and some new options in Max 5 (opacity controls, text buttons, etc) with the look and feel of the older Max I would be completely happy, but sometimes you have to sacrifice for awesome things like M4L.

jon_moore
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by jon_moore » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:33 am

posssu wrote:I haven't had time to program patches during this beta, unfortunately, so I'll leave reporting about those bugs to the people who have, but there are two things in the visual side of Max4Live that bug me.

1) Why do max-devices look like they've been constructed by 4-year olds? Sure, it's the inside that matters, but they're not even remotely visually consistent with the native Live-devices.

There really should be a way to make the controls, font sizes and font colors unified with the Live interface. If there is, then it should be easier available (for example: Select wanted the objects in Max editor, right-click to open context-menu and choose "Apply Live style")
It is possible to design M4L devices to be more visually consistent with stock Live devices (as an example this step sequencer designed by one of the Ableton support team is spot on - http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=129272 ). It's just that programmers aren't always the best graphic designers (no insult intended to all you code ninjas!), and if you think the M4L devices look bad you should see the original Pluggo interfaces, they look like they were designed with MS Paint! A more important problem is the 'experience design' of devices. Have you ever compared the experience of programming the AAS UltraAnalog vs Ableton Analog. The Ableton device may look pretty but it's ridiculously hard to programme in comparison to the AAS device, even though they're both exactly the same engine under the hood. I think in most cases the M4L devices have been designed well from an experience perspective, the only device I peronally don't like is the step sequencer because it's near impossible to programme using the standard device view so I created my own version that operates like a VST in a floating window (I'm not saying my way is best but it optimal for my workflow - http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=129361 ).

If the graphical interface of a M4L device offends you so much, change it to one you prefer, that's the beauty of M4L.

JM

http://leftside-wobble.blogspot.com/
Last edited by jon_moore on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
JM

http://leftside-wobble.blogspot.com/

MacBook Pro 2.8 (10.5.6)

Tone Deft
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by Tone Deft » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:37 am

cudnylon wrote:
Tone Deft wrote:1. you should have seen max prior to version 5. version 5 looks stunning compared to prior versions.
If it wasn't for M4L I would still be using Max 4 (and still do for non-Ableton use). The aesthetics were better, smaller fonts were easier to read, pieces fit together (use to use message boxes in my layouts, the current rounded versions just aren't as pleasing), plus is less less taxing on my computer because there's no fancy design to tie things up. And I didn't start using Max until after 5 was released so it's not just nostalgia. If i could combine snap-to-grid and some new options in Max 5 (opacity controls, text buttons, etc) with the look and feel of the older Max I would be completely happy, but sometimes you have to sacrifice for awesome things like M4L.
interesting.

the designers have to be used to not being able to please everyone. all I can say is that I'm glad there isn't a forum for my job where people can evaluate my work.

someone should post the settings that make devices look like Live. being Monday night and all I'll be pretty worthless when I get home.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

steff3
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:16 am

Re: Visual annoyances

Post by steff3 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:04 am

[quote="Tone Deft"]
1. you should have seen max prior to version 5. version 5 looks stunning compared to prior versions.
[/quote]

Well, if you like candies than candy-Max (version 5) definitely looks more attractive than previous versions. :)

Well, the thing that I find really unpleasant is that in the little device overview area in Live (lower right hand side) there is no visual preview of the Max device but a white box with letters in it ...

Hope they will change that ... this makes M4L really less integrated ...

best

Parametex
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:34 pm

Re: Visual annoyances

Post by Parametex » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:12 am

posssu wrote:I haven't had time to program patches during this beta, unfortunately, so I'll leave reporting about those bugs to the people who have, but there are two things in the visual side of Max4Live that bug me.

1) Why do max-devices look like they've been constructed by 4-year olds? Sure, it's the inside that matters, but they're not even remotely visually consistent with the native Live-devices.

There really should be a way to make the controls, font sizes and font colors unified with the Live interface. If there is, then it should be easier available (for example: Select wanted the objects in Max editor, right-click to open context-menu and choose "Apply Live style")

2) I still don't get the Max splash-screen. I get it if people were running an external program, like Max editor or some Rewire-host/slave, but the splash-screen appears when you add a max-device.

Yes, I heard the reason for this (=max engine being loaded), but in this case the loading-notification should be in the bottom-bar of the Live-window where every other device/engine/library/licensed technology within Live manifests itself. Seriously - we don't see a splash every time Complex Pro -algorithm initializes. We don't see a splash screen when you add an Applied Acoustics -device to your set.

Please move the splash screen to when the user opens the editor, not when you add a device. It doesn't feel like an integration to the end-user the way it is and people don't need/want to know where the border between Max and Live goes when they're just USING devices!

Now, splash screen when entering the editor - that would be more logical.
Sorry to say but you are being completely ignorant and silly. Please try to contribute something instead of whining over some minor details

hoffman2k
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by hoffman2k » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:29 am

Tone Deft wrote:someone should post the settings that make devices look like Live.
Ehm, use the Live objects?

phattline
Posts: 176
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by phattline » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:31 pm

Sorry to say but you are being completely ignorant and silly. Please try to contribute something instead of whining over some minor details
whow - very nice.... people are in the net...

hoffman2k
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by hoffman2k » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:57 pm

Actually, I'm missing a few patches I had in an earlier beta before I reinstalled.
It was a patch with all types of GUI object examples. It came in a white and a black version and had lots of sliders with the Operator colors.

Anybody still have those patches?

posssu
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by posssu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:24 pm

jon_moore wrote: It's just that programmers aren't always the best graphic designers (no insult intended to all you code ninjas!)
That's what I mean - it should be easier for the programmers who aren't GUI designers to make it look more like Live. Like... one button to click.
Juhana Lehtiniemi - Film composer with Ableton Live

posssu
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:58 am

Re: Visual annoyances

Post by posssu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:29 pm

Parametex wrote:
posssu wrote:I haven't had time to program patches during this beta, unfortunately, so I'll leave reporting about those bugs to the people who have, but there are two things in the visual side of Max4Live that bug me.

1) Why do max-devices look like they've been constructed by 4-year olds? Sure, it's the inside that matters, but they're not even remotely visually consistent with the native Live-devices.

There really should be a way to make the controls, font sizes and font colors unified with the Live interface. If there is, then it should be easier available (for example: Select wanted the objects in Max editor, right-click to open context-menu and choose "Apply Live style")

2) I still don't get the Max splash-screen. I get it if people were running an external program, like Max editor or some Rewire-host/slave, but the splash-screen appears when you add a max-device.

Yes, I heard the reason for this (=max engine being loaded), but in this case the loading-notification should be in the bottom-bar of the Live-window where every other device/engine/library/licensed technology within Live manifests itself. Seriously - we don't see a splash every time Complex Pro -algorithm initializes. We don't see a splash screen when you add an Applied Acoustics -device to your set.

Please move the splash screen to when the user opens the editor, not when you add a device. It doesn't feel like an integration to the end-user the way it is and people don't need/want to know where the border between Max and Live goes when they're just USING devices!

Now, splash screen when entering the editor - that would be more logical.
Sorry to say but you are being completely ignorant and silly. Please try to contribute something instead of whining over some minor details
I admit my post was a bit harsh, I'll edit it a bit to make it nicer.

I'm not being ignorant. It's minor details that make a product good. I'm talking about the visual side of the program, why do you think that is not important? It is, after all, the whole look of the program and it's a big integration.

But the thing is - it's a huge thing to integrate programs like this and the end product should be as good as possible in all ways. It's not all about the code and the fancy devices (although it's about that more than 90%). But the 10% is about GUI working well, looking good and being as transparent as possible to the end users.
Last edited by posssu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Juhana Lehtiniemi - Film composer with Ableton Live

posssu
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:58 am

Re: Visual annoyances

Post by posssu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:36 pm

Tone Deft wrote: "I haven't used max but I have demands..."

what?
Yes I have used max, just not that much. I'm a max-newbie.

Tone Deft wrote: 1. you should have seen max prior to version 5. version 5 looks stunning compared to prior versions.

2. there's the Inspector for setting the look and feel. have you used max before? I haven't tried to get it to look like Live's fonts, are you sure you can't?

3. I like that it looks like max/msp because it IS max/msp. I like the look. spend a few hundred hours using the GUI you'll learn to like the look.

That's the thing. I don't come from Max-world and I'm sure many of the new Max4Live users neither. Especially if one happens to be a user who never even opens the editor but just uses the devices, it's funny when the devices look different. I'm not saying they can't be made look the same - I'm just saying it should be easier and more transparent to do so. Many programmers maybe don't even care about this, but the device users do.
Juhana Lehtiniemi - Film composer with Ableton Live

monolake
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by monolake » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:39 pm

Unlike Live's devices Max4Live stuff can be changed by the users. If you don't feel like diving into it by yourself, you might wait a bit; I am sure we will see lots of flavors of the devices soon. At the moment the development priority is to get the initial release as bug-free and stable as possible. Because a nice looking bad performing software is less fun than a slightly homegrown one that works ;-)

Cheers, Robert

posssu
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Re: Visual annoyances

Post by posssu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:48 pm

monolake wrote:Unlike Live's devices Max4Live stuff can be changed by the users. If you don't feel like diving into it by yourself, you might wait a bit; I am sure we will see lots of flavors of the devices soon. At the moment the development priority is to get the initial release as bug-free and stable as possible. Because a nice looking bad performing software is less fun than a slightly homegrown one that works ;-)

Cheers, Robert
That's true, didn't think of it that way. Thanks!

The point of the point number 1 was to make unifying the look of all the Max devices a bit easier. Since many don't probably care about the visual side (as long as all the knobs and sliders are there), it would be good to have a "Live-look for dummies"-button that would take care of it for the most part (like fonts, colors, sizes). This would make it more probable that the devices would have more Live-feeling in general (if the programmer wants so, but can't do it).
Last edited by posssu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Juhana Lehtiniemi - Film composer with Ableton Live

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