On Sat, 28 Feb 2004, Alan Horkan wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Feb 2004, Nestor Diaz Valencia wrote:
> > Please please, none of those commercial programs has a revolutionary
> > interface. And they haven't spent that much time/money in usability as you
> > think. They are proffesional applications in the graphic design area. This
> > works like this:
> Consistancy is no substitute for real usability testing,
> but consistancy is better than nothing.
> Unless you have a clearly better idea then consistancy at least makes it
> easier to adopt Inkscape for those familiar with the Commercial vector
> graphics applications than some entirely new or unusual interface.
> Although I'm paraphrasing myself Bryce previously agreed with the
> sentiment that unless you have a better idea then copying software like
> Adobe Illustrator would be a sensible starting point.
Yes, the team had discussed at length regarding emulation of one app or
another, or doing it a unique way. After much head scratching we
arrived at a concensus for the statement, "Where a better solution
cannot be found, default to the way Illustrator does it."
Note that our target audience is not to win over every last Illustrator
user, but rather to accumulate a development-oriented userbase that will
help ensure the software will improve continuously. So we want to leave
room for developers to experiment with new ideas.
> The advantage is less about clear cut usability and more about having a
> long established userbase, many incremenatal improvements and polished
> details, third party materials such as plugins/tutorials/books.
I totally agree. I think this is also what we want to shoot for in
Inkscape. Build a good community with users and developers, seek to
continually improve the codebase, and enable people to contribute in the
form of extensions, tutorials, clipart, templates, etc. A great
software application is more than just the compilation of its code
> By being consistant (unless there is a particular good reason to do
> otherwise or do better!) we can leverage that existing knowledge base and
> hopefully attract their userbase too.
One thing we've been missing is organized, neutral input regarding how
things are done in Illustrator. What I mean by organized is that
time is spent writing up an explanation (with screenshots perhaps)
showing how it's done, so that those of us that do not own Illustrator
can still learn from it. What I mean by neutral is that the information
is provided as information, not as advocacy; we may or may not adopt a
similar approach, but the intent of providing the info is simply to
bring awareness to that approach.