Human Interface Guidelines/Best Practices

Best Practices

  • Inconsistencies should be well founded and documented. There are cases where consistency hurts usability more than it helps. Breaking can be an acceptable trade-off if there are good reasons to do so - but only then.
  • Avoid accent colors when there's no need to grab the user's attention. Using accent colors when there's no need to can add visual noise that distracts from more important parts of the screen. The GUI should be calm with subtle contrasts unless there's a good reason not to. Currently Blender uses accent colors too freely.

Workflow Oriented

Make UIs workflow and action oriented, not entity oriented (emphasize verbs, not the nouns). Users are probably just thinking about what they want to do, not so much about what entity types this involves. UIs are often organized based on these entity types however, acting against the user's mental model.

Examples:

  • The context menu is an action/workflow oriented UI: It immediately provides available common actions. Users don't have to first tell Blender that they want to see the context menu for nodes, for example.
  • Instead of a Text or Font menu, place text formatting (bold, italic, etc.) in a Format menu.
  • A menu entry like Create Asset Data could be named Package as Asset or Mark as Asset instead.

Current Blender is not following this guideline well.