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Topics - Arthur

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General Development / Design proposals for future ML interface
« on: July 03, 2012, 01:06:59 PM »
Design proposals for future ML interface

Note: these proposals are not for the next release, so don't be afraid of suggesting major changes.

A good design is not always flashy, sometimes just plain colors without any kind of fancy gradients and gloss will look good.

What ML GUI needs are some tweaks and better colors, and a better font.

I'll be helping with the EOS 1100D port, and I'll be working on a font to make text more readable at 1100D's low resolution display. At the same time I'll play around with a more round font, similar to the one in Canon's firmware to see if it looks better.

Currently this is the design we're working on:

Alternative top menu

Also has been proposed that each menu category have its own color, similar to how Canon's firmware is separated in color coded categories:

Note: We don't have to necessarily color the icons each with the color of its category, we can just change the base color when the category is changed. This is for illustration purposes only.

Separate each category as the following:

Blue: Audio, Expo, LiveView
Green: Movie, Shoot, Focus
Yellow: Prefs, Display
Red: Debug, Info

Also could be separated like this: (suggestion by nanomad)

Blue: Expo, LiveView
Green: Audio, Movie, Shoot, Focus
Yellow: Prefs, Display
Red: Debug, Info

So they are categorized as:
Blue: (General shoot/movie settings)
Green: (Mode specific settings)
Yellow: (Magic lantern settings)
Red:  (Debug information and tools)

About the colors:
Currently we're limited to Canon's palette. It is possible to change it, however, it requires some hacks, and causes a flickering bug in the menu sometimes, so it is better if we use only these colors.

Some notes to keep in mind while creating the design:

  • * Many users will be working with their cameras outdoors, in bright sunlight. So it is important to have a lot of contrast.
  • * We're currently limited to the colors in Canon's palette (above), so for now gradients and other effects can not be done.
  • * It's a good idea to keep the design resembling the camera's original menus, this way ML feel more like it is part of the camera itself.
  • * Fancy effects, gradients (currently only possible in greyscale) and animations are nice, but sluggish menus are not. A camera is not a phone, it is a work tool used by both amateurs and professionals, so it must be simple and fast.
  • * It is good to keep the design and layout uncluttered.
  • * It is not possible to use antialiasing in text. Also the text must remain crispy, in order to be more readable on small screens.
  • * The text must be relatively big, so it is possible to read it properly, also some cameras, like EOS 1100D and EOS 5D classic have low resolution screens, so small texts are impossible to read.

Feel free to suggest changes, this design is by no means definitive.
We'll be working on top of suggestions to improve this design.

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