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FrankSchiavone Bronze 63 posts since
Apr 21, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 19, 2010 3:40 PM

WF5 GUI.......Like?  Love?  Hate?  Indifferent?

I didn't see that there was a way to start a poll here, so here's an informal one.  Here's scoring:

5 = Love

4 = Like

3 = Indifferent

2 = Dislike

1 = Hate

 

Please feel free to be specific if you want to describe things, good or bad

 

I'll wait to post my feelings.........

 

Post up!

  • Copper 4 posts since
    Mar 14, 2008

    My overall rank is 4!

     

    But about Drawing 5 for fanciness and 3~2 for productivity, "now we have a preview and the interface got better in my opinion, now we have to follow a procedural way to create the 2d document and I kinda like that." (that statement was my first impression and still works for simplier parts, but in practical terms doesn't work like that)

    The problem is that we are obligated to be at the right tab to perform right mouse commands and even for selection (there is the ALT key but ah....), at the begining I found it nice and not a problem, but after working in some intense drawing tasks I found it disgustingly annoying and too much mouse traveling...

     

    Regards,

     

    Guilherme Rocha

     

    Message was edited by: Guilherme Rocha

  • Copper 4 posts since
    Mar 14, 2008

    WoW Now that's an angry user/customer!

     

    Obviously you are more experienced in PRO|E than me and once I work in a PTC VAR here in Brazil I admit that I prone to agree with PTC's decisions once this is what pays my bills.

    Maybe I am a Microsoft monkey too but this is my humble opinion alright? Unfortunatelly MS "rules" the software market and I don't apreciate that too, the proof is that I have a MAC as a personal laptop, I have windows installed to run PRO|E and gaming though (see? you can't escape MS).

    Now, I understand (not agree) why PTC take so much effort in "improving" UI than working in new functions and that's because unfortunatelly UI was the weapon that other CAD companies were using to compete with old PRO|E and worst, the market bought it, and aparently they've had relative success... That forced PTC to "improve" UI, even if the way they are doing is not pleasing every single user...

    I agree with the major part of your complaints but till now I've implanted WF5.0 in a lot of companies here and the comments from the users are at least that they liked, I know that you are going to think that users from emergent areas are not the same as the others but we have a bunch of heavy users here too that aproved the new interface, including the tabbed Drawing interface, and they approved it because theyr regular users (beginners/not experienced) had improved theyr productivity with it "somehow" and I've not heard about incompabilities from my support department so far.

     

    This is just a report from down here, I hope you understand my point and don't dump your angry about PTC on me ok? I'm a friend here :-)

     

    I completely agree that PTC MUST listen to theyr customers too, not only the noise the competition and the market make!!!

    The incompatibilities MUST be more well researched too cause it just lead to angry heavy users!!!

     

    I hope that this discussion reaches the right people in PTC headquarters cause it's a really important matter!

  • ptc-1363485 Copper 2 posts since
    Mar 9, 2009

    I've worked with Pro/E for a long time, too (since early 1991), and for the most part, I agree with you, Frank.  I think the whole object-action vs. action-object change was a good idea with Wildfire 1.  Now we have Wildfire 5 with an unfinished mix of object-action and action-object, unfinished UI change with some lingering right-side menus, and now a new drawing interface.

     

    Overall, the drawing interface isn't too bad.  But, I can't comprehend why we now have to select a certain tab before being able to manipulate drawing entities, tables, views, etc.  You can hold down the ALT key and get some of that functionality back, but not everything.  PTC has always claimed productivity increases in terms of reduced mouse clicks and mouse movement.  Now we try to select something or right-click something in a drawing, then realize we have to move the mouse to the top of the screen and select a different tab, then move back down and continue doing whatever it was.  It's painfully obvious that those who make the UI decisions at PTC are detached from those who use the software.

  • DavidButz Platinum 747 posts since
    Jan 12, 2007

    Without getting quite as angry (Heaven knows I have done so in private), I have to agree with Frank on several basic points.  I am tempted to withhold comment until we see "Lightning", but, like Frank, I am expecting more graphic silliness including too many icons on ribbons, etc.  It appears that the big thing will be the addition of "Direct Modeling" options.

     

    (1)  The repeated "Less Mouse Clicks" claims made rev after rev remind me of the advertisment claims made for cutting tools in the mags serving the machining discipline.  If all the "20% faster" claims made for carbide inserts over the last 30 years were really true, the cumulative effect would be that all machining of any complexity would now be accomplished in microseconds.  Here's a simple everyday example from within Pro/E:  When many of us first started (before any icons), opening an assembly was:  Mode/Assembly/Retrieve.  The mouse barely moved, and it was straight up and down in the menu column.  (Admittedly, one of the problems in those days was menu depth, but this is not an example of that at all.)  Now what do you have to do?: (1) File/Open or one pick of the icon, (2) Watch one of our beloved modern Dialog Boxes splash open and move the mouse way across the screen to pick a Drop-Down-List arrow, (3) Watch the list open and move again in a slant direction to pick Assembly.  In reality, each of the mouse movements #2 & #3 involves a rapid movement to the approximate location followed by a slower "focussing" motion.  The original icon and the drop-down arrow are also smaller targets than the old linear names in the menu, and the selections do not easily come into view in a confined linear space anymore.  THIS IS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT.

     

    (2)  In spite of the aforementioned menu depth problem and the series of Done/Done/Done-Return/Done's that you used to have to do, I was so happy at that time that PTC had not succumbed to the international icon love affair.  Without a doubt your brain will extract meaning much more quickly from a series of words than it will from spatially scattered arbitrarily fanciful icons.  I remember the first time I saw the Windshield Wiper and wondered what the devil it was; turns out it was just PTC's version of everyone else's Paintbrush.  (I understand "Repaint" without training.)  I now see the value of a mixture.  30, maybe 40, familiar frequently-used icons around the perimeter of the screen are useful in combination with menus, but their wholesale application is A STEP BACKWARDS.   A good, common example of this is the series of Depth Option icons; you can WAIT for the pop-up help description, but they are not instantaneously clear like a simple list.  RMB still gives you the list, but it's an extra step.  And now for the Second Direction you have to pick the Shape tab, then the drop-down arrow for Side 2, then the option, moving all over the place all the time.  The dashboard in and of itself has some nice time-saving improvements, but excessive obscure icons just create brain strain.

     

    (3) How about putting a hole through a rectilinear block (any of you engineers ever done that before?)?  It used to be pick-pick-pick, and you were done.  Now we have the advent of the Control button, Secondary References and all the rest.  Placement drag handles look sophisticated but they're way slower than just picking sides of the block or Datum Planes.  (Once again you have multi-phase mouse movement: hone in on the drag handle,  then start up again with the dragging, then release; Query Select is also now more of a problem.  Datum Planes are no longer as quick to pick for reference either.  Sure, size-dragging can sometimes be nice, but much of the rest of it is encumbering.

     

    (4) The redundant mixture of  methods from various revs is also really delightful.  Ever needed to Redefine a Variable Section Sweep when it went into First-Aid-Kit mode?

     

    Well, the examples go on and on.  We do get real substantive functionality improvements rev-to-rev, but the interface changes have been a bewildering hodge-podge for years.

     

    At the recent ptc/user convention in Florida, there were encouraging recognitions of general difficulty and unreliabilty on the part of senior management at PTC.  I found the commitments from these people earnest and believable, so, for the time being, I'm willing to be optimistic.  I just hope this slickness sickness will come to an end before we get to Lightning 6.0!

     

    David

  • RickGiguere Silver 211 posts since
    Oct 5, 2008

    I think new releases should be at least five years apart, having a new release every two years is a bit much IMO

     

    I know everyone likes new features, but every two years you have to upgrade to have the latest, they should make that five years, and that goes for all software.

     

    I bought WF 3 six months after it came out, and that was about two years ago, now version six is getting ready to be released.

     

    I think it's nuts

  • BrentDrysdale Silver 102 posts since
    Jan 27, 2009

    Hi Frank,

    I had a rant back in 2006 when we moved from R2001 to WF2.  The experienced users at our company suffered a big decrease in productivity and it took about three months to get back to where we were before the change.  I went to the 2007 conference and heard the presentation from PTC management that staying with the old interface was in effect an exit strategy for the company and we were shown figures that supported this.  I still expressed my dissatisfaction to one of the PTC managers in person.

     

    Over time we have become used to the WF interface and have appreciated the newer functionality in later releases.  There are we still many things we just have to “know” and if you have users who are using those aspects infrequently then it is a pain and in some ways worse than the old UI.  We make use of the Quick Reference Guide cards for most of that sort of functionality.  I do find WF easier to teach to newer people than pre WF.  We skipped WF3 and went straight to WF4 with few issues.

     

    When some of our users saw the WF5 release in an introductory meeting I got immediate requests for us to change to it, again for the functionality.  None of us liked the Drawing ribbon UI but accept that is the way things are going.  I agree that in the WF5 drawing window the smaller icons, the top menu placement and the “inactive till tabbed” method all cause problems for experienced users.  In time we will get used to it.  From the 2010 conference it was explained that for ongoing releases the ribbon interface will become the standard (and dare I hope consistent).  My principal concern is that the visual UI changes mean that as we move between modelling and drawing then icons and menus are in different positions and cannot be made the same.  I have done the best I can with the config.win

     

    I am just at the point where we are rolling out WF5 M040 after a couple of false starts.

     

    In the end in answer to the question of WF5 GUI… Like? Love? Hate? Indifferent? I just say that it what we need to use so probably ranging from Indifferent to Love depending on which bit I am using.  In reality we could still do the work that we do now with R2001 and probably in the same time.  The work we do can be very intensive and complex in ProE but usually only for comparatively short periods of time.  We do not have dedicated CAD users; instead we have Mechanical Designers who use ProE as part of their job.

     

    Regards, Brent Drysdale

  • DavidButz Platinum 747 posts since
    Jan 12, 2007

    Rereading my post, I am prompted to mitigate the negativity a bit, and make clear the focus of mine and others' complaints.  The problem is the UI, not the core software.  I love Pro; I always know that there is a solid foundation of math, logic, and feature types with which I can easily create (and quickly machine) most things I can envision.  The core math engine is really impressive!   Having started on the board, and having used Pro since 12.0, it's still an exciting tool to use.  This is also after using other sofware including SW.  There are several things on my wish list for functional improvements, the biggest being a swept revolve that would do what an endmill does (in general form could also add material), but by-and-large, we have what we need.

     

    It's the constantly changing and often bewildering UI.  It's as if someone gave me a Ferrari, then, in a kid's craftbook mode, pasted colored macaroni all over it to improve its appearance.

     

    David

  • Copper 4 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010

    overall 4

     

    only big issue I encounter ist the ribbon in drawing mode... the tabs should automatically follow selected items ...  (example: double click an annotation and the annotate tab gets automatically activated).. or at least an option to put such a behaviour on.

     

    Martin

  • ptc-191798 Diamond 27 posts since
    May 7, 2010

    What I hate, is the pastelly unconfigurable interface, and yet we still don't have a MDI for the UI.

     

    Look at the CG world of Maya, Cinema4D, SILO and others where you can totally customize the interface to dock and partition the UI elements how you and how you work. I think it's silly we get a couple of toolbars, and a pile of floating windows that can't be captured and retained into the UI.

     

    The 1980s is over, lets see some object oriented approach to the UI and ditch those UGLY colours. At least let me control how I want the window colours to be, or at the very least abide by the Windows UI colour settings.

     

    The WF UI in my opinion is outdated, too programmer oriented and needs rethinking.

     

    So my rating is 2.

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