enkerli's Recent Posts
Glad you’re working through this new framework using an approach reminiscent of UX.
Some of the affordances could really improve our experience with some of your plugins. Especially those with elaborate interactions between parameters.
Quickly scrolling through presets does enable something meaningful in terms of usage. This is one I wish other devs could emulate. Patchsurfing is the type activity that we end up doing haphazardly and it rarely provides us with the results we need. What the responsiveness adds, here, is a very direct feedback loop which really helps in appropriating the plugin. With something like Aalto, which has distinctive presets, it could make for an enhanced experience. (In fact, I’ve rarely used Aalto since buying it because it’s been hard for me to figure out when I can make the most out of it, with my MPE controllers.)
Speaking of which, your approach to MIDI Learn is also likely to help a lot, depending on people’s setups. While I probably won’t use this feature much (since my main DAW, Bitwig Studio, has a much better approach to modulation and MIDI assignment), I wish I had it in the past as I was trying to route my windcontrollers’ breath control to diverse plugins.
The extreme responsiveness of window resizing is impressive… especially in the #MusicTech context where very few devs have demonstrated a level of understanding of the problems caused by lack of responsiveness. Further, making such a simple plugin into a very small GUI element makes a lot of sense. I’d go as far as to make it even smaller than the minimum, exposing fewer parts of the interface.
In the interest of “User-Centric Design”, some things I’m less fond of…
The hovering dialog for the aforementioned MIDI Learn (and LFO): it grew old after a few minutes. It’s distracting at a time when I’m trying to set values. Not fun.
“Press-and-Hold” isn’t that bad (though it can be tricky to find the exact amount of time which will satisfy most people). Other gestures are closer to expectations, including “right-clicking” (two-finger tapping using my MBAM1’s trackpad). After all, there isn’t much of a logical connection between press-and-hold and the notion that you’re setting modulation for that knob. Sure, you could keep the press-and-hold for situations where alternate gestures are unavailable (which would be rare on current machines). It’s one of those situations in which it makes sense to have more than one path to the same part of the UI.
Though the file icon does relate to operations which have to do with files, it typically signals the creation of a new file. So its usage here generates surprise and decreases discoverability.
Speaking of file operations, maybe Aaltoverb is too simple to even give an impression of where things may go within your framework. Still, a large part of music plugins’ UX has to do with patch management and since it’s far from a solved problem, I wish your new framework provided some indication as to where things might be heading. Especially in the context of people sharing patches and patchbanks.
(Relatedly, your “version” feature might be somewhat useful yet it’s harder to understand when it’s only that word as opposed to “Save as version”. It’s also unclear how different it is from “Save as”.)
Overall, I do salute this work meant to improve the experience of using your plugins. Native support for Apple Silicon would be the main feature to make me update/upgrade (though it now feels like table stakes as most actively-developed plugins do run natively on M1). These UI/UX niceties could have a deeper positive impact on the way I use your plugins, leading me to purchasing more.