Cleaning up the UI for Paint.NET v3.30

While I was adding the color wheel control for IndirectUI, I decided that now was as good of a time as any to incorporate some other feedback from some of the more prominent plugin authors. Ed Harvey had suggested that the UI could be made more compact, as adding a bunch of properties often created a dialog that was large or spread out. BoltBait and pyrochild wanted the ability to change the text in the title of the dialog – perhaps to add a “version 2” tag or something similar. The rendering quality of the preview/thumbnail image in some of the dialogs was also a bit of a thorn in my side.

So, I’ve managed to address all of these, and a few others. The end result is a visually refreshed UI that is cleaner and less “noisy”. I think the difference is best seen by showing pyrochild’s Film effect plugin, before and after:

(Unfortunately I had to resize these to 65% of original size, otherwise my WordPress provider was complaining about the image sizes or something…)

At first glance it may not seem like much, but I think overall it results in a much more favorable user experience. The “tick marks” on the sliders are not shown by default (plugin authors may still enable them if they want though), and the dialog ends up being less spread out. The reset button is more subtle, favoring a small graphic instead of text. I may need to push it out another pixel or two so that it doesn’t accidentally get clicked instead of the up/down buttons. Or maybe I’ll move it to the left side of the text boxes. The thumbnail is also smoother, as it is using bicubic instead of bilinear resampling (although you can’t tell with the resized screenshots). For me, all this results in a less “noisy” dialog and it is much nicer to use.

And the great thing about IndirectUI is that all plugins written to use it will automatically get these benefits! 🙂 Hopefully this will help Paint.NET v3.30 further distance itself from being “a cowbell release“.

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13 thoughts on “Cleaning up the UI for Paint.NET v3.30

  1. Duluoz says:

    If you move the “Dontate!” button to the same line as the “Ok” and “Cancel” buttons – you’d free up even more space. 😉

  2. Rick Brewster says:

    Duluoz — True, although that’s a button that pyrochild essentially “hacked” in. It isn’t really something for *me* to move 🙂

  3. pyrochild says:

    ‘Snot a hack! Issa clevar wurkaround.

    Can’t get on the forum… will start crying soon.

  4. Duluoz says:

    Suggestion – I would also remove the randomize grain button. I feel this is a feature that would never be used and that each time you launch the effect or change the grain value it also randomizes the grain – rendering the randomize grain button superfluous IMO.

  5. BoltBait says:

    I am in favor of making Effect UI screens smaller. That leaves more of your canvas visible when doing work. Nice job.

  6. Tina says:

    thanks!! If people stop hassleing and complaining then you are free to do more stuff!!
    Take care

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