Hive UI/UX Thoughts. Learning from Maya

in #hivelast year

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As a primarily digital artist I use a lot of different software. When it comes to 3D, I use Maya, Cinema 4D, ZBrush, getting into Blender, etc. Of all these, when it comes to UX, my favorite by far is Maya. I think Maya has a bit of a different philosophy when it comes to their UX than other 3D software that I feel we could learn from where there are some parallels on Hive.

For some context for those of you not into this stuff. Maya is 3D software primarily used for games, animation and visual effects. Basically 3D for the entertainment industry. It is the industry standard. It's what you'll learn in school if you go to school for 3D. There are multiple careers that all use Maya. 3D modelers, animators, VFX artists, programmers, technical directors, etc. I think because Maya is used by so many different people, that are all doing so many VERY different things, they decided NOT to try to create the "perfect" interface. Instead opting to create an interface that is HIGHLY customizable, extendable, and versatile. For example, let's say I want to make a cube...

Method 1: I can get to the command via a normal file menu

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Method 2: There is a button shortcut

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Method 3: Something fairly unique to Maya(not totally, but they have the most powerful version) the marking menu, which is a hotkey activated, pop-up menu

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Method 4: Within Maya, any command can be given a custom shortcut that you program.

Four different ways to do the same thing. Which way you do it is up to your own personal preference. If you're an animator, you may not need to do much modeling, so you don't need a custom shortcut for this, and you may not want to populate that button bar with something that you never use. BTW, that button bar is totally customizable too, and so are the marking menus.

You can also easily create totally custom UI elements with MEL, Maya's internal scripting language or in Python. This is usually what's used for character animation rigging. (Rigging is basically the 3D process of...you can think of it like building the virtual armature for the 3D "puppet" It gives animators controls to animate 3D models)

WTH does any of this have to do with Hive???

I'm glad you asked. When it comes to the content sharing side of Hive, I feel like most applications tend to focus on creating an interface for a certain type of content. Hive.blog and PeakD are blog-centric. If you've been here long enough, you remember the different Instagram clones we've had over the years. We've got youtube and twitch like dapps. And inji is feeling a bit twittery. There's nothing wrong with that, but I do think it would be cool to have something that is just totally customizable to be whatever the users want. Customizable to their preference or the preference of their content, or community.

Some examples...

Being able to designate a community a "video community" and anything that's not a video being auto muted. Maybe you have to have a video link in a certain box to post or something like that. Since that community is a video community, when you go to that community page it has more of a Youtube feel to it in terms of the layout.

Being able to set a community to the microblogging layout, where it looks more twittery when you go to that page.

I think PeakD already has a great view for image based communities like OnChainArt

So basically this, but for everything. For all the different content types. How cool would that be? If that was all in one site. Now imagine if that was the open source interface that everyone had access to. Doesn't that make sense? Instead of the opensource option for Hive being the least flexible interface. I can't help but think that would just make things so much more engaging.

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So the final idea if it's not clear is instead of trying to design the perfect interface, when you're trying to design something for everyone, the design philosophy is ultimate flexibility, ultimate customizability. Does that make sense? What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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OnChainArt has been working lately moving up and putting in more work to improve the overall community there and I love it. Huge potential there via NFT and I see NFT exploring some new areas so I'm glad they started putting recourses back into it.

I'm really happy with the tools I have at my disposal to showcase the awesome artists we have on Hive. I hope we can expand to really have a home for all sorts of different types of content.