3 Kai’s Interface Language

in The Interface of Kai Krause’s Software

3.1 Unfolding functionality

Interface widgets become visible on demand. KPT Convolver has three modes: Explore, Design and Tweak. The controls that are not used for a specific mode are dimmed. (Fig. 4 KPT Convolver)

Pro

3.2 MouseOver

Tools fade out if they are not in use. If the mouse cursor is moved over these items they wake up. All the tools to the right and below the main view in the Bryce interface are normally invisible (Fig. 5 Bryce 2). Thefilm strip, the camera and all other elements on the border of the GOO room increase in contrast if the mouse moves over (Fig. 6 Kai’s Power GOO).

Interface widgets get an explanation if the mouse gets moved over these items. (KPT, Bryce, Poser)

Pro

3.3 MouseDragging instead of Value-Slider

Classical sliders and scrollbars use a thumb, that can be dragged to a specific value. KPT3 or KPT Convolver use simple orbs that serve as origin of a mouse drag action. (e.g. Hue, Saturation, etc. in Fig. 2 KPT Texture Explorer 3.0)

Pro

Cons

3.4 Memory Dots / Five Favorites

KPT Spheroid Designer, KPT Convolver and KPT5 use 3x3 fields of memory dots. These dots can store different settings of other interface widgets. Soap and Show usefive dots for the same task.

Pro

Cons

3.5 Transparency & Shadows (KPT Lens f/x, Poser)

Nearly every item in Kai’s interfaces drops a smooth shadow. This is part of the kansei attitude of building harmonic environments.

Modal dialog windows from GOO, the menus from Show and the information palette from Soap are translucent.

Pro

3.6 Full Screen Mode, Rooms Metaphor

Pro

Cons

3.7 Workspace – Desktop

GOO has only a gallery in a grid for images. Soap and Show (Fig. 10 The Sort-Room of Kai’s Power SHOW) use a more drawn out version of a desktop to display collections of mediafiles.

Pro

Cons

3.8 MetaWindow

Windows without classical borders and handles (Poser3)

Drawers, that reveal assets or functionalities on demand (Soap, Poser3)

Scrapbooks, that store objects (Soap)

Pro




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