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From David Francis Buhler <davidbuh...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [IDEAS] Flex: New user interface design
Date Sun, 26 Feb 2012 07:54:24 GMT
I suppose my biggest issue is with the Zen theme and the Wood theme. They
seem so silly; perhaps more gimmicky than they should be given the typical
use-cases for [Adobe] Flex.

Each client I've had used Flex for Transactional Software except 1. Most of
the projects [except 1], have built internal-facing products. I can't think
of many use-cases where a Flex Application will be spruced up with a "Wood"
theme or where my client reaches a state of peace with a "Zen" theme.

[1]
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/flex/using/WS2db454920e96a9e51e63e3d11c0bf69084-7f85.html#WS2db454920e96a9e51e63e3d11c0bf69084-7e8c




On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM, Cortlandt Winters <cort@cortwinters.net>wrote:

> Nice work Jude
>
> I very much disagree with David here, though I totally understand the
> desire. It takes much too much time to do a good skin or theme.
>
> Note that there isn't a single complete spark skin available for public
> purchase yet and the spark architecture has been out for a couple of years
> now. Removing the themes would essentially make it impossible to do small
> projects.
>
> I like the idea of trying to do a skin that follows the android spec and to
> look for other ui specs to hit with an out of the box skin. Its a shame to
> lose the linux folk because I think Linux could really use flash to provide
> a decent ui to all those nice command line tools and the linux graphic
> designers offer a lot to us.
>
> One problem with the current skins is that they all are based on subtle
> shade variations of a single color. Most user interfaces want to have 2 or
> 3 key colors in a hierarchy of emphasis that goes with a companies brand
> guidelines.
>
> I would very much like to design a few skins that use css to create
> conceptual categories or user cases like so
>
> Theme A: one primary saturated color with two complementary saturated
> colors for occasional highlights.
>
> Theme B: 2 primary colors with equal weight on a light or dark ground
>
> Theme C: Strictly Minimalist, no color or graphics unless strictly
> necessary
>
> Each theme would have its css blocks defined with a level of conceptual
> rules for content such as Content area, light text on dark background, or
> dark text on light background, so that one doesn't run into the problem
> where you end up with light text on a light background or dark text on a
> dark background. Too many skins/themes don't pay attention to that.
>
> The goal is that a developer could fill out a half a dozen properties and
> create an nice looking skin that follows a companies existing brand
> guidelines or a native platforms look and feel.
>
> I'm not trying to put design agencies out of business or anything, just to
> cover the 2 or 3 most common cases so that teams of 1 or 2 developers can
> be maximally productive if they don't have a design budget.
>
> I know that our flex user group (in Albany ny) had a lot of users that were
> individual developers working on a project by themselves with no graphics
> budget and I believe that the spark architecture hit this class of
> developer very hard.
>
> I myself was hit very hard on a project a year or so ago when a client was
> disturbed that the spark scrollbar looked exactly opposite from the way
> that he thought scrollbars always looked. He was a lifetime windows user
> and noted that it was very disturbing that the track was dark and the thumb
> was light. Used to the flexibility of the mx components I casually
> mentioned that it was no problem and that I would get it to look exactly
> like he thought it should look only to find myself doing about 6 hours of
> free work because we didn't have any budget for it to override a half a
> dozen classes. Now that I've done a lot more spark skining it wouldn't take
> so long, probably half of the time was spent trying to figure out what I
> was missing, but it was a non-optimal experience.
>
> Also sometimes it's not lazyness, many programmers are simply hopeless when
> it comes to graphic design or user interface design, by offering some solid
> themes for these folk we might see a bunch of "flex looking" apps, but they
> would at least be good looking flex looking apps and not a hopeless shamble
> of clashing colors and textures with no consistency and breaking basic user
> interface rules.
>
> It's a lot of work to create skins, but it's kind of fun work and just the
> sort of thing that we should be able to get folk to help with. I know that
> I can commit to doing at least one or two, though not for a few months.
>
> One thing that would help the development of skins would be a simple
> "kitchen sink" app, that uses each of the components in it's typical
> configuration and has a bunch of canned content to test light and dark
> sections. Like with the css zen garden. The as fusion folk, like scale
> nine, had a contest to fill out the kitchen sink app with designs and got
> some good results. Without a kitchen sink app many of the good graphic
> designers would get bogged down with implementation details.
>
> Anyway those are my ideas, thanks for listening.
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM, Nicholas Kwiatkowski <nicholas@spoon.as
> >wrote:
>
> > My thoughts are -- it depends on the application.
> >
> > The existing themes are great if you are doing a lot of forms based
> > 'screens'.  I don't have a designer on my team, and I most likely never
> > will get one.  My apps are used by professions that like good usability
> and
> > a good clean layout -- that is one thing some of the existing themes
> give.
> >
> > Separating them out and making them easily accessible is not a bad idea,
> > but removing them -- I'd vote against hat.
> >
> > -Nick
> >
> > On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM, David Francis Buhler <
> > davidbuhler@gmail.com
> > > wrote:
> >
> > > My own personal preference would be to remove the current themes (both
> MX
> > > and Spark) from the SDK. This includes the Cobalt theme, Zen theme,
> etc.
> > I
> > > would stick with the "Wireframe" theme for Spark controls. In doing so,
> > we
> > > remove the obvious visual impression of a "Flex Application", and
> > > encourage the use of Flex/AIR apps that look like part of their native
> > > environment (FaceBook, Android, iOS, Windows 8, etc.). Most developers
> > take
> > > short-cuts and use one of the existing themes when building a product
> for
> > > their client, and unintentionally give the impression of a hodgepodge
> of
> > > technologies that prevent the impression of product cohesion. Removing
> > the
> > > Cobalt theme, Zen theme, and other themes would discourage this
> practice
> > of
> > > use-what-i-found.
> > >
> > > If companies have designers, they're better off with a tool like Martin
> > > suggests then they are with existing Themes. Moreover, the existing
> > themes
> > > confuse designers (with the MX and Spark namespaces, the inability to
> > > understand each and every style property, or the overwhelming number of
> > > properties available). If companies don't have designers, they're
> better
> > > off sticking with Wireframe theme until they do.
> > >
> > > Incidentally, I'd love to see a tool that generates themes from a
> > > user-defined base color, with the palette generation of complimentary,
> > > monochromatic or triad colors, similar to Kuler.
> > >
> > > [1]  http://kuler.adobe.com/
> > >
> > > On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM, Martin Heidegger <
> mh@leichtgewicht.at
> > > >wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 23/02/2012 17:59, Haykel BEN JEMIA wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> I think the first step should be to create new skins for the current
> > > Spark
> > > >> components. Designers could make designs for them (ideally using a
> > tool
> > > >> that enables export to FXG like Illustrator) and then developers can
> > > >> create
> > > >> skins out of them.
> > > >>
> > > >> Haykel
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > > Doesn't necessarily be a design for flex: Here i found some nice
> > > > inspiration[1]. A *fictional*
> > > > Windows 8 user interface - very nice :)
> > > >
> > > > yours
> > > > Martin.
> > > >
> > > > [1] http://www.theverge.com/2012/**2/24/2822891/windows-desktop-**
> > > > ui-concept<
> > > http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/24/2822891/windows-desktop-ui-concept>
> > > >
> > >
> >
>

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