The idea of chaos is disorderment, which, in the English language, means not orderly (Or something to that effect).
Order is “A condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group” *
When you create an interface, you create some kind of order. You can mess everything up, put buttons in random, non-guidelined positions and there is still some kind of pattern. How? I think you can find a “pattern” in anything, if you don’t follow the rules. A button 49 pixels to the right of a slider and 13 pixels above it is still “in a pattern”. You can draw a logical “line” to from the slider to the button, and visa versa. I’m stretching everything about English, and I’m most definitely wrong. I guess I just don’t know a word better than pattern. Anyhow, you can’t not have order, because order is in chaos. How the heck does my blabbing about English word paradoxes that I made up mean anything? It doesn’t. This does: Interface design can present information. Isn’t that an interface? Nope. An interface is information that can be done onto. I can click buttons, even though they display a label. I can drag text. I can move a slider. An interface presents information AND can be done onto. Atleast, that’s what I like to tell myself. But what IS software… What IS a program? A program takes data, formats or filters or changes it, and outputs it in a useful way. To a file? Possibly.
To the screen…
So isn’t that interface “unmodifiable”? You’ve already had the program do it’s execution path. Input. Change. Output. You can, in Mac OS X, still USE the application. You usually just have to close the output to the screen, usually “preview” or “render”.
This makes. No. Sense.
Is there some design idea that went wrong here or did I just look at it the wrong way?
BEEP. Sorry, rhetorical question. Read the rest of this junk before you comment.
So, in the end, this had nothing to do with anything. Well, I’m getting to the juicy part. I’m done with blabbing. I’ve set the stage.
Your “interface” isn’t intuitive. Spend hard hours wasting away at the Feng-Shei or whatever of moving a button or view one or two pixels. Rearrange for hours, all I care.
There is no “order”. No one can understand any interface. If I just open something and look at it, usually I’m overwhelmed for a minute, then everything is boring.
Dynamic. Dynamic. Dynamic.
The only way your interface matters is if it’s solid enough to change shape. Toolbars? Thank Apple for those. They are the single most useful interface-thing I’ve seen. (I’m exaggurating.) Can you shift around your entire interface? Create chaos? Please do so. If there are only 2 places a button can be, you’ve done SOMETHING**. This is why apple gave us two other things.
Animated Window resizing.
Can Drawers be dynamic views set up in interface builder? Yep. Even if you only have “Classic” and “New” settings, that is SOMETHING. SOMETHING in interface design means more than you think. Take iDVDs themes. Not what I’m aiming for, but something similar to the earlier example. (1 sentance, jeesh.) You can switch between themesets***. And that is SOMETHING.
Alright, now go out and have dynamic windows and drawers and views and interfaces.
But please, TELL me you don’t have the time to waste to read all of this rambling.
Later tonight I’m going to write a bit more about chatic interfaces and lovely organized ones. Not just yelling at you for not using dynamic drawers and animated window resizing.
** Something is equal to anything but nothing, except when something is the lack of being, perhaps the somethingness of space. Or something.
***I made this word up. That is why I love English. You can verb words, you can make words…