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#66399 by Hundreds of Bears
Thu May 14, 2015 9:36 am
I'm here to complain about something I'd like you guys to fix.

DataCAD looks ugly and I think it could be preventing new users from adopting your software.

I come from an AutoCAD and Vectorworks background. It took me a while to get used to DataCAD but I've come to be pretty fond of it in the last 3 years. I find there's even things I can do a lot faster in DCAD than I could with other software.

I don't think I would have ever adopted it on my own though. And, it's not because I'd never heard of it, I had. It's the way it looks. It looks old. Like, straight out of 1992. I would have rejected it out of hand as old and slow- and I think this influenced my feelings about DCAD even after Id started using it.

The Problem: There no aesthetic theme, Many Icons don't even match each other, the Logo could use work, the menu font

Here's AutoCAD2014:

Here's DataCAD17:

There's a big difference here

I'd suggest:

Hire a graphic designer or design firm, with strong minimalist credentials to help make a new skin for DataCAD. Make it a "skin" so the old look can be optional-(sort of like what autoCAD did with Ribbons) I'm sure lot's of people are used to it and like it just fine.

I really think this could help grab the next generation of designers and Architects, who are going to be branching out and starting their own businesses.

Really though- for my sake- I have top look at DataCAD most days... and... I'd like to like looking at it more.

Thanks :wink:
#66400 by MtnArch
Thu May 14, 2015 11:24 am
I see your point, but look at the amount of real estate taken up by the ribbon in Acad. I really don't like having a small patch of screen to work on - I want the biggest area possible to do my work (what feeds my family) and doesn't make me squint my aging eyes.

Now, if DC LLC could keep doing what they've done for years, which is make it an option that could be turned off if you want more work space I'd support it. Forced into it - meh, not for me.
#66401 by joshhuggins
Thu May 14, 2015 12:25 pm
You can change almost any icons you want in the program and create new toolbars yourself. Check out the manual and my toolbar primer here for a bit more info. Here is an example of what we use at work. We have some employees who wanted icons that were a little bolder, so these tend to be a bit more on the bulky side, but if you are a fan of what Autodesk uses you could just use something like Batch Icon Extractor to rip the icons from Autodesk's apps and use those as a start point for your own set of icons. Easiest/fastest way to just substitute Datacad's icons directly is to make sure the icons pack is installed during the install process (or rerun the main program install and add in the icons,) and then just replace them one at a time.
#66404 by Rashid Garuba
Thu May 14, 2015 2:34 pm
I think the look of Datacad cad be modernized but ABSOLUTELY NOT with an icon ribbon!.. I have office and I keep it off... Memorized commands is the quickest way to work because of less icon clicking. I think there is an insidious trend due in part to subscription model where software vendors add "features" to justify fees. We end up with slower software - Buy faster PCs... More Icons - Buy More/bigger monitors.

Take a look at Sketchup for what software should look like. Very modern Icons that get out of your way when not needed. And most commands are Keyboard accessible. Microsoft invented this ribbon and it is a shame a lot of other have followed that path.
#66411 by joshhuggins
Thu May 14, 2015 3:53 pm
I actually like the ribbon in Office as it exposes a lot of previously buried commands that were often lost to me (and others according to MS) deep in the traditional menus and dialogs. I also love the live previews from the ribbon. I think AutoCAD misses the boat with their out of the box ribbon options with the just basic commands which any A-cadder worth their salt should have memorized, but I guess would be idea for someone new to jump in with, but fosters slow mouse based habits I would guess. That said it is customizable and can be used to also exposed those seldom used or complex tools at a accessible location that will help you remember a time saving command that you likely might forget about if buried in a nested menu or dialog. The context sensitive nature of the ribbons is also handy and something Datacad has been doing for a while also with it's Context toolbar.
#66423 by joshhuggins
Fri May 15, 2015 3:25 pm
I don't think you could ever really remove Datacad's main menu since it's so core to the programs operation. Just wish we had a few more (or unlimited :P ) toolbars and I think that anyone could create almost any interface they wanted and make Datacad work any way they want just about. Heck, they could even build it into a modern interface if someone wanted to using the context toolbar. Hmmm.

A super polished wish would be if toolbars could be resizable in multiple directions so they can stack in a grid fashion (think like a grid of icons like the nav pad) so we could stack them up in the Datacad menu, or a double or triple decker toolbars that could be created and sized to work as things like walk thru navigation or other incremental tasks. I don't know if that's possible given Datacad's toolbar setup but the Nav Pad gives me hope :)
eqweqw.JPG (78.75 KiB) Viewed 11753 times
#66424 by Paul Nida
Fri May 15, 2015 9:17 pm
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know people who love the MS Ribbon and some who hate it. Personally I can take it or leave it. Although I am fine with DCAD the way it is, I am sure if the DCAD interface were to change I would adapt to it, just like I did with the last major change. But if it takes too much programming resources to make the change, I can think of a lot of other places for that programming effort to go. For instance, smart roofs, smart stairs, smart floors and smarter windows, doors and walls. But that's just me.
#66426 by Dave
Fri May 15, 2015 11:33 pm
Paul Nida wrote: But if it takes too much programming resources to make the change, I can think of a lot of other places for that programming effort to go. For instance, smart roofs, smart stairs, smart floors and smarter windows, doors and walls. But that's just me.

I concur

#66520 by Mark F. Madura
Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:54 am
It looks old. Like, straight out of 1992.

I think you mean 2000 (or the turn of the century). :wink: This was when we updated the user interface between DataCAD 10 and 11. DataCAD 10 was based on the style of Windows 95 programs.

At any rate, while I appreciate the sentiment regarding a modern-looking interface, these kinds of changes wreak havoc with our existing customers' productivity. Believe it or not, we still have active customers who use DataCAD 10 and are reluctant to upgrade to DataCAD 17 because of the interface, and many people who do upgrade get tripped up by the 'new look.'

Microsoft's decision to remove the Start menu from Windows 7, then failing to restore it in Windows 8 will probably go down as the most infamous UI Fail in computing history.

It will reappear in Windows 10 later this summer. So there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere.

Can you say Moolbox? Please don't.

DataCAD's interface will get a refresh eventually, and hopefully, an option to restore the 2000 era GUI.

#66639 by Clayton Taylor
Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:08 pm
Rashid Garuba wrote:I think key is "customizability"... Make it easy to build our own icon palettes or get rid of them completely.

When these "Ribbon" interfaces popped up, I thought they didn't look that easy on the eye, let alone being classed as modern, however some have got better looking. But they do tend to use more screen area at top of screen, unless they can just magically scroll away when your mouse pointer heads away from those areas. In fact, I think all the menus could do with an option to disappear after use. :lol:

DC's interface though, as you say, could have more flexibility for the user with no messing around with those under-bonnet ini files. If theres an icon to be had for a certain function, then that icon should be available to easily drag out to screen & attach it to any other string of icons if you want to string them or not, rather than being in bed with context menus perhaps.? (to string any icons together would also help)

Also, the Edit & Utility menus I feel could have more functionality to certain operations, sort of like where SPIRIT is at today. Other than that, I think over all the interface of DataCAD is still quite compact.

I think change can be seen to be a healthy thing to do in any software & modernising interfaces is part of the process that users learn to respect. I'd still use DataCAD if they changed the whole look of the interface, but naturally it would still need to flow in the direction it was designed work with the separate EDIT/UTILITY menus even if they were represented in a different style.

I'm not too sure if ARCHICAD has gone down Ribbon direction, but I do/did like the precise clear detail of their icons & menus per-se.

Over & out,
#66956 by Clayton Taylor
Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:52 am
To all,

On this topic I just discovered:-'s an Architectural Plug-in for Rhino-5, that looks better than some native Architectural CAD Software. :o :o :o :?:

Anyway the interface or UI, I noticed is a neat way to keep a lot of info compact by using tab's, each tab you click brings a new set of Icons below the tabs & associated side menus. You can see how this works on one of their videos, but in the meantime see link below for just the interface.

This in my opinion is waaaaayyy better.... 8) 8) 8) than the clunky looking RIBBON'S.

Over & out,

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