Does an apps UI make a difference?

I have been going trough some of the apps that I seldom use and noticed they all had a few things in common. They all have UI issues that just don’t appeal to my creativity. They are not arranged well in my own opinion, making work flow more cumbersome or just the graphic design is unappealing. Now saying this, in no way am I saying the app doesn’t sound amazing or do a spectacular job at what it is supposed to do. But it distracts from my own personal feng shui. I prefer apps that don’t try and look like a real instrument or amp or such. It can have the look of real knobs and faders as long as its done well. But the simplistic straightforward crisp and clean look is more appealing to me.

Does this affect anyone else? Are any of you the opposite and like it when developers try and make software look real even at the cost of workflow?

Thanks for playing along.

«13

Comments

  • Huge difference.

    Just closed zeeon down because I could barely see or tweak anything while standing at my keyboard.
    Loaded up model 15. Bit better.

  • Why I don’t use certain apps:

    1. Don’t play well with others - some apps just don’t like sharing what you produce with them or some just make it so difficult you end up not bothering.

    2. User interface - yep some apps just have not got a UI that rubs me up well.

    3. Poor Sound - Some apps I genuinely don’t like the sound of - so sue me.

    4. Limitations - Some apps while fun to start with, show their limitations quickly and I end up getting frustrated.

    5. Clever but missing the basics - yep some apps are just so damned clever, but boy do they funk up the basics. It could be crap keyboards or lack of saving sounds....whatever, you need to get the basic down before trying to be clever!

    So yeah, UI is important to me, but get any of the others really wrong and it’s back to that big pile of apps in app land where my lost fortune is to be found :p

  • Yessss! They don't need to be real life look a likes! I kinda hate that...i love when its original and a fresh new take on something from the non virtual world...
    Rozeta for example....colldr is amazing looking and isn't trying to imitate the look of any hardware from what I can tell...
    Ui makes all the difference

  • @Redo1 said:
    Huge difference.

    Just closed zeeon down because I could barely see or tweak anything while standing at my keyboard.
    Loaded up model 15. Bit better.

    Apple pencil is the best way to tweak these tiny knobs... That doesn't help with the visual aspect but with the functionality

  • @Fruitbat1919 said:
    Why I don’t use certain apps:

    1. Don’t play well with others - some apps just don’t like sharing what you produce with them or some just make it so difficult you end up not bothering.

    2. User interface - yep some apps just have not got a UI that rubs me up well.

    3. Poor Sound - Some apps I genuinely don’t like the sound of - so sue me.

    4. Limitations - Some apps while fun to start with, show their limitations quickly and I end up getting frustrated.

    5. Clever but missing the basics - yep some apps are just so damned clever, but boy do they funk up the basics. It could be crap keyboards or lack of saving sounds....whatever, you need to get the basic down before trying to be clever!

    So yeah, UI is important to me, but get any of the others really wrong and it’s back to that big pile of apps in app land where my lost fortune is to be found :p

    +1

  • I think UI has a huge impact, of course if the sound is so amazing you want to work round a shoddy UI, then that’s a payoff that can be worthwhile. Personally (with games too), poor UI or UX = never going to use it :)

  • Code the best thing in the world and it won't matter if no one wants to use it due to a poor user experience.

  • edited September 14

    Apps are instruments we use with ears and eyes. So their UI have lot of importance, this is how we interact with sound. Touch friendly and good looking all the way. I prefer modern UI too, I’ve difficulties with old school UI.

  • Good UI / UX is vital to me. I subscribe to simple but functional interfaces, like the ones @brambos develops. The quicker I can get the sound I’m looking for the better. There are exceptions where UI is poor but the sound is essential, but that’s usually too much effort for payoff.

  • edited September 14

    A good UI is everything.Especially on the iPhone we see universal apps that are sort of downscaled Pad UIs which makes everything too small and sometimes just unworkable.

  • Yep, a decent UI is so important.

  • Performance before UI, but UI still important for me. I tend to prefer clean and very contrasty stuff like Xequence or Thor. What I especially like is the ability to zoom in like LayR or model 15 offer. It would be nice if more apps were having those, especially the ones with lots of buttons and sliders like Sunrizer, Zeeon or Volt.

  • @JudgeDredd said:
    I have been going trough some of the apps that I seldom use and noticed they all had a few things in common. They all have UI issues that just don’t appeal to my creativity. They are not arranged well in my own opinion, making work flow more cumbersome or just the graphic design is unappealing.

    Interesting thread!
    I’m really curious to see some examples which apps you like or not regarding UI.

    Feng Shui for Apps, great idea... 😊👍

  • We're evolved to appreciate superficially appealing/beautiful things. It's part of our lizard brains, no matter how hard we claim we only care for what things do rather than how they do it and how they look while doing it.

    Unless you're a robot there's a substantial part of your most fundamental, lowest level being which responds to the way things look, long before the rational part of your brain kicks in.

    Lots of books and papers have been written about it... For a good introduction to the hows and whys you could do worse than read the key bits of "Emotional Design" by Donald Norman. It explains the phenomenon quite well.

    https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Design-Love-Everyday-Things/dp/0465051367

  • I guess one of the apps that hits both ends of the spectrum for me is Neo Soul Keys Studio. As many would agree, the sounds this app produces are truly amazing. But the UI is so unappealing to me that it distracts me to the point that I seldom use it. I also love all of the Brambos apps, the Amazing Noises and apeSoft apps. BeatMaker 3 is a beautiful app but the workflow is one that I struggle with and hardly ever use. Cubasis has an ok design and ok workflow but apps like AUM that are clean and more straightforward I find myself using more.

  • edited September 14

    I see the merit in flat aesthetic but completely flat seems to me to be extremist. The key is balance: a little shading to give the illusion of depth, some lighting to give some sparkle and sheen. Muscle memory and ergonomics matter. Tucking important features in disparate locations at screen edges make no sense whatsoever. Completely dark themes get no support from me either. A little grey is absolutely fine, but examples like Auxy, Groovebox and Reason Compact are my definition of boring, in my humble opinion.

  • Absolutely! I will often move away from a UI I don't like. And ... I will often forgive alot of an app whose UI I really dig! Yup, I need to fire on all the senses ...

  • edited September 14

    @reasOne said:

    @Fruitbat1919 said:
    Why I don’t use certain apps:

    1. Don’t play well with others - some apps just don’t like sharing what you produce with them or some just make it so difficult you end up not bothering.

    2. User interface - yep some apps just have not got a UI that rubs me up well.

    3. Poor Sound - Some apps I genuinely don’t like the sound of - so sue me.

    4. Limitations - Some apps while fun to start with, show their limitations quickly and I end up getting frustrated.

    5. Clever but missing the basics - yep some apps are just so damned clever, but boy do they funk up the basics. It could be crap keyboards or lack of saving sounds....whatever, you need to get the basic down before trying to be clever!

    So yeah, UI is important to me, but get any of the others really wrong and it’s back to that big pile of apps in app land where my lost fortune is to be found :p

    +1

    +100%

    Every successful commercial/public-facing app/website has a dedicated UI/UX specialist. It is highly unlikely the same coder also designed the UI of Vain Glory, Infinity Blade, Clash of Clowns, Angry Birds, Real Racing, Riptide, Cubasis, GarageBand, iMS-20, etc. Most devs are great at coding but not good at UI/UX design. Auria, Arturia iSEM, Thumbjam, Heavy Brass, bs-16i (is that even a name? They expect users to remember that cryptic name?), Sound Canvas, Samvada (but hey, it's free!), etc have mediocre UI (obviously, these apps don't have a UI/UX designer). Apple Music Memos is a disaster with minimalist design taken to EXTREMES with most controls hidden for no reason and so much wasted space instead of having a static toolbar of options clearly laid out on the top :neutral:

    An app should be FUN to use (Cubasis) with a quick workflow and not depressing or frustrating. As per SonicState's review, Auria wasn't fun to use.

  • Yes absolutely. 100%. I’ve even forgiven some lackluster sounds and feature sets on a couple apps because the UI was so good that they were actually fun to use regardless.

  • Our biology should define the workarounds needed to make a touchscreen feels like a real thing around which we have evolved, especially if one aim to make it a musical instrument harnessing creativity of users.

  • Of course an app's UI makes a difference. Anything's UI makes a difference. Partially for the lizard brain stuff Bram mentioned but that stuff is really only a part of what goes into user interface. There have been 1000 different Stratocastor knock-offs of various visual styles but the UI is basically the same on every single one of them.

    The way things are laid out. The ability to see labels and messages when and how you need them. The ability to interact with things. The type of visual feedback you get. Interaction points being where you expect... all of that is way more important to me than visual style.

    Not saying personal aesthetics don't matter. They do, obvi. What probably matters more though is the availability/scarcity of the tool in question. If you have 25 Virtual Analog synths, it's going to be easy to say no to one because it's ugly or obfuscates all of its controls. If you want a reverse reverb AU and there's only one available, you're going to be willing to suffer most any UI to get it.

  • Its similar to laws of attraction between a man and a woman

  • indeed it is... but there are truely beautiful women I'd never want to date.
    Some kind of boring aura surrounds them o:)

  • @Telefunky said:
    indeed it is... but there are truely beautiful women I'd never want to date.
    Some kind of boring aura surrounds them o:)

    Ha thats a good lookin app that sounds the same no matter how u tweak it

  • Just closed zeeon down because I could barely see or tweak anything while standing at my keyboard.
    Loaded up model 15. Bit better.

    Model 15 always seems like a classic case of authentic reproduction completely missing the point. The best thing about those giant modulars is the ability to physically step back and see the whole front panel. In the IOS case (at least on the smaller iPads) it's like reading the newspaper through a postage stamp sized hole. I love the sound, and having a synth that used to cost as much as a car available for $20 - or whatever I paid for it - is great, but I wish Moog would redo it with an interface that works for the device.

    What I would really like to see for the IOS Model 15 is the ability to save patches as patch sheets, so you could print them off. It's actually be really easy: The patches are saved as human readable XML files.

    Come to think of it, those XML files might be the best way to look at Model 15 patches.

  • Is this the right thread for my annual moan about the (uninspiring) sea of blue that makes Gadget so hard to love?
    :s

  • @iamspoon said:
    Is this the right thread for my annual moan about the (uninspiring) sea of blue that makes Gadget so hard to love?
    :smile:

    This is that thread. And Gadget for me, hits both the workflow and not so sexy nails into the coffin of unused apps.

  • @reasOne said:

    @Redo1 said:
    Huge difference.

    Just closed zeeon down because I could barely see or tweak anything while standing at my keyboard.
    Loaded up model 15. Bit better.

    Apple pencil is the best way to tweak these tiny knobs... That doesn't help with the visual aspect but with the functionality

    I have a stylus I use sometimes. However with the whole bottom half of the screen not being used at all while my external midi keyboard is plugged in, it ends up being a total waste of space and poorly designed UI.

  • @JudgeDredd said:

    @iamspoon said:
    Is this the right thread for my annual moan about the (uninspiring) sea of blue that makes Gadget so hard to love?
    :smile:

    This is that thread. And Gadget for me, hits both the workflow and not so sexy nails into the coffin of unused apps.

    The blue is the least of the problems plaguing Gadget. They need to kill the animations and put some tabs in the screen allowing us to get where we need to get to without a dozen taps tapping in and out of scenes. Some combination of Electribe and Gadget would be perfect.

  • @pauly said:

    Just closed zeeon down because I could barely see or tweak anything while standing at my keyboard.
    Loaded up model 15. Bit better.

    Model 15 always seems like a classic case of authentic reproduction completely missing the point. The best thing about those giant modulars is the ability to physically step back and see the whole front panel. In the IOS case (at least on the smaller iPads) it's like reading the newspaper through a postage stamp sized hole. I love the sound, and having a synth that used to cost as much as a car available for $20 - or whatever I paid for it - is great, but I wish Moog would redo it with an interface that works for the device.

    Imagine a "UI toggle" to switch between Moog and Audulus UI with the same modules just shown and handled differently :smiley:

    What I would really like to see for the IOS Model 15 is the ability to save patches as patch sheets, so you could print them off. It's actually be really easy: The patches are saved as human readable XML files.

    It wouldn't hurt for sure and it's really not much work for a developer (well, not more than writing a good manual ;)) but I doubt that more than 1% of its users would profit from that.

Sign In or Register to comment.