The PLAY button is not optical alignment(medium.com)

over 6 years ago from yuki gu, designer @wiredcraft

  • Adrian SchaedleAdrian Schaedle, over 6 years ago

    You don't see this as a deficiency in existing tools though? What's preventing our tools from being more mathematically aware of the relationship between shapes?

    I think it would be nice to reify the idea of a weight, to have the program guess where it lies in some geometry, and still give the user the ability to nudge where necessary. But there's a big difference between nudging some pixels, and nudging a useful, higher-level abstraction.

    2 points
    • Evan DinsmoreEvan Dinsmore, over 6 years ago

      I think a computer trying to figure out how to align something optically is going to be very difficult until we have AI with context awareness. It would be awesome if it were possible, but at the same time, unless it's perfect every time, people will use it as a crutch (like they do currently with vertical/horizontal alignment, but potentially more often).

      For example, Photoshop has something called optical spacing in the text palette which tries to kern text to the best of its abilities. It's decent, but it's not a replacement for taking the time to do it manually.

      0 points
      • Adrian SchaedleAdrian Schaedle, over 6 years ago

        I think a computer trying to figure out how to align something optically is going to be very difficult until we have AI with context awareness.

        There are many methods for finding the centroid of an object, all expressed in simple algorithms. And I don't think people would rely on it as a crutch — it would be an affordance to be able to override the precise position of a shape by being able to express "align this shape 5% south of the centroid" rather than "set this polygon bound by a rectangle to pixel coordinates 400x666".

        Most of the time though, it would just look correct, and good defaults are the hallmark of good software.

        2 points
        • Evan DinsmoreEvan Dinsmore, over 6 years ago

          I think people would rely on it as a crutch just as they do now for built-in alignment and optical text spacing. I'm not saying I don't want something with better defaults, either, I just think it's incredibly hard for a computer to understand the context of an object. Is it single colour or many colours that may cause optical illusions? Is it a small icon that's going to be centered in a button, or a large watermark that's going to be centered on a large page, again, causing optical illusions? But maybe something as simple as putting a marker on the centroid and having the option to align that to smart guides, or a toggle to center via centroid vs the default center point, and rotate around that point would be enough to make designers' lives easier.

          0 points