Icon/GUI customization

As a new user, I’m finding the full-color bitmap icons really difficult to “read” and differentiate from one another. My eyes are not great, so they all kind of look like little blobs of multi-colored mud.

Separately, as a UI designer/developer I find them pretty unappealing to look at, but I know that’s a subjective thing and I’m sure there are a ton of long-time users that would respond negatively to any major changes.

But I think I good compromise would be to provide some mechanism to customize the icons, or even the GUI styles more broadly. I noticed that you’ve migrated to Qt in the LTE branch (and a lot of the UX is a huge improvement over the stable branch!). I browsed their documentation a bit and it seems like they provide some support for runtime UI customization (unless I’m misunderstanding), so hopefully it wouldn’t be too huge of an undertaking to allow users to define an XML map of icons or something similar?

Just to offer some context, I initially purchased a competing software package (well, two of them, actually :grimacing: I’m about $900 deep in terrain-generating software now) before finally coming to terms with the fact that World Machine is the only tool that really has all of the capabilities I need. But the UI/UX is such a huge hurdle that I’m finding it really difficult to get anything done.


I was thinking about this, the customization of icons & GUI, and I also think that it’s a good idea for better accessibility and also for people who want to have custom themes of their own.
I’m also a total programming noob so I have no idea if World Machine LTE could support this.

PS: if you need any help with World Machine I’m always free to help :smiley:

1 Like

Thanks, I appreciate it! :slight_smile: I think I’ve actually seen a couple of your tutorials on YouTube.

This is indeed a very difficult thing to overcome. That said, I don’t think the “I’m used to it” feeling for long term users justifies a bad/unintuitive UI. If I remember correctly, an icon design overhaul is planned for the LTE versions. I’m sure @Stephen can give some more information!

1 Like

I do think the outdated UI does put a lot of people off WM and it can give the impression it is sort of End-of-life and getting little love which in WMs case is untrue. I also looked at other software and came to the conclusion WM is by far the best option but I don’t like the UI much.

LTE is a great step. I did read icon changes were on the Todo list for LTE. I’d also like to see a little love around the devices and make them a little nicer looking, it would certainly make it more appealing in the eye candy department.

Competing with newer products means WM also really needs to compete in the looks department.

I definitely agree WM needs new icons, and a pass by a designer generally. Ux changes take more thought; but some reworking of layout, whitespace, widget chrome, etc could be really helpful in making a pleasing experience for especially new users.

This is something I’m pursuing in the background, as finding the right fit is important.

The continuity/legacy issue is very real though. Qt does theoretically let you swap the icons at runtime, which might be one solution.