To Audacity Development Team 01/07/2020
Redesign of Effects menu; Part One
My background is in UI Design/Customer Requirements, with additional experience in Speech Analysis and Synthesis.
Audacity is a powerful and feature-rich application. However, the UI might benefit from redesign of some menus, in particular the “Effects” menu. While listing its options alphabetically is of some use, the number of options strains available vertical space, and require significant mouse transit and eye movements for target selections.
Easier selection might result from grouping similar items, and ordering them by frequency of use.
While there is likely a broad range of users, the groupings shown in the attached screenshots are estimated to be weighted toward (the non-existent) average user. Essentially, the design unloads the options from the “Effects” menu and distributes them across three or four proposed menubar items: Filters, Basic, Advanced, and Fades.
- A “Filters” item could either be
a) raised to a top-level item with a dropdown containing:
Curve, Graphic EQ, Notch, Low-pass, High-pass, SC4, Limiter, OR
b) kept in the existing “Effects” (or the proposed “Advanced” top-level) with a flyout(>) for its options.
- Similarly, a “Fades” item could be rendered as in a) above, or in the proposed “Basic” top-level.
Its contents would contain:
Fade In, Fade Out, Adjustable (or Custom), Studio, Crossfade Clips, Crossfade Tracks
- “Effects” could be replaced by two top-level items; “Basic” and “Advanced”. The contents of each should be determined by frequency of use data.
“Basic” would include: Amplify, Bass and Treble, Noise Reduction, Click Removal, Normalize, Fades, Echo, Pitch, Speed, Tempo
“Advanced” would include: Filters, Compression, Distortion, Phasing, SC4, Streching flyout (>) or subwindow (…) with options for “Paul” and “Sliding”, and a “Spectral edit(>) or (…)” option with access to: Multi-tool, Parametric EQ, and Edit shelves
- The entry “Echo…” could include “Echo and Delay…”
- The word “Change” can be removed from the entries for Pitch, Speed and Tempo.
- The word “Filter” can be removed from High-Pass, Low-Pass, and Notch.
- Some options have been omitted only due to the concept phase.
- If customization is feasible, a menu item such as “My Effects”, or “Favorites” would contain user-selectable functions that they use most often.
I am happy to answer any questions if needed.
Attached screenshots: As there seems to be a size limit for attachments, I will send a Part Two containing the screenshots showing the menu panels for Filters, Basic, Advanced, Fades.
Effects, shows the current Effects menu panel.
TopLevel, shows a proposed menu bar with items Filters, Basic, Advanced, Fades replacing Effects.
Filters, Basic, Advanced, Fades each show options grouped and redistributed from Effects.