Does your desk look like this? No, of course it doesn’t, but 10 years ago, this was the extent of your display options. These days you have more and bigger displays. Or you might have smaller displays, since small netbooks and all sorts of portable net-aware devices are pretty popular. With displays getting larger, smaller, and more numerous software developers have some interesting challenges. They are not developing interfaces for a predictably 4:3 15″ CRT. They could be developing for anything from a 2″ cell phone display to a multi-30″+ wall of light. You simply cannot make anything that will work optimally in all situations.
This goes beyond the contradictory user preferences I talked about in a previous post. Now we’re talking hardware, and opinions matter less here. It comes down to observable fact, and outcomes that are predictable, even inevitable. You know this is going to happen. Someone installs SW on a small mobile device, a phone, a tablet, a netbook or some hybrid. The interface doesn’t fit. Or it’s installed on a pair of big 30″ lcds, and you can’t find the interface, or wonder why you are restricted to keep inside the application window (remind me why there is an application window at all – is it really just so they can get the SW logo in front of you again?).
This is the reason why I think SW needs to install with a classic default interface, and allow a lot of options. How else would you do it? Maybe the installation allows for pre-set options based on screen size or target device type. SW would have to be resolution aware. This is not the future, this is the present. It will be even more necessary in the future. Being able to accommodate “multiple monitors” is not the limit to this interface enhancement.
Plus, as we saw at SWW09, Touch is coming to CAD interfaces. Some people are already telling us why touch won’t work, but I think it is at least a very intuitive way to interface with hardware.
Beyond hardware, if SW is talking about CAD In The Cloud, that may be the kind of thing that just has a lot of interface preset options. If you’re using CAD on the net, you may be using it from multiple locations, thus multiple displays, and customizing the interface every time might not be exactly time efficient. Maybe preset interface settings for various resolutions, and the ability to save the interface configured in several ways. In a word: Flexibility. Options. ok, that’s two words.