March 20, 2015, 05:59:55 pm
I have been using Lumion 5 for a few weeks, and am very impressed with its capabilities and speed, however, I do find the interface rather clunky and counter-intuitive when compared with other programs.
I applaud Lumion for exploring ways to improve usability, but IMO the unique interface is a hindrance to productive work. It would be fine if Lumion was the only program you ever used; but that isn't possible since you also need to use a modeling program. I switch between Revit, SketchUp, and Lumion many times in the course of my daily work at an architecture firm, and a little consistency between the programs would enhance my productivity immensely.
I know most users love the Lumion interface just the way it is, but I would like to suggest that some customization to the interface should be possible. Other programs like Modo offer the ability to customize the interface to mimic the way other programs work, and most programs offer the ability to create custom shortcuts and toolbars. Although Revit requires a two-character shortcut key-in, and SketchUp requires a one-character key-in, I am able to create my own similar shortcuts for each program - for example, if I want to see a wireframe view in Revit, my shortcut is "WW", in SketchUp it is just "W" - very efficient, and allows me to switch programs without too much disruption in process.
Customization of the tool palettes would be a very welcome addition. In Revit, all of the tools are at the top of the screen, so I organize my SketchUp tools to be in similar locations, which helps tremendously. In Lumion, the tools are scattered all over the screen, which drives me crazy!
I agree that a simpler interface is better, but I believe that hiding buttons under other buttons makes the software more complicated to use, not simpler. I would rather have 50 buttons on my interface which would allow me to initiate an action with ONE click, instead of having 10 buttons on my interface that each require multiple clicks to initiate an action. It's kind of like having your tools on a pegboard vs. in a drawer - on a pegboard, you can see where your Phillips screwdriver is, reach for it, and begin using it. If it was in a drawer, you'd have to dig through the hammers and wrenches in order to find it - I prefer the "pegboard" approach!
In summary, I really hope that Lumion will enhance their already great software with interface flexibility that will allow users to tailor their workspace in a way that will make the transition back and forth between Lumion and their particular modeling software much more efficient.
If Lumion ever needs a beta tester for interface updates, I want to volunteer!!!