UI Design Philosophy and Practicalities

I am an ant in Brian’s ant nest, and I am looking for more pheromones. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Heh… Aren’t we all!

We are brave pioneers exploring the bleeding edge of this unknown territory, actually the territory isn’t even fully formed yet so we’re double pioneers - it’s a crazy situation to be in, but personally speaking I love this kind of journey, who knows where it will end!

I am certain this discussion will influence future decisions and that’s amazing!!



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I had a think about this because it’s such a good illustration, but I just don’t see the ER-301 like one big tool where each component is inherently hampered by the fact that it is attached to all the other tools at all… to me it’s much more like the image below and future development would be an extension of the same idea of being able to quickly access the tool needed for the job at hand:


That is a nice illustration too! And while I would not say that the tools within the 301 are hampered, they actually are attached to each other via one UI.

Another thing that strikes me with that picture is that I probably would spend too much time thinking about which plane I should use. I am pretty sure a slightly condensed version would suffice.

What is really sophisticated, yet simple about that arrangement though is that you won’t have to dive through menus but can survey the whole selection at a glance. If the ER-301 UI somehow reaches for that direction I would be very happy. It could incorporate as many tools as possible then.

As with most requests - your wish will eventually be granted, there has been considerable discussion on this issue here, read on for how @odevices intends to allow the user to define their own menus, i.e. once you have selected your tools, you will be able to restrict the menu to your precise specification:

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Yeah, sounds great!

Before this gets too heated, just a friendly reminder that it’s still super early in the journey at v0.3 and there is a single human on the other end of these challenges creating and deploying this stuff.

It’s Brian’s show and I’m confident wherever he takes us will be awesome.



Agree 100% with you here. Any discussions that are not directly talking about the firmware, bugs and features should be discussed in another thread. I come here to check the current developments of v0.3.


I carried your post over here too as it was essentially this that encouraged me to do the move, you are absolutely right of course - thanks for the prompt :slight_smile:

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I’m going to keep my fingers away from the keyboard on this one but I am reading everything and taking notes.


This discussion reminds me of this Gem of a video:


I would like to apologize to @leverkusen for this comment from our forum moderator @anon83620728 which violates our spirit of inclusiveness. It was not appropriate and I will discuss this with @anon83620728 privately.

Come on guys… that was obviously a facetious remark and I had managed to calm this thread right down… lets not stir it up again hey!

From what I could gather, the trigger for this discussion was that there was a feature that had a hidden way to activate it with a button that wasn’t the obvious choice for doing so (maybe because there wasn’t an obvious choice). This very clearly is an UI issue and we as a community should strive to eliminate such issues.

So far, it seems like this discussion is based on the false dichotomy of two possible solutions: “remove the feature” vs. “keep the UI inconsistency”, projected to a future conclusion where the only options are either a machine that has a huge feature set but is basically unusable without a long manual vs. a machine that can do only a few things but is intuitive to use. This of course immediately calls for a debate on UI philosophy, but I don’t think that we should look at the issue like this. Clearly, the goal should be rather to come up with a way to make the UI more understandable without having to eliminate features. Maybe we could move the discussion into this area? I think that would be much more productive.


I agree @x2mirko - good point and suggestion!

In regard to my facetious remark above, I had hoped it became obvious from my following replies that the discussion was fine and I was happy to continue to talk and argue (respectfully of course) about the points at hand, but just in case it didn’t; it wasn’t my intention to exclude anyone but rather highlight what I thought was a somewhat absurd idea, if this caused any one any unnecessary discomfort I am very sorry.

I really think we are all good here, lets keep any further discussion on an even keel and in the spirit of O|D - everyone is welcome, all ideas are valid, it’s nothing personal etc…



For sure! Well said.

As a result of our private discussion, I’ve updated @anon83620728’s visible title so people don’t jump to conclusions and there is less reason for him to watch his words on my account. @anon83620728 has graciously offered to help moderate on his own free time but he is still very much in user space along with all of you.


Thanks @odevices

I would like to add that the number of times I have to put on the mod hat is very, very low here and that’s something as a community we should all be very proud of - you guys are awesome :smiley:

Going forward I will generally post as me personally, but if for whatever reason I do anything as a moderator, that is ostensibly acting as an agent for O|D, I will make it clear by saying so.

The reality is that while I do this, @odevices and myself are two different people and we obviously have different views on things sometimes, that’s okay we have a good relationship and work things out as needs be, but the main point here is that my sometimes erm, ‘colourful’ posts don’t reflect directly on O|D as that is definitely not the case.

I hope this helps clarify everything!

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I haven’t yet looked at the specific UI issues raised above, but here’s a few thoughts regardless:

There are various different modes / intents when using the 301, in estimated approximate order of complexity / effort:

  • future SDK capabilities with Lua or other goodies.
  • low level patch building, akin to both modular patching and, to a degree, working with software.
  • picking presets in various ways, once you’ve got a library of them, then chaining them in useful ways
  • performing with what you’ve built

… and probably others, and mixtures of all the above.

So, I doubt there’s going to be one, single UI or mode or technique that covers all that.

When I’m performing I want almost nothing on screen, unless I can interact with it immediately and without confusion (e.g. turn this “knob” for more reverb).

Conversely, when building patches - particularly with complex new units - I’d love detailed technical details, explanations of each parameter, patch examples, you name it. Obviously less so for units I’m familiar with.

Almost a sliding level of detail.

Which makes me start thinking about units, and each relevant part of each unit, having built in help text in some way. Don’t know what the Grain Stretch does? Click something and get an explanation. Same for a parameter, etc.

I haven’t got the 301 in front of me, so this might be a bad idea. I’ll have a tinker later in the week and see what else I can see working.

Just thinking aloud…