Cue artifact 1:
So here we have the icons for visibility and muting swapped. I don't know about you, but those eyes look quite creepy (or downright wrong) hanging out over on the left. But at least now we know that curve visibility is denoted by the eye, and muting status (whether curve is used when being evaluated) is represented by the checkmark.
An implication of the above is that the NLA Editor channel list now starts looking like:
Ok, now let us suppose for a moment that we should keep using these icons as presented in 1a. What could we do about not having the eye on the left (supposing that is not something we want)?
2) Instead of just swapping the icons and keeping the functions in the same place, how about we swap both. So the list now looks like it's familiar state:
At first this looks like it might be workable, but then we see a few problems:
- in all other options, visibility of the curve is tied to the box showing the color of the F-Curve, whereas here, color ends up being tied up to evaluation status (display vs eval mismatch here)
- potential for confusion
- Action Editor doesn't have visibility toggles, but does have the muting ones. This situation here would introduce an inconsistency between Action Editor and Graph Editor in terms of what's displayed on the RHS. This really puts the final nail in this coffin.
3) Perhaps if we tried putting all the toggles on the right, then all our problems would be solved?
Well, not really :/
The main sticking point here is what we do with the colour indicator.
- If we leave it on the left, then do we put something in it, or leave it blank. Leaving it blank will feel like a wastage of space. Putting an array index in there might not be the wisest of moves (I've seen mockups of this, but I can imagine it getting a bit shaggy if you've got some location transforms with text starting from the square juxtaposed against subsurf-levels or some other single property where the text would need to start after the square).
- Moving it to the right, and putting it under the visibility toggle wouldn't really work that well either. While it is now still associated with that toggle, it now looks weird and breaks the left-to-right scanning correspondence between colours and the names of the F-Curves they represent. At the end of the day, most users are English speakers, who are used to left to right reading, where it just looks more natural to have a bullet point followed by the content associated with it, instead of having it floating around the other end.
- We could alternatively put the colour indicator under the whole entry, although I can say I've been-there-done-that very very early on (I've still got screenshot evidence if you're curious), and it's safe to say that was a disaster. The text really didn't read that well when I did that.
So, at the end of the day, perhaps we'll have to settle for 1a (unless somebody comes up with a brilliant 4!), though it does still look incredibly odd IMO. As for the NLA in 1b, thoughts?