Michael Midgley-Biggs


Gingerbread_Man.jpg

Email: mmidgley [at] umd [dot] edu

External webpages, twitter, or facebook: I don't have any of these things.

An interface I enjoy:

Screen_shot_2011-09-12_at_11.38.51_AM.png
I very much like the interface for Apple's FileMerge utility. As a graphical diff/merge tool, it presents a comparison between two versions of a file, and allows you to choose which versions of the differing sections to use in combining them. What distinguishes it is the way it handles sections of different length: instead of adding a lot of empty space to the comparison, it alters its scrollbar behavior to move through each document at different rates over those sections, keeping both views in their original format.

An interface I dislike:

Screen_shot_2011-09-12_at_11.35.51_AM.png

The interface for the 3d authoring tool Blender, particularly the 2.4x versions, is deeply frustrating to me. Besides the simple issues of confusing layout, it violates a basic expectation found in most computer interfaces: the meaning of the left and right mouse buttons. Instead of the left mouse button being the primary way of interacting with things, the right mouse button takes that role, while the left button is relegated to a secondary function: manual placement of the "3d cursor", an action which is imprecise and rarely useful. Only in the 2.5x revision of Blender was it even possible to change this behavior when using a mouse with just two buttons without losing substantial functionality.