Radial Menus are missing out on HUGE potential...

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Radial Menus are missing out on HUGE potential...

Post by ewb » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:05 am

This is taken from a larger, separate post of mine in the general Windows forum. I thought this section deserved to be on its own here.

The radial menu is great, but the potential is GREATLY wasted.

The current implementation brings up the menu and requires the user to click his/her choice.

My expectation - and how I believe it should be treated in the future - was for the radial menu to steal 3D-mouse focus. Upon being presented with the 1-4 (N, W, S, E) menu choices, the 3D-mouse itself should then choose the desired option.

Practically speaking, when a user has called up a radial menu he is no longer attempting to control the program with the 3d-mouse. Thus the 3d-mouse's primary functions in that program are not needed for the moment.

My suggested implementation would maintain the "hands on" user experience and allow the user to navigate radial menus purely by muscle-memory. Coupled with nested radial menus (already available), complex menu selections would be boiled down to very simple hand motions.

For instance, the user might create a "Camera Views" radial menu, having "Front (N), Back (S), Left (W), Right (E)" and itself being the (E) choice from the primary radial view. Now choosing the front camera view would be a simple series of hand motions: "Button, East, North"

For advanced users, one could envision the primary radial menu choosing between "common operations", "specialty operations" and "file / edit / view / etc general menu operations". By the time you've moved 5-6 layers deep you've suddenly opened a whole new world of control... available through simple patterns.

Seriously missed potential here. It is my hope that the implementation is changed... but perhaps also that the Z-axis is added to the equation. This would allow 6 distinct choices from the radial menu (north, south, east, west, up, down).


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Re: Radial Menus are missing out on HUGE potential...

Post by fcwilt » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:26 pm


As a new user I was totally surprised to find they DID NOT work this way.

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Re: Radial Menus are missing out on HUGE potential...

Post by mhoopes » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:17 am

I like the idea of the 3D mouse being used to navigate the radial menus. I think it should be offered only as an option, as it doesn't currently steal focus from the application, and some users may not want to deviate from that.
As for the implementation, care would be needed in 8-way menus to provide feedback to the user to help prevent missed selections; the mouse has a persistent pointer to help with that.

Nested radial menus - I don't see that option in 3DxWare now. I would expect that RM Menus would be available as a configuration option in the Radial Menu Editor. Are nested radial menus still available in 3DxWare?
Michael Hoopes

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Re: Radial Menus are missing out on HUGE potential...

Post by ISAWHIM » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:08 pm

If I were to suggest an improvement on the "radial menu", it would be the following...

1: Give one to the 3D mouse too...

2: Give it more "segments"... 8-way "fly-out" {Fast selects}, where you just push in that direction to do something.

3: Give it "hover-switching", sub-menus... (As an option). Setting any, or all of the 8 "fly-out" directions, with another layer of "fly-outs" and/or layer-selections. Meaning, that you would push UP to instantly change-out the current fly-out menu with a new one, or hover over it, with a slight pause. That pause would expand the ring-layers with similar options, like a typical drop-down menu. Those would have to be selected with a click or another hover-pause... Or you return the mouse to the center to go back to the prior menu, or click anywhere OUT of the menu to exit, with any button.

4: Include, at-least for windows, the addition of "Context selection", so we can easily "Add item to 3D-Radial-Menu". For launching programs, bat-files, folders, etc...

5: Hold-button, for x-seconds, to enter "Edit 3D Menu Mode", when it is NOT already open.

6: Hold-button, for x-seconds, to enter "Select profile mode", for instances where an application may not be "setup", or a need for an alternate profile may be wanted. It would retain that alternate profile, only while in that application, for that application, until the application is shut-down. (So it would not be "stuck" in the alternate profile, if you suddenly move to another application, or if you re-launch the same application another day.)

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