edit: I think it's best to not have too many colours, and try to have 2, maybe 3 different font sizes (and all the same font). Also if things are rounded, make them all rounded, it's good to have continuity there.
Also I'd like to recommend the color palette. Decide on a couple of colors and use them everywhere. (maybe edit your object defaults, although I heard Max 7 has a different system) Makes things look more consistent.
here are some of my clippings
Here's my most often-used video rig for live performance that I've been slowly shifting around since 2010 roughly. A lot of the UI is just devoted to color-grading, palette selection, video input preview, and indicating which layers/modules are turned on. Most actual control happens behind the scenes using hardware, pattr presets, etc.
some really great stuff here. So good. The Party Van is like the ultimate in clean aesthetics for me. I'm just trying to balance something that looks "cool" with something that is personal. I definitely don't want it to be too polished. I'm the only one who has to look at it, and I sure as hell am not going to try to reskin magnetic.amxd...! eek. Also, stkr would kill me for sacrilege, hehe.
Laziness also sets in - like, for instance my messageboxes.... I'm not about to futz with their appearance too much.
Colorwise, I really hear ya, Mike. You're saying what I was trying to avoid. I'd colourcoded my bpatchers early on, but it's just not working for me. I might switch to "A, B, C, D" instead. I only just discovered the colorpicker in the palette, so I think I'll do some more experimenting now.
In the future I really want to look more into styles. Are there plans to make the live.* objects style-compatible, too? Otherwise I might just hold off on it.
I guess a big decision is if you're using the screen for information while in performance or not. For me, that's not the case. Not to mention that it's such a tight tight mess of white/pink on black, it's nearly useless 'at a glance'. I made a decision very early on that it would be designed to NOT be seen in performance, and to make things as efficient as possible (hence nearly everything being number boxes, instead of sliders).
I've revamped the look a bit over the years (dropping the wood background and rounded corners some versions ago), and would do a bigger overhaul, but it's soooo nested and bpatcher-y that it would take a while to do that. That being said, I've put a lot of time into updated all the objects to live.objects since they appear to be the only ones that look the same in Max6 AND Max7. (Still fucked when it comes to umenu though)
Yeah that's the difference, if you're making it for you or for others. Some colours outside of the scheme are good I think, like green for on, or red for rec/careful now. It depends. If it makes you less likely to mess up, maybe it's worth having.
I think there's something quite specific to Max (or perhaps I'm not well traveled) that makes you work in a way of not simply designing a patch's UI, or creating the patch itself, but both at once. You're aware of what can/can't be done, and you're making decisions about what controls to include, and where they should go. I find the whole thing fascinating to be honest, and it's worth it - a good functional UI can definitely inform your work.
@Rodrigo - I finally got round to testing 7 recently. Speculatively I opened up one of my applications to see what it looked like and it was almost unrecognisable. I have some sympathy for the old skool crew that filled the forum with 'ah my eyes' posts when 7 came out, it certainly feels like a departure.
yeah, thankfully my UI is very secondary, basically a byproduct of a lot of pattr-things. It's redundant in that my main UI is on Lemurs. The "at a glance" thing is a very good point though. I still get lost while playing at times, referring back to a main computer screen is at least comforting.
Nice Looking laser synth. The layout looks nice and not too choked.
Do you have an RGB head and scanners to go with it?
I have a several... don't ever start playing around with lasers - they are kinda like Pringles, but yes they are full RGB. My cheaper one has 30kpps scanners, while my little-bit-better one has 40kpps scanners. I use the cheaper one for most of my testing just so if I accidentally blow up one of the scanners it doesn't hurt my wallet too bad.
The precise content of 'the rig' varies based on what/who [solo? PGT? working in the quartet with Darwin Grosse and Mark Henrickson? Desert Fathers?], but the basic idea is the same: very nearly everything here is, in some way, under my fingers. What's displayed is around for a quick look in case I forget where things are for the moment.
Here goes my video analysis to midi converter. Each song has it's own set of modules which have multiple states or tabs to preserve screen real estate. For recognition I made it possible to color the sets on the fly which belong to each other in corresponding colours with the instruments in my DAW
btw, @woyteg, is that a publicly available library? I dig the eq especially.
kind of. Not sure :) Some of it is part of my book("Multimedia programming using max/MSP and TouchDesigner"), and I'm not entirely sure about the rights therefore(have to ask the publishers). I'd definitely send you the EQ or whatever if you like it. It's a growing personal library, some of it parts of the book(therefore more or less tested), some of it not really tested etc. you can imagine. I hope I'll find time and a good way to make it public at some point.