inspiration for DarkAudacity

It was so 1994!

"It's so 1994" was the complaint about our standard Audacity® theme. Plenty of praise for how the Audacity engine actually processed audio, but oh, the look. So 1994.

So click on the titles below to see more about the influences on this makeover of Audacity.

Standard Audacity Screenshot

This is how standard Audacity looked before the makeover. It's inviting change. The design is 'busy'. Notice how much 3D effect it has and how numbers and words are placed. Busy design isn't evil, but it isn't restful either. A less busy design makes it easier to find the important features.
Greg Hardesty's Theme

This sleek dark design from Greg Hardesty uses darker colours, remodels the buttons and uses much bolder icons in the design.
Lucas Romero Di Benedetto's Mock Up

This design from Lucas Romero Di Benedetto shows how well orange and shades of black can work together. I used this mock-up as my main inspiration for the new design. It convinced me to use the orange rather than the blue as the waveform colour. I added back the RMS values (the central part of the wave) as they add something visually and give more information about the wave.

I also liked the square flatter buttons and flattened them a bit more, as well as losing some more colour from them to reduce distractions.

Julian Dorn's Concept Demo

Julian Dorn and Leon Schlechtriem's beautiful concept demo (in German) of how the Audacity UI could be reimagined. Their project proposed user selectable colours for the waveform per track and a dedicated screen for setting up recording. The 'cutting maginifer' shown above, they proposed, would allow precision cutting of a piece of audio without the need to zoom in or out.
Google Material Design Icons

Google's 'material design' icon set are open source and were a natural fit for a makeover of the user interface. I've used many of the icons unmodified, other than making them white on black.

Google's material Design Icons Inverted
DarkAudacity Screenshot

After a lot more work than you might think, this is the design I arrived at.

Next: What's different between DarkAudacity and Audacity?