Consistency is an interesting topic in design. Its often spoke that improving it is a worthwhile pursuit in its own sake but in reality its much more subtle. The cookie cutter suburbs that now comprise large swaths of the U.S. might have been justified on some levels but often fail their eventual inhabitants. Lost was the pleasing diversity represented by vernacular building styles and common sense mixed zoning that create lively walkable communities. Much of new urban planning is a re-discovery of proven ideas that were casually tossed aside in the later half of the last century.
A co-worker Chauncey Wilson wrote a good summary of this topic applied to interaction design on a sister blog titled "The Consistency Conundrum". I recommend it.
In testing Revit and other products and also in my teaching I've seen many places where consistency improves learning by providing a scaffold via interaction patterns. A new feature can be understood by leveraging a known feature. In some cases the interaction pattern may not even be that great but once learned tasks are completed without trouble.
In the 2009 release there was a quiet effort to make our open and save dialogs more consistent. I placed some animated GIFs on a separate page (less annoying) showing the differences from 2008. In some instances it was just a layout fix but in others extra dialog bits were moved to occur before or after the save dialogs to better fit the work-flow and not overload the person performing the task with too many decisions.
To close I want to solicit comments regarding:
- Areas where you feel Revit is consistent in a good way. reinforce good behavior.
- Areas where is Revit inconsistent in a way that causes frustration. (e.g. renaming is handled differently in types and views)
P.S. Please no stories of short inebriated mythical celtic creatures. I'm sympathetic and heard them all by now. I promise that bugger is on a strict coffee regiment and a cab has been called.