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I have a 3D view displaying two objects. One is the reference object, the other the user object. Displaying the two objects together allows the user to compare its own object to a reference object (these objects are gamuts).

Each object have three display modes (smooth, wireframe and flat) and an opacity selector (a slider ranging from 0 to 100).

There also are controls that are "gamuts independent" : a selector to chose from 2D to 3D, a "Top View" and a "Bottom View" buttons and a slider, called Gamut Slice on the following picture.

The picture represents what we have today, but we wish to redesign this window.

enter image description here

(The two check boxes "New Profile" and "Reference Profile" are not useful and will be deleted.)

I'd like to integrate all the control elements in a toolbar, but I don't know which criterion are the best to determine the controls I should be using.

Especially, I would like to somehow regroup the display modes Smooth, Wireframe, and Flat together. I thought of two possible solutions : using three separate buttons (one for each mode), or using a combo box with the three modes. There are probably plenty of other possible solutions.

On what criterion should I make my choices ?

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Try don't redo the wheel. Use global patterns of icons, names and functions.

See some tasks to define the best controls to use:

  • Have a look at what your competitors and similar tools are doing. Don't do too different because could increase the learning time.
  • Define what type of control do you need and analyse each one individually. List them and writes how each function show behave. Also, look at the user expectation.
  • Have a look at the precision of input and how easy is to manipulate on the chosen platform/operational system.

After all that, redesign your wireframe, design it and prototype it. If still having doubts, bring to us and test with your users (not developers and owners, real users).

I suggest you read this article: The ultimate guide for selection controls in UX design

Look some interesting control settings, as a reference, that I found on fast research.

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  • Good point about prototyping, I must say that we don't often prototype before coding...
    – R0m1
    Sep 25, 2019 at 18:20

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