I have a general question about layouts incorporating toolbars, sidebars, and/or panels.
Common design sense might stress simplicity, not to cram too many elements into the UI design. But we often see more complex interfaces employ a mix of these control elements. Take Photoshop, for example:
We have a crowd of panels, sidebars, and a toolbar on top. I guess as designers we're used to working in this setting, but if we step back and look at the interface, would we say it's too complex? Does the complexity of the program justify the complexity of the interface?
Here's why I'm asking this question: when we are creating an interface for a project, how should we know when we're "allowed" to use a complex interface, and when we should keep things simple?