FxPlug Custom UI Guidelines

Custom Inspector UI

You can embed custom UI elements in your FxPlug plug-in in the Inspector. In general, try to match the design of these elements to that of the built-in elements and controls of FxPlug plug-ins, such as the color scheme, size, and general layout.

Follow these guidelines when creating custom Inspector UI elements.

If possible, use the multicolumn layout, with labels. A custom UI element that takes over the entire width of the Inspector could distract from the rest of the UI, as well as from other plug-ins. When possible, use a right-aligned text label to the left, with the custom UI controls aligned with the standard controls to the right.

Place the custom Inspector UI within a parameter group if possible. If your custom UI element is the primary feature that the user needs to interact with your plug-in, then position that element at the top level. Otherwise, place it in a folder to better differentiate it from the standard controls.

Avoid branding in the Inspector. Placing graphical logos and other nonfunctional custom UI inline with the Inspector takes up valuable UI space that you could use for other controls or plug-ins. If you must incorporate branding, use a custom UI panel instead.

Custom UI Panel

You invoke a custom UI panel by clicking a button in the plug-in to call a floating window with a custom UI. Use a custom UI panel when your plug-in has unique requirements that cannot be accommodated within the space of the Inspector, onscreen control, or HUD of the FxPlug host application. Make your custom UI panel a completely unique environment, but follow the guidelines and principles described in OS X Human Interface Guidelines for the best user experience.