Anders Haraldsson email@example.com +46 70 790 77 37 at Combined thinks Mindnode https://mindnode.com/ is a good example for a modeling tool. Maybe steal some stuff from them when re-designing the modeling tool.
Do they mean the version for iOS or the OS X version?
I haven’t tried Mindnode but judging from videos they have a buttons relative to the nodes to allow users to create and edit nodes. We have explored paradigm before but there are a number of problems with that route in our zooming environment:
1. Since you want to be able to edit the gameboard at multiple zoom levels (and our zoom extent is rather large) the modeling tools needs to be visible on all these levels. i.e. the “buttons” can not be relative in size to the nodes because they would be too small to operate when zoomed out or enormous when zoomed in. They can not be relative in size to the window because then they would start to cover nodes as the user zooms out. The idea still has merit and we will be using it for some things when fully zoomed in to a node.
2. The aim of the current modeling tool is to be able to do many things, partially depending on context, to a node with the same tool. If translated into relative buttons this would mean each node would need need a button for each possible action, potentially cluttering the visual experience. Mindnode has far fewer actions per node compared to dreamer so it is less of a problem. Our plan is to expand the functionality of the modeling tool to cover selecting, copying and improvements to assignment of people (which is really clumsy today). This would make relative buttons even more crowded.
But admittedly the modeling tool as it is today has a number of problems that need addressing and we are actively working on ideas and prototypes for this. Input on how things could be improved is always welcome so I will definitely give Mindnode a go to see how they do things.