I love Waves plugins for the sound, but the UI is just as important.
On the UX/design side, the consistent top bar across all the plugin UIs is appreciated from a consistency perspective because it helps the user move quickly. The A/B settings, the preset manager, etc. Speaking of, Waves plugins always have a great set of presets and well-written manuals. We take these for granted, but smaller developers often don’t have the resources for that.
What I’m really posting about though is the art. I feel like the UI artists are the unsung heroes of Waves. For a lot of us, Waves plugins are the closest we can get to having actual gear – and the UI artists do a great job of creating an enjoyable skeumorphic hardware experience, where the software feels like you’re using the real thing.
I’ll never own an SSL console ($$$), but the 4k SSL HiDPI UIs make me feel like I’m using one. Sure, our listeners can’t see the plugins we use so someone could argue that it doesn’t matter what they look like… But the beautiful UIs make Waves plugins enjoyable to work with.
The skeumorphic emulations are one thing, but I really must mention the others too. Consider Waves Ovox and Vocal Bender… Or Berzerk and the trio of MDMX distortion plugins!!! They are creative, fun, and attractive to play with. They have unique visual styles that must be appreciated as part of the user experience.
There’s a law in UX that says if an interface looks nice, is easy to understand, and is fun to interact with — it will get more use than something lacking those features.
And that’s the value that Waves UI artists add to the products. I noticed myself using the SSL plugins a lot more ever since they added the HiDPI update. I can’t wait to see which plugins they update next!
Anyhow, I was just enjoying a mix and wanted to send some praise to the UI team at Waves. Thanks for making these tools look so fun and feel so good to interact with.