Kdenlive UI: Red Sound -- Odds and Ends

It's good to see Kdenlive development polishing even on seemingly small, yet useful user interface details. An example of such are the mute audio state icons in Kdenlive's timeline: what do you think does a red speaker icon signify?

Does it indicate that the track actually has audio? Or is the audio broken? What does red indicate here?

Oh, a traffic light? So red means audio is stopped? Well, I would never associate traffic light colors with sound. They are lights, something visible, after all...

While the Breeze icon theme uses color to signal state, I don't think that this is a good idea in general. Red speakers simply have no meaning in the real world, unless you happen to have a really powerful amplifier and are driving your speakers into over-temperature. (Here speaks the engineer, oh well.)

Improved UI

New muted audio icons.
So why not going with the existing disable video metaphor: a stricken film strip? If it works for video, it may work for audio too?

So, instead of an ambiguous color we now use the hue-neutral visual clue of striking out the speaker. And so we got Kdenlive a new muted audio icon, as you can see on the right.

As a small optimization, the new muted-audio icons don't show any sound waves as the normal audio icon does.

I've also played around with a hollow speaker icon design. But that design doesn't work out correctly: does a filled speaker signal state? Does a hollow one? But striking out the speaker has a much clearer visual message: no sound here!

Muted Honks

On a final note: what sign language do prohibiting street signs use when it comes to sound? Yes, I know: computer user interfaces rarely use street sign language. Alas, looking beyond one's own nose may be interesting.

Several European countries use the famous red stroke design here:

No Honks Allowed (from Wikipedia Commons: PD License)

No rule with exception, this time Estonia and Ukraine: they rely on the red border. No strike.

No honking (from Wikipedia Commons: PD License)