Usability issues

Warning: This was wrote after a frustrating test session, so rage is present. Links/images don’t have http because you decided to limit new users too much.
I had to write everything in paint because you decided to only allow 1 image per post.

I’m sure there is more to report, but as can’t get past the basics i’m not going to try it again. I will switch to a third part cloud desktop version.


It is the way the Discourse forum software works. Stick around, read posts, make replies, start new topics, and you will gain privileges that will allow posting links and adding more than 1 image to posts.

Why are you not using the universal settings icon (ie a gear) ?

Because it is not the app settings. This is the icon for “Model Info” panel, which is model specific properties and settings, … they are unique to each model file you may open or create.

I wanted to change to metric system. … Also, when ended up searching in google, …

Use these references in this order:

  1. SketchUp for Web User Guide
  2. SketchUp for Web SkillBuilder Tutorials …
  3. Official SketchUp forums for SketchUp for Web

… everywhere said “Click on SketchUp icon” turns out that your ego decided to show sketchup (icon) at least 3 times.

Yes, you got them there! The watermark in the upper right of the model view is an annoyance.
The icon on the status bar (lower right) seems to have no purpose.

The SketchUp app icon with the little “i” in the circle has always been the shortcut to “Modle Info” panel. In the desktop edition, it is in color and the “i” circle is blue.)

If they are useless, just remove them, …

I could agree that the watermark should look like a watermark with transparency.
The one on the status bar at the lower right should lead to help or the forum (in another browser tab.)
[EDIT - The Help icon is the (?) on the status bar lower left.]

  1. About the settings panel again. If there is a top left menu, why isn’t the settings there like any normal app does ?

Because (a) it’s not the app settings, and the app settings are in the panels below the “hamburger menu” icon (3 horizontal stripes), at the extreme left of the top left menu.

You need to have patience, and read the user guide and watch tutorials before “hacking” at ANY software.

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Your post would read much nicer if you simply left away “because you decided to” and “your ego”.

Rage is understandable but only escalates due to a lack of early communication that something is nonsatisfying. In fact, the forum software uses default settings (as they are very common elsewhere to impede one-time-use accounts for abuse, spam, advertising). I myself find it sometimes annoying, but take it positively and pragmatically, for example by spreading images over two posts…

  1. SketchUp for desktop has the concepts of application settings (Window → System Preferences which has no specific place on the web, mostly in the top left hamburger menu) and model settings (Window → Model Info). I believe this is what the icon is trying to convey, where the SketchUp logo is used for “model” (very ambiguous in my eyes) and “i” for “info”. Actually I like your proposal to use a gear icon instead. @vixay
    I agree there is indeed a somewhat excessive use of the SketchUp logo for different meanings: watermark, model (skp file), application (SketchUp)…

  2. I dare to disagree that the panel icons on the right must toggle the panels. It is a common rule that items in user interfaces should have a simple and predictable action. If a button either shows or hides something depending on the previous state of that thing, the action is not mentally trivial because the user first has to look out for, perceive and understand the previous state and take a decision. You will notice that keyboard shortcuts can be used more fluently if they have an unconditional action.
    However that rule is often broken, so that users of for example Windows are trained to inconsistencies (same as the question: Do I need a single or double click for this?). So would continuing an inconsistency make it consistent for a fraction of users?

  3. Same for the application menu at the top: It depends on what kind of “app” you think of. Classic desktop applications following the WIMP paradigm indeed have an application menu at the top. But it is neither the only nor the universally best UI paradigm. ⅔ of the computer-using world population have never used a desktop computer or even the WIMP paradigm. And I believe SketchUp for Web is trying two things:

    • Become accessible for other computing devices (mobile, tablet, browser). Especially for browsers, a top menu would be a click target harder to hit because it’s not on the screen edge due to additional browser chrome).
    • Experiment and research alternative UI concepts. Retaining the classic WIMP paradigm would totally benefit so many users who are familiar with classic interfaces! But progress needs a place for experimentation. Many users who don’t like experimentation are willing to pay for the desktop version, or download SketchUp Make 2017.

See: These are all things one can have different opinions, one can share them, discuss about and make an impact on the product development!

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If you are a hobbyist you can still download the desktop version from 2017 which is in my view superior in about every way, especially usability. It uses descriptive texts rather than arbitrary icons to identify concepts. It also follows UI conventions much better so you can find most things where other programs would put them.

I agree it’s super frustrating that the same button that brings out the side menu doesn’t hide it as well. It’s annoying to have some distraction blocking your view but you can’t get rid of it without first moving your attention away from your work, onto the UI and remember/find the other button.

The lack of visual hierarchies in the sidebar is btw one of my biggest problems with the free version; I simply can’t tell what controls belong to what inspector without pausing my work and actively look for the slightly differently styled label, which correspond to the clear title bar on Windows. If the sidebar was changed to only allow one inspector open at a time, and to hide it if the icon of already opened inspector is clicked, I think the free version would be much easier to use.


Sorry late to the conversation guys. I agree with some points of this. Branding is important but in this case I would have to agree to certain aspects of the feedback. In regards to the sketchup model info (as Dan mentioned) is an existing pattern from the desktop so this is familiar with existing users. However based on the feedback we do show branding on application launch as well so we could’ve used a different icon. I can pass the feedback to our other designer working on SketchUp for Web but sometimes little things like this can’t change that quickly so we’ll work on it.


At first I didn’t understand what you meant by this but then I realized this icon (but colorized) is actually used in the Getting Started toolbar. However changing to the Large Toolset is probably the first thing any SketchUp teacher shows the students and I’ve very, very rarely seen anyone use Getting Started. Even official SketchUp tutorials uses the Large Toolset. I don’t think an icon update needs to be delayed due to the Gettign Started toolbar, and risking getting of topic I see no reason for Getting Started to even be the default toolbar when you first start SketchUp desktop.