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Customer Feedback

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  1. πŸ™„ @GarryP @PΕ‘enda and many others in here. You guys are as usual just on routine autopilot with your thousands of responses. "Have you thought about that?" Nah. You haven't. I hope Serif thinks a bit more about such input from customers, and looks out at the market and the future. If you made the effort and gathered some knowledge, instead of ranting on here about things you don't understand, you would see a tremendous growth in collaboration features in many software genres, and of course it accelerated during covid lockdowns. If you had ever been on a large commercial project as a salaried employee - I can easily guess that you haven't - it's not about everyone being an editor or content provider - it's about being able to share, get input, directly at online meetings or electronically when the colleague, stakeholder or customer has time and much more. And that doesn't happen by sharing PDFs or other outdated nonsense. It happens online. Simultaneously or asynchronously. But that kind of thing is built around cloud services, and Serif has built their products around old Stone Age principles, and builds their business on tens of thousands of small savers, so they'll never ever get to that level, nor is that their plan. Haha, what the hell am I doing here anyway. I (we) are done evaluating Affinity, which is products for amateurs, private associations and tiny traders, but marketed as much more (it's not), while this forum is totally dominated by users whose hobby is to be on this forum. Get out a bit. You should have learned that much from covid lockdowns. And by the way, it's summer. Adieu. I and my colleagues are not going back, we have been so confirmed by the evaluation that we should not lower the bar. But it was a lot of fun to think that some cutting-edge, low-cost programs had been found. But it was just a bluff. Nicely wrapped up. Signing off, checking out, leaving the plimsoll: Eddie
  2. Many programs often check at the start, because the programmers and the companies have chosen the easy solution of a one-off check at the start. Because everyone else does. Then someone makes update checkers that run in the background all the time, because everyone else does. And then someone integrates all sorts of junk into these programs, e.g. cloud services, out of self-interest and uses it as a sales channel for all sorts of other things. I don't get the feeling that there are highly trained programmers specialising in optimisation and minimal programming developing these components. There is space junk. And then there's software junk. They have more in common than you think. But... The programmers and companies can design it however they want. Pretty much. And especially go smarter. That goes for emojis too; I've contacted The Unicode Consortium with strong recommendation to make an ashamed and guilty look emoticon. You'll need it! πŸ™‚
  3. Oh God no, not more programs and services starting with the OS and running in the background all the time please. It's a disease carried over from Windows, where you can have more icons in the System Tray than in a busy taskbar. In 2022 there must be a better way - doing this check from inside the programs while they run or using the OS scheduling service to run a check at whatever interval. If the program is not going to do anything important daily or even weekly, and will probably only have something to offer every few months, then there is no reason for it to run non-stop. And as I read it, StudioLink just needs to be in sync with major releases, not minor service releases.
  4. I can seriously recommend Serif to take it even more seriously. It was one thing that almost single-handedly plucked Affinity out of our evaluation. It's something that needs to be pro-actively investigated. systematically, persistently, thoroughly and patiently. We also experienced such errors - and quite a few others - some error dialogs were apparently erroneous, as the files could be saved and reopened anyway. But the pattern was clear, add real complexity to the documents, and then come the real problems. But such a persistent problem with data loss - regardless of whether the customer takes backup - no go. It worked better than cold washes with ice water here. "No thanks." We experienced several such failures on lightning-fast machines on the primary drive, which I don't think is an exotic configuration, so it was critical discovery, and it's a particularly critical failure. The applications as such are otherwise pleasantly bug-free (and thank you for that), but this... Psst to you out there. Never leave programs or files open for days or hours, unless the program is working on something or you are at the machine. Turn off when you leave. Turn it on when you come in the morning. Computers look cool on the surface, but you have no idea how much a reboot equals a good night's sleep after a long march.
  5. Yes, but it's just completely irrelevant in the above context and to what I'm writing. And look how it can now go off the rails. The point was that everything has a risk. Closing here.
  6. Obviously, we all know that, but the point of my post was that there is no guarantee of continuity whether you choose programs from e.g. Google (big), Serif (medium sized) or NumericPath (Vectorstyler, one dev).
  7. There are so many nuances to this. As a thumb rule, yes. In reality, not always. I've seen big and small programs disappear, ditto companies, or change terms so that even as a commercial you have to change vendors and software. And I'm not referring to Adobe. The IT world is volatile and dynamic. Serif also retired an entire product line including file format, and replaced it with a new one, developed at an impressively slow pace with years of delays and feature shortages. It's not a better alternative at all. Better assurance that THE COMPANY is there, but an eternity of waiting and uncertainty about what to expect. So you'll have to look around. In our professional and commercial evaluation, we did not include Vectorstyler. For several reasons. But if you are a hobbyist - and I think 98% of you are - I simply can't think of any reason other than money to advise against evaluating and buying Vectorstyler as a companion to Affinity, complementing in workflows blend or perspective, for example. As long as you are not dependent on the program and the program file format itself. Vectorstyler is absolutely insanely good feature-wise, and the programmer is clearly in a completely different league than Serif's devs. He is so talented. And clearly a genius at vector math. On top of that, bugs are fixed within weeks or few months worst case. I'm aware of all the weaknesses and uncertainties of the current program and one-man company, so we don't need that discussion here, thank you, but the program is impressive feature-wise, so in the overall picture assess how important it is to you to get something MADE and DELIVERED. That's what it's all about as a creative. You have to take a calculated risk sometimes. I'm personally going to keep an eye on Vectorstyler - it's a pleasure to follow something that evolves significantly from month to month. I know that as a company we won't be investing in Serif's programs for commercial use (probably never will), but I'll be keeping an eye on Serif as well, but here I can settle for dropping by annually - without any expectations. It was a strange experience that Affinity Designer in particular is a completely different program for a completely different audience than what the marketing and website are trying to bluff through. But I can understand that more artistic types are fond of the program. So am I for creative use. But I predict it will end up on the back burner once I finish my test creations. We as a company - and ambitious professionals - need somethingthat has mature vector features from top to bottom, and where the algorithms are professional and solid. That's why we're staying with Adobe, but it's been exciting to look around. There is clearly money to be made from the many talented hobbyists. But it's also their limited needs that drag down many small programs. Even those with the potential for more and bigger. But look at Vectorstyler - as the market stands now, it's clearly the cheapest of the feature-rich vector programs at a tolerable price. However, I think it's significantly much better in the macOS edition for M1. /Eddie
  8. Of course Photo should record the percentage in this case. It is after all the whole point of the operation. It's sloppy implementation. Similar action in Photoshop records what it should: The procedure, as always, should be: A) Gather data from customers and the market so you know use cases for functionality. Research competitors' products. B) Develop functionality. Not the other way around.
  9. Thx Old? Bruce πŸ™‚ There they are! Unfortunately, I had overlooked these. I need to slow down and be more thorough. πŸ™„ Thanks, I've assigned most of them shortcuts now. I also need to be able to mark several layers and mass rename, e.g. mark 10 layers and name them 'bricks', and other 10 and call them cement. Hair. Sky. Highlights. Reflection. Anything. Cheers
  10. I prefer shortcuts that make logical sense. And don't require an English keyboard; that's too 80s. When it comes to up, down, right and left, I re-assign to arrow keys, which somehow help me remember which combination of other keys to use. I'm disappointed, that there doesn't seem to be an option to similarly via a keyboard shortcut toggle the selection in the layers panel with the keyboard and select some layers - as in file managers. For example, it will help a lot when we create groups where the shortcut exists to create or release the group. When working with many, many, many layers, mouse or pen or whatever is far from always a fast tool. A shortcut for renaming layers? Yes please. You should be able to press Enter on macOS or F2 on Windows to rename a layer, which are the system keyboard shortcuts for these respective operating systems. And find rename in the context sensitive menu. These shortcuts work much better for me on macOS (where control + arrows are reserved for macOS):
  11. That issue really hurts often in Publisher and should have been fixed already.
  12. As I have written before, Serif seriously needs a serious forum for commercial use of Affinity, and also for very ambitious customers. As I have also written before, the forum is more like a political youth party forum than a customer forum. All the little useless emotion driven posts that do no good, just fill in with noise. And then you have obviously not understood the intentions of many of the posts here. Even though it is written in black and white. It is completely irrelevant to anyone but you that you are happy with the functionality of the program. Have you considered the idea that your needs may be smaller and even MUCH smaller than those of others? Nope, you sure haven't. You just have opinions. And in the midst of your unbridled need to share your own OPINIONS, you scare away those customers who have needs and input that can carry the programs forward from where they are today. You simply must learn to live with the fact that others disagree with you, and that others have substantially different needs than you. That's what we're writing here - not to you, but to Serif. And to make it visual. Here's the car you and users are happy with. A lot of us aren't:
  13. Under Windows, you can save with TIF or TIFF. I'm not sure it's macOS that's the root cause. Safari and Chrome for macOS, for example, will save images with the .jpeg extension without user intervention, but if you specify .jpg in the filename, it is used instead without problems. And the same macOS file dialog is used, as far as I can see. I have not in other applications in macOS seen this dialog with forced extension, so Serif must be involved. But it may be because of integration with macOS image library that Serif shows this silly dialog. But it must simply be for iPad OS/iOS. Photoshop and other applications save fine as TIF. I have the feeling that we are here facing a combination of macOS primitive and patronizing dialog box and Serif's own weird extension handling. I've grown fonder of macOS over time, but much functionality is simply more usable and flexible in Windows. The Open and Save dialogs in particular. Broadly speaking, Windows is made for business users and macOS for home users, users Apple tries to shield against complexity in too many places without providing an alternative for e.g. business users. In a professional context, we need more flexibility and confidence. But we need and want M1.
  14. We think that this time you should give Serif the time to work, and the time to deliver a thorough and important update. Probably more thorough than Serif is aware of. Remember, too, that quality takes time. And it costs. And it's good that it costs. Our impression of the Affinity trio is that the programs are made by too few, too busy and sometimes not competent enough programmers (vector algorithms come to mind, but also Photo which we can't use at all). In particular, the number and type of staff may become Serif's biggest problem. And probably already is. For our part, we don't have the time or the business case to wait so many years for bug fixes or features, as has been the case since 2014. But we are only starting to evaluate now, so we hope the future is not like the past is described here in the forum (and in the release notes). But beyond that, the programs are incredibly unevenly developed, and the order in which functionality is developed doesn't make much sense to us either. Overall: - Designer is an exciting program for bitmap artists, while it's an immensely thin cup of tea for vector designers. There is SO much missing that the program cannot replace real vector programs for professional needs. At all. What does Serif really want with this program? - Photo is the most messy and mediocre program - we took it out of the evaluation after few days. My staff simply could not achieve the desired quality. Besides, the program is a sinful mess. The user interface, menus and panels have to be completely rebuilt from scratch. Tell us, are there no real usability specialists employed in Serif? - Publisher is clearly the program Serif is most interested in developing, but it also lacks features that need to come soon, and come in good implementations. And there are serious signs that the user interface is not thought through from the start - the program risks drowning in panels and complexity year after year. We're also speechless at the lack of accessibility features for PDF and ebook support. It's as if Publisher was designed in 1995. And what type of customer is it really designed for and for what needs - exactly? So all in all, we hope that this time Serif steps back ten steps again, and fixes the mistakes and bad choices made along the way, and safeguards the architecture of the programs for the long term. And in the process employ expertise where they are on thin ice. This can be done on a project basis. There is plenty for Serif to do - it will take time, and it must take time. Please don't push them into delivering more hacks. You're all going to pay for that. /Eddie and co.
  15. Absolutely agree. And these brushes should be divided CLEARLY and each with its named category "vector brushes" and "bitmap brushes". That brushes are drawn on a vector path is not enough to give it the name vector brush. It is directly misleading marketing. Moreover, as a customer you cannot even see which brush is actually vector in the list of brushes. But it seems to be only one. Repeat, one simple real vector brush. The big disappointment of Affinity Designer on iPad and desktop is that the program offers almost no vector features. And clearly not designed as a professional vector design program. It seems more like Designer is pieced together from components of Publisher and Photo - and little extra. That doesn't give much hope for the future. Come out of the closet as a drawing program for artists (in your marketing) - or make sure the missing vector features are delivered in a steady stream, is my advice. We rarely give major disappointments or deviations from marketing two chances. The history is that in almost all cases the miracles do not occur. Fool me once... /Eddie
  16. I'd like to hear why I "cannot" use .TIF Serif? Is it a macOS thing? Photoshop on macOS saves happily with .TIF
  17. Okay, to be fair, the gradient tool remembers the fill mode selection if you switch elements in the layers panel with the gradient tool still active. But still πŸ™‚
  18. Hi @Dampsquid Your post reminded me of this, which we have been annoyed about: Our experience is that settings are good, but they are also overlooked by many, so our preference is that one's choices are remembered throughout the programme session. In addition, settings can of course complement this. Have a great weekend
  19. My co-workers have (loudly) noted an annoyance in the gradient tool. It always defaults to fill. When you happen to put a gradient on a large number of strokes, it is exceptionally annoying and disruptive to have to go up to the toolbar and select stroke each time we activate the tool. It must be quite simple to implement that last selected mode is remembered the program session out. I just remembered this when I read this related entry from another customer, so it is a problem (and it IS a problem that needs to be solved in multiple places in all applications):
  20. Approximately in chapter 3 of the psychology syllabus (after the introduction to psychology and the introduction to the use of statistics in psychology) you can read that humans are governed by habits and learned routines. Many companies have recognised this and adjusted in order to sell alternatives at all. You only have to be different if you really, really have a better alternative, and again the customers have the final say. Some products therefore go to great lengths to be compatible with, for example, shortcuts. This makes sense too, because it is crucial in product selection, and it is crucial if someone is going to use two products in the same flow. We've also wondered greatly about several shortcuts in Affinity that are simply too clunky to make sense with frequent use. Or to remember. Not least two mouse buttons held down simultaneously, as is the case in Windows editions. We also miss the ability to configure some shortcuts that are currently not configurable. This is very important for us. In particular, we missed the much better use of the right mouse button seen in many new applications - and Photoshop - e.g. for adjusting brush size etc. The current menu with everything crammed in is of almost no use. Incidentally, it's as if 30% of Affinity is designed really thoughtfully. And that since a date it has gone downhill. But the shortcuts are not well chosen regardless. /Eddie
  21. Thank you @Hangman Yes, I finally found it. At first I didn't even think it had to do with optical alignment which I haven't worked with that much before personally. This is probably a good opportunity to try it out, here in the summer quiet at work. So I'm not completely blank when my clever colleagues lecture me about it when they're back. πŸ™‚ But at least it'll be my turn for a holiday by then. Thanks for the screenshot and link - and have a great weekend. /Eddie
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