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JGD

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    JGD got a reaction from jstnhllmn in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    Four years in and this still hasn't been properly addressed. That's the reason why I'm calling it a “critical & overdue” feature. I know these posters weren't yet addressing the whole layer issue (because it wasn't yet a thing), but the fact it even arose and still lingers to this day means you still haven't figured out the core artboard and layer model in a functional manner. AD is not intuitive, it's a letdown, and the only reason I don't wish I've never bought it in the first place is because it shows a lot of promise and I know you needed the money. I've said it before and I'll say it again: though I may not seem like it, I must be one of the most patient and optimistic people around and I really want you guys to succeed, but I don't think this is working, or working as nicely as you think it is (I don't know what's your data on successful trial-to-paying-customer ratio, and maybe it's hard to figure that out as you'd have to cross-examine – on the Mac at least – the MAS data with the beta sign-up forms, but you really should double-check that).
    It's great that you're addressing so many important feature requests, but if the core of the application doesn't work, you won't attract users, and those newfangled features won't be properly tested (at least that's the reason I'm personally not testing them as much as I'd like, because these days I won't use AD for production work, ever, and will only do every now and then small random tests of features I know I use frequently, to check if I can finally switch). You see, AD is, in fact, so frustrating to use I just keep firing up Ai instead. And this is not just a matter of my muscle memory from Adobe apps not matching up with AD, not at all. AI's bugs, feature creep and overall crustiness are actually still more bearable than AD's über-quirky behaviour (I could get used to the whole extremely non-standard click+option+drag duplication behaviour I've beaten to death, but the entire artboard and layer situation is a total non-starter for me). These are serious and irreconcilable UX and structural issues we're talking about, here.
    Guys like me (you know what kind of invitations you sent me, and the letters I've sent you even before you made the whole betting-the-farm-on-Affinity move public, and if not please check your internal archives) should be the canary in the coal mine. You're losing me a bit, here. Whenever I'm speaking to young aspiring designers I'm always torn between bashing Adobe (because how couldn't I?), praising you and then immediately having to recognise the sad reality that maybe you bit more than you could chew and/or are not prioritising your features right (because, you see, I really can't stick my neck out for you, as my credibility would also be on the line). Please fix the core first/ASAP.
    Until you can get users like me to at least do some intermediate projects (and, no, doing some artwork for brochure covers – which I then finish off in InDesign because APub is still in beta, mind you – just because AD is better at gradients is just… sad, and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of any of the admittedly cool new features you've been adding recently), you won't make any serious dents in Adobe's armour. I'm basically using Affinity as an accessory to Adobe's apps, when I hoped it'd be the other way around already for quite a while.
    Remember our loud rants in the Publisher forums against you even thinking of releasing it into the wild without anchored objects properly implemented, lest you damaged your reputation among pros? Well, as of late, I've been reconsidering my initial enthusiasm regarding Designer, and realised this complete layer/artboard SNAFU is Designer's equivalent to that – actually, scratch that; this is akin to releasing Publisher without support for master pages or baseline grids, or at least with a totally borked implementation thereof –, and it's been four years already since these users gave you the very same warning.
    Four years of losing potential users who downloaded the trial and decided against buying it (if you're lucky enough, maybe they're now “honest pirates”, are still trialling it in less than legal fashion and maybe will indeed buy it once it gets up to spec, instead of just ignoring it altogether) or disappointing paying customers – nay, outspoken advocates and influencers – like myself. People can tolerate the lack of even basic features like “select by stroke/fill/colour”, or even bleeds (it's not like pros can't do their nifty artwork in AD and then export it into Ai or ID to put the finishing touches and send it to the printer), but if the core is completely broken, it really throws off a bad vibe, as if development is misguided or something. As if you were making it up as you went.
    I am seriously afraid you may be boxing yourselves in in other fields, and I only realised it yesterday once I really started thinking of the implications of adding just one checkbox or field, but if you have to break workflows to make things right once and for all (for all their inane tinkering and bloatware, you haven't seen Adobe messing around that much with that feature since they acquired Macromedia – and, by extension, Freehand – and bolted multiple artboard support onto Ai, and people haven't complained that much about it, either, so clearly they've been doing at least something right there), you'd better do it quickly and early on. Because, yes, I do believe this is “early on”, and that we're all in fact some sort of “paying beta testers” in the grand scheme of things; Affinity may not even reach critical mass – as in… InDesign-killing-Quark-like critical mass – until version 2 or 3, and that's fine… But the core should be perfect in v.1.x! In fact, judging from these old posts, and from me not even willing to use the MAS version for frequent production work, it should've been fixed in v.1.6 already.
  2. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    You know, a great way of summarising this entire issue is thusly:
    Affinity Designer is like a great set of brushes, pens, rulers, protractors, compass, etc., but then the draftsman table it comes with has wheels under its feet, its surface is buttered so your stuff slides around, etc.
    The problem with Designer is, then, not the tools, but the canvas. And my choice of word isn't innocent, either. That's a physical, white thing atop of which you scratch with pigments and splosh paint. I've said this before here on the forums about abstraction, left-vs.-right-brain, etc.; Illustrator is very WYSIWYG, even if it uses some apparently abstract conventions like the all-inclusive pasteboard (they're not abstract at all, however; originally, Ai was thought-out as a literal table where you had a literal, single sheet of paper, and now it's thought out as a literal table with multiple sheets of paper, just like Freehand was). And that behaviour in AD we're discussing here attempts to make it even more WYSIWYG but, in its… AI-ness (as in artificial intelligence, not Adobe Illustrator  ), can and does rub many users off the wrong way. It rubs me off the wrong way just like, say, iTunes' and Apple Photos' automatic library management rubs off Windows switchers, used to manage their stuff manually, the wrong way.
    The difference being that if you buy a Mac, you're not forced to use either of those apps and can carry on doing stuff the old fashioned way, whereas switching from Ai to Affinity Designer forces you to give up useful – nay, essential – workflows for certain kinds of projects. Do you now see the deeper, underlying philosophical issues I'm getting at?
    Automatic ≠ WYSIWYG (especially if having a layer above an artboard creates the opposite expectation on the user…). And database (something which Affinity Designer's rigid container tree does feel a lot like) ≠ WYSIWYG. If you're working on a physical table, you may have a single sheet of transparent paper over many other sheets of paper, am I right? Shouldn't you be able to work on that level/layer unhindered, then, just like in real life? Unfortunately, from a purely psychological standpoint, AD really is also worse for visual creatives (including, yes, illustrators) than Serif devs think (no, we don't usually conceptualise our work as boxes inside other boxes, but as layers of meaning/material/pigment – the lowest of which is always the paper or the canvas, hence the reason why we’d never think of an artboard as “containing” stuff, but, instead, as the substrate atop which stuff is layered, or the final artwork cropping area extracted from a larger substrate – which can be common across several different pieces – and, indeed, I've seen people working on many at the same time and on the same table –, and that also includes web and interface design! This still comes from the annals of analog media, when stuff was physically layered and then photographed for print production, and students are still taught that way in fine arts schools and faculties). It really feels like AD was designed by engineers more than Adobe's offering was, and I never really thought of ever saying this about any piece of commercial software (GNU/GPL/FOSS stuff is a different matter), ever, as that's a common grievance when it comes to users calling them out on their mistakes (like, say, the infamous thread about gradients in Photoshop I always love to quote as an example).
    Look, I'm no UX expert. But I've been doing design for almost 20 years, formally studying it for 15, practicing it professionally for around 10 and am just now starting to teach it in earnest. And I've dated a painter and illustrator (who works with actual, physical media, but also with digital tools) for a couple of years and watched her and her colleagues work very closely. I know how designers and illustrators work and think, and I assure you Serif devs are absolutely in the wrong here. In real life™, physical media doesn't change its z position just because you tweaked the other two axes, you know? But that wouldn't even be an issue if we had a choice, and from a technical standpoint there are strong hints that such a choice may indeed be on the table (pun unintended), and that Serif may not be as boxed in (pun also unintended) with this model as it may appear. Let creatives be creatives and use their tools in a freer way, and if Serif devs manage to reconcile both models, they'll achieve something rather hard and not quite unlike squaring the circle. But I do think it's doable, and I'm dead sure it must be done.  
  3. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Exactly, and as I've said before on the forums and now on my little demos, I totally get the thinking behind it. Which leads me back to the entire illustration vs. design, and Designer vs. Illustrator switcheroo. Both apps are trying to address both fields at the same time, and the old 80 lbs. incumbent gorilla is still best suited for design, whereas the nimble newcomer is most definitely more suited for – and more popular among – the illustration crowd, precisely because of the features which you've mentioned and I'm addressing more as bugs than as features (not because they are bad ideas per se, but because they a) need to be optional and b) need a lot more polish).
    What frustrates me to no end is seeing that Designer is one centimeter away from being great for really complex design work as well and kick the gorilla in its proverbial groin. Heck, rename the current Vector Persona into an Illustration Persona and recreate a new, tweaked Design Persona if you must, or create two entirely new ones from scratch with slightly different behaviours (yes, it's a very Charing-Cross-becoming-Embankment-and-Strand-becoming-Charing-Cross kind of thing, but if you must do it, please do it ASAP).
    That was supposed to be the beauty of Affinity, right? Personas. I don't know if that's the solution, but it would certainly be a way of looking at it, and totally justify momentous changes of behaviour and apparent document structure. That's definitely discoverable and predictable, IMHO. Perhaps save it for v.2 but, if possible, the groundwork for such a set of features could perhaps be laid down and tested in the real world right now. Plus, it would further differentiate Designer from Publisher (which should still feature a cut-down/consolidated Vector Persona), and bring it a bit more on par with Photo (which appears to be, at first glance and with its five Personas, a much more complex application).
  4. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    You know, a great way of summarising this entire issue is thusly:
    Affinity Designer is like a great set of brushes, pens, rulers, protractors, compass, etc., but then the draftsman table it comes with has wheels under its feet, its surface is buttered so your stuff slides around, etc.
    The problem with Designer is, then, not the tools, but the canvas. And my choice of word isn't innocent, either. That's a physical, white thing atop of which you scratch with pigments and splosh paint. I've said this before here on the forums about abstraction, left-vs.-right-brain, etc.; Illustrator is very WYSIWYG, even if it uses some apparently abstract conventions like the all-inclusive pasteboard (they're not abstract at all, however; originally, Ai was thought-out as a literal table where you had a literal, single sheet of paper, and now it's thought out as a literal table with multiple sheets of paper, just like Freehand was). And that behaviour in AD we're discussing here attempts to make it even more WYSIWYG but, in its… AI-ness (as in artificial intelligence, not Adobe Illustrator  ), can and does rub many users off the wrong way. It rubs me off the wrong way just like, say, iTunes' and Apple Photos' automatic library management rubs off Windows switchers, used to manage their stuff manually, the wrong way.
    The difference being that if you buy a Mac, you're not forced to use either of those apps and can carry on doing stuff the old fashioned way, whereas switching from Ai to Affinity Designer forces you to give up useful – nay, essential – workflows for certain kinds of projects. Do you now see the deeper, underlying philosophical issues I'm getting at?
    Automatic ≠ WYSIWYG (especially if having a layer above an artboard creates the opposite expectation on the user…). And database (something which Affinity Designer's rigid container tree does feel a lot like) ≠ WYSIWYG. If you're working on a physical table, you may have a single sheet of transparent paper over many other sheets of paper, am I right? Shouldn't you be able to work on that level/layer unhindered, then, just like in real life? Unfortunately, from a purely psychological standpoint, AD really is also worse for visual creatives (including, yes, illustrators) than Serif devs think (no, we don't usually conceptualise our work as boxes inside other boxes, but as layers of meaning/material/pigment – the lowest of which is always the paper or the canvas, hence the reason why we’d never think of an artboard as “containing” stuff, but, instead, as the substrate atop which stuff is layered, or the final artwork cropping area extracted from a larger substrate – which can be common across several different pieces – and, indeed, I've seen people working on many at the same time and on the same table –, and that also includes web and interface design! This still comes from the annals of analog media, when stuff was physically layered and then photographed for print production, and students are still taught that way in fine arts schools and faculties). It really feels like AD was designed by engineers more than Adobe's offering was, and I never really thought of ever saying this about any piece of commercial software (GNU/GPL/FOSS stuff is a different matter), ever, as that's a common grievance when it comes to users calling them out on their mistakes (like, say, the infamous thread about gradients in Photoshop I always love to quote as an example).
    Look, I'm no UX expert. But I've been doing design for almost 20 years, formally studying it for 15, practicing it professionally for around 10 and am just now starting to teach it in earnest. And I've dated a painter and illustrator (who works with actual, physical media, but also with digital tools) for a couple of years and watched her and her colleagues work very closely. I know how designers and illustrators work and think, and I assure you Serif devs are absolutely in the wrong here. In real life™, physical media doesn't change its z position just because you tweaked the other two axes, you know? But that wouldn't even be an issue if we had a choice, and from a technical standpoint there are strong hints that such a choice may indeed be on the table (pun unintended), and that Serif may not be as boxed in (pun also unintended) with this model as it may appear. Let creatives be creatives and use their tools in a freer way, and if Serif devs manage to reconcile both models, they'll achieve something rather hard and not quite unlike squaring the circle. But I do think it's doable, and I'm dead sure it must be done.  
  5. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Exactly, and as I've said before on the forums and now on my little demos, I totally get the thinking behind it. Which leads me back to the entire illustration vs. design, and Designer vs. Illustrator switcheroo. Both apps are trying to address both fields at the same time, and the old 80 lbs. incumbent gorilla is still best suited for design, whereas the nimble newcomer is most definitely more suited for – and more popular among – the illustration crowd, precisely because of the features which you've mentioned and I'm addressing more as bugs than as features (not because they are bad ideas per se, but because they a) need to be optional and b) need a lot more polish).
    What frustrates me to no end is seeing that Designer is one centimeter away from being great for really complex design work as well and kick the gorilla in its proverbial groin. Heck, rename the current Vector Persona into an Illustration Persona and recreate a new, tweaked Design Persona if you must, or create two entirely new ones from scratch with slightly different behaviours (yes, it's a very Charing-Cross-becoming-Embankment-and-Strand-becoming-Charing-Cross kind of thing, but if you must do it, please do it ASAP).
    That was supposed to be the beauty of Affinity, right? Personas. I don't know if that's the solution, but it would certainly be a way of looking at it, and totally justify momentous changes of behaviour and apparent document structure. That's definitely discoverable and predictable, IMHO. Perhaps save it for v.2 but, if possible, the groundwork for such a set of features could perhaps be laid down and tested in the real world right now. Plus, it would further differentiate Designer from Publisher (which should still feature a cut-down/consolidated Vector Persona), and bring it a bit more on par with Photo (which appears to be, at first glance and with its five Personas, a much more complex application).
  6. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    You know, a great way of summarising this entire issue is thusly:
    Affinity Designer is like a great set of brushes, pens, rulers, protractors, compass, etc., but then the draftsman table it comes with has wheels under its feet, its surface is buttered so your stuff slides around, etc.
    The problem with Designer is, then, not the tools, but the canvas. And my choice of word isn't innocent, either. That's a physical, white thing atop of which you scratch with pigments and splosh paint. I've said this before here on the forums about abstraction, left-vs.-right-brain, etc.; Illustrator is very WYSIWYG, even if it uses some apparently abstract conventions like the all-inclusive pasteboard (they're not abstract at all, however; originally, Ai was thought-out as a literal table where you had a literal, single sheet of paper, and now it's thought out as a literal table with multiple sheets of paper, just like Freehand was). And that behaviour in AD we're discussing here attempts to make it even more WYSIWYG but, in its… AI-ness (as in artificial intelligence, not Adobe Illustrator  ), can and does rub many users off the wrong way. It rubs me off the wrong way just like, say, iTunes' and Apple Photos' automatic library management rubs off Windows switchers, used to manage their stuff manually, the wrong way.
    The difference being that if you buy a Mac, you're not forced to use either of those apps and can carry on doing stuff the old fashioned way, whereas switching from Ai to Affinity Designer forces you to give up useful – nay, essential – workflows for certain kinds of projects. Do you now see the deeper, underlying philosophical issues I'm getting at?
    Automatic ≠ WYSIWYG (especially if having a layer above an artboard creates the opposite expectation on the user…). And database (something which Affinity Designer's rigid container tree does feel a lot like) ≠ WYSIWYG. If you're working on a physical table, you may have a single sheet of transparent paper over many other sheets of paper, am I right? Shouldn't you be able to work on that level/layer unhindered, then, just like in real life? Unfortunately, from a purely psychological standpoint, AD really is also worse for visual creatives (including, yes, illustrators) than Serif devs think (no, we don't usually conceptualise our work as boxes inside other boxes, but as layers of meaning/material/pigment – the lowest of which is always the paper or the canvas, hence the reason why we’d never think of an artboard as “containing” stuff, but, instead, as the substrate atop which stuff is layered, or the final artwork cropping area extracted from a larger substrate – which can be common across several different pieces – and, indeed, I've seen people working on many at the same time and on the same table –, and that also includes web and interface design! This still comes from the annals of analog media, when stuff was physically layered and then photographed for print production, and students are still taught that way in fine arts schools and faculties). It really feels like AD was designed by engineers more than Adobe's offering was, and I never really thought of ever saying this about any piece of commercial software (GNU/GPL/FOSS stuff is a different matter), ever, as that's a common grievance when it comes to users calling them out on their mistakes (like, say, the infamous thread about gradients in Photoshop I always love to quote as an example).
    Look, I'm no UX expert. But I've been doing design for almost 20 years, formally studying it for 15, practicing it professionally for around 10 and am just now starting to teach it in earnest. And I've dated a painter and illustrator (who works with actual, physical media, but also with digital tools) for a couple of years and watched her and her colleagues work very closely. I know how designers and illustrators work and think, and I assure you Serif devs are absolutely in the wrong here. In real life™, physical media doesn't change its z position just because you tweaked the other two axes, you know? But that wouldn't even be an issue if we had a choice, and from a technical standpoint there are strong hints that such a choice may indeed be on the table (pun unintended), and that Serif may not be as boxed in (pun also unintended) with this model as it may appear. Let creatives be creatives and use their tools in a freer way, and if Serif devs manage to reconcile both models, they'll achieve something rather hard and not quite unlike squaring the circle. But I do think it's doable, and I'm dead sure it must be done.  
  7. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Exactly, and as I've said before on the forums and now on my little demos, I totally get the thinking behind it. Which leads me back to the entire illustration vs. design, and Designer vs. Illustrator switcheroo. Both apps are trying to address both fields at the same time, and the old 80 lbs. incumbent gorilla is still best suited for design, whereas the nimble newcomer is most definitely more suited for – and more popular among – the illustration crowd, precisely because of the features which you've mentioned and I'm addressing more as bugs than as features (not because they are bad ideas per se, but because they a) need to be optional and b) need a lot more polish).
    What frustrates me to no end is seeing that Designer is one centimeter away from being great for really complex design work as well and kick the gorilla in its proverbial groin. Heck, rename the current Vector Persona into an Illustration Persona and recreate a new, tweaked Design Persona if you must, or create two entirely new ones from scratch with slightly different behaviours (yes, it's a very Charing-Cross-becoming-Embankment-and-Strand-becoming-Charing-Cross kind of thing, but if you must do it, please do it ASAP).
    That was supposed to be the beauty of Affinity, right? Personas. I don't know if that's the solution, but it would certainly be a way of looking at it, and totally justify momentous changes of behaviour and apparent document structure. That's definitely discoverable and predictable, IMHO. Perhaps save it for v.2 but, if possible, the groundwork for such a set of features could perhaps be laid down and tested in the real world right now. Plus, it would further differentiate Designer from Publisher (which should still feature a cut-down/consolidated Vector Persona), and bring it a bit more on par with Photo (which appears to be, at first glance and with its five Personas, a much more complex application).
  8. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    For me, they are disastrous. There's nothing more terrible than software making these kinds of decisions for you, without affordances to prevent it. Intuitiveness is hard to explain as a concept, but what you've just seen in those videos is something Serif should've done with live testers, sitting on a chair at their HQ, with a camera pointed at their faces, and addressed before even shipping v.1. You may notice I've isolated at least three or four instances of unpredictability and objects just “disappearing” (i.e. bad UX).
    I know for a fact that I'm not the only one feeling this way about AD. Just because there's a sizeable number of users who don't, that doesn't mean there isn't an equally large number of those who do and either put up with it, or just bailed on it and stuck with Adobe. The difference here being that I'm not willing to take Adobe's crap anymore, but am not willing to severely downgrade my workflow, either, and I've bet heavily on Serif and Affinity.
    They are indeed the ones with the best chances of making it, and believe me when I tell you that I did look at alternatives and keep doing so. Nothing comes close. Not even CorelDraw, an application on which I did the first versions of those diagrams back when I was only fifteen (so, some 18 years ago now), and which I still used in the v.11, PowerPC OS X days. But that doesn't change the fact that if I can't do with AD at least 95% of what I do in Ai without wanting to pull my hair out, I just… won't.
  9. Like
    JGD reacted to A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    For me, they are disastrous. There's nothing more terrible than software making these kinds of decisions for you, without affordances to prevent it.
    On the other hand, you will also have to admit that it is very cool to be able to just drag an object to an artboard and have it immediately nested as a child to the artboard node in the document structure, at least in use cases that are different from the ones you have in mind. I can perfectly understand your frustration, João, for designers of info graphics will need the functions you described. You cannot really do maps without global layers. You should have a choice. So, again, I think you are justified in your criticism, and I would endorse your request for a second look and some sensible tweaks. 
  10. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    It kind of does, yes.
    Maybe have a super-artboard called pasteboard, above all others? And allow you to add a toggle to layers so as to force whatever objects in them to stay put in whatever artboard they belong to, including the pasteboard?
    And as a solution to the entire cropped objects conundrum, considering different behaviours other than cropping them outright? Just making them x% transparent?
    And maybe fix the entire selection model, thus allowing to select anything visible/unlocked (including, yes, artboards) regardless of where it sits on the document tree? That can of worms is already open, as you pointed out. It is inconsistent behaviour, and it will lead other people to, just like me, think they can use it for universal layers, only to become immediately frustrated and disappointed.
    Or, I dunno, just allow users to pick between an Ai-like document model and an Affinity-like document model, as long as they are fully-compatible between one another (say, by even allowing to automatically move all universal objects to whichever artboard they're sitting atop of at the push of a button, or automatically extract all objects from each artboard into the pasteboard – maybe you'd lose whichever universal layers you had set up before, but that would be understandable) and with Publisher, document-specific (so it could be a Document Setup-level preference) and easily discoverable (see above). We're already allowed to pick between Corel's (lasso) and Adobe's (intersection) selection model, so… why not?
    We could certainly hash out some ideas here and get at a more sensible solution. There is a lot to love in Designer but, as I've said it before, it feels too rigid and dumbed down, with some disastrous, unforgiving UX results. :\
  11. Like
    JGD reacted to A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Hi JGD,
    thank you for these annotated screen casts. They made your points perfectly clear. I would also endorse your point that the container model of the artboard should be thought of as being reconcilable with your “universal layer” model. As an aside, you will know that it is possible to achieve what you want by creating, not universal layers, but universal artboards on top of empty ones that are supposed to act like their namesakes in Illustrator (see attached). I haven’t followed all of your threads, so I am sure you already considered that option. But I must confess, this technique is also a bit cumbersome and creates a slight mess on the workspace.
    Test.pdf
    Test.afdesign

     
    Personally, I must confess I have always been a bit perplexed by the fact that independent layers above artboards get exported to PDF so effortlessly, as that clearly breaks the logic of the container model (or the “document tree” model: an independent layer of that kind doesn’t seem to have a proper place in the document tree). I must also confess that I have never used this technique, partly because of the editing problems you describe (moving “universal layers” will nest them to artboards immediately), and partly because I wanted to keep my document structure logical and tidy.
    But, indeed, as those little cracks and inconsistencies are already present in the current document tree model, I am also starting to wonder whether it would be possible to exploit them in a more fruitful way. As far as I understand, artboards in Designer are currently thought of as being part of a single page. For when we import a document containing artboards to Publisher, we can choose whether (a) to convert the existing artboards to spreads or (b) keep them as artboards. In the latter case, a single layout page will show up in the Pages Panel (see below), obviously containing all of the artboards as layers.

     
    Hence, there already seems to be another logical layer in a Designer document that could be a natural place for holding what you call “universal layers.” So I would like to suggest to ponder the following. What about exhibiting the “hidden” page which holds the artboards in Publisher to the users of Designer and allow them to add objects to this page? The page would then be the primary container of everything: of artboards on the one hand, being still containers in themselves, and of other objects, like layers or shapes, on the other hand.
    Publisher import would still allow to make a choice. When the user would choose to convert artboards to single pages, all the “universal” objects would have to be duplicated and nested to the pages according to the parts that had been visible on the original artboards in Designer. When a user would opt for keeping the artboards, well, then everything would be as it currently is. 
    Does that make any sense?
    Alex 
  12. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Hi again @MattP,
    As promised, here are my video demos and the test file I was working on.
    I'm sorry for all the ranting and raving these last few days (and you can still sense my frustration in my voice), but I do feel I'm onto something here.
    If you can address this without opening, as I said, a few cans of worms, this should be a low-cost, high-benefit fix. I wouldn't say this is the only issue preventing me and other users from using Affinity Designer on a daily basis, but I will say it is the most serious, and it is indeed preventing me from even wishing to test it on more complex projects.
    All the best,
    João

    universal_layer_test.mov universal_layer_example.mov universal layer test.afdesign
  13. Like
    JGD got a reaction from MattP in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Hi Matt, thank you for your prompt feedback.
    Yes, I know of your choice of making Artboards as containers, I've read on it here on the forums before, and I see no inherent problem in that.
    My point being that both models, Adobe's and Affinity's, are perfectly reconcilable if some extra thought is given (and more control is devolved to the end user). As it stands, Affinity Designer already supports objects outside of/above Artboards, and will export them just fine as if they were contained in them. It's just that its default behaviour makes it seem like that isn't possible (and, in fact, it hinders its usability thereof to the point of frustration and uselessness).
    As promised, I will make a little narrated screencap, and will also provide you with the corresponding .afdesign demonstration files to show you just what I'm getting at. Also, I may provide you with some example .Ai files – speculative Faculty projects which could very well be actual, professional ones –, too, so you can see what kind of finished artwork can absolutely benefit from such a hybrid model.
    All the best,
    João
  14. Thanks
    JGD got a reaction from jstnhllmn in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    Four years in and this still hasn't been properly addressed. That's the reason why I'm calling it a “critical & overdue” feature. I know these posters weren't yet addressing the whole layer issue (because it wasn't yet a thing), but the fact it even arose and still lingers to this day means you still haven't figured out the core artboard and layer model in a functional manner. AD is not intuitive, it's a letdown, and the only reason I don't wish I've never bought it in the first place is because it shows a lot of promise and I know you needed the money. I've said it before and I'll say it again: though I may not seem like it, I must be one of the most patient and optimistic people around and I really want you guys to succeed, but I don't think this is working, or working as nicely as you think it is (I don't know what's your data on successful trial-to-paying-customer ratio, and maybe it's hard to figure that out as you'd have to cross-examine – on the Mac at least – the MAS data with the beta sign-up forms, but you really should double-check that).
    It's great that you're addressing so many important feature requests, but if the core of the application doesn't work, you won't attract users, and those newfangled features won't be properly tested (at least that's the reason I'm personally not testing them as much as I'd like, because these days I won't use AD for production work, ever, and will only do every now and then small random tests of features I know I use frequently, to check if I can finally switch). You see, AD is, in fact, so frustrating to use I just keep firing up Ai instead. And this is not just a matter of my muscle memory from Adobe apps not matching up with AD, not at all. AI's bugs, feature creep and overall crustiness are actually still more bearable than AD's über-quirky behaviour (I could get used to the whole extremely non-standard click+option+drag duplication behaviour I've beaten to death, but the entire artboard and layer situation is a total non-starter for me). These are serious and irreconcilable UX and structural issues we're talking about, here.
    Guys like me (you know what kind of invitations you sent me, and the letters I've sent you even before you made the whole betting-the-farm-on-Affinity move public, and if not please check your internal archives) should be the canary in the coal mine. You're losing me a bit, here. Whenever I'm speaking to young aspiring designers I'm always torn between bashing Adobe (because how couldn't I?), praising you and then immediately having to recognise the sad reality that maybe you bit more than you could chew and/or are not prioritising your features right (because, you see, I really can't stick my neck out for you, as my credibility would also be on the line). Please fix the core first/ASAP.
    Until you can get users like me to at least do some intermediate projects (and, no, doing some artwork for brochure covers – which I then finish off in InDesign because APub is still in beta, mind you – just because AD is better at gradients is just… sad, and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of any of the admittedly cool new features you've been adding recently), you won't make any serious dents in Adobe's armour. I'm basically using Affinity as an accessory to Adobe's apps, when I hoped it'd be the other way around already for quite a while.
    Remember our loud rants in the Publisher forums against you even thinking of releasing it into the wild without anchored objects properly implemented, lest you damaged your reputation among pros? Well, as of late, I've been reconsidering my initial enthusiasm regarding Designer, and realised this complete layer/artboard SNAFU is Designer's equivalent to that – actually, scratch that; this is akin to releasing Publisher without support for master pages or baseline grids, or at least with a totally borked implementation thereof –, and it's been four years already since these users gave you the very same warning.
    Four years of losing potential users who downloaded the trial and decided against buying it (if you're lucky enough, maybe they're now “honest pirates”, are still trialling it in less than legal fashion and maybe will indeed buy it once it gets up to spec, instead of just ignoring it altogether) or disappointing paying customers – nay, outspoken advocates and influencers – like myself. People can tolerate the lack of even basic features like “select by stroke/fill/colour”, or even bleeds (it's not like pros can't do their nifty artwork in AD and then export it into Ai or ID to put the finishing touches and send it to the printer), but if the core is completely broken, it really throws off a bad vibe, as if development is misguided or something. As if you were making it up as you went.
    I am seriously afraid you may be boxing yourselves in in other fields, and I only realised it yesterday once I really started thinking of the implications of adding just one checkbox or field, but if you have to break workflows to make things right once and for all (for all their inane tinkering and bloatware, you haven't seen Adobe messing around that much with that feature since they acquired Macromedia – and, by extension, Freehand – and bolted multiple artboard support onto Ai, and people haven't complained that much about it, either, so clearly they've been doing at least something right there), you'd better do it quickly and early on. Because, yes, I do believe this is “early on”, and that we're all in fact some sort of “paying beta testers” in the grand scheme of things; Affinity may not even reach critical mass – as in… InDesign-killing-Quark-like critical mass – until version 2 or 3, and that's fine… But the core should be perfect in v.1.x! In fact, judging from these old posts, and from me not even willing to use the MAS version for frequent production work, it should've been fixed in v.1.6 already.
  15. Like
    JGD reacted to MattP in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Hi JGD,
    We're obviously reading your comments and we obviously want you to be happy. Would you be able to show me a little screen capture of when it's getting in your way so I can see what you're actually trying to achieve that's not working out for you? If the problem could be solved for you by simply offering the other behaviour when 'Edit All Layers' is not enabled then I'll definitely consider it, but only once I've seen what the actual problem is?
    Many thanks in advance,
    Matt
     
    Edited to add: Just to make it very clear, Artboards act as containers in Designer, they do not in Illustrator and this is the reason for some of the differences... There are pros and cons to each method, but we deliberately chose to make them act as containers...
  16. Like
    JGD reacted to MattP in Affinity Designer Customer Beta (1.7.0.12)   
    Status: Beta
    Purpose: Features, Improvements, Fixes
    Requirements: Purchased Affinity Designer
    Mac App Store: Not submitted
    Download: Here
     
    Hello,
    We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the beta of Affinity Designer 1.7 for macOS.
    Designer 1.7 is a significant change to the currently shipping 1.6 version. Files edited in this version will not be backwards-compatible with the shipping 1.6 version. As such, we would not recommend using this 1.7 version for critical or production work at this stage. It is inevitable that there were will be a number of issues with 1.7 but we hope these will be minor and aim to resolve any issues very quickly, so please use it and explore the new features, but also do keep in mind that you may find snags and we would appreciate your help with finding and reporting these to us.
    If this is your first time using a customer beta of an Affinity app, it’s worth noting that the beta will install as a separate app - alongside your store version. They will not interfere with each other at all and you can continue to use the store version for critical work without worry.
    It’s also worth noting that we aren’t done yet - we are still working through reported bugs from previous releases and hope to fix as many as possible before the final release of 1.7. To be notified when there is a new beta please press follow on this announcment thread
    With all that said, we hope that you will enjoy the new capabilities introduced in this initial release and we look forward to any and all feedback you give to us.
    Many thanks,
    Matt
     
    Please refer to previous beta 1.7.0.4 post where there's a list of major changes since 1.6. This latest update builds on the 1.7.0.11 changes and also includes the following changes:
    Adopt GPU acceleration (if your Mac supports it) for brushing - automatically enabled, but can be turned off in Preferences New samples! (actually, that'll be in the next build, sorry!) Improved selection logic for small objects and users with tablets Fixed order of palette import/export so it is not reversed! Miscellaneous Metal view mode improvements Fix for 'Create artboard' checkbox in the New Document dialog being incorrectly checked Fix for incorrect arrowhead previews in the drop-down list Restored original context menu behaviour of the Gradient Tool Fix for issues with horizontal or vertical lines not acting correctly in Node Tool Miscellaneous small fixes
  17. Like
    JGD reacted to Tim Gummer in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    plus one on…

    "I just can't express enough how important it is to implement the pasteboard area & multiple pages"
     
    and thanks for all the graphical gratification in the meantime - life in a post Freehand designing world was almost too grim to go on with, you AD popped up.
  18. Like
    JGD reacted to vittomasuk in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    I know this feature is in the roadmap, but I just can't express enough how important it is to implement the pasteboard area and multiple pages. This is a huge letdown to me and all my colleague designers that I spoke to, and the main reason why none of us has adopted AD professionally yet. Expanding the artboard size to fit scribbles and exporting slices is a design hack, and not a good practice. Illustrator's had multiple pages since CS4, Sketch has since the beginning, Photoshop now has it too... And why make elements invisible outside of the artboard area? Not even a toggle to turn that off? Please put this on first priority, and I think you will gain solid and influential adopters.
  19. Like
    JGD reacted to rui_mac in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    The Nudge tool is an annoyance tool ;-)
     

  20. Like
    JGD reacted to MEB in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    Grokgod,
    The tracing tool wasn't excluded. See the quote above. This is the current list of features to be implemented. They will be replaced with new ones as soon as those are completed.
     
    There were several requests for a tracing tool. One of the developers (MattP) already provided some info about how it will be implemented. Another thread you may want to check: Image Trace - Raster to Vector conversion.
  21. Like
    JGD reacted to TonyB in Affinity Designer feature roadmap   
    People are finding the flexibility of our current automatic grid doesn't work for them. The plan will be to cover more use cases with a combination of grid row/column guides and a user definable grid.
  22. Like
    JGD reacted to MikeW in Things still on my wish list for Affinity   
    Re #5. Use pdfs instead when it makes sense to. But it would take cooperation between Serif and Quark for native file support and Serif will not do that.
  23. Like
    JGD reacted to walt.farrell in Things still on my wish list for Affinity   
    Extremely unlikely that Serif will document the format of their files, in order to enable Quark or InDesign to import them. In any case, why would Serif want to do that when they have their own layout program, Publisher? They would be hurting their own sales.
  24. Like
    JGD got a reaction from CLC in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    I'm also adding a separate comment as a bonus, because this may open yet some other cans of worms and I want to keep it separate from the original one, so please bear with me:
    As for the universal/document layers themselves, and their visual manifestation in the Studio UI, any layer sitting above the topmost artboard could automatically become “universal”… because it technically already is. That is intuitive for any user to grasp, but some extra visual feedback – like, say, change its descriptor in the Layers panel from “(Layer)” to “(Universal Layer)” … and maybe even rename the current artboart-level layers into “(Artboard Layer)” for good measure – would also be very welcome and help a lot with discoverability.
    But if you want to go the extra mile and make sure people instantly get it without having to create and move layers around, you can also add a draggable separator with an independent scroll field, kind of like the one between Master Pages and regular layout pages in InDesign and APub. If you dragged layers and objects below the separator, they could automatically snap into the nearest artboard (since with the concept of universal/document layers, it would no longer make any sense to have universal/document objects sandwiched between different artboards in the layers panel like they do now, and with the “Automatically move objects…” behaviour activated, they could just jump to the topmost layer in the universal/document section when dragged, in the actual WYSIWYG document working area, from their current artboard onto the pasteboard).
    Boom!, instant reconciling of both Affinity's new and current artboard-centric layer model and Adobe's/Corel's/Macromedia's document-centric one, without having to add an extra Artboards panel like Adobe did. That should make a lot of people happy without cluttering the UI too much. Also, you could extend the concept to Affinity Publisher, and thus even allow for document-, master page- and layout page-level layers, in a totally logical and consistent tie-in with the Designer Persona. That would actually make Affinity superior and more flexible than Adobe's offerings.
  25. Like
    JGD got a reaction from CLC in CRITICAL & OVERDUE: Formally add the “universal layer” concept; add an “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” toggle; optionally, make said toggle's disabled state the default behaviour when “Edit All Layers” toggle is also disabled   
    Hi guys.
    Sorry in advance for the redundancy, but I'm creating a new, separate topic, since part of this request was already kinda “solved” and my earlier post on said thread is TL;DR material. So here goes the shortened [it ballooned a bit again, but now with new, useful ideas] and focused version:
    There's a super easy way to solve a very serious philosophical UX choice which almost completely prevents me to recommend Affinity Designer to, well, mostly everyone.
    As you know, when you have a document into artboard mode, objects will be cropped whenever they go past the boundary(ies) of their respective artboard and reappear once they fully transition into the pasteboard, and AD automatically moves them in the layers panel according to whichever artboard they touch/hover above. This is already normal and expected AD behaviour for most users.
    You can also manually move objects and layers outside/above artboards (I'm henceforth calling those “universal layers”, but feel free to give them a better name, like “document layers” or whatever), which do allow you to have any objects they contain appear – and, obviously, export – in two or more adjacent/close artboards. This is a great sign of a potential UX choice, as it is proof the document and layer model is completely ready for the addition I'm proposing; only the UX and the UI need a slight tweak in the form of a toggle and a few lines of code (by the way, nudging objects with the arrow keys doesn't trigger this behaviour, so it should be properly harmonised with the click+drag behaviour in both modes).
    The only issue is that doesn't allow you to deactivate said behaviour of automatically moving objects/groups/layers into artboards when dragging them around with the mouse/trackpad, even with the “Edit All Layers” option disabled (the logical behaviour would be for objects not to switch layers or move into artboards under any circumstance if you're working in one layer in isolation, period. That particular case should be treated as a bug, not as a feature, and maybe the devs should ask users if they mind that slight change).
    That could and should still be the default behaviour, so as not to confuse current happy users, but if we were given said toggle, AD would instantly become much more usable for 99,9% of use cases and a much bigger percentage of current and prospective users.
    As I've said before, if any of the devs/mods or other users want me to do a little narrated screen capture to demonstrate this, I'm all up for it.
    Kudos for the Affinity team and all the best for you all,
    João
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