This thread was directed more towards the designers as opposed to users. It started out questioning if the new software would sell if it’s as complex as others, but the comments got way off topic and the message got lost. I was asked to keep it going because of how many people were interested in the topic:
This is “wordy” and I appreciate the ability to communicate it:
My question of "Will it sell" is not directed at professional users. It's about how "pros" are a tiny percentage of the market. Why make another complex publishing software (with so many out there already) when you could make one easy and fast to use? If a print shop could cut 10-20% of their desk/software time it would save millions worldwide and you'd dominate the market.
I've been a PagePlus user for the past 15 years. When people sit at my desk they’re fascinated watching me work in the software because of its ease and speed. My office publishes a 40-page monthly newspaper and I do the whole thing monthly by myself in a few hours because of the speed and ease of Pageplus X9. When a client has a request for a change I have a proof in their email as we’re talking. This is all because of the speed and efficiency of the software. While I realize the new Publisher software is not PagePlus, I’m wondering why the developers would remove all of the speed and ease and merge into something which tales so much longer to perform basic tasks. I’m only referring to the basics; like a “Save” button on the toolbar, and a “New document” button on the toolbar. I so miss my old “zoom” button and slider-bar. Why make people learn keyboard shortcuts or have to deal with drop-down buttons? Those who don’t use software like Publisher daily have to relearn it every time they sit down, which seems like it would eliminate a huge percentage of possible users. I’ve been messing with Beta for days and still can’t figure out how to save user defaults.
I understand new software requires learning where features are. Consider this: When you buy a new car you the windshield wiper button is now located on the left side of the wheel. Going from left to right involves no more time once it’s a habit. For something simple like wipers in most desktop publishing software is like having to stop the car, go into the trunk, open a box to find a smaller box, in that box is a key. Take that key into the back seat and use it to turn a widget which turns on the wipers, then return the key to the smaller box in the bigger box in the trunk, then get back in the car and begin driving again. All of this…. as opposed to having a wipers button right in front of you, on the dash (toolbar).
Back to the topic- will it sell? Of course it will, but do you want it to sell or do you want to rock the world and dominate the industry? The “average” person hires out graphics because they don’t know the “language.” You wanna dominate the market- offer something where people are not required to learn a language.
My attempt at describing the topic to designers in a nutshell- Should you be taking advice from professionals? Not to criticize them, but consider seeking advice from “average’ people who know little about graphic software, this will create something unique which anyone can use, not just professional who “know” the language. Then you can sell to everyone. The “pros” may tease simplicity but are you out for their approval, or to make money? Perhaps make it more customizable where the “dummies” can have simple things like a “save” button” and a “zoom-bar” where they want it instead of having to memorize keyboard shortcuts?
Designers- Think hard about this: I teach the psychology of entrepreneurism to younger people as a community service. Not what an entrepreneur does, but how they think. Something I focus on is knowing what your task is. I don’t see your future in creating something as complex as competitors as another option for professional designers, I see your “task” as more creative marketing of the product. “Old school” marketing by reaching people on an emotional level. “Buy our product BECAUSE……” When you can complete that sentence with something that stimulates people emotionally, you’re there. Please those who crave complexity, but at the same time keep the ability to make a simple flyer for a yard-sale open to the “average” person. Then launch a marketing campaign similar to “So easy a caveman can do it.”
I’m a h/s dropout who was able to quit “working” before age 40 and I credit this to the speed and ease of the Serif software. Competitors have (had) staff working for days doing what I can do in hours. I say “had” because they’re all gone. I’ve monopolized an entire market in SW Florida which I credit to the speed and ease of Serif products.
One of two things will happen when it’s released- you can say “Affinity Publisher, like nothing you’ve ever seen before!” Or- you can say, “Affinity Publisher, it requires learning a language every time you use it so why learn a new software?”
So- make it simple for the non-user, without having to learn a new “language,” market it to the world, and dominate the market!