Have just purchased a license for Win (works faster in a VM than Mac).
Looks promising, thank you for that.
Too bad no Linux support in your plans.
Some suggestions, if I may.
(01) Open file -> preview
(01.b) Resize preview area
(02) Simpler vector manipulations;
now there are: (a) pen, (b) pencil, (c) brush, (d) node, (e) corner - i.e. Five (five!) different tools to do something that could be done with just two - (A) free hand (B) node editor. THAT could have been some major usability improvement.
It takes more time to switch between these FIVE than to actually accomplish the task(s); I still could not find a way to join/cut nodes in less than 1 second. Lacking 18 years of practice, perhaps.
Escape or double click to join the nodes while in the (d) node editor? That is a well tuned joke, is it not? Esc is being used as cancel, and double clicking within the space of a node rectangle on a 2560 x 1440px workspace might be a good exercise for those with "all the time in the World" at their hands.
But you are publishing your product as if you are targeting professionals, are you not? We only have that much of our time. I have even purchased a MX speed gaming keyboard to get a 40% faster click per each key press, to save my time and do more. You want me to double click instead of single click for a node join operation? 1000+ times a day? Seriously?
Why not just let the nodes join when these two ends simply meet plus the Shift key, for example? I.e. the respective coordinates if their rectangles are literally joined.
I am doing roughly 1000 joins per day during a full creative day. Manually. It is impossible to do it with these ludicrous key combinations. I have tried. Escape and double click AND move to join afterwards?
No join in the right click menu with two end nodes selected?
Thankfully, there is the only way which is to add a key combination to join and break curves in the the node menu.
Paired with the Wacom EK Remote, it becomes usable. Meaning the whole Product starts to make sense for a hardcore daily use.
(02.a,b) what is the difference between the (a) pen and (b) pencil please? Yes I understand that "pen" is a free hand node editor whereas "pencil" is a free hand drawing tool in Affinity Designer. But it does not make sense, if any. The real question is - why have you made 2 different tools?
It is confusing that (b) pencil may be used for a free hand drawing and (a) pen cannot.
It also is not clear why did you need to over complicate things with 5 (five) tools instead of making versatile 2 (TWO) tools only - (A) free hand and (B) node editor.
For example, you get (A) free hand the very moment a light/pro pen/mouse/finger touches the drawing surface to basically draw AND you get the (B) node editor when you are using eraser / hit edit button;
Just use the node editor to cut/join/move/reshape/create new nodes/delete old ones.
(02.c) Why do we need a separate (c) brush tool if it does not react to Wacom Pro Pen pressure levels?
Why cannot you just change the size/pattern of the pen/pencil (A free hand) and get the brush functionality in it?
Add pressure level recognition to the (A) free hand and you get the "real" brush! Just change the size/pattern of it in the stroke/brushes and that is it.
(02.d,e) Why do you or anybody would need two separate (d) node and (e) corner instead of having just one (B) Node editor tool?
Neither (d) node nor (e) corner cannot join nodes even with both objects selected even with holding Shift/Ctrl keys together or separately, I have even tried Alt as well.
Neither could I cut the joints with either of these tools. I have tried right clicking as well.
Maybe it was easier/cheaper to develop it this way, but it makes no sense from the user standpoint. It is NOT intuitive. It is anti-human. It is not usable. It is an anti-thesis of Usability.
Yes, Adobe Ai is anti-human, too. It is not intuitive. It is not usable, contrary to the popular belief. And I cannot have it, legally. I mean I cannot install it without internet access. I cannot download it. I cannot reuse it offline after OS reinstall.
If you want to sell your tool, the Software, your Product, it should be intuitive; a five year old should be able to use it, but the poor me with 18+ years exclusive vector experience AND patience need to guess how does this work for hours, use Google and Youtube and Vimeo search.
I cannot use (d) node to create new nodes neither, I have to use (a) pen tool instead; and even then I cannot create a new node which will be an extension/addition of/to the selected node.
Making hard copy manual a hundreds pages tome to show how does it work makes no sense.
There should be NO NEED FOR A MANUAL, it should be intuitive.
I understand that your business model is targeting profits from selling the manual.
Well, your software costs USD 50, Manual USD 54 (no choice of delivery other than standard 5-7 business days).
In this fast paced World who will be waiting for 5-7 business days before they will be able to use your commercial product which is unusable otherwise? Seriously?
Why not offer DHL Express as an option? Why no digital download option?
Yes I want to buy digital version of the manual because obviously - it is cheaper, it is faster, it is less weight and no paper management.
Paper books are becoming a hard earned New World luxury.
Solution? "Simple" but not easy.
Price your tool, the Software, at USD 104 BUT MAKE IT
(02.2) include the manual in PDF download
(02.3) make 1 license per email for all three versions (Linux, Mac, Windows).
At this day and age everyone can print anything within 24h, online, with international delivery and/or DHL Express:FedEx/Whatever and/or at home/office.
Spare the forest, Gentlemen.
How to make it intuitive? Please read the above points again and find a/the five year old/s and teach him/her/them vector drawing with your tool.
I do realize that you are facing the legal problem(s) of not being able to hire five year olds for testing as for the tester role and you may be running out of available friends with five year old kids, then you may try first graders by providing vector drawing lessons in their public schools.
By doing that you will acquire life long customers.
How do I know?
Believe it or not, I once was a pupil 18+ years ago. Adobe Illustrator was one of the most complicated tools that I remember. Nothing has changed since then in this regard. It did not make sense to use Ai back then, and it still does not.
Same with Corel Draw. (Mind the price).
So I was using the fastest vector designing tool in the World. And I was using it even after it was sold to a third party (Magix AG). I have been using it for over 18 years. Daily.
And I am only writing this to you free of charge now because I can feel that there are the same people behind Affinity Designer as they were behind that fastest vector designer tool in the World. Behind the you-know-that-name tool, which is still the fastest in the World.
I am spending my otherwise paid time to help you develop a better product because (R1) I once was that young person willing to learn vectors design and because (R2) I care about the younger versions of myself - passionate designers, who want to dedicate their tome to vector design and succeed with it.
I also trust my feelings and I believe that this Affinity Team may build if not the fastest vector designing tool in the World, but the most intuitive one with the world class usability, which is not found anywhere else. Yes, Adobe Ai is a multi million dollar crap. Nothing personal, Adobe.
Whether you would want to listen to this advice or just skip it is up to you. Skipping is faster, cheaper and easier.
I have specifically posted it on an online forum (which is yours) so that you at least would not be able to ignore it.
To survive current competition with Adobe, you need to do what they can't. That is: precision, user-centered simplicity/usability with low learning curve. Sounds simple, right? Then you will not need to survive, you will thrive.
Due to their approach to their own users base, Magix's days are being counted (at least as with their professional audience), that is why I am here among many others - on the market.
Corel Draw makes no sense. At their price. Still.
Inkscape is too amateurish and is lacking precision, even though it is the only viable vectors editing possibility for Linux.
Adobe Ai is over bloated, over complicated with no software ownership by a user. Other than that, they are great.
For people working on the new proprietary projects which are and/or will soon become new IP registrations, having proprietary software running behind hardware firewalls is crucially important.
I wish and hope that Affinity Designer will become that tool and will thrive.
That is my New Hope.
(03) When the new document's units are set to px, fonts/lines are expected to be in px as well [but these are still in pt, why is that?] why not let the user decide for all three while creating a new file? (Now it is only in the Preferences -> User Interface -> Show Lines in points, Show Text in points, regardless of what is set in the new file being created)
(03.b) Save the objects/line/text units in the file, i.e. Document Settings
(04) show 0px line as a 1px retina line (1/4th / ultra-thin) with applicable color to make it still visible but distinguishable from 0.1px/0.1pt line
(04.b) currently there is no visual difference between 0.1pt and 0.1px lines, as one would expect 0.1pt line to be slightly thicker than the 0.1px one - like you do it in the Outline mode
(04.c) make possible to set a keyboard shortcut for the outline mode AND for the Vector mode to be able to switch between the vector/outline to see what is what within ms of time
(05) do NOT automatically change Line/object color (settings [checkbox]) which was previously set by a user - the same settings should be used as set by the user with a previous object
(06) Show on the bottom the colors used in the current file as a one line of palette/swatches;
(06.b) Save these colors in the file, show the same palette/swatches on the file load; sort by hex value or by time stamp of having being added by the user;
(06.c) Allow to delete unused colors (setting[checkbox])
(07) Multiple object per layer (group = layer, SVG)
(08) Multiple pages per file
(09) Status on the bottom
(09.a) selected nn object name(s) [rectangle, circle, star, group]
(09.b) what has just happened
(10) Three dimensional (3d) Mould tool [vector, raster]
(11) Unlimited undo history [from the beginning of creation of the edited file]
(11.b) Save undo history to file (settings[checkbox])
(12) Open/Edit/save template
(13) Assets are great. How do I create my own assets?
(13.b) Proprietary, with a possibility to be shared within a company (proprietary[checkbox].checked=true)
(13.c) Publishable, with downloads/voting on your website - should not be too easy to publish to avoid accidental publishing of the proprietary assets (proprietary[checkbox].checked=false)
(14) GPU / VRAM acceleration? I mean, I have a quad core i7 6700HQ 64GB DDR4 with NVIDIA GeForce 980m 4GB running on Samsung 950 Pro and need to wait (wait, wait?) while a vector 1pager will load and show up? I do realize that quad core i7 6700HQ is outdated (when you may get a 18 core iMac Pro with 128GB ECC this autumn) and DDR4 SDRAM is worse than ECC but waiting? Seriously? Come on...
(15) While pasting the license code in Win version with Ctrl+V it only pastes into the first field which is 4 symbols long; the button "paste" is great, but the user has to make a separate mouse/pen move for this which is OK but Ctrl+V is much more intuitive and faster (Command/Ctrl+X/C/V combination is in human mind and muscles memory since QWERTY personal computing in 1983 / Apple Lisa)
(16) The top menu when folding down should be left aligned NOT right aligned. Why?
(16.a) Because people born in this part of the world were tuned to read from left to right, and the menu items should be positioned the same way in a single visual column - left to right, which also minimizes mouse movements to navigate within the menu.
(16.b) When you want to make it better for your Israeli and Arab (right to left) users, you may want to keep it the same way AND to make the menu items actually be shown from the right to the left, i.e. the contents of the menus should have the same alignment as the menus themselves - right alignment in this particular case for the right to left users.
(ZZ) New features requests manager with secure online access for buyers and voting by guys and gals - your verified end customers?
(XX) Affiliate system to bring you more buyers? I would like to have 15% off every sale that I generate (like in Amazon) in exchange for a high profile Affinity Designer promotion by me/companies/affiliates. I.e. get a link with an unique affiliate ID for myself/company which will be hidden once clicked and saved as a cookie on the user's PC/Browser. Real-time stats and bimonthly bank transfers please (and/or as soon as hitting a certain minimum per transfer, such as USD 500, for example); the real gold is in corporate sales and these come from the trials, so you need to track my/market's trial installs converted to the sales, if/when you are serious about affiliate for software;
(YY) ZenDesk for support, anybody? There are still people out there who prefer emails. No, emails are not "dead". Yes, emails save time. A lot.
(WW) No reinstall limits for purchased license(s), please. Thanks. Yes, I run and rerun VMs. A lot. Until you will finally make a Linux version.
(VV) The currency in your shop for any and every item(s) is automatically set based on the user's location (like on the eBay), however the user (me) does not have a choice to change the currency (like on the eBay) and some users (like me) do not use currencies of the location of their IPs, and sometimes are not toed to any specific location (it was 2017 last time I checked the calendar). I think that at this day and age this is a surefire way to piss your user off just by limiting their freedom(s). We already have zero freedoms in this World, why cannot I change currency for your wonderful, professionally designed and HQ printed WorkBook, for ones sake? This is about your profits, by the way.
(AA) Promise not to downgrade / break / add stupid things please? (I.e. promise NOT becoming anything like Magix AG, anyone? Please. Please? Thank you. No, THANK YOU!!!).
Well, yeah, promises are cheap, but anyway... DO NOT SELL AFFINITY DESIGNER except as to your end customers (like me and better than me).
Precisely improve the product (and its precision) and sell more licenses instead.
Thanks for paying attention.
Xara Designer Pro X9, 365 alternative
Corel Draw alternative
Adobe Illustrator alternative
Top 5 Shop Usability Award 2015
Mobile Web Award 2016 - best in industry
German Design Award 2018 Nominee
Just a random nobody. You are welcome.