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  1. There it goes, my inspiration that is, out of the window, and I lost it trying to change who knows what shortcut key... again. As a professional in video, animation, 3d and audio I have used many many applications over the years, and find Affinity package a real refreshing leap forward. However, I must admit that the preferences window across all three Affinity apps (Photo, Designer and Publisher) is one of the most useless I have ever encountered. I am not afraid to switch and learn applications and am ready to customize the new ones I learn to my own best practices, and the preferences window is my friend or it should be, but Affinity's is not at all. Please let me try to explain what I find is wrong with and suggest some changes which I did not think a lot about, but seem much simpler to use. Let's start: 1. The preferences window uses a unique visual paradigm, completely different from any other dialogue I have encountered in the rest of the application. It has a header with Back/forward buttons, "home" button (with an odd icon and a drop-down menu) and search bar. No other panel, toolbar, manager, assistant or any other window in Affinity uses this paradigm or at least my humble knowledge of the app does not bring any into the mind. I doubt that this is good. For instance having tabs, like some other windows would do the trick no need for back/forward buttons, no need for home button, no need for drop-down menu, just 7 simple instantly accessable tabs. 2. search bar is a sneaky red herring! It is in fact dangerously useless! I'd like to change a shortcut for brush size in pixel persona? typing any of these terms does not help me to find where to do it. It seems that this search bar is good for searching only a couple of dozen words which does not make any sense at all, either you make every single preference item that can be change searchable or get rid of the search bar because the way it is now is frustratingly useless. 3. I will not go in depth on my thoughts about "General", "Color", "Performance", "User Interface" and "Tools" pages as I do see some benefit of "bite sized" preferences pages even if some items on them seem to belong to another page, and the number of these pages could actually be decreased. (for instance half of the "Tools" preferences could easily belong to "User Interface" tab) 4. Checkboxes, since they have really powerful results would benefit from tooltip help with a more verbose description of what they do. 5. "Miscellaneous" could easily be renamed to "factory resets" or something on that line, as that is what it does. 6. And now I come to my nemesis, the "Keyboard Shortcuts" page. Where to start?! a) there is a search bar on the upper right, that is as we said a sneaky trap, and a red herring. It does not help us here, and will take us "home" probably finding nothing of interest. b) we need to use these two fiddly drop-downs. The first one could easily be replaced with beautiful Draw, Pixel and Export icons cutting the number of actions for picking persona to edit to only one click (or even better none.. read on). The second one is really unintuitive as its items partially overlap in different personas. It took me a while to get the idea that this second one is contextual to the first one (as the list changes "behind the curtain")... I got it only after learning my way a bit around the app so I recognised that some items belong to some personas. c) a quick overview of other buttons and check boxes in this upper region of Keyboard Shortcuts page; "Apply to all" -what? to all what? I had to dig through the manual to see what it does, and all it would take to fix it is to call it "apply shortcut changes to all personas" without this information there is no way to know that there actually are some connections possible between personas. As if the for instance, brush size in pixel and draw persona must be separate. "Ignore Modifier—Lets you create shortcuts using a single letter designation instead of using keyboard modifiers." says the manual, and I still do not get it. Does it allow me to pres only the letter in application without modifier keys and get what I want? No, as Ctrl+S is stil "save" and "Ctrl+Shift+S" is stil Save as. Does it filter out the input of Modifier keys while assigning new shortcuts? No. So what does it do? Maybe a better explanation in manual would help, and a more verbose checkbox title or tooltip. "Load/Save" what? it loads and saves what? a file obviously, but what does that file contain? All shortcuts, or only those in focus? Maybe "Load Shortcut configuration" or something on that line would be better. to be continued...
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