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Hello,

Fellow UI designer here, just wanted to suggest a few tweaks to the layers panel,

1. Add an even smaller thumbnail setting and maybe even a no thumbnail setting (Not for me but I think some people might like it). The UI is already scaled quite bigger than I'd like and wastes a lot of space from the actual view window.

2. Add the ability to copy paste things from the layers panel, for example: If I hold down CTRL and drag a layer it should let me make a copy of it. It's different than duplicate because it allows me to put the copy anywhere I want directly.

3. Lock icon in the layer itself, it's annoying having to click the layer and then going up and click the lock icon, I already use the shortcut to lock thing but still, annoying. Maybe make the icon appear alongside the checkmark icon as you hover the cursor on top of the layer?

I hope you address this in the upcoming updates! Thanks.

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1:I like a visual representation of the object/selection maybe others don't?
2:You do this on canvas with ctrl / alt + drag object > release anywhere
3:Rightclick object in layerspanel>lock

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1. I also like a visual representation of the object, just not so big, I'm saying to add a smaller thumbnail option because the small option is still too big. I rather see more layers than a big visual representation.

2. Sure, but it's more convenient to drag and copy from the layer panel itself when you're organizing lots of layers. I would have to 1.right click 2. click duplicate 3.drag to where I want, three steps for this simple thing. CTRL/ALT + drag to copy (just like you would in the canvas) right in the layer panel would be nice.

3. That requires a right click, one more unnecessary step for something as simple as locking a layer.

These things might seem really small but get annoying when you're working all day with the software.

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1: yes maybe adjustable even more or in preferences to not show at all.
But people are lazy and don't give significant names or even at all and that's also a load of actions to make do,so to me no benefit,sorry
2: But dragging in layerspanel is reserved for masking/clipping placing in groups/Layers
One could inadvertently duplicate stuff that only has to been moved as clip/mask/group/Layer
3: Like you pointed out and Affinity is depending highly on shortkeys,use a shortkey for it

These are just my opinions and Serif may change these more to your liking but only they will know but probably won't tell.
(Serif reads the requests/feedback but usually don't respond)

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I wish lock would actually lock everything like every other app. It is more than annoying to, for example, find that you've accidentally recoloured objects and don't notice straight away.

When you delete an object or click on the background remember where you were, so select the next/previous one. Don't just have nothing selected so when you add a new object it is either at the top or bottom then you have to work out where it was actually meant to be.

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I can only second the requests from betachromatic:

1: as is, the layers panel takes an unneccessary amount of space. With each item as big as now, navigating complex documents is quite confusing. Rearranging items (e.g. assigning objects to different layers) is clumsy. If the item is big, a group or there are many identical items, the icon doesn't help much

2: dragging objects to duplicate them is very widespread among other applications and would be super handy. That said, the whole dragging process for other actions doesn't make me very happy neither, it's super picky on a very exact location of dragging, otherwise something unintended happens. This doesn't help efficient work.

3: I'm also missing the direct lock function through clicking. Saving a click DOES matter, if you want to work productively. It's even more frustrating since for UNlocking it's right there???

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I would argue that we don't actually have a Layers Panel at all. It should be called the Objects Panel. The closest we have to layers are the way groups are displayed. I miss being able to lock and hide layers, and limit an object's position (Move to back, is limited to the bottom of the layer, not the whole document)

Unfortunately, pages are also treated as objects. More specifically, pages are like permanent groups, so it would be nice to have a proper Pages Panel as well. Or even just a pop up pages window like tabs are managed.

We need the Layers Panel to be re-thought and get it on the right path before we start throwing more features at it.

I suggest we have a very simple Layers Panel that just shows the layers and not the objects within it (like InDesign or Quark Xpress). Then we rename the Layers Panel to Objects Panel. The objects displayed in this panel are limited to the layer you have selected. The Objects Panel won't get out of control and we have proper layers for object management. If you don't like/need layers, then just have one layer and keep using the objects Panel as you are currently. No great change to the current work flow and we now have real layer management.

 

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On 1/23/2020 at 10:41 PM, betachromatic said:

Hello,

Fellow UI designer here, just wanted to suggest a few tweaks to the layers panel,

1. Add an even smaller thumbnail setting and maybe even a no thumbnail setting (Not for me but I think some people might like it). The UI is already scaled quite bigger than I'd like and wastes a lot of space from the actual view window.

2. Add the ability to copy paste things from the layers panel, for example: If I hold down CTRL and drag a layer it should let me make a copy of it. It's different than duplicate because it allows me to put the copy anywhere I want directly.

3. Lock icon in the layer itself, it's annoying having to click the layer and then going up and click the lock icon, I already use the shortcut to lock thing but still, annoying. Maybe make the icon appear alongside the checkmark icon as you hover the cursor on top of the layer?

I hope you address this in the upcoming updates! Thanks.

Good inputs, thanks @betachromatic

  1. Smaller or none also - agreed - but people with 4K high resolution monitor will often prefer the larger thumbnails - several complaints here about too small screen elements
    1. Ouch, now the user interface gets cluttered - a thumbnail size in percent would perhaps work better - a fourth option "Custom" that opens the preferences dialog - whatever method - could work for special needs.
  2. Yes, it would be nice. As someone else pointed out the control + drag for copy is often difficult to work with with precision and without problems, so other options should be explored - fx "Duplicate to" with functionality that makes it easy and obvious that now "lets place the duplicate" - perhaps too much though. But yes, I would probably use the drag + control to duplicate into another group.
  3. Yes!
  4. + Search in layers, pleeeease... working with huge drawings (or publications in Publisher I guess) it is hell to look for a specific layer that hides in a gropu below a group.

I think Serif sank too deep into their first UI architecture and concepts (focusing too much on technical architecture) - and you know how I feel about the lack of UX specialists involved - so I think Serif should take a deep breath before the next major update and rethink the usability in some core features with professional UX assistance. The brushes panel more than anything needs a total overhaul. 

The shared code principle in Affinity make work against Serif - what works well in Designer may not in Publisher or Photo. It may end in a compromise when it is worst; no one is really happy. 🙂

That being said I am personally mostly satisfied with the layers panel in Designer. With search and a real locking lock I would be able to use it properly.

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On 11/17/2020 at 11:22 PM, Jowday said:

Good inputs, thanks @betachromatic

  1. Smaller or none also - agreed - but people with 4K high resolution monitor will often prefer the larger thumbnails - several complaints here about too small screen elements
    1. Ouch, now the user interface gets cluttered - a thumbnail size in percent would perhaps work better - a fourth option "Custom" that opens the preferences dialog - whatever method - could work for special needs.
  2. Yes, it would be nice. As someone else pointed out the control + drag for copy is often difficult to work with with precision and without problems, so other options should be explored - fx "Duplicate to" with functionality that makes it easy and obvious that now "lets place the duplicate" - perhaps too much though. But yes, I would probably use the drag + control to duplicate into another group.
  3. Yes!
  4. + Search in layers, pleeeease... working with huge drawings (or publications in Publisher I guess) it is hell to look for a specific layer that hides in a gropu below a group.

I think Serif sank too deep into their first UI architecture and concepts (focusing too much on technical architecture) - and you know how I feel about the lack of UX specialists involved - so I think Serif should take a deep breath before the next major update and rethink the usability in some core features with professional UX assistance. The brushes panel more than anything needs a total overhaul. 

The shared code principle in Affinity make work against Serif - what works well in Designer may not in Publisher or Photo. It may end in a compromise when it is worst; no one is really happy. 🙂

That being said I am personally mostly satisfied with the layers panel in Designer. With search and a real locking lock I would be able to use it properly.

Yes please, I need a "search in layers" feature so bad... or at least the possibility to sort them by name. As an architecture student, 90% of the files that I work on come from AutoCad, which exports A LOT of layers in every document. Having the option to scan through them and select the layers I need, even when they're inside different groups, would be life changing.

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On 11/17/2020 at 5:22 PM, Jowday said:

or none also

I don't think you will get it down to "none" without losing functionality as the thumbnail is used as a drop target when rearranging layers to indicate that it should be a mask instead of a normal child.  Instead it may be that the thumbnail could be the same height as the text if that is all you need to have it present for.

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