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Paul Chiswick

Criticism from Professional Designer

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I lifted this from the Facebook APub Group this morning. Would the team like to comment, as I would like to understand whether she has a valid criticism or is simpky misunderstanding how to use the programme? Thanks.

 

Margaret S. (surname redacted) I'm a professional designer, and I'm sorry to say, I won't be switching at this time. I really want to be able to use this software, but it's just too confusing. I've been a professional designer for about 3 decades. I know both Quark and InDesign inside out. You would think that someone with that level of expertise should be able to just go into software like this and be able to start designing. Nope. 

I tried to design a simple business card this morning. I was pulling my hair out. I set up the page for the usual 3.5 x 2 size. I gave it 0.125" standard bleeds. Turned off facing pages. Should be good to go. Then I hit the ok button and I get what looks like a large white area with a long rectangular box in the center with a blue outline. What the heck was that? I couldn't tell which was the actual card area to work on, and which was the pasteboard area. The long rectangular box was not clickable, so I couldn't even remove it, and it was annoyingly on the top of everything I tried to do.

The bleed area was not showing. I made sure "guides" was turned on, but still couldn't see the bleed guides. What's up with that? Then I noticed that when I moved the cursor around I could see some guides appear, but if you were not over them, they were totally invisible. Really weird, and totally useless.

I imported a picture and tried to move it around to give it the cropping affect, which can be done in both Quark and InDesign. All I was able to do was resize the box, which I didn't want to do, and it only distorted the photo. There didn't seem to be any option to just click on the content and move it around so that parts were hidden outside the box borders- a standard task in professional design programs. Not good.

I tried to add some text, and something really weird is going on there. To begin with, the leading is in the "paragraph" box, when it should be in the "character" box. I tried to reduce the leading because the lines were miles apart. I reduced it to 5, which is the lowest allowed, and the lines were still miles apart. What the heck is that all about?

Even trying to fill the background of a box with a Pantone CMYK color was really confusing. It took me a bit to find the Pantone option, and I finally got it done, but why is it so hard to find things in this program???

All those problems with just trying to design a little business card, which usually just takes a few minutes to do in a professional design app. So I finally had to just call it quits and go back to my old design program and did the card quickly there. It only takes a few minutes in both Quark and InDesign to design that same card. So what gives? Why is this program so confusing, and somewhat non-functional??? I really would like to use it, but it's just nowhere near the level I need to do my work.

Are there any other professionals on this forum? I would love to hear what you think about this app. Thanks!

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They haven’t given many details so it’s difficult to tell what the ‘problems’ they were having were exactly but, from what I’ve read, it looks like they simply haven’t taken enough time to get used to using a different piece of software than what they’re used to.
Most of the issues seem to just be things that can be very quickly learned if someone puts a little time into it.
We get a lot of people saying things along the lines of “It’s not working like it should.” which translates to me as “I can’t be bothered to learn a slightly different way of doing this and I’d rather spend £20+/month than find out how to use it properly.” If they would rather do that then that’s entirely up to them.
If only they had posted a few questions in the forum they would have been able to quickly get up-to-speed and probably not have had much of a problem at all.
It’s a shame that some people seem to prefer to complain that things aren’t how they want them rather than put any effort into learning new/better ways of doing things.

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It sounds as though it's been written by someone who is very set in their ways, who has invested huge amounts of time in the other two programs, and who didn't expect to be on a learning curve. Without knowing which Affinity program she was using, it's hard to offer much more in the way of comment. 

1 hour ago, Paul Chiswick said:

the leading is in the "paragraph" box, when it should be in the "character" box

"Should be"? Who says? Leading applies to an entire paragraph, it makes perfect sense to have it in the paragraph settings.

1 hour ago, Paul Chiswick said:

The bleed area was not showing.

I can see it.

1 hour ago, Paul Chiswick said:

trying to fill the background of a box with a Pantone CMYK color was really confusing

It's really simple.

There's none so blind as them as won't see...

 


Affinity Photo 1.8.1,  Affinity Designer 1.8.1, Affinity Publisher 1.8.1, Mac OSX 10.15, 2018 MacBook Pro 15"

Betas as they happen... 

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I'm not an expert in any capacity here, but with what I've read, it sounds like this user is bringing along baggage from the other two applications she knows inside out and not opening up her mind to  the fact that she's diving into a new concept, which has to mean doing things in a slightly different way to what she's used to.  Almost as if she's expecting that A.D. SHOULD work the way other applications work, and that's not necessarily so. I have 3 applications including A.D. and they all have their own ways of doing certain things. Seems she's become frustrated as a result and not seeing that. Just my opinion....

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4 hours ago, Paul Chiswick said:

I know both Quark and InDesign inside out.

 

4 hours ago, Paul Chiswick said:

To begin with, the leading is in the "paragraph" box, when it should be in the "character" box.

 In QuarkXPress leading is specifically a paragraph attribute, in InDesign (similarly as in Affinity Publisher) characters can override the leading that is specified as part of a paragraph style, and the leading setting can be accessed both from the Character and Paragraph toolbar (and in Affinity Publisher from both the Character and Paragraph panel). In InDesign leading can also be made to behave like QuarkXPress style paragraph attribute by using a setting in the Preferences.

The writer does not know QuarkXPress and InDesign inside out, as for someone who does (and is accordingly likely a professional), learning to use Affinity Publisher should not be hard, at all. But this is not to say that the app did not have some weak points.

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I don't think Margaret's full name should be posted and certainly not a link to her FB profile.

4 hours ago, Paul Chiswick said:

I lifted this from the Facebook APub Group this morning. Would the team like to comment, as I would like to understand whether she has a valid criticism or is simpky misunderstanding how to use the programme? Thanks. ...

 

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42 minutes ago, Atchoum said:

It would have been better IMHO to keep APublisher in the test phase longer and not release it with so many bugs.

I am not trying to defend Affinity but you really need to list some of those bugs to back up your argument.

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5 minutes ago, Seneca said:

I am not trying to defend Affinity but you really need to list some of those bugs to back up your argument.

Have you posted this in the right thread? It asn't metioned in my post above?

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1 minute ago, Atchoum said:

Posts hidden now but I did many many times mainly for APh and APub... but just see this forum.

I appreciated your views expressed in your post.

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17 minutes ago, Seneca said:

I am not trying to defend Affinity but you really need to list some of those bugs to back up your argument.

Why should they?

I've made such criticisms and don't remember being challenged to "put up or shut up" (my words, not yours). In fact, I've been far more vocal and critical in some of the things I've written. And I'll continue to be so. 

The 1.8 release is, in my opinion, a rushed release. Bugs in the former beta releases were still being discovered and the 1.8 public release has regressions from things that were working in the betas.

While I appreciate APub was released publicly when it was--according to Serif it would be released at such a level it was usable to X number of users after all--it still isn't usable for most of the work I do in the manner I need to use a layout application. And for the type of work I do that I think APub could be used, I can accomplish those things using software I've used for years.

Do I think Serif will get APub to a state I think I can use it for a broader type of Work? Yes. Maybe. Possibly. Only time will tell.

Do I believe in Serif as individuals and root for them as regards smoothing out work-flow and capabilities? Sure thing.

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20 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Why should they?

Hello @MikeW and @Atchoum,

I feel I need to apologise to you both if my earlier post was interpreted as "put up or shut up" statement.

That certainly wasn't my intention. I think that constructive criticism is one of the best things that can emerge from these forums.

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1 minute ago, Seneca said:

Hello @MikeW and @Atchoum,

I feel I need to apologise to you both if my earlier post was interpreted as "put up or shut up" statement.

That certainly wasn't my intention. I think that constructive criticism is one of the best things that can emerge from these forums.

No worries, Seneca!

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I too am a """PROFESSIONAL""" designer (I really hate that) I rather see myself as a graphic designer Illustrator who attempts to make a living from a pastime I love, and for me, within the first few minutes of using Designer back in 2014 I felt it had amazing potential and warranted spending time to learn how it works, that said, I was turning out usable artwork within the hour - ok there have been bugs here and there and much needed features which have yet to emerge - but for me I love it, studio link is utterly brilliant - the fact that we can have decent communication using this forum is a great thing and I have complete faith that the latest batch of bugs (namely the weird boolean, compound and expand stroke) will be sorted by next week. 


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
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NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.7.3 + Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

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8 hours ago, Paul Chiswick said:

M.S.: “Why is this program so confusing […]?”

Perhaps because those people “forget”/are not able to read the help of the apps.

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11 hours ago, Paul Chiswick said:

hit the ok button and I get what looks like a large white area with a long rectangular box in the center with a blue outline. What the heck was that?

The... uhh... artboard/page. Seems someone with allegedly 3 decades of experience and knows Quark and InDesign inside and out would, you know... know this. The blue line is the margin indicator, same way it's done in InDesign.

Quote

The bleed area was not showing. I made sure "guides" was turned on, but still couldn't see the bleed guides.

Yeah it's a bit annoying but it's not showing by default, you have to go to View > Show Bleed. Not "Show Guides" they're two separate options.

Quote

There didn't seem to be any option to just click on the content and move it around so that parts were hidden outside the box borders- a standard task in professional design programs. Not good.

Add a mask to the image.

Quote

To begin with, the leading is in the "paragraph" box, when it should be in the "character" box. I tried to reduce the leading because the lines were miles apart. I reduced it to 5, which is the lowest allowed, and the lines were still miles apart. What the heck is that all about?

This one plagued me for awhile. And it certainly works very different from Adobe. But it's just a different way of thinking about it, make sure your leading is set in BOTH the character and paragraph panel.

Quote

Even trying to fill the background of a box with a Pantone CMYK color was really confusing. It took me a bit to find the Pantone option, and I finally got it done, but why is it so hard to find things in this program???

Couldn't find the Pantone color palette in ... the color palette picker? Ok.I realize it's different from InDesign but come on, it's not that difficult. I don't remember if the Swatches panel is active by default, it's been a minute since I set my workspace up, but once it's active, I find it far easier/more intuitive to change palettes in Designer than in InDesign (it's been about 20 years since I've used Quark so I have no idea how it's done currently). Does this person, of allegedly 30 years of design experience... not change their default workspace in InDesign/Quark to better match their workflow and personal preferences? That's straight up bizarre to me, if they don't, I've never met anyone that does this professionally that doesn't in my 20+ years in the field.

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8 hours ago, 8BitCerberus said:

Couldn't find the Pantone color palette in ... the color palette picker? Ok.I realize it's different from InDesign but come on, it's not that difficult.

Palettes and swatches is one area where Affinity could be better. Now it is manageable but not optimal. Affinity in general is very capable, with some parts missing, but workflowwise it could be more streamlined.

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15 hours ago, MikeW said:

The 1.8 release is, in my opinion, a rushed release. Bugs in the former beta releases were still being discovered and the 1.8 public release has regressions from things that were working in the betas.

I think the undoubtedly premature release of the 1.8 retail versions was a surprise for a lot of people, & that probably included at least some of the support staff. As little as two weeks ago, we were still being told that it could be months before the retail versions were released. I don't think this was about 'under-promising & over-delivering' so there must be more to it than that.

Whatever the reasons, what is done is done, so the most important thing now is how quickly they can fix the major bugs & release patched retail versions suitable for production work.


Affinity Photo 1.8.2, Affinity Designer 1.8.2, Affinity Publisher 1.8.2; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.2.174 & Affinity Designer 1.8.2.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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2 minutes ago, foto-grafic said:

Maybe you all forgot the first Photoshop

I wonder if this professional designer forgot the learning curve required for her to know Quark and InDesign "inside out."


Affinity Photo 1.8.2, Affinity Designer 1.8.2, Affinity Publisher 1.8.2; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.2.174 & Affinity Designer 1.8.2.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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@R C-R I have a few years more than most of the visitors to this forum, I remember the first versions of Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Quark.
I have not forgotten not only the learning curve but also that the great apps of today at their birth were much, much less large.

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43 minutes ago, foto-grafic said:

@R C-R I have a few years more than most of the visitors to this forum, I remember the first versions of Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Quark.
I have not forgotten not only the learning curve but also that the great apps of today at their birth were much, much less large.

I am old enough that my first experience with what would eventually become personal computers was when a couple of guys from MITS brought a prototype Altair into our electronics repair shop in Albuquerque to see what we thought about it. I am not sure but I think this was before Allen & Gates met with Ed Roberts, which eventually resulted in Altair BASIC, the first product of a company originally called Micro-Soft, which you may have heard of. 😋


Affinity Photo 1.8.2, Affinity Designer 1.8.2, Affinity Publisher 1.8.2; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.2.174 & Affinity Designer 1.8.2.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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3 hours ago, R C-R said:

the first product of a company originally called Micro-Soft, which you may have heard of.

Textile company right? 


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.2 | Affinity Photo 1.8.2 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.2 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.x.x | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.x.x | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.x.x

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@R C-R I think we are from the same era, those who when turning on the Altair, Commodore, Sinclair etc. unit with attached keyboard on the monitor there was the famous 'C>' and you had to go basic language.
When I see certain discussions that measure the hair in the egg, the thought comes back to me at that time, only you can understand me my dear @R C-R
Well, I was very pleased to exchange a few words with you.

I warmely greet you... 👋

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