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Win 7, Aff Photo, v 1.8.3.641, LG W2442PA

I used to use the Light UI but have switched to the Dark UI. With the Light UI I could easily tell from the Context Toolbar which file I was working on when I had two files up with identical images.  With the Dark UI it is nearly impossible for me to tell at a glance which file I have up. It makes no difference if the ambient light in my studio is high or low.

Could you make the Context Toolbar of the file that's on the screen in the Dark mode a significantly lighter shade of grey? That would be a great help, even more so when I am mucking around with three or more files open.

AFF Photo Dark 03.PNG

AFF Photo Light 04.PNG

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Try setting Preferences, User Interface options, UI Gamma. 


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.5.703.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 2004, Build 19041.508.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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7 hours ago, Pšenda said:

Try setting Preferences, User Interface options, UI Gamma. 

It makes very little difference. I have a better suggestion. Pls see attached.

Revised Dark UI.png

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On 7/31/2020 at 11:57 PM, SamSteele said:

Win 7, Aff Photo, v 1.8.3.641, LG W2442PA

I used to use the Light UI but have switched to the Dark UI. With the Light UI I could easily tell from the Context Toolbar which file I was working on when I had two files up with identical images.  With the Dark UI it is nearly impossible for me to tell at a glance which file I have up. It makes no difference if the ambient light in my studio is high or low.

Could you make the Context Toolbar of the file that's on the screen in the Dark mode a significantly lighter shade of grey? That would be a great help, even more so when I am mucking around with three or more files open.

AFF Photo Dark 03.PNG

AFF Photo Light 04.PNG

I guess usability experts already solved this in other programs like CorelDRAW and Adobe Cloud programs (see below). It would be logical with a visual clue (and the same visual clue used everywhere else in the operating system). The active layer is fx highlighted with a colour. But the open tab/file is not. Inconsistency.

What works best for me is probably the Adobe UI with dimmed inactive tabs and no color used in the UI. Keeps my eyes focus on the drawing. Also note that Adobe keeps the colors closer to neutral grey - which is the correct grey to use. I had to push the UI gamma all the way to the right to get a grey like the below in Affinity (still significantly darker than Adobe).

Affinity Designer 1.8:

image.png.bd964fcaf9a3599dd87f096d23dfbff2.png

CorelDRAW 2020 (fugly UI):

image.png.c07cfe379e6a263ae2ee049311f0a43d.png

Photoshop CC 2020:

image.png.f39dd3dea5e6049d0dcc784c2182ec00.png


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

Further... give up and please hire an UX (usability designer), Serif. It is how professional software is made in this century.

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Make the active file tab a colour in the Context UI? Wow, radical, man!! Like the Professor said, "There's design and then there is usable design."  🎯

Cheers. 

Revised Dark UI_3.png

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Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.5.703.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 2004, Build 19041.508.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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So, make the file tab in use a significantly brighter shade of grey or, make it a colour.

One more thing to put on the To Do list, please. 

Thanks.

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14 hours ago, SamSteele said:

make the file tab in use a significantly brighter shade of grey or, make it a colour.

Yuck.  The suggestions above look ugly.

I agree that it could definitely stand out better, but this is an application for design-oriented people - it should still look appealing.

Also, it should not stand out so well that it draws attention to itself (and thus away from your work).

@Jowday definitely is correct that the use of color here would be a big problem and needs to be avoided.  Not only is it a potential distraction, but the whole point behind the neutral gray interface is to avoid throwing off your perception of the colors in the document you are working on.  Colors in the user interface surrounding the document are likely to do that, particularly if as prominent as a tab just above it.

Sharp differences in brightness could similarly throw off perception so the whole near-black vs. near-white thing is a no-go as well.

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6 hours ago, fde101 said:

Yuck.  The suggestions above look ugly.

I agree that it could definitely stand out better, but this is an application for design-oriented people - it should still look appealing.

Also, it should not stand out so well that it draws attention to itself (and thus away from your work).

@Jowday definitely is correct that the use of color here would be a big problem and needs to be avoided.  Not only is it a potential distraction, but the whole point behind the neutral gray interface is to avoid throwing off your perception of the colors in the document you are working on.  Colors in the user interface surrounding the document are likely to do that, particularly if as prominent as a tab just above it.

Sharp differences in brightness could similarly throw off perception so the whole near-black vs. near-white thing is a no-go as well.

Ah, the joy of elitism. Having been a professional graphic designer for over 30 years, which included introducing computer graphics to a teaching hospital, serving corporate and municipal clients and working my way over the years through a number of design software programs from Pagemaker and Corel Draw to the Adobe Suite, I have come to the conclusion that productivity is more important than bling.

Stay with shades of grey if you wish but at least make the brightest possible grey much lighter. Then the user has a true choice when using the UI slider. Give us the option of making the icons bigger, too. Productivity counts. 

For an interesting discussion of "Form follows function" see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_follows_function

Affinity is doing one thing very well and that is continuing to be in touch with its users.

Cheers.

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32 minutes ago, SamSteele said:

productivity is more important than bling

I absolutely agree with this, but it doesn't matter how quickly you can produce bad results.

 

The real problem with the colors in the surrounding UI is not how they look, but in how they change the way your document looks.

Too much contrast will do this as well.

The suggested changes as demonstrated in the sample images have the potential to cause the user to misjudge the colors of the document, and that would be a problem in an application whose primary function is design work, in which color perception commonly plays a big role.

Yes, the visibility of which tab is active should certainly be improved - I have struggled a bit with that one too so I do know what you are saying - but it needs to be done carefully, so as not to compromise the accuracy of the user's color perception.

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1 hour ago, fde101 said:

I absolutely agree with this, but it doesn't matter how quickly you can produce bad results.

 

The real problem with the colors in the surrounding UI is not how they look, but in how they change the way your document looks.

Too much contrast will do this as well.

The suggested changes as demonstrated in the sample images have the potential to cause the user to misjudge the colors of the document, and that would be a problem in an application whose primary function is design work, in which color perception commonly plays a big role.

Yes, the visibility of which tab is active should certainly be improved - I have struggled a bit with that one too so I do know what you are saying - but it needs to be done carefully, so as not to compromise the accuracy of the user's color perception.

I've never produced bad results. Designers got along for years decades without the trendy all-black surround so the introduction of a smidgen of colour outside of the actual file I'm working on doesn't throw me. I don't work in a perfectly black studio, either. Although, back in the day, I did squash the suggestion of an architect that a studio where I supervised graphic designers be painted orange because the hallways were orange and grey (true story). We went with off-white. Actually, the cat walking across my keyboard, and ambient window light, is much more of a distraction. 

It's probably simpler coding-wise to just make the 100% in the UI slider about 50% lighter grey than it currently is. Give us some real choice. Thank you for agreeing with the concept that an improvement is needed. 

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I just think Adobe solved the issue beautifully 🙂 I never had issues with Adobe programs with many open files. Just fade the font color on inactive tabs a little, perhaps use a bold font for the active tabs. Simple, effective tricks. The color is not needed with Adobes usable design choice.

image.png.f39dd3dea5e6049d0dcc784c2182ec00.png


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

Further... give up and please hire an UX (usability designer), Serif. It is how professional software is made in this century.

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33 minutes ago, Jowday said:

Just fade the font color on inactive tabs

As suggested in my previous link. Unfortunately, Serif was not able to make this easy adjustment, which would unify the appearance of tabs on panels and files/documents, in two years.


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.5.703.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 2004, Build 19041.508.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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On 8/3/2020 at 11:17 PM, Pšenda said:

As suggested in my previous link. Unfortunately, Serif was not able to make this easy adjustment, which would unify the appearance of tabs on panels and files/documents, in two years.

Wouldn't fading the font make reading the text and therefore selecting another tab more difficult though?

How about leaving the colours as they are but highlight the active tabs top edge with an accent line the same colour as the text? (white or black depending on the selected UI style)

14224681_TabHighlight.thumb.jpg.cabf5421df6110a18b2509af780ff8f3.jpg

This way which tab has focus is clear and doesn't distract from any colour perceptions on the image

Regards

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16 hours ago, harrym said:

Wouldn't fading the font make reading the text and therefore selecting another tab more difficult though?

As with the Panel Tabs?
image.png.5d611954ba5ae0edfd9d2c5382924ea2.png

Personally, I have no problem reading the panel name if I want to switch the tab to another panel. Therefore, my proposal only requires unification and consistency in the UI - ie use the same principles in all places (for Panel tabs and File/window name tabs).


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.5.703.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 2004, Build 19041.508.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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