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I just got AD for iPad a couple of days ago and think is pretty neat. However, it made me realize that the Pixel Persona is not necessary at all (in either desktop version and iPad version). IMO this Persona approach just adds some unnecessary steps to do most things (in the case of AD).

The main difference between both Personas (Designer and Pixel) is basically the tools each Persona have. But keeping in mind that the tools on the Pixel Persona are so FEW, I think it is not the best approach to have them separate in another Persona. Because that brings some drawbacks, and having to switch between both Personas back and forth can quickly became a hassle (specially in some types of workflow).

I think it would be better to just have the "pixel" tools and the "vector" tools in one toolbar (on a single Designer Persona). The "pixel" tools can be easily stacked in 4 or 5 tools (the same way they are in AP). Maybe they could be kind of "separate" from the others tools in a logical way:

628014766_affinityUI.png.4fb61834f86ee83134fe86237314bf97.png

Also most of the Menus are basically the same thing in both Personas. There are just a few commands that are missing in the Pixel Persona, but they are pretty small things:

  • Edit > Defaults
  • Edit > Create Style
  • Layer > Promote Group to Layer
  • View > Show Bleed
  • View > View Column Guides

And these little differences just bring more "issues" than anything IMO. For example, the other day I had spent several hours doing some heavy texture work (with pixel brushes) for a printable artwork. When I needed to check my bleed guides I started to search for that option in all the menus. I just couldn't find it... I spent a good amount of time searching here and there after I realized that that option is only available in the Designer Persona (for whatever reason). Why do we have to change Personas just to do something like that?

There are a lot of similar cases where you have to change Personas to do pretty elemental stuff (things that you should be able to do ANYWHERE in the program) like:

  • Using the Appereance panel
  • Just placing some text
  • Using the Text menu (which is not in the Pixel Persona)

Also there are essential shortcuts that do not work in both Personas or others that work in a different way:

  • "Convert to Curves" shortcut (Ctrl+Return) do not work in Pixel Persona
  • "Select All" shortcut (Ctrl+A) works different in both Personas (I am not sure if this can be a good thing, but some people can find that confusing)

I have other things in mind about all of this, but honestly I think this is already long enough and do not know if anyone is going to read this ūüėÖ

Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Fernan said:

this Persona approach just adds some unnecessary steps to do most things

Personally, I think the breakdown is quite sensible and appropriate.  It is separating tools that are intended primarily for vector manipulation from those intended primarily for raster manipulation.  Switching between them is fairly straightforward.

It also provides a clean breakdown for two workspaces which accounts for the fact that different tasks will be best handled using different sets of tools.  Having all of the tools in the same toolbar when there is limited screen real-estate (such as on the iPad) means less available space for the view of the document (which is likely why the iPad version of Affinity Photo even has a separate "selection" persona that the desktop version does not have - the iPad has even less screen space than a typical laptop and with the larger number of tools that Photo has for working with raster data, combined with the fact that the more limited set of vector tools it has actually are in the same persona as the raster ones, there simply wouldn't be enough room).

 

2 hours ago, Fernan said:
  • Edit > Defaults
  • Edit > Create Style
  • Layer > Promote Group to Layer
  • View > Show Bleed
  • View > View Column Guides

Other than "Show Bleed", these options deal almost exclusively with vector-based objects, so hiding them while in the pixel persona is not entirely unreasonable.  I agree that the "Show Bleed" option should probably be present in the pixel persona as well.

 

2 hours ago, Fernan said:

Using the Appereance panel

The Appearance panel only makes sense when working with vector-based objects.  It would have little value in the pixel persona.

 

2 hours ago, Fernan said:
  • Just placing some text
  • Using the Text menu (which is not in the Pixel Persona)

Text in the Affinity applications is always vector based.

 

2 hours ago, Fernan said:

"Convert to Curves" shortcut (Ctrl+Return) do not work in Pixel Persona

Curves are vector.  Currently there is no feature to "auto-trace" raster data to vectors, so the pixel data that the pixel persona is meant to work with cannot be converted to curves at this time.

 

2 hours ago, Fernan said:

"Select All" shortcut (Ctrl+A) works different in both Personas

This should be expected, as the pixel selection is independent of the layer (vector) selection.  A pixel selection can work across multiple layers, while a layer/vector selection takes place at an object/layer boundary rather than covering a selected area of a raster image/painting.  Thus the pixel persona has a different set of selection tools (and the selection-related commands work differently) than does the designer persona.

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5 hours ago, Fernan said:

Maybe they could be kind of "separate" from the others tools in a logical way:

For example into Pixel Persona¬†ūüėČ

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3 hours ago, fde101 said:

Other than "Show Bleed", these options deal almost exclusively with vector-based objects, so hiding them while in the pixel persona is not entirely unreasonable.

I agree that hiding some of these options is not unreasonable, but doing so is not essential either. You could have all the options available to you in just one Persona. And the ones that are not compatible with the "type" of object you are using (pixels or vectors), could be just grayed out (just as it is currently with some menus).

 

3 hours ago, fde101 said:

The Appearance panel only makes sense when working with vector-based objects.  It would have little value in the pixel persona.

I think this is not always the case. AD main focus is to work with vector artwork. So even if you are doing some "heavy painting" work in the Pixel Persona, chances are you have a good amount of vector stuff in your project (in most cases). I guess most people use the Pixel Persona just to add some depth to their otherwise flat-looking vector artwork.

So it would be helpful to have all the tools, studios and menus (including the ones that work only on vector-based objects and the ones that only work with raster images) available to you at any moment in just one Persona. I think that is way better than having to switch back and forth looking for small things that are missing here or there.

 

 

2 hours ago, fde101 said:

Curves are vector.  Currently there is no feature to "auto-trace" raster data to vectors, so the pixel data that the pixel persona is meant to work with cannot be converted to curves at this time.

I was no talking about "auto-trace", it was all about converting vector OBJECTS (Rectangles, Stars, Polygons...) into editable PATHS.

When you select a vector OBJECT in the Pixel Persona, you have the Convert to Curves button in the Contextual Menu (just as it is in the Designer Persona). However, if you try to use the shortcut for that (Ctrl-Return), it just does not work. I guess this is because the Convert to Curves command is not available in the Layer menu either. And I guess this is on purpose, because you are in the PIXEL Persona ūüôĄ

But then again, why is there a Convert to Curves button in in the Context Menu? There is some kind of inconsistency there (and there are a lot of things like that). But all of these issues would not be there if AD had just a single Persona.

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I like the separation personally; I don't need anything in the pixel persona anymore. I am a vector illustrator. Not saying it should be like that. Just saying some purchased Designer for pure vector output. Is a tragicomic though that the draw persona has almost no vector features besides the basics. If Serif capitulates to math the two personas could be merged. The toolbar is full of fillers. Shapes and simple features.

However I think Serif is heading into further usability complexity and confusion after years of adding features to the software trying to both separate the apps and to integrate them. Without a professional user experience designer with ownership of all Affinity products and user interface things will just get worse.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • ‚ÄúWhen a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.‚Ä̬†‚Äē¬†Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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9 minutes ago, Bryan Rieger said:

Modes in UI/UX have long been consider a very bad idea. Lots of articles, papers, etc out there but this one is a good starting point. https://medium.com/interaction-reimagined/dangers-of-modal-user-interfaces-316828de8161

Although the¬†linked article warns¬†of the potential dangers of modal interfaces,¬†it doesn‚Äôt actually argue that modes are a bad idea! It does say they are ‚Äúusually good to avoid‚ÄĚ but it goes on to point out that ‚Äúmodes can sometimes be helpful to control and guide input‚Ä̬†and that they¬†‚Äúmay be appropriate when they are short and actively maintained by a user‚ÄĚ.

Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher¬†for Windows 1.9.2 ‚Äʬ†Windows 10 Home¬†(4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.9.2¬†‚Äʬ†Designer¬†for iPad 1.9.2¬†‚Äʬ†iPadOS¬†14.4.2 (iPad Air 2)

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UX territory. Specialist territory.

But without any ... 

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • ‚ÄúWhen a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.‚Ä̬†‚Äē¬†Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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Quote

- Modal dialog boxes are ones that force a user to respond to them before the user can go back to using other aspects of the application.

Illustrator, for example, has always been awash in old fashioned modal dialogs.

22 hours ago, Alfred said:

Although the¬†linked article warns¬†of the potential dangers of modal interfaces,¬†it doesn‚Äôt actually argue that modes are a bad idea! It does say they are ‚Äúusually good to avoid‚ÄĚ but it goes on to point out that ‚Äúmodes can sometimes be helpful to control and guide input‚Ä̬†and that they¬†‚Äúmay be appropriate when they are short and actively maintained by a user‚ÄĚ.

Correct. Interpreting the referenced article as 'putting an interface in modes is bad practice' is too broad a generalization.

Working with Affinity's axonometric grids feature effectively puts all the tools in a different 'mode.' That's certainly not a bad thing.

FileMaker Pro's interface has four modes: Browse, Find, Layout, and Preview. In Browse Mode, data is worked with in either Form, List, or Table views. One of its claims to fame is that its UI is arguably the most approachable in the database world.

I'm not saying that Affinity's interface doesn't have some problems. I can say that any of its competitors' interfaces do, too, if I have an axe to grind.

The biggest problem I have with Affinity in this regard is that its faux 'pages' are really just contiguous groupings within the object stack, like layers. Affinity is not the only program to do this, CorelDRAW being the obvious example. The problem is one of function; page-specific layers are really little more than another hierarchical level of groups, and nowhere near as versatile as they should be. But the frustration and confusion it causes is mostly due to Affinity's mixing of two metaphors; those of 'page stacking' versus 'page spreading'. Functionally, it's similar to CorelDRAW. But CorelDRAW's treatment inspires less frustration because it‚ÄĒwait for it‚ÄĒopens a modal window in order to view pages in a 'page-spreading' mode.

Quote

Pixel Persona is unnecessary

I don't really have any problem with Affinity's Persona views. I've seen more users applaud it here than dislike it. At this stage, I certainly don't think it's going away, and I expect it will be further exploited to help minimize UI clutter as more features are added or fleshed-out. Perhaps then it will feel more 'necessary' (justified).

JET

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17 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

CorelDRAW's treatment inspires less frustration because it‚ÄĒwait for it‚ÄĒopens a modal window

 

17 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

I don't really have any problem with Affinity's Persona views. I've seen more users applaud it here than dislike it.

 

The only ones that bother me are indeed the ones that act in a modal fashion - that you need to apply or cancel to get out of them.

Sadly this is most of the personas in Photo right now - basically all except the Photo and Export personas.

This should really be fixed:

  • Now that there is a "live" liquify¬†filter in the beta, switching to the Liquify persona when there is not such a filter selected should create that filter and act as an editor for it, without the "Apply"/"Cancel" buttons, and the "Done" button when editing a "live" liquify filter already serves no purpose and should simply be removed. ¬†We can always rasterize the layer to apply the liquify; this set of changes would make that persona effectively non-modal.
  • When opening a RAW file, the RAW data should be maintained in an image layer rather than a pixel layer, and the develop persona should operate on that image layer and maintain the development information as metadata of that layer so that development can pick up where it left off. ¬†Converting the image layer to a pixel layer would then in effect apply the development changes "permanently" and disable the develop persona for that layer (it should only be relevant to image layers representing RAW files). ¬†This would eliminate the need for the "Apply"/"Cancel" buttons, which can be removed.
  • A "live" tone mapping filter should be added in like manner to what is described above for the liquify persona, making that one effectively non-modal also.
  • The hidden persona(s) that operate on stacks should be added to the set of personas with icons and a special layer type for a "stack" should be introduced which would then be edited by that persona as is described above for the "live" filters. ¬†Double-clicking on the stack in the Layers panel would switch to that persona in the same manner as double-clicking on the liquify filter layer currently switches to the liquify persona in the beta.
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