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Add a Lighter/Brighter UI-mode (implemented)

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Hello All

 

This is a great thread and I'm adding my opinion here to keep the debate going and help keep it above the fold.

 

I've yet to switch over to AD, for purely practical reasons - no Pantone, no artboards. Still, both of those are hopefully not many motorway junctions away on the roadmap, so all good there. However, just below these in my wishlist is the UI.

 

I struggle hugely with the dark theme – I find the contrast levels between backgrounds and type/icons problematic – I'm unable to reach that wonderful point where the interface disappears and I'm simply focused on my work.

 

And, I have some far less defensible aesthetic problems as well - the darkness makes the application feel "closed in" to me, whilst the candy-coloured tool icons just don't say "Pro" to me.

 

What I do know is that I really wish I hadn't seen Andreas Larsen's great work in Posts #25 and #30 in this thread - those mockups are exactly the UI option I'm looking for.

 

So, I'm disappointed to hear TonyB downplay this issue in post #47, but a little heartened that MEB isn't quite as negative in post #48. And, of course, I'm just pleased that Affinity staff engage so well on this forum.

 

My concern is that, as the Photo beta picks up pace, issues like this one are going to sink further down the list. I hope Serif recognise the opportunity they have here to make a huge step-up in market share, and can find the resources to develop 2 apps at the same time (with a third coming).

 

I'm old enough to remember the giddy excitement of the moment when InDesign 2.0 released me from Quark. It's clear that Adobe, and the design market as a whole NEEDS the competitive push Serif/Affinity is bringing.

 

Thus, I've bought my AD licence, will buy my Affinity Photo licence the day it comes out, and the Affinity Publisher one after that. But if it's a matter of cash, then get a Kickstarter launched - I'm up for an extra £50 if I can get a light, flat UI.

 

Perhaps you could call it the OAP Persona?

 

Cheers, Christian

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+1, I too advocate a customizable UI; some people like dark, other light, some colors, others monochromatic, each a certain style of icons, etc... best to make it as customizable as possible... This is for designers after all! Each will make the best UI for themselves if so moved... 

 

I agree that UI customization should be one of the top priorities, because if a tool is uncomfortable to look at, chances are I won't for prolonged time...


2017 15" MacBook Pro 14,3 w/ Intel 4 Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16 GB RAM, AMD 455 @ 2 GB, 512 GB SSD, macOS High Sierra

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Wow, some people feel very strongly about having a lighter UI. If it's any consolation, I like the dark interface and it actually performs better with accessibility. However, given the number of disgruntled customers here, you should probably add a light theme. I would also like to add that Adobes default interface sports a dark UI, and I'm guessing that was done for accessibility, not because someone it was someones favourite colour. 

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Those of us requesting the lighter UI do feel strongly about it and that's because we do have a serious need for it.  It's not just aesthetics.  In fact, I think the darker interface is lovely.  It just makes me squint and gives me a headache if I use it long enough.  

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Dark UI works in the right context; light UI works in the right context... Best UIs are flexible and adapt to context and user...


2017 15" MacBook Pro 14,3 w/ Intel 4 Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16 GB RAM, AMD 455 @ 2 GB, 512 GB SSD, macOS High Sierra

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+1 from me as well… I work mostly in print and, more often than not, our projects have light backgrounds (you know, with them being related to healthcare, pharmaceuticals and all). So, having the interface match what I work with would be a plus.

Also, I have been using Illustrator and Photoshop with the dark theme, in order to get used to it for when I eventually switch to Affinity for good, but I really don't find it that easier on the eyes (I wouldn't say that I am strongly affected by it either, but the whole “lower contrast between contents and UI chrome” argument seems very sound so I'm running with it as well). In fact, I will try reverting it to see how I feel about that.

 

Anyway, as for the whole “this may slow down our development” stance, yes, I am aware it would, but with all of your magnificent tools you'd make lighter versions of the UI elements in a cinch. It'd really mean having only a second set of interface elements and the UI Gamma slider go all the way to light grey, plus some testing and coding (and then, economies of scale would kick in as I'm guessing said code would work equally well in all of the suite components). I am aware that's how Adobe Illustrator manages it, but that is, indeed, the only sensible way. I am with all the others: stuff like multiple artboards and pasteboard editing must stay at the top of your priorities, but a customizable UI shouldn't be that far down the list either. It is, after all, something your users will have to interact with on a daily basis, and there's no running away from it as there's not really any sensible workaround (maybe short of inverting the interface colours on the Accessibility Pref pane? ^^ Well, actually, it doesn't look too shabby! ;) ).

 

Also, I really don't agree with your assumption that since Apple now has some pro apps with darker chrome, that automagically makes it a good fit for the task at hand. Apple, as we all in this board may agree on, is not necessarily the single best authority on UI design (even though they were its pioneers, yes), as the whole skeumorphism trend (going back as far as QuickTime and Panther's brushed metal theme) and at times excessive use of transparency/translucency (see pre-Panther iterations of OS X and iOS 7) attests. Also: Helvetica. I'm yearning for the days when we had a decently hinted UI font (I know that Retina displays partially obviate the need for such hinting, but please bear with me… Besides, they are still launching updates to their old, Retina-less models, which, frankly, render Yosemite's UI in general and Helvetica Neue in particular in a not-so-great fashion), with proper, wide apertures (as for the impact of those on legibility, Retina or no Retina is a moot point), and hoping that Apple comes round and brings San Francisco from the Watch to iOS and OS X, STAT (not because it's the best-looking font around, but because it at least fits the bill function-wise). I was ecstatic when I saw they were replacing VAG Rounded with it on the new Retina MacBook keyboard already, even before shipping the watch, but seeing that they are still so fond of the progressively anorectic Myriad Pro, I'm not holding my breath… Can't you see just how all-over-the-place, typography-wise, Apple is? It's downright cringeworthy for a company that size and with such a reputation, and it's always been that way (even in the dawn of the DTP revolution, right on the Mac, Apple was using a crappy, optically condensed version of an already badly traced Adobe Garamond instead of a proper font commissioned to, oh, I don't know, a high-profile type designer like Matthew Carter… And don't even get me started on Motter Tektura. :P )

 

And while I'm at it, even Apple, the king of forcing-UI-decisions-down-our-collective-throats (even moreso than Microsoft…! Yes, do check this video out: you could actually upgrade from Windows 2 all the way to Windows XP, while retaining your color scheme… Crazy, am I right?), got around to that and added a dark mode *in addition to* (not in replacement of!) the light mode for the dock and system menu. So, even if they might be veering off into an overall darker theme, they still acknowledge that one size does not, indeed, fit all. As for Adobe (which, if I may remind you, is still your #1 competitor), well, they also pretty much nailed it. They might have started – or at least heavily contributed to – that trend as well, but at least they still give people a choice (on that regard, I find it telling – if a bit incoherent – that the InDesign team didn't even bother to make a dark theme on CS6… Maybe they were prioritizing bug fixes instead? Even so, it has been a lighter shade of grey than the rest of the Creative Suite for many years in a row, which is interesting).

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It's not quite what you guys want but anyone could replace AD/AP's icons set with there own set of monocrhome/flat/lighter icons right now if they wanted to.

NOTE: Make sure you backup either the resources folder or the actual app so you can revert back to the original.

To get to the app's icon files follow the bullets below:

  • Navigate to the applications folder
  • Right like on the application 
  • Click 'Show package contents'
  • Navigate to : Contents>Resources
  • Open one of the png's in AD/ AP
  • Edit, flatten and SAVE
  • Restart the app and your done :)

If anyone decides to make a custom icon set for AD /AP do let me know :)

EXAMPLE EDITS CAN BE SEEN IN THE RED CIRCLES
CYLPxi7.jpg


Andreas Larsen, you're one set closer to your dream UI :)
 

 

 

c9J45r5.png

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7immer,

 

I started working on exactly that a while back using Andreas Larsen's awesome file as a template, but haven't had the time to finish. Ideally the ENTIRE UI would be set up as an AD doc — not only icons but background colors, transparency and blur, highlight color/effects, roll-overs, etc— which advanced users could edit and customize and share to our hearts content! I'm happy to share my working file with the community; if anyone does any variations just post it back so we can all benefit from the iterations as well... Cheers!

 

post-1105-0-20314700-1428010308_thumb.jpg

 

1. AD Beta - monochrome UI icons.zip

2. AD - monochrome UI mockup.zip

 

It's not quite what you guys want but anyone could replace AD/AP's icons set with there own set of monocrhome/flat/lighter icons right now if they wanted to.

NOTE: Make sure you backup either the resources folder or the actual app so you can revert back to the original.

To get to the app's icon files follow the bullets below:

  • Navigate to the applications folder
  • Right like on the application 
  • Click 'Show package contents'
  • Navigate to : Contents>Resources
  • Open one of the png's in AD/ AP
  • Edit, flatten and SAVE
  • Restart the app and your done :)

If anyone decides to make a custom icon set for AD /AP do let me know :)

EXAMPLE EDITS CAN BE SEEN IN THE RED CIRCLES
CYLPxi7.jpg


Andreas Larsen, you're one set closer to your dream UI :)
 

 


2017 15" MacBook Pro 14,3 w/ Intel 4 Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16 GB RAM, AMD 455 @ 2 GB, 512 GB SSD, macOS High Sierra

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"Today we have moved Affinity Photo from beta to Release Candidate 1."

 

As my only stated concern hasn't been addressed, this is another version of Affinity I can't use. At all. I'm a migraine sufferer and I can't look at the UI for more than a few moments. Affinity has already triggered one migraine … I won't be risking that again.

 

Last version, I did wear sunglasses to look around … it buys me a little time. I liked what I saw, but couldn't use the software in any meaningful way. Still can't.

 

I wish you guys the best. I wish I could participate.

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I would like the BG colour to be selectable. Softproofing against any grey is problematic. I have all my paper colours in the palette and pick the one I need for soft proofing.


Cheers,

 

Jeff

 

www.jeff-grant.com

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A thread which is going on forever now and I have no idea what Affinity is planning on doing..

It's all a matter of priorities is what I understand to be the official statement.

 

I must say that the older one gets, the harder it is to adapt.. (eyesight is getting worse by the day)

 

All these discussions about how cool dark interfaces are and that Adobe has them and Apple is implementing them as well drives me nuts!

 

A nice bright/neutral interface hasn't raised one eyebrow the last 20 years or so.. and now there is a four page thread where people are complaining because someone thought up something 'refreshing'

What a waste of time and effort..

Affinity Photo (and Designer) needs to be #1 and it really has the potential to become just that. 

 

So, please... PLEASE! Make it top priority to change the interface and make your (older/pro/experienced/nagging) customers happy!

 

Thanks

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+1 for light UI. 

 

For a simple test I took a screenshot of the Affinity UI, pasted it in a document and inverted it. 

 

It looks very nice, only the icons look a bit distorted. But all lines, brush samples, text is perfectly fine.

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For a simple test I took a screenshot of the Affinity UI, pasted it in a document and inverted it.

 

Oh, yes indeed, that does look good … and is super easy on the eyes … what a great idea, Julian …  :D

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For a simple test I took a screenshot of the Affinity UI, pasted it in a document and inverted it. 

 

 

 

 

Oh Wow!  That would be wonderful!  Please, Affinity, give us this as an Option.  We really do need it!  Older and/or less than perfect eyes will worship at your feet.  And brag about you more often and in even more places than we do now.

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+1 for a light UI and larger icons and fonts; the large option in Preferences-FontUI Size is really not that much larger.

 

On a 27" iMac Lightroom's Panels have always been too small and hard to use for me, although I've got used to it more and now it looks relatively large in comparison to AP. My old eyes don't feel up to getting used to an even darker and smaller UI.

 

Please prioritise this. 

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+1

Please could you take my vision seriously. First fonts become so small you are forced to keep buying new machines with Retina. I got my iMac 27 inch in 2013 and it is not Retina. I've had to make the resolution 2048 instead of 2560 just so I could see the tiny icons and stop getting close to the screen just to see what I'm doing with all that dark workspace. I've tried turning the brightness up in preferences, but there is only a subtle change. The icons are tiny or not bold enough. I've turned everything up to largest and brightest - looks like I have to be treated as an accessibility client!

 

Most images and illustrations are medium to fairly light. So the contrast is too great. E.g. have you ever tried looking at your phone in the sun? Please see this as not so much a feature request, but more like an occupational health and safety one.

 

I really do like using Affinity. However, I wish I could see the interface better.

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Love the program, hate the UI. I too can't live with dark UIs but also, the icons are too small on my 27" iMac screen. Please, can we set our own UI colours and icon sizes?

I agree 100%

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Years ago we had coloured icons on mac, then grey icons on a light grey background. It's maybe very "digital" but my eyes, as all human eyes, react sluggishly to differences in brightness. But not regarding colors.

This is the trick which was used for PAL system (on TV) in comparison to NTSC. The phase shift, which result in changing colors is the result of NTSC an people realise some color differences, when faces become mauve or lila. The PAL system replace the phase shift in luminance difference, because the human eye react tardy for luminance differences.

Reducing the distinction at luminance differences (means brightness) will keep the brain working hard, which result in tiredness.

I don't understand how a professional tool like Affinity Designer (which is mostly used from professionals) offer a such GUI!

Please, please, offer a brighter GUI or configurable!

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I guess all I can do is to add to the growing tsunami of users that simply are unable or unwilling to use Affinity due to their choice of dark UX only. I have paid for the product and even used it a bit but there is no way I can put away Illustrator until I get a light UX mode. I always use a white background and the contrast to the menus are so great that it takes me considerable time to refocus in order to make out what the tiny icons mean. I have seen the argument for dark UXes, but they are clearly more suitable for video/photo work than for illustrations and print based work where white is the predominant color. Therefore, Affinity Designer has a bigger problem and it should be of a higher priority for Affinity to try a little harder to enable paying users to actually start using their program. 

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