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Add a Lighter/Brighter UI-mode (implemented)

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You can tweak it going to Affinity Designer -> Preferences -> User Interface tab and adjusting the UI Gamma and the Background Gray Level sliders. Note however that you can't make the UI light. Just adjust the Gamma slightly.

 

I do like the black look, and on an OK (calibrated) monitor, everything looks fine.

 

I played around with the UI gamma, but it doesn't chage a thing on my PC...

(Windows 7 - 64bit)

 

Cheers,

 

K.

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Hi,

 It really pleases me when I see others making similar comments to mine. Right from the 1st opening I WAS NOT SURE about that Dark UI. Now I can see that it is not just me, Smokey.

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post-32325-0-71614800-1468939410_thumb.jpg

The dark UI is OK when options are clearly visible, such as ticked or unticked checkboxes. However when you have a small set of buttons (for example the Typography section of the text Character dialog box) it is not clear which buttons are enabled, disabled or already selected.

  • Enabled is grey text on a dark-grey background.
  • Disabled is feint-grey text on a dark-grey background.
  • Selected is grey text on a very-dark-grey background.

You do not need to make the whole UI lighter, just use colours with more contrast. I have tried to illustrate this on the attached picture using the [Tr] button as an example. 

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Since a few weeks ago, when I started to use Affinity Designer Beta release for Windows I always got the same problem: IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO APPRECIATE THE DIFFERENCE FOR WHEN THE BUTTON IS EITHER ON or OFF.

I tried to adjust using the available tools, but the difference is not good at all. I do hope in some substantial improvement.

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Since a few weeks ago, when I started to use Affinity Designer Beta release for Windows I always got the same problem: IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO APPRECIATE THE DIFFERENCE FOR WHEN THE BUTTON IS EITHER ON or OFF.

I tried to adjust using the available tools, but the difference is not good at all. I do hope in some substantial improvement.

 

Same here. I don't mind the dark interface. I think it works for the type of program it is. It's just the indicators I don't like. I would rather any selected buttons be highlighted in blue instead of black. The same as Alfred said, I have to tilt my monitor to see what's selected. Aside from that, I do like the dark interface (for "this" program).


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I've joined the forum for just one thing (at the moment) - this issue. I'm getting older - in my fifties - and my sight isn't what it once was. I've always been short-sighted, and wear glasses - which correct my vision very successfully. Nowadays, with the advent of presbyopia, I need more than one pair - and I have a pair which I use mostly for work at the computer. 

 

I want to like AD. There's so much about it that's good - or even great. I want to use AD. I'm not rich enough/making enough money to afford Adobe's CS subscriptions, so I'm still stuck on CS5.x; that stops me upgrading OS X beyond Yosemite, unless I stop using CS... And I want to stop using CS!! (To stop, I'll also need a replacement for Indesign, but that's a whole other issue!)

 

I don't like the dark interface. In fact, I don't just not like it - I'm mostly working for print, and the contrast between my page and the interface is simply too great. I'd love to use AD for all my work, but I can't... I get a splitting headache within about ten minutes, however I adjust the interface. I don't get that with any of the other software I use - because either by default, or by selecting the right options in preferences, I can get a set-up which is 'easy on the eye'. 

 

White/Light Grey background and dark or coloured text and icons (preferably with adjustable sizes) would enable me to use the software. I keep trying. I keep hoping, against hope, that today, I won't get a headache.

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To the Affinity Team, I love AD for Windows but the Dark UI only theme is a huge road-blocker for me to purchase the app.

 

Pls, pls, pls provide a Light-theme UI with dark icons. This is how I use all of my UX tools like Adobe Illustrator, PS etc.

 

Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

Rom

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attachicon.gifaffinity_buttons.jpg

The dark UI is OK when options are clearly visible, such as ticked or unticked checkboxes. However when you have a small set of buttons (for example the Typography section of the text Character dialog box) it is not clear which buttons are enabled, disabled or already selected.

  • Enabled is grey text on a dark-grey background.
  • Disabled is feint-grey text on a dark-grey background.
  • Selected is grey text on a very-dark-grey background.

You do not need to make the whole UI lighter, just use colours with more contrast. I have tried to illustrate this on the attached picture using the [Tr] button as an example. 

 

Please don't ^^

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philhendry

 

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums. :)

 

I've joined the forum for just one thing (at the moment) - this issue. I'm getting older - in my fifties - and my sight isn't what it once was. I've always been short-sighted, and wear glasses - which correct my vision very successfully. Nowadays, with the advent of presbyopia, I need more than one pair - and I have a pair which I use mostly for work at the computer. 

 

I want to like AD. There's so much about it that's good - or even great. I want to use AD. I'm not rich enough/making enough money to afford Adobe's CS subscriptions, so I'm still stuck on CS5.x; that stops me upgrading OS X beyond Yosemite, unless I stop using CS... And I want to stop using CS!! (To stop, I'll also need a replacement for Indesign, but that's a whole other issue!)

 

I don't like the dark interface. In fact, I don't just not like it - I'm mostly working for print, and the contrast between my page and the interface is simply too great. I'd love to use AD for all my work, but I can't... I get a splitting headache within about ten minutes, however I adjust the interface. I don't get that with any of the other software I use - because either by default, or by selecting the right options in preferences, I can get a set-up which is 'easy on the eye'. 

 

White/Light Grey background and dark or coloured text and icons (preferably with adjustable sizes) would enable me to use the software. I keep trying. I keep hoping, against hope, that today, I won't get a headache.

 

The darker UI has been designed to be unobtrusive and allow designers to concentrate on the project itself. However there have been many passionate threads requesting a lighter UI particularly this one you are in. 

 
As you have found, currently we don't have a light UI option but you can adjust the UI Gamma to make it a bit lighter. The option in preferences is really only there to correct for poor monitor black levels but it does work to a certain extent. You can tweak it going to Affinity Designer -> Preferences -> User Interface panel and adjusting the UI Gamma and the Background Gray Level sliders. [in the Mac version you can also change the size of user interface text in Preferences -> User Interface panel -> Font UI Size.]
 
The existing icons are designed to look good on a dark background. They all need reviewing and most need reworking for an alternate light interface. However the replacement of icons is not the majority of the work involved. Much time is taken reviewing and reprogramming all the bespoke UI for controls like sliders spin controls tabs indicators etc etc. It is all non-standard bespoke, not off the shelf from a third party. There is months of work unpicking each bit of our UI to redesign every one to look as good as it can.
 
Unfortunately the work to achieve this part of the process is completely independent on each operating system, so any control designed for Mac has an independent equivalent version on Windows. This also means that a lighter solution will most likely beta on one OS before the other.
 
We understand that it doesn't seem hard to make a light UI, but it is far from trivial or we would have done it already. Our stance is not stubbornness it's pragmatic about how long it takes to rework. We have not announced any date for this change. However, we are listening and working towards an optional lighter UI for our users. 

Patrick Connor
Serif (Europe) Ltd.

Latest releases on each platform 

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Thank you for that clarification.  It's much easier to wait when we know that we are being heard and our problems addressed.  Thank you all for understanding that they are real and beyond our ability to adapt.  

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I just got your free trial, and would love to be able to use this software but it's impossible to use because of the very small gray letters on black. I suppose there is no way to change this. I've researched and found quite a few people who have bought the software and can't use it because of this eye strain problem. I tried to change things in the user interface, but it didn't change anything that i can see. It's unfortunate, I have been searching and searching for a PS replacement. now I have to keep looking. From what I can see online (and not just on this forum) you are loosing a large customer base because of this black back ground. There was a review in the apple app store, where the person was furious that they spent the money and now can't use it. I'm glad I found the free trail, so i didn't waste the money. But i understand that it not something that be changed easily, so I'm off to find another software program. :(

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I think a hybrid Monochrome/color UI mode is needed where the UI is monochrome by default but when icons / tools are selected, the icons go to full color, helping the user see what is currently selected, instead of the current "button press" which IMHO is too subtle. I have to admit I have grown to like the full color UI although I didn't like it at first. Perhaps a low saturation version of the icons/UI for disabled tools and a full saturated version is the way to go, adjustable via preferences of course :D


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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Why would the user want to see what he had selected rather than what he was trying to select?  That's too much like hunting for Apple's scroll bar which you can only see after you've found it.

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There is an issue of legibility in the UI in terms of what is toggled On vs what is toggled Off, which in my opinion needs to be balanced against a UI in which the icons are identifiable/unique (icon shape, color and button state) vs a UI which is cohesive and not distracting (monochrome UI).

 

Why would the user want to see what he had selected rather than what he was trying to select?  That's too much like hunting for Apple's scroll bar which you can only see after you've found it.


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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I don’t know how much graphic design software is used by people with color vision deficiency in the first place (but I guess for technical drawings etc. you don’t necessarily need to have normal sight) but simply changing colors on an otherwise monochrome UI wouldn’t be sufficient. There needs to be something else to supplement the indication that an element is active. A “high contrast” UI should be an option.

 

So, while UI modes are being reconsidered the guys at Serif should ideally plan ahead for easy style switching so that it’s not hard-coded and UI modes can be added/changed easily. And it might be wise to hire an accessibility expert as consultant for this task.

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I haven't read all of this topic, but I hope if you are going to include a brighter UI, it will be optional?

Personally, I don't know any software that uses such well chosen color values in its UI.

I really appreaciate the dark style and I couldn't imagine working with a bright UI as it shifts the focus away from the image you're working on. Also, bright UI is horrible for working in a surrounding which isn't lit too bright.

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I too have a lot of difficulty working with this interface. I often can't tell which icon is selected. The almost black on black is extremely difficult to distinguish. Instead of making the selection black, it would be better at 50% gray or some lighter value. Or make the background lighter so the black surround of the icon is more contrasted.


 


I tried changing the gamma of the user interface all the way to the right, but it is not enough.


 


Also, the text is difficult to read. Likewise, Apple's new designs are terrible. The little darker gray on gray is a poor choice. We should not have to strain to read or recognize text or which icon is selected. It's like trying to read a book with white type on almost white paper. I can't understand these unclear user interface choices. When Jony Ive took over interface design, it was bad news. These barely distinguishable interfaces are horrible.


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+ 1 from me too. 


- Affinity Photo 1.7.2
- Affinity Designer 1.7.2
-Affinity Publisher 1.7.2

 

MacBook Pro 8 GB
MacBook Pro Mojave 10.14.6

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I have a couple of IxD related question for the Affinity developer team:

  • Is an experienced Interaction/UX designer part of your team?
  • Did you perform usability tests with test participants right from the start using prototypes?
  • Do you currently perform usability tests?

Just curious about your development workflow in regards to usability design - this is not meant in a negative manner. When I design GUIs, games, and sites I almost always perform usability tests with test participants. These may either be formal or informal, depending on the scope of the job at hand.

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Hi Tony,

 

Apple Pro apps are also dark and I guess they also prioritise what they should work on next.

 

I don't know of the other pro apps, but for Logic Pro X there are a few hacks to make the UI lighter. The darker one is really difficult to work with. Then, Logic does not uses "candy" icons, but big, essential ones, making everything easier to read.

 

Paolo

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I don't know of the other pro apps …

 

Well, see for yourself. These are screenshots from Motion 4 and Motion 5 respectively (the screen shot of Motion 4 was taken from the web, since I cannot use this version anymore). In the marketing lingo that was used when the latest version was announced you would read:

 

Redesigned dark interface puts the focus on your motion graphics

 

However, the folks at Apple seem to forget that the graphics that are supposed to pop-out of the window have to be created first, and honestly, the new interface is almost unusable under daylight conditions. Sure, the user interface of Motion 4 was extremely ugly, but it was usable. The screen layout was clear. On the new interface, you can hardly figure out the overall organization of the interface. It became a single black slate. Unbelievable.  :huh:

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