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New interface for version 2 of the Affinity suite


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I request that the next Affinity suite utilize Microsoft's ribbon "menuing" interface instead of its current interface.

By now, most every Windows computer user has seen that Microsoft changed its interface from the old menuing system to the new ribbon interface for the Windows version of its office suite. I've researched which permission(s) Microsoft requires of other software vendors in order to copy the ribbon system. Their only requirement is that the product(s) being made do NOT compete with any Microsoft products. In fact, they don't even require a licensing fee of any sort if the application doesn't compete with a Microsoft product.

That does present a dilemma for Serif but I think it can be overcome. I have been using Microsoft 365 for several years now (formerly Microsoft Office) and the only product Serif makes that might compete with a program in the MS Office suite is Affinity Publisher (vs. Microsoft Publisher). But these programs are not that similar.  Affinity Publisher has so much more power that it puts Microsoft Publisher to shame. That would present a problem for Serif. 

Regarding the rest of the Affinity suite, I don't remember Microsoft publishing either a real draw program or a photo editing one, at least not packages anyone takes seriously.

Affinity developers, please let us know if a new interface will be possible for the next version of the Affinity Suite, particularly a ribbon interface.

Thank you,

Steve

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6 minutes ago, JazzEngineer said:

I request that the next Affinity suite utilize Microsoft's ribbon "menuing" interface instead of its current interface.

Please, Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! 😝

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Just now, JazzEngineer said:

Why are you so opposed to the ribbon menuing system?

Why do you like it???

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Because it reduces feature searches. With the ribbon, I not only don't have to hunt so hard and deeply to do something, very often the icons on the ribbon act as visual mnemonics, making it easier to find what I need.

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37 minutes ago, JazzEngineer said:

I request that the next Affinity suite utilize Microsoft's ribbon "menuing" interface instead of its current interface.

…I have been using Microsoft 365 for several years now…

It's probably worth mentioning that the Affinity personas are not that dissimilar functionally to the Microsoft Ribbon in that they present different tools depending on the context (aka persona) the user has selected. When considering adopting the Microsoft ribbon interface that you have been using for several years and obviously prefer, it's worth remembering that the Affinity apps are cross-platform (Windows, macOS and iPadOS) and that the ribbon interface isn't particularly popular on macOS and iPadOS, and that even Microsoft with the latter (iPadOS) has had to significantly change they way it looks and works in order to create a product that better fits the form factor and user expectations of the device and platform.

Personally, I really liked the ribbon when it first appeared back in 2007, but in recent years it has become an ungainly mess of tabs, buttons and menus that requires significant management from the user to tame it into something useful for their specific needs. Even Microsoft is dramatically redesigning it to meet the needs and expectations of users today.

I'd much rather Serif innovate with their existing UI and clean up the long-standing issues and frustrations many users have reported. Adopting a 15 year old UI paradigm (that even the company that created it is abandoning) isn't terribly forward thinking IMHO.

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16 minutes ago, JazzEngineer said:

With the ribbon, I not only don't have to hunt so hard and deeply to do something, very often the icons on the ribbon act as visual mnemonics, making it easier to find what I need.

I'm afraid I find just the opposite. It seems to take much longer (with more clicking) to find what I want. Also (AFAIK) it isn't possible to change the layout of icons in the same way as is now possible,

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Please Affinity don't do that ! 

The "Ribbon" interface was in some way "innovative" when it came out. But now it makes such a mess to go from one function to another that it now makes me miss the WordPerfect interface from years ago... "Ctrl-...".

I work with Word and Excel, but feel more at home when I open Photo or Designer. And as metionned above, it has to work on Mac and iPad.

But your mileage may vary...

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47 minutes ago, JazzEngineer said:

I request that the next Affinity suite utilize Microsoft's ribbon "menuing" interface instead of its current interface.

NO. PLEASE, NO!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave braindead UIs conceived for repetitive office tasks to office tasks. Use the old, familiar metaphor of floating palettes with creative tasks.

Paolo

 

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11 minutes ago, PaoloT said:

Use the old, familiar metaphor of floating palettes with creative tasks.

The Affinity UI could use some improvements. Docking the palettes to one side of the screen as Corel did (still does?) makes for a clear interface. I do sometimes lose myself with the palettes in Affinity. I don't want to close the palettes, just put them to one side for a time when I am not using them. The problem is the palettes are 2 menu items deep (View -> Studio -> Palette), so to open one palette again is three mouse clicks. If I close 4 palettes to concentrate on one aspect, that's 12 mouse clicks to get back them back.

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I can't say that I find this problem myself, but I suppose it depends on the layouts you use and your way of working.

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Ribbon UI and similar dynamic placements of items are the worst UI i can think of. As a visual (and 3D) soul , i remember where buttons etc are located, and find them any time blind. Hiding or moving items breaks all my flow. 
 

I hate many aspects of Affinity UI, too, but Ribbon would be the ultimate downgrade to burning hell.

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If the problem is finding a command, the fastest way to find it is to add a Search command working on the UI.

On the Mac, this is a native feature, and works perfectly fine in the Affinity apps.

Paolo

image.png.197c931d4455447d31a9e7610be65e39.png

 

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Well,

Hello to all of you. I am surprised I've caused a bit of a stir, and most importantly, that no one seems to like Microsoft's ribbon interface. Thank you all for your responses.

The only response I want to make regards users who complained that they couldn't dock their palettes to one side of the screen. It seems that the assumption is that you cannot do so with with ribbon interface. Well, the ribbon interface does allow users to dock some panels. But I don't think I could have as many panes open as I can palettes.

My objections to Affinity's palettes are:

  • They're too small
  • The freedom to organize them at will tends to confuse me when I want to find a feature. Since I barely know, or even understand, what most palettes do, I get lost easily. This is why I suggested (and want) the ribbon. 

Maybe a few of you could respond to this question: If palettes take up too much space on your monitor, why don't you just open what you need, and then close them?

Any way you slice it, I think most of us want a better interface from the Affinity suite. 

Note that I use two monitors. That's the only way I can keep open so many palettes and still work. I recommend that to you users who don't have a 2nd one and constantly struggle with screen space issues consider the upgrade.

I'm still open to responses but ask those of you that do not have anything more to say than "ugh" refrain from further comments until you have a substantive contribution.

Thanks again to all,

 

Steve

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On 5/24/2022 at 9:56 AM, JazzEngineer said:

I request that the next Affinity suite utilize Microsoft's ribbon "menuing" interface instead of its current interface.

By now, most every Windows computer user has seen that Microsoft changed its interface from the old menuing system to the new ribbon interface for the Windows version of its office suite. I've researched which permission(s) Microsoft requires of other software vendors in order to copy the ribbon system. Their only requirement is that the product(s) being made do NOT compete with any Microsoft products. In fact, they don't even require a licensing fee of any sort if the application doesn't compete with a Microsoft product.

That does present a dilemma for Serif but I think it can be overcome. I have been using Microsoft 365 for several years now (formerly Microsoft Office) and the only product Serif makes that might compete with a program in the MS Office suite is Affinity Publisher (vs. Microsoft Publisher). But these programs are not that similar.  Affinity Publisher has so much more power that it puts Microsoft Publisher to shame. That would present a problem for Serif. 

Regarding the rest of the Affinity suite, I don't remember Microsoft publishing either a real draw program or a photo editing one, at least not packages anyone takes seriously.

Affinity developers, please let us know if a new interface will be possible for the next version of the Affinity Suite, particularly a ribbon interface.

Thank you,

Steve

The ribbon is the worst thing that MS did to office, it is TERRIBLE!!!

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It's a horrifying idea that must thankfully be way off the radar for products that are cross platform products for Windows, macOS and ipadOS.

As well as being an incredibly clunky and space-consuming UI concept, it's completely unworkable for graphics applications, where there traditionally needs to be space for a lot of icons, and preferably in small panels floating around the screen.

It is therefore - or moreover - designed for a different type of users and software.

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On 5/28/2022 at 4:23 PM, JazzEngineer said:

and most importantly, that no one seems to like Microsoft's ribbon interface

You are the first person who likes ribbon and is really happy with it. The others I know, are completely unhappy with him.
Because of this, I use the old MS Office, because I refuse to be angry with this "experiment".

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4 hours ago, Pšenda said:

You are the first person who likes ribbon and is really happy with it. The others I know, are completely unhappy with him.
Because of this, I use the old MS Office, because I refuse to be angry with this "experiment".

It was a real productivity killer, I cannot imagine trying to use it on graphics applications like the Affinity apps (shudder).  Like you, I have never met anyone who had anything but contempt for the ribbon...

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