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Better interaction design


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I think that Affinity photo/designer are both great products, although there's many instances where the interaction is far from optimal. I don't use the product so often but every time that I try to do something, it either takes me a long time to get familiar with the tools, or I just can't get what I want easily. The last examples:

1) if I select a vectorial element I can see the "curve" section in the main toolbar (top left), and edit the stroke properties. If I select two vectorial elements instead of just one, that toolbar disappears. Why is that? How do I edit stroke properties globally then? Please don't tell me that I have to edit them one by one... 

2) how do I copy the #value of the colour of the selected element, so I can apply it to another one? 

3) why can't I define a #value for the stroke colour? I can only edit that in the right hand panel, but that seems to apply to fill even when I select a line that has no fill.

4) if I multiple select objects and then move arrows keys to move them, they jump to a new location that has nothing to do with the initial position, and then start moving as expected (but from the new location, not the location where they were when they were selected). 

5) why can I hold shift to resize a rectangular shape maintaining the aspect ratio, but I cannot do the same with an image? Cmd seems to work instead, but it does not resize from the corner being dragged, and the whole thing is very cumbersome. 

6) why is it so difficult to crop an image, or copy and paste a portion of it?

 

I understand that some of these issues might disappear once you get familiar with the tool, but also believe that it should be easier to make changes in the first place. A good UI doesn't need any explanation or long series of trial and error. 

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Hi lucaben,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

If you select two or more objects with the Move Tool the context toolbar shows commands related to arrangement and grouping of the objects - that is general transforms. To edit their properties change to the Node Tool. You should be able to edit their fill/stroke at once.

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Thanks for your answer, appreciated. I did find the solution in the end but I think the way it works is very unintuitive. Different interaction paradigm based on which tool is selected? That doesn't make sense to me. This was just one of the problems that I encountered. On one hand I am enthusiast about Affinity products, on the other hand I am struggling to understand how the interface works, each time I put my hands on it. In my post above, I elicited six problems that I encountered, and that was in less than 1 hour spent on Affinity photo/Designer. I'd like to know if this is going to change soon otherwise I am afraid I will have to either switch back to Photoshop (a lot more expensive, but at least I know how it works), or find something else. I also think that the software is missing too many key functionality. Can't change the document background colour, can't see a preview when exporting images, I wouldn't mind paying more for the product but having these basic features is paramount. Thanks. 

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Hi lucaben,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Somehow i left my previous reply incomplete. No sure how it happened. Please accept my apologies.

Regarding your questions:

 

1. If you select two or more objects with the Move Tool the context toolbar shows commands related to arrangement and grouping of the objects - that is general transforms. To edit their properties change to the Node Tool. You should be able to edit their fill/stroke at once. Each tool has it own set of context commands (accessible through the context toolbar). Only the Move Tool changes the context commands when more than object is selected. We should probably keep both the Fill and Stroke attributes available for edit there. Thanks for your feedback. 

 

2. In the Colour panel, go to the small menu on top left and select Sliders, then in the panel itself select RGB Hex from the dropdown. You can then access the #input field.

Alternatively double-clicking the fill or stroke colours in the switcher will open a larger Colour Choser panel with an # input field too. You can copy the value from there.

 

3. You can change the #value of stroke colour using the panels i mentioned above. Just make sure the stroke is selected - it must be on top - in the fill/stroke switcher.

 

4. The nudge issue is a bug. Can you provide the exact steps you're taking so we can try to reproduce it here? We can't fix it without knowing what's triggering it.

 

5. You can select the behaviour you want for the aspect constrain in Affinity Preferences, Tools section, Move Tool Aspect Constrain dropdown. By default it's set to automatic which keeps the proportions of objects that possess an intrinsic aspect ratio like text or images without the need to press ⇧ (shift).

 

6. I'm not sure to which program you're are referring to here. Affinity Designer has a non-destructive object based crop, while Photo is document based.

In Photo, to copy and paste a portion of an image you have to create a selection and copy/paste it. If it's pasting the whole layer it's because, the layer is an Image layer which is considered an object layer type and only accepts global transforms. To edit it at a pixel level you have to convert it to a Pixel layer right-clicking Welcome to Affinity Forums :)on the layer in the Layers panel and selecting Rasterise...

You can the copy/paste the selection/perform any pixel level based operation you need.

 

When you come from a different application that you have been using for several years there will always be an adaptation period. We are not necessarily doing things the same way other apps work when we think there's better ways to perform them. This however doesn't mean everything is working as smooth as it should. Affinity applications are still new and need maturing. We are constantly working to improve them and fix the points where they may not be working that well but as anything else this process takes time.

 

Thanks for your comments and let me know if there's anything that i've not addressed properly.

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Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to answer, and happy to see that this is taken into consideration. I will invest some time to learn Affinity and support your efforts. I still believe that you guys should find interaction paradigms that would just work fine. I already found an answer to the questions above myself but I just don't think the way it works is intuitive the way it is now (point 1 to 3 and point 5 in particular). 

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