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Even on my (non-retina) 27" iMac screen this is a problem. It is compounded by the insufficient contrast difference between various tool panel & toolbar items & the background they are on, which makes it difficult to tell at a glance if some item is selected/enabled or not.

I understand that fixing this would require a huge amount of work to redesign a lot of the icons & probably still more work to modify the related UI elements to accommodate them, but I hope that someday it will get done.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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On 1/8/2020 at 11:44 AM, cjchambers said:

Just posting to ask if anyone has yet found any sort of workaround for this issue?

I recently bought a 4K monitor specifically for photo editing and I find I'm having to use 200% scaling in windows control panel for it to be anywhere near usable. In other words, I haven't actually gained any resolution over my old monitor! I have tried changing font sizes in windows control panel too, but that doesn't help with the icons and it kinda puts everything out of alignment. I love Affinity Photo but I'm pretty disappointed about this, to be honest, and the fact that it's been an issue since 2016 is particularly disappointing. Maybe I'm being naive but surely it's an incredibly easy fix to implement?!

if you are running at 200% scale then you are still using every pixel on your new monitor. We just use bigger assets for icons, buttons etc. 

If you do a screen grab of your old monitor @100% and then you new monitor @200% and compare, you will find it has double the resolution.

 

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This would be half a workaround, if the scaling could be done per app. Since this is the only app that I have this issue with, I would not want to change scaling just for that.

Also makes me wonder why Affinity would be the only software developing company who finds it difficult to resize and recolor their icons ...

Since highres monitors only keep getting more popular, in the long run there'll be no way around a redesign.

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On 1/8/2020 at 3:08 PM, R C-R said:

(...) insufficient contrast difference between various tool panel & toolbar items & the background they are on, which makes it difficult to tell at a glance if some item is selected/enabled or not. 

I understand that fixing this would require a huge amount of work to redesign a lot of the icons & probably still more work to modify the related UI elements to accommodate them, (...)

I do agree to the contrast issue. Hopefully it would not be much effort to change that. Both background colors for 'not-selected' and 'selected' are rather defined and rendered by code than by pixelated image files, as e.g. the icons, which get placed on these background colors. So to increase the UI contrast of 'not-selected' vs. 'selected' background it hopefully doesn't "require a huge amount of work to redesign" but just to write a different value, ideally at only one line of code per color. The possibility of a quick switch between dark and light UI shows this kind of easy change already.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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18 minutes ago, RalfL said:

This would be half a workaround, if the scaling could be done per app. Since this is the only app that I have this issue with, I would not want to change scaling just for that.

Also makes me wonder why Affinity would be the only software developing company who finds it difficult to resize and recolor their icons ...

Since highres monitors only keep getting more popular, in the long run there'll be no way around a redesign.

A 4K monitor should have a high scale setting in Windows. If the other applications don't work at the scale then they are to blame for not working properly in Windows.

How big is your monitor?  I have an iMac 5K 27 inch so macOS will be @200% scale and everything is fine.

All our icons are already high resolution so we can display them at different scales. What colour they are is a different discussion.

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4 minutes ago, RalfL said:

Also makes me wonder why Affinity would be the only software developing company who finds it difficult to resize and recolor their icons ...

About that, there are over 3000 icons used in various parts of the UI in the Mac version of AD alone. Some of them are used only with the "Monochromatic iconography" UI preference, others work OK with or without that enabled. Many require different versions for the Light & Dark UI, & there are also different versions required for many of the Retina "2x" & regular ones.

In addition to that, increasing the size of many of them likewise requires an increase in the size of the panel, toolbar, or whatever other UI element they appear in. Among other things that may in turn require reworking the zones where panels & tabbed panel groups can be grabbed & placed to undock or re-dock them, & the "sanity" checks that prevent these elements from appearing somewhere where their handles cannot be used to move, dock, or undock them. The Mac versions also offer a choice of two Font UI Size options, so that has to be taken into account as well.

All this has to be accounted for somehow so all the Mac & Windows versions of the 3 apps look & work as similarly as possible, & also in the different supported OS versions of both platforms.

With all this in mind, do you see why it would indeed be quite difficult & time consuming to do this in the Affinity apps?


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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2 hours ago, TonyB said:

A 4K monitor should have a high scale setting in Windows. If the other applications don't work at the scale then they are to blame for not working properly in Windows.

How big is your monitor?  I have an iMac 5K 27 inch so macOS will be @200% scale and everything is fine.

Thank you. It is a 5k 34" monitor, resolution therefore even lower than yours. I now finally checked and, surprise, I have already scaled it up, to 225%. It's been a couple of years, now I remember that I spent some time tweaking the scaling and other settings. Everything is indeed fine. Affinity apps are the only exception.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

[...]

With all this in mind, do you see why it would indeed be quite difficult & time consuming to do this in the Affinity apps?

Yes, I understand, thank you for the details. I don't claim that I could fix it in a day. It is just frustrating for me (and a few others here, and probably a few more who don't niggle about it) that I would like to but cannot use Affinity because of this. And what still surprises me is how everyone else has apparently been able to do it. Can't be an issue with the skills of the developers, otherwise they could not have developed such apps in the first place.

Anyway, I am not really here to annoy. If it's just me, feel free to ignore. Just thought it would be good for Affinity to know where users have problems.

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21 hours ago, TonyB said:

if you are running at 200% scale then you are still using every pixel on your new monitor. We just use bigger assets for icons, buttons etc. 

If you do a screen grab of your old monitor @100% and then you new monitor @200% and compare, you will find it has double the resolution.

 

Thanks for the reply. I'm absolutely with you in terms of pixel count. It's more quality/accuracy that I'm concerned about.

Unless I've misunderstood, when you look at an image at 1:1 zoom with 100% scaling at your display's native resolution you're seeing something as close to possible to the actual image. This is why people go to 1:1 to check focus, sharpness, noise etc. When the windows scaling gets involved, then additional scaling has been applied to the image and you're no longer seeing a 'true' image. Specifically, you're likely to see a softer image. I'm very much open to proving myself wrong, so I'd quite like to try and test this out with some test charts when I get the chance!

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, R C-R said:

In addition to that, increasing the size of many of them likewise requires an increase in the size of the panel, toolbar, or whatever other UI element they appear in.

How about an option to scale the entire UI ?
That might influence the UI items sharpness (resolution) but would not need any redesign.
It just scales all items, panel dimensions included, as it is done successfully with a change of the monitor resolution.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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Affinity photo does the things i need, but sadly (though I continue to use it 'cause I really like it) I have the same issue...I'd like larger icons in the tool icon bar...otherwise, I have few issues with the program - such a relief to get away from the subscription-only system that Adobe has adopted, which moved me away from Photoshop.

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Posted (edited)

Image113.jpg.7e1a48401e1f26a85807a21892f1ab23.jpg

As being old programmer, the first thing to consider is to make programs UI flexible and sizable. It's not even difficult.

Image111.jpg

Image112.jpg

Edited by Hannu

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+1
These issues has been often reported, even by me ...UI and fonts too small and with bad contrast. 
They probably can't solve it or they just don't want to!

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I am a new user of Affinity Design, and I concur with others in this thread regarding the need for larger icons. Tiny icons make becoming familiar with this new interface difficult.

It has been my intention to commit to the entire suite of applications, as they are excellent in all other respects. I will have to skip the other two for now, and continue using Photoshop and InDesign, as there is only so much squinting I can tolerate in one day.

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I too need a larger icon size. It's not possible to work in the program for too long and it becomes quite uncomfortable. I am working on a Windows computer and need larger icons in both designer and photo.

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Personally, I have no problems with the icons in the Affinity applications. Maybe wearing glasses for reading can help solving the problem  for those having difficulty?

Bigger icons mean less space for your work area. I use a HDMI 28" monitor with its resolution twice as much as the graphics card in my laptop. If I compare the 15.6" screen with the external monitor, the latter is indeed nice to use because of the bigger work area. Also the dark theme is better and more relaxed to the eyes  than the light one.

When I see the user interface in the Affinity applications, if those icons get bigger, how much working space will be sacrificed? Especially on laptops this will become problematic.

Chris

 

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UI should be scalable of course. It is already laughable tiny in high resolutions. Like Serif didn't see the future in the horizon i 2015.


I gave up using Designer - a "professional" vector drawing program without advanced or semi-advanced vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion.

Further... give up and please hire a professional, educated UX (user experience designer), Serif. Professional software companies used them for decades now. You must too.

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@Bad_Wolf Who uses a 15" laptop for professional design work? My monitor is 34" and cost a third of my glasses (both very good ...). Eyesight is not the issue, neither is work space. If the icons were scalable, there'd be no issue at all for anyone. Everyone could set it up to their needs, laptop or high res workstation.

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The contrast is not an issue to me, the color icons are easy to spot in the dark them, but they are too small indeed. I would like to have the ability to scale them up for sure, but some people telling that the interface is almost unusable is really a stretch.

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I can't believe that the software internals are so bad that simple icon/button + font customisation is too hard?! Tons of portable image software allow such options. Hell, even 20+ year old Gimp you can make themes - custom icons, text scaling and whatnot and is much more portable. Sigh... anyway, hope in the next several years UI/UX customisation improves :)

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I spotted this thread and find it interesting. I'm still on a 1920x1080 display. I've always assumed that Affinity software was made with higher resolution in mind because all of the panels, toolbars, etc take up so much space. I can see now that was a false assumption.

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I really feel like someone, or everyone, on the Affinity UI team should use Blender. Blender, to me, is really the best example of efficient UI design. If ignoring everything else, the way Blender handles UI scaling is absolutely beautiful.

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