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Affinity does not provide quality, it is time to part with Serif.


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The title speaks for itself. If you're looking for quality tools for raster graphics, vector editing or DTP, you won't find them in Serif's Affinity-branded programs.

If you have an important commercial project to complete, use proven software rather than Serif products. That way you will save yourself a lot of frustration due to bugs and wasted time looking for workarounds to problems.

Below I wanted to share my review and opinion on several key areas such as bugs, UI/UX, features, updates, development process. This is all that made me draw the conclusions I mentioned at the beginning and abandon Serif products. My patience has run out. I'm not going to wait for something that won't come.

Bugs

There is no such thing as a bug-free program. I am aware of this. The fight is on to have as few of them as possible in the program and not to affect the user's work too much.

Unfortunately, Affinity programs look very bad in this respect. There are a lot of bugs in retail versions that have accumulated from previous versions and updates. The response time from reporting a bug to being fixed by the devs is too long. Suffice it to mention, the V2 version still has bugs that were reported a few years ago in the V1 version.

UI/UX

It appears that not much time was spent on the UI and that it was not designed to be effective, easy to navigate and pleasant for the user to use.

  • User interface is cluttered, small panels are bloated with lot of controls, grouped into multiple collapsible sections. Navigation reqires a lot of expanding and scrolling.
  • The application's color schemes for both the dark and light theme do not provide sufficient contrast, making the interface unreadable.
  • The alignment and organization of the elements is poor. There is a lack of structure. Visual aesthetics are disturbed. The user interface feels patchy.
  • UI elements are not consistent in appearance and size.

Stupid UX decisions don't help. By this I mean no custom export presets creation unless they are distinct in parameters from those provided by the application, export preview permanent on, text frame that remembers the last changes applied to it, or not being able to set the "Align to :" option before performing the alignment operation.

Features and tools

They are of poor quality. They use poor algorithms. Just look at tools like Contour tool, Stroke Width tool, or use expand stroke after using one of the mentioned tools. Open source software offers greater precision and quality not mentioning about competitors.

Updates and development

When it comes to updates, when Serif releases an update it will almost certainly contain regressions or, worse yet, there is a high chance of even more serious problems such as unexpected program shutdowns due to bugs in new features. It all stems from a lack of quality in the development process and insufficient internal testing. There are promises of updates that you will be happy with, but when faced with reality, it turns out that these are just empty words.

At the end, I would like to thank the forum users who always provided advice when I needed it, because I didn't know something or had a problem with something. It was good to know that I could always count on your support and quick response. Regards

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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Are you deleting your forum account after this thread?:/ It seems like you are stopping to use the software.

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Ryzen 7 5700U Rx Vega 8 graphics 

16GB RAM (15.3 usable) 

Acer KB202 27in 1080p monitor

Affinity Photo 1.10.6

Affinity photo 2 2.5.3 Affinity Designer 2 2.5.3 Affinity Publisher 2 2.5.3 on Windows 11 Pro version 24H2

Beta builds as they come out.

canon 80d| sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD | Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Autofocus APS-C Lens, Black

 

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3 hours ago, Affinityconfusesme said:

Are you deleting your forum account after this thread?

No, I don't see the need for it yet. I have reported bugs and written quite a few posts. I don't want them to be deleted.

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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Hmm... I feel the pain of bugs like anyone else, yet I always keep in mind the ratio of Serif's employees to the giant amount of effort to put into three very complex apps for three platforms. Then there's the ballance of fixing bugs, improving existing freatures and developing new features.

Adobe has about 30k employees, while you could squeeze all of Serif's into two busses. These around 90 employees surely aren't lazy nor incapable, it's just the ratio of work to man power. So, while I'm also every now and then frustrated with bugs or non existing features, I still love Affinity, the idea of it, the smooth workflow, the performance, here and there better ideas than big Adobe's (think of Studiolink... still mindblowing!) and the simple fact, that if nobody supports any kind of competition, then there will never be competition. Having some dev-involvement into IT-projects myself, I'm still in awe of how far they've come with their still relative brand new software in that short time. And when you consider the price and non subscription model, so far, even with all the countless bugs, I personally think it's always worth it to support that little gang of Nottinghams Robin Hoods. I'm sure, as soon as some sweet Canva money flows into Affinity, there will be faster bug fixing, new toys, finally AI and more time for support.

Might sound corny, but I'm greatful for software like this. I made my final assignment projects in media design in many sleepless nights with Publisher, Designer and Photo and happily graduated with it. That would have never worked with Adobe stuff on my then very ancient computer. So... many may complain, me too every now and then, but I love Affinity and I hope nothing but the best for the Nottingham Serifs, their products and I can actually see a very bright future.
Love & cheers from Krautland 🤘

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7 hours ago, HappyDoom said:

Adobe has about 30k employees, while you could squeeze all of Serif's into two busses. These around 90 employees surely aren't lazy nor incapable, it's just the ratio of work to man power. 

Again, the same song I've been hearing for years.
No one is stopping them from hiring additional devs.

 

7 hours ago, HappyDoom said:

I still love Affinity, the idea of it, the smooth workflow, the performance, here and there better ideas than big Adobe's (think of Studiolink... still mindblowing!) and the simple fact, that if nobody supports any kind of competition, then there will never be competition.

Adobe's performance is not as bad as it is said to be, nor is Affinity's performance as good as it is said to be. Affinity workflow is not smooth. It's clunky and strange in places due to Serif's tendency to reinvent proven features.

 

7 hours ago, HappyDoom said:

Having some dev-involvement into IT-projects myself, I'm still in awe of how far they've come with their still relative brand new software in that short time.

ADe — initial release 1 October 2014; 9 years on the market.
APh — initial release 9 July 2015; 8 years on the market.
APub — initial release 19 June 2019; 4 years on the market

The reality is completely different. This is not a short period of time, nor can the programs be called new on the market. Considering the time spent on development and the lack of quality, this is truly astonishing. The money from the revenues was certainly not invested in development. The only thing Serif has to offer at the moment is low quality at a low price and that's it. If it suits you, I don't mind, it's none of my business.

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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@HappyDoom and the points you are raising are certainly true also - nothing is quite black and white. 

What I'd personally be concerned about is that a sort of an unwritten agreement is being formed, that the price for not being held hostage to an outrageous subscription is the end-user becoming an unwilling part-time QA employee. Some of the bugs I have been reporting 5-6 years ago with version 1, I'm still encountering now in v2 and it's hard not to find that a little surprising.

It's not unlike the conundrums of the modern gaming industry, where the relationship between the AAA corporations and the end-user has been shapen into a dynamic that is almost considered normal at this point – namely releasing semi-broken products then patching them later as players become the unpaid and unwilling QA labor division.

That said, I do root for Affinity and still have plenty of goodwill provisions, as long as it doesn't turn into an unhealthy relationship of fetishism, fanboyism and tribal loyalties ;)

 

EDIT: on a side note, I must say that the 'winky' emoji used on this forum really comes out rather weird, doesn't it? More bitter than cheerful, haha.

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2 hours ago, AristideTorchia said:

Some of the bugs I have been reporting 5-6 years ago with version 1, I'm still encountering now in v2 and it's hard not to find that a little surprising.

The fact that bugs are ignored and not fixed has already become a hallmark of the Serif brand. From what I found out, the same was true for their legacy apps, not just Affinity. This behavior strongly demotivates the user to report bugs and participate in beta testing.

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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What makes me sad is the fact we are not well heard 'unwilling QA staff'. At least not by Serif. After all, some pre-V2 bugs and their workarounds (if any) should already be part of the manual ;) [really bitter emoji]

Another annoying part of this 'QA job' is perpetual fogging of known/processed/fixed bugs. It comes as a rule at this forum: someone writes about a bug and sooner or later there are comments saying "it is known", "it was discussed", etc. Well, but if it was discussed 5, 6, 7... years ago how should we know if Serif knows? Otherwise it would be solved after all those years, woudn't it?

Frustrated by this attitude you will soon quit this 'job', just hoping maybe some lucky day that annoying bug(s) will be fixed...

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I'm always amazed when it's said that some bugs have existed for
many years and people still hope they'll be fixed. I have nothing
against Affinity, I still have my old, rusty copy of Designer 1.
I think it's a nice vector/bitmap mix.

But I remember one day I wanted to post a suggestion here in the forum
and realized that this had been a wish for a long time. When I realized this,
I considered whether I wanted to wait or look elsewhere.
I looked elsewhere and never regretted it.

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I've simply come to accept the Affinity apps as they are, bugs, warts, oddities and all.

Designer fills a very specific niche for me, one where Macromedia Fireworks once was (the combination of vector and bitmap art in one app), but I don't really use Photo or Publisher much as I don't know all the bugs and workarounds required like I do with Designer (I've been using it for 9+ years now, since v1). I've also stopped hoping bugs are going to get fixed. I'm just happy if they don't add new ones that affect my existing workflows/tools whenever they push an update. Sadly, the last few releases have given me a few more headaches than I'd like (although I do appreciate the pencil tool improvements, but even that feature is 1/2 baked).

I used to participate in a lot of beta programs (with other companies), but gave up a few years back when it became clear the beta testers were being used as free labour, and the release were still going out with lots of bugs and issues that had been reported during the beta periods. I've got better things to do with my time.

Maybe one day things might change, but after close the 10 years using the Affinity apps I'm not going to hold my breath.

The frustrating thing is that there are bits of Designer that I truly love, and they're what keep me using it, but every time I run into issues I keep wondering if it's time to simply let it go and move on.

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23 minutes ago, Bryan Rieger said:

I've simply come to accept the Affinity apps as they are, bugs, warts, oddities and all.

Half-baked features and tools, weird workflows and poor UI are not my thing. I was looking for a replacement for other professional tools from another brand that would not be inferior in quality. I thought with Affinity something would come of it, that they will improve over time, but oh well. They did too much to discourage the user to them selfs and the Affinity.

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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5 minutes ago, bbrother said:

I was looking for a replacement for other professional tools from another brand…

For me they’re not a replacement for other tools, but rather just another tool that I find useful.

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15 hours ago, Bryan Rieger said:

Sadly, the last few releases have given me a few more headaches than I'd like (although I do appreciate the pencil tool improvements, but even that feature is 1/2 baked).

Here's what version 2.5 looked like from my perspective. My review of it.

Pencil improvements

Were met with poor feedback in the beta. Mainly because you can't turn off smoothing or control its amount. You also can't adjust the auto-close tolerance to your liking. The sculpt mode needed some improvements, but that wasn't addressed. They certainly didn't win the sympathy of cartoonists with those improvements, rather they pissed them off.

Line Width tool

Also gathered some bad feedback. Jaggered artifacts, redrawing issues, unprecise geometry, crooked shapes after expanding the stroke. This tool is not ready for release even as a first implementation, yet it was released. Affinity evangelist are happy, any resonable thinking others not so much.

Variable fonts

I think they got most attention from devs. Yet some some usefull  feedback wasn't taken into account. I mean like those.

QR code tool and "Default preset" for grid

Those don't stand out much. Probably an open source library for QR code generation was used and an own GUI was put on top of it. Once agian some useful users ideas where ignored.

Regressions and long term bugs

As usual with updates made by Serif, regresions showed up and long term bugs where left untouched.

User interface

They added some stupid UI changes like some distracting bright outlines in some panels (Windows dark theme). They didn't fix long knowed issues instead.

-----------------

And the best for last. To prevent the user from getting bored, due to the not very impressive quality, there were several problems with fonts, program startup and unexpected closing.

If this is what the development of applications according to serif is supposed to look like, I'm sorry, I'd rather avoid it. This release was too early with severely unfinished features to bad even for an first implementation and uncaught regressions. A normal reaction from normal and rational thinking customer for something like this is questions, doubts, and frustration.

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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As a recent upgrade to V2 I find it odd, the amount of time and energy put into focusing on the negative aspects of software. 
My lowered expectations will keep me avoiding your comments. If others find them helpful, great. 
 

now where is the block function.

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Can it be so that the group of head-developers in the Serif company is too old, too stubborn, and, is born in the 1960’s with pretty old knowledge?

Maybe time to bring in the new generation developer with fresh competent education and a higher motivation?

If now BlackMagicDesign company can make the incredible Davinci Resolve to four different platforms, and, have a great software full of technology that is new & appealing, why can’t Serif do more??

Everything here is just speculation - it’s just mr Dawson that know the whole true here…

Happy guy playing around with the Affinity Suite - really love typographic, photographing, Color & forms, AND, old Synthesizers from the 1980-1990’s…

Macbook Pro 16” M1 2021 connected to an 32” curved 5K external display, iPad Pro 12.9” M1 2021, iPad Pro 10.5” A10X 2017, iMac 27” 5K/i7 late 2015 - also an Lenovo iMac i7 clone with 24” touch screen and Windows 10…

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Everyone wants to use competent software. Therefore, I do not think that drawing attention to shortcomings is inappropriate, as some users seem to suggest. It is important to point out shortcomings and mediocrity. This is what a healthy relationship between a customer and a seller is all about.

Coming back to the point, I believe that despite roughly 7 years of development in the V1 version, Serif has not built solid foundations, and the problems that occur with almost every update seem to confirm my words. There may be several reasons for this state of affairs. They can be mundane or more complex. The worst thing, however, is that Serif does not learn from his mistakes.

Despite my disappointment with the quality and number of bugs, I would never discredit the competence of devs due to their age. I also know that the best of them often have no specialized education and are much more than 30 years old.

-----------------

BTW: To the trolls spamming my inbox. I'm not playing Adobe's lawyer here and no one has paid me for anything. These are my own comments, based on my own experience. Even though I have been using Adobe software for many years both professionally and privately, I have not used their services at all for several years now because I do not agree with their practices.

I am no longer an Affinity user. I was fed up with bugs, lack of features and tools, lack of professional workflow and ui, poor development and fanboys on the forum.

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  • Staff
8 hours ago, davaruna said:

I blocked you and now I get this emailed to me. 
We can disagree about how you do things and what you believe to be true but I sure dont want my brain flooded with your whining.

I expect you are following the thread and I doubt the forum email system is sophisticated enough to remove blocked users from the forum notifications it sends, sorry if that's the case, that really is not bbrother's fault who is only describing his genuine software experience as he's entitled to do. It's not whining, it's feedback.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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22 hours ago, AffinityMakesMeWonder said:

Can it be so that the group of head-developers in the Serif company is too old, too stubborn, and, is born in the 1960’s with pretty old knowledge?

Maybe time to bring in the new generation developer with fresh competent education and a higher motivation?

If now BlackMagicDesign company can make the incredible Davinci Resolve to four different platforms, and, have a great software full of technology that is new & appealing, why can’t Serif do more??

Everything here is just speculation - it’s just mr Dawson that know the whole true here…

yeah, young people will fix everything cause old people are dumb.... where is the sarcasm button?

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22 minutes ago, wonderings said:

yeah, young people will fix everything cause old people are dumb....

At Blackmagic, they have already started with the CEO and chief scientist (the photo is from 2018, shot while he was coming out of a class at the kindergarten).

6B8E2381-1B1C-4536-9181-0E5C034C9F88.thumb.jpeg.0ada853aa46f181f3a456e110603449f.jpeg

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The same existence of these forums (to which were added groups on Facebook and YouTube, and who knows how many other places) is a demonstration of Serif's willingness to listen. They don't publish their development plans and their bank account, and I think we are mature enough to understand that, not owning their stocks, we are not entitled to know them.

At the same time, we are free to participate or not, as well as trus the company or not. We are here for free and with no obligation. Voicing requests has been continual. Some requests have been fulfilled. Some others not. The end of the world has not yet arrived, and development continues. Tomorrow, I might be made happier by a new beta.

Complaining that we have lost faith, and we feel tricked, sounds to me very childish. The investment to access the Affinity world has been modest. Anybody can exit when s/he prefers. No obligation, no ties, no rancor. Nobody has been hurt. Adobe and many other developers are still there, selling or renting their software. No need to be all that indignant, or be compelled to show ageism or a bullish attitude. There is a vast world, there out.

 

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4 hours ago, Gripsholm Lion said:

I wonder if it is childish behaviour to start blocking people with whom you disagree

Why "childish"? It simply reduces the signal-to-noise ratio. This function exists in online forum software for a reason. ;) 

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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