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Andreas Larsen

Affinity Designer Bright'n'Monochrome UI

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I'd like to tinker around in the .afdesign file if possible? Looks pretty good though! Nice work :)

Thanks, use it as you like.
I Used this as a way to learn to use the program
It would be great if you could something similar as an option (theme chooser?)
A couple of thoughts on the current design:

  • A bit inconsistent with regular rectangles and rounded rectangles - in Yosemite:
  • a rounded rectangle is a button
  • a rectangle with sharp corners is an input field
  • In affinity designer a rounded rectangle can be both but you also use rectangles with sharp corners

Input fields

  • Should behave the same way - can't currently use keyboard arrows (+ shift) in all input fields - e.g. the opacity input field in the color pane. I know it's a dropdown too but so is e.g. the rotation adjustment in the transform pane where keyboard up/down works just fine.
  • Add the ability to jump between and edit them with keyboard only - so when you press tab on the keyboard it jumps to the next input field and edits when you type. Currently in e.g. the transform pane I have to select every input field with the mouse in order to edit them.


  • Some icons, e.g. Transparency Tool have too dark edges => looks blurry on a dark background.


  • Tabs are inverted (when having multiple documents open)

Inconsistency in dropdown design

  • I think there are 3 different behaviours and designs when pressing opacity dropdowns?

Layers pane

  • Why do you have some options on top and some at the bottom of the list?
  • I know photoshop does it too but having all the options together makes it more intuitive and similar to the rest of the panes.


  • Add an option to select number of rows (GIMP has this, works great with swatches with a certain repeat interval)
  • The default (white, black, transparent) are more logically placed next to recent colours and not the swatch selector 
  • The add to swatches icon isn't that obvious, not sure if a plus sign is better but something should be done :)

Second toolbar (the one below the first - don't know what you call it)

  • Add an icons-only option like the first toolbar
  • When you select e.g. pen it says "Pen" in the beginning - I don't know if that's needed to compensate for the fact that the contrast in the left toolbar is too low so it isn't obvious what you've selected but should not be necessary

On my mockup:

  • Tried to keep it as close to default Yosemite as possible - I know it doesn't looks as flashy as the current design but I think it will be more intuitive to most due to the familiarity with stock Apple apps.
  • I've condensed the layouts a bit (maybe a bit too much) but wanted the chrome to take up as little space as possible. With the added tab to hide UI option in next beta a design with more whitespace and bigger icons could make more sense.
  • I'm using source sans pro but that's because helvetica neue is horrible on non retina displays.


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I'd love to see the bright color icons brought back only in the currently selected tools, toggles, settings, etc...

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 Big Sur 11.1

2018 11" iPad Pro 256 GB, latest iPadOS public beta

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