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[UI ]Tools icons could look more professional and clean (they are quite clip art-ish, legacy of the Serif old products)

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The thing is you dont really see the style of these Serif legacy icons anymore in works of designers or even in UIs of the actual software (professional or not).

 

Personally, I pay almost no attention to the style of tool & toolbar icons. All i care about is if they are easy to tell apart, easy to associate with their purpose, & are not so overwhelming or garish that they become a distraction. I much prefer "traditional" icons that meet those criteria (like the hand, pointer, & paint bucket) over "reinvented" ones that someone else has decided look more stylish, modern, or trendy.

 

I believe form should follow function, not fashion, particularly in apps targeting professional markets.


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I agree with the OP. The tool icons are a bit cartoon-like in both AD and AP and therefore look dated. The colours are garish and add visual clutter to the tool interface.

Change icons in options to monochromatic. One of your problems gone in an instant.

 

I can fully and wholeheartedly agree that UI needs work. But the least of a problem is icons look. I am working on weird UIs every day (ZBrush, Blender) but some of things in Affinity are weird even for me :D Like the "export" option instead of "save as" with different formats. Theres no reason for it to be separated at all. Or the fact that when I am checking some adjustment (like levels for example) I cant just play with it and in the end cancel it. I have to add it and then delete it - no cancel button? Or utterly weird way of dealing with font antialiasing - no simple drop down list with presets but... curve? Those are imo valid concerns because are affecting fluidity of our work, making possible to work faster and more efficiently. Look of icons? Sure, to some extent but.. It will always be somebody who will not like them. For example I really do not like the look that Orphydian presented as example of good looking icons. Who is right? Nobody because de gustibus non disputandum est.

Can Affinity have better looking icons? Sure. Maybe. Whatever. Its a tool, I want it to first and foremost work. I dont want to see it becoming Adobe software - where they are modernizing UI in Illustrator while adding practically nothing to its functionality (one of the latest updates that in fact made me move to Affinity).

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. Or the fact that when I am checking some adjustment (like levels for example) I cant just play with it and in the end cancel it. 

 

I don't know if it's the same as Photo ? but in Photo if you click "Delete" the adjustment layer is deleted rather than applied which woulds save you adding and then deleting it.

post-59234-0-67951800-1498374329_thumb.png


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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I don't know if it's the same as Photo ? but in Photo if you click "Delete" the adjustment layer is deleted rather than applied which woulds save you adding and then deleting it.

Took the words from my mouth .........  ;)

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Like the "export" option instead of "save as" with different formats. Theres no reason for it to be separated at all

??? Including export options as choices in a "Save as..." dialog rather than as a separate "Export" menu item is a very old school approach that many (most?) apps have long since abandoned, among them Apple's Preview & Quicktime Player apps (both of which hide "Save As" as an alternate to "Duplicate" accessible if the option key is held down), TextWrangler, Graphic Converter, recent versions of Photoshop, & many others.

 

These days "Save as" is primarily used only as a way to save a copy of the current document in the app's native format, useful for making backups or copies in different locations or with different names. In Affinity, as in a few other apps, not only does "Save as" save a copy, it also replaces the current version with that copy in the workspace, so after using the command you are working on the copy, not the original.

 

Or utterly weird way of dealing with font antialiasing - no simple drop down list with presets but... curve?

 

I am not sure what you mean by that or what kind of antialiasing related presets you want, but these days almost all fonts are supplied in scalable 'outline' TrueType or more recently as scalable OpenType formats. All but the most ancient apps support on-the-fly rendering of these fonts to pixels, applying anti-alising as needed according to the standards of those formats. To override that, many graphics apps include a "convert to curves" function, which 'bakes' the glyphs of the text into editable vector shapes.

 

If you mean something else, please explain a bit more about it.


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Just make ur own icons and swap them out of the app wrapper... I did that a few years ago; with ADs auto-export feature it's really quick ;) there's a thread floating somewhere I'm sure...


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 High Sierra

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there's a thread floating somewhere I'm sure...

 

Try this one.


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For example I really do not like the look that Orphydian presented as example of good looking icons. Who is right? Nobody because de gustibus non disputandum est.

Can Affinity have better looking icons? Sure. Maybe. Whatever. Its a tool, I want it to first and foremost work. I dont want to see it becoming Adobe software - where they are modernizing UI in Illustrator while adding practically nothing to its functionality (one of the latest updates that in fact made me move to Affinity).

 

 

 

so again you implying that everybody is working on everything and the further flattening of Illustrator UI prevent them for adding new features or that Users are given the chance to choose between features and UI style. Illustrator its already in it late stage of development and even for huge companies like Adobe new features take years to implement. Same UI changes happened to Indesign and Dreamweaver with the cc 2017 and the reason is pretty obvious: they wanted to make their Ui's more consistent with Phothosop one. This is by principle the right thing to do.  I dont like the extreme design cases adobe  is proposing for  their UI (completely  flat and monochrome) and doubt they will keep it this way for too long.

 

 

so do you happened to know some good examples of recent icon designs that make the best compromise between function and look? Pretty all main software companies in creative, design and developing fields (Microsoft, Corel, Adobe, Google, Atlassian, Techsmith, JetBrains, Autodesk, The Foundry, Maxon etc) have adopted this style so I couldnt really find better examples.

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Just make ur own icons and swap them out of the app wrapper... I did that a few years ago; with ADs auto-export feature it's really quick ;) there's a thread floating somewhere I'm sure...

 

Im not on Mac. Do you mean you can easily change the UIs icons? If so  how to do that on WIndows?

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For Windows, you would need to edit the icons in the .exe and .dll files. It can be done and I wouldn't advise it. Each update it would be needed to be redone. I doubt very much there is a single icon dll. 

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Nice Alfred but that's not the one I'm referring to. I actually posted an AD file with all the UI and tool icons (up to that time, pre 1.5 era), not the app icons. Someone else started the thread I believe...

 

 


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Nice Alfred but that's not the one I'm referring to. I actually posted an AD file with all the UI and tool icons (up to that time, pre 1.5 era), not the app icons. Someone else started the thread I believe...

For some reason MBd's link crashes the web page in Safari when I try it, but there have been several mentions in various places about editing the tool icon files on a Mac.

 

They all live in the resources folder of the app package. They are just png files with transparent backgrounds, so as long as you keep the pixel dimensions & names the same, you can edit them however you want. But there are many more than you might expect -- each of them has a 1x & 2x file version (for retina & non-retina displays) & some have monochrome versions.

 

EDIT: And now the link works for me. :wacko:


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Nice Alfred but that's not the one I'm referring to. I actually posted an AD file with all the UI and tool icons (up to that time, pre 1.5 era), not the app icons. Someone else started the thread I believe...

 

duh.gif


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
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That's the one MBd, good sleuthing! I'm sure the file needs to be updated with all the development done since. Also, of course only do this on a duplicate of the app, just in case it doesn't work you won't have to call in a drone strike...

 

Ideally Serif would embed a file like this into the app and make it accessible only via an advanced, top secret setting, accessible via a decoder ring of some sort, known only to the select few who inhabit the forums....

 


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I'm not on Windows not sure how that would work there, but they are graphic files referenced by the app somewhere; just track them down and swap elements. Do this ONLY on a duplicate of the app, just in case...

 

Im not on Mac. Do you mean you can easily change the UIs icons? If so how to do that on WIndows?


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 High Sierra

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I'm not on Windows not sure how that would work there, but they are graphic files referenced by the app somewhere; just track them down and swap elements. Do this ONLY on a duplicate of the app, just in case...

 

Unfortunately, for the Windows versions it almost certainly works as Mike described:

 

For Windows, you would need to edit the icons in the .exe and .dll files. It can be done and I wouldn't advise it. Each update it would be needed to be redone. I doubt very much there is a single icon dll. 


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@toltec - thanks man! You see I am mostly working on shortcuts and all this time I just assumed that hitting "esc" will cancel adjustment. Its not. Thanks for the hint lol - so obvious. What would be the shortcut for canceling/deleting adjustment then.. need to look if theres a way.

 

@Good news, everbody! - I still dont find "export" somehow necessary but I dont mind. What I do mind is lack of any visual indication on export options I am choosing. I want to see how visually jpg compression will affect document I am exporting. Also lack of percentage input in size (I know I can type in "*=50%" to get 50% size but thats trully pain in the neck). As for antialiasing of fonts check this thread - this is what I mean: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/10612-text-anti-aliasing-method/

 

@Orphydian - I dont imply the same people are working on icons and coding new features. But surely the same people that work on icons will have to create new UI elements for new features, dont you think? Thats why I would prefer their limited work force go first, thats all. No, I dont have good icon examples as I mostly use shortcuts. UI I see most of the time you can see after pushing "tab" ;) I find clicking on icons highly ineffective, slow way of working.

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@Good news, everbody! - I still dont find "export" somehow necessary but I dont mind. What I do mind is lack of any visual indication on export options I am choosing. I want to see how visually jpg compression will affect document I am exporting.

 

You're not alone. Export preview is a long-standing and very popular feature request.

 

Also lack of percentage input in size (I know I can type in "*=50%" to get 50% size but thats trully pain in the neck).

 

That's probably my fault! I suggested this in at least one other thread, modelling it on expressions like *=0.5, but a simple 50% (without the "*=") will suffice.


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You're not alone. Export preview is a long-standing and very popular feature request.

 

 

That's probably my fault! I suggested this in at least one other thread, modelling it on expressions like *=0.5, but a simple 50% (without the "*=") will suffice.

Thanks :) That is making life lot easier! It still would be nice to see that as more obvious part of UI rather then a secret.

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As for antialiasing of fonts check this thread - this is what I mean: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/10612-text-anti-aliasing-method/

Thanks for the additional info & the link to the other discussion. I read through all of it (twice!) but I found it a little hard to follow & I am not sure if it is intended to apply to all fonts or just bitmapped ones delivered in TrueType format.

 

I downloaded the Bitdust One font from the provided link & installed it on my Mac (even though it is described as a "truetype font for Windows" in the text file that accompanies the ttf file) & started using it to see if that would make things clearer for me. I also read the Help provided by the site (by clicking on the "[help]" link above the download button), but that just confused me more.

 

According to that, "Bitmap fonts are specially adapted for the screen. They stay clear and legible at small size." It also says this in part:

Use at the specified size or a multiple

 The base size is specified above the "Download" button.

To increase the size, you must use a multiple in order to keep the proportions, for example for 8 px: 16, 24, 32... In that case you will obtain a pixelised appearance.

 

The 'base size' for the Bitdust One font is 8 px, so I was careful to use 8, 16, 24, etc. px font sizes in my experiments. What I found was that there is no anti-aliasing with this font if the Affinity option to Force Pixel Alignment is enabled & the text is aligned.

 

So here is what I am confused about: In every modern operating systems & in every web browser I have used, anti-aliasing is applied to on screen rendering, regardless of this, because screen pixels are no longer bitmapped 1:1 to image or text object pixels. So I am not sure where the PS None, Sharp, etc. options would be useful.

 

Can you (or anyone else) help me out with that?


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just found this video and yup most of the people commenting on this review  expressed their preference for a more clean icon set

From a quick scan of the first few pages of the comments, it looks to me like there was more discussion of the relative merits of the PS & AP application icons than anything else.


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 I cant even count the number of the posts  simply stating that the  AP icons looks childish. No discussions whatsoever and noone defending the "merits" of the AF icon style.

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