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On 13. August 2017 at 8:55 AM, MattP said:

Errr... not being funny or anything, but the scope of user interactions available in a file converter is orders of magnitude different to a graphic design package, isn’t it? :S

 

Seems this is the reason why GraphicConverter has a reference manual (more than 300 pages) for the wide scope and Affinity Designer never had such a manual. ;) mac_heibu just asked for a name of a different software product, which is developed faster, which we gave to him. We just wanted to be helpful. If it actually was so important for some developers to discuss this comparison, we could name a bigger and quicker developed app than AD. Just ask. But again: We don’t need and did not start those comparisons and “file converter” an insulting term for for GraphicConverter. It has many features that we use because they are missing in the Serif “graphic design package”. For example some DAM and photo editing features.

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On 8/12/2017 at 4:13 PM, MattP said:

Money is not the problem and as I said earlier we’ve been trying to hire for what seems like years. We are all doing overtime (and then some) - we are doing the best we can and will continue to do so. The reality is that this is a niche area for developers and you need to be genuinely interested in the subject in order to thrive...

 

What kind of programming expertise are you looking for, more specifically? 

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9 minutes ago, Yamanote said:

 

What kind of programming expertise are you looking for, more specifically? 

I think our adverts have been all over Stack Overflow for a while... (can't actually see them any more though, for some reason?) The basics are C++ and Objective-C, a solid degree in Computer Science (ideally) and most importantly of all is a genuine interest in computer graphics. You'd need to work at our Nottingham HQ, not remotely. If you're interested then take a look and apply here

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On 2017-08-12 at 7:13 AM, MattP said:

Money is not the problem and as I said earlier we’ve been trying to hire for what seems like years. We are all doing overtime (and then some) - we are doing the best we can and will continue to do so. The reality is that this is a niche area for developers and you need to be genuinely interested in the subject in order to thrive...

 

Always appreciative of the hard work you put into these apps.  Keep up the great work.

 

Rob

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On ‎10‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 6:13 PM, MEB said:

The disappointment of a few users may be more related with the high expectations they set for the products than to what the dev team could realistically achieve with the time and resources they had/have.

No, it's about prioritising the wrong features. It's an easy fix, just create a UserVoice page for your applications so people can vote on what they need to get their jobs done. Another recent example, a light UI may be nice and all, but no one gets paid to stare at UIs. I get paid to produce graphic content, focus on that first, such as vector patterns or correctly formatted and set copy.

Even the king of deaf hears, Adobe itself, has recently created a UserVoice page: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/

Not very complicated. Thanks and hopefully this will get through.

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Hi LCamachoDesign,

The Light UI was probably the most requested feature since the beginning of this forum. There's a huge thread where it was requested/discussed and i'm pretty sure it's easy to find. You may not find it that useful but there's quite a large number of users that requested it. We are not prioritising the wrong features - they may not be the ones you are looking for - but they are useful for other users. We are aware of most requested features (we track the feature requests forum) but some of these requests may depend on other/work features that are not finished/complete yet or that present issues in the current version and as such must be delayed until they are ready/fixed, or may have been delayed due to some specific issue that's not working as desired yet and that the dev team isn't happy with or are dependent on other development conditions/constraints or what's planed for the 1.x cycle. For those reasons a voting system doesn't help as much as you may think as we can't prioritise things based simply on user requests. There's other factors at play here.

 

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22 minutes ago, MEB said:

There's other factors at play here.

 

For example the Affinity factor “very soon” that corresponds very precisely to three years. ;)

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47 minutes ago, MEB said:

Hi LCamachoDesign,

The Light UI was probably the most requested feature since the beginning of this forum three years ago. There's a huge thread where it was requested/discussed and i'm pretty sure it's easy to find. You may not find it that useful but there's quite a large number of users that requested it. We are not prioritising the wrong features - they may not be the ones you are looking for - but they are useful for other users.

Hi Miguel,

I can follow your argumentation but I do not agree. Just because the majority of customers asks for a bit of blink-blink doesn't make it an important or required feature. It propably just says something about the level the majority of users are working on (allright, let the shitstorm begin). And even though I personally do not really need "customizable arrowheads" or similar features it sounds a lot more reasonable to implement something like this than having a new colour scheme for the gui available. I'm aware that "importance" of features depends on many different aspects for users and it's hard to prioritize right, but maybe it's an option not only to count the amount of users that request a feature but also to weight a feature with personal working importance?! This could resolve such issues where everybody feels a light UI would be "nice to have" (low importance) but what they really need in the daily work are e.g. "customizable spirals" (extreme high importance). You know that I'm critisizing the lack of fluent workflow now for over a year ... I made long lists with a plentitude of suggestions to improve but hardly any of theses suggestions has found it's way into develoment. This is disappointing and frustrating but I'll have to live with it and I'll continue to point out areas of improvement. But I guess these kind of side improvements - just to get the work done more smoothly - seem to get low-prioritized (well I don't even know if they have been noticed) im comparison to new hyped features .... certainly if it's not usable for marketing purpose and (worst case) quite some development effort is involved (e.g. saving parameters of a multitude of dialogboxes). So it's easier to leave the work with the daily user ...

Just my 2 cents ;)
Cheers, Timo


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570, Windows 7 Enterprise 64Bit, SP 1 - AP and AD latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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Hi DarkClown,

I picked the Light UI as an example because LCamachoDesign was suggesting a voting system as a way to prioritise users needs and the Light UI come precisely from user's feedback/requests on these forums (although not immediately). We implemented it, but we also added other fundamental tools/features for "producing and/or managing content" (the point LCamachoDesign is stressing) that were planned since the beginning - symbols, constraints, text styles - just to mention a few. These in particular may not be of much interest for him as the vector patterns he mentions (i actually don't know) but they were added as well. What i meant is that's not easy to please everyone and still take in account Serif's development's plans and constrains/issues that always happen along the way. We are doing our best to balance all these things.

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Miguel,
I know that the people making development decisions must be pretty torn apart to make the right choice for further improvements - for sure it's not an easy task and you will never be able to please everyone. Aside that - and even though I'm constantly criticising you guys and giving you a hard time - I do acknowledge and value the fact that you openly discuss theses topics with your customers and keep the personal contact on the issues! This is by far not common in the industry, imposing and worth mentioning!

@RNKLN: I voted long time ago ... now I'm working on making my vote worth while ;)

@A_B_C: if someone feels disparaged by what I wrote he/she obviously recognised him/herself in what I wrote. Proves me right -> makes sense! ;)
"I don't think there's anything wrong telling the truth. I know it's not fashionable." (Craig Ferguson)

 


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570, Windows 7 Enterprise 64Bit, SP 1 - AP and AD latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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5 hours ago, A_B_C said:

I am not sure if it makes sense to disparage other users that way. My two cents.

 

Perhaps it makes sense if Serif always would explain why “very soon” promised (and since years missing) features / corrections did not make it into the new beta. Could avoid disappointment.

 

 

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Intriguing logic, DarkClown. However, in my opinion, this discourse strategy is not only offending, but also pointless. It really doesn’t make sense. For what is the purpose of disparaging the majority of the user base of the Affinity apps as mere amateurs? Do you really think anyone (the developers? your fellow users? even professionals?) will feel an inclination to care about your suggestions, how valuable they might be (and I wholeheartedly concur with you in some of your suggestions and requests), when you assume a rhetorical attitude like this? According to my experience, just the opposite is the case. But anyway …

 

More generally speaking, I don’t see the point of complaining about missing features over and over again. Sometimes I have the impression that people seem to perceive the Affinity suite as some sort of Open Source project, with the additional advantage that they don’t have to undertake the programming themselves. But this is not the way it works. You will have to make yourself comfortable with the thought that the developers of this software suite, like the developers of any other, will follow their own strategy for expanding the feature set of their apps. And there are many factors that will contribute to their decisions, from the structure and systematics of the code base to their interpretation of user feedback, and not least, to marketing-related factors. Feature requests will always be just a single factor in the overall picture.

 

And when you are looking at the entire picture, you will get the impression that many arguments turn shallow at once. Just one example. The introduction of the light interface is called a marketing-related decision. Which is really odd, in my opinion, for all the reasons that have been brought up in several threads concerning the respective request. But nonetheless, what is wrong with marketing-related considerations? What is wrong with targeting a broad market? With getting “amateurs” on board? I don’t see how you could form an argument this way. It is vital for a company following the business model of Serif to generate a continuous stream of new users, all the more, since the last time many of us have paid for the option of using Affinity Designer was three years ago. Well, that’s simply the difference to a subscription model. So why do you complain about (allegedly) “outward-facing” or “marketing-oriented” features being implemented? Do you have valid statistics about “professional” versus “amateur” markets? About the market potential of one business model versus another? To get an impression about all the factors to consider here, I would suggest reading the quite candid blog post by the creators of the writing app Ulysses, detailing why they switched to a subscription model (I am aware of the tendencies in this article, but nonetheless, I believe it is worth a look):

 

https://medium.com/building-ulysses/why-were-switching-ulysses-to-subscription-47f80b07a9cd

 

In short, I believe it makes sense to discuss prioritization questions, up to a certain point, but we will have to understand that we can tackle these questions from a limited perspective only. And that should moderate the rhetorics a bit. I hope that makes sense …

 

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3 hours ago, A_B_C said:

Intriguing logic, DarkClown.

That's a good start ... we already agree here ;) ... In case you missed out on my smiley ...

But getting back to some facts: My comment was by no means ment to offend people. Face it, requesting a different coloured UI has for the vast majority of users no practical value gain (and of course there might be some special cases where people really require it - I was not generalising but talking about a majority!). It is a bling-bling feature ... nice to look at. If that's your primary and major concern for a new product release one seems to have no other, more important issues to sort out. As a consequence these users did not come across more important issues within the product. Looking at the shear amount of positive, constructive suggestions for product improvements that will change what you can do with the product and how you can do it this means that a user with priority on UI colours has never encountered these issues. This leads to the reasonable conclusion, that the in-depth level this user has worked with the product never scratched the surface of professional usage! Stating this is NO OFFENSE (unless everyone perceives oneself as a serious PRO - in that case I'm willing to confront a distorted perception with reality). People have different levels of needs - even more the more complex a product is. AP and AD are professional tools but placed in a consumer friendly pricerange. They offer a multitude of professional features for everybody. This is an exceptional good thing! So it's likely to see many non-professional users amongst the customers. This is part of an important customer base. And I'm personally happy for everybody who found a product that fullfills all their needs and who's most urgent wish is to get a light UI. We fully agree on this point! But seeing that quite some reasonable development effort is spend on theses kind of topics makes me clench my teeth - having in mind what would be urgent (of course from my very personal perspective). I'm very aware that marketing hast to fullfill these needs to satisfy this customer base since they are financially essential - and most likely the majority.

If my way to communicate comes accross a bit to agressive for some people this may be due to an outspoken personal attitude, cultural differences, lacking language skills and maybe slightly thin-skinned participants ;)  I'm constantly trying to give constructive and detailed feedback, suggesting new features and reporting bugs. I'm convinced that's what brings the product forward.Complaining about the same lacking "workflow" is inevitable, since trying to work with the product on a daily base brings me back to these shortcommings again and again - but I'm trying to avoid it. Of course I'm selfish ... trying to get attention for my requests ... but seeing that kind requests, or harsh comments, multiple inputs - either way do not show any change - is kind of frustrating. And seeing the amount of time many people as well as myself put into bug searching and reporting (generating screenshots and videos, writing long comments explaining issues) this seems to be taken for granted, without results. It's all a bit of give and take .... So help me out. What makes sense? Seeing the amount of time spend on the feedback channel ... and the results of the efforts ... I'm considering to pull back and just let things happen. Sooner or later Affinity will get there.

The two reasons I'm currently with Affinity is the "subscription policy" (incl. the "no posession" policy!) of Adobe and the fact, that AP/AD has the potential to play in the same arena as PS. Workflowise I'd still be working with PS! I could as well live with a subscription policy (quarterly fee with constant updates) where I still own the product when not taking part at the updates any more, but I will not allow (at least as long as I can prevent it to happen) a software company to blackmail me by ending access to essential software I paid for.

BTW: Thanks for the interesting link.


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570, Windows 7 Enterprise 64Bit, SP 1 - AP and AD latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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Thank you for your detailed response! I admit this is somewhat of a quandary, but I believe there are several viewpoints that have to be disentangled. As is clear, I can only describe my point of view.

 

Maybe we should move away from the “amateur versus professional” perspective, and so for a simple reason. Let’s take Affinity Designer as an example. When you have a look at the functionality of this application, you will immediately come to the conclusion that it can be used on an in-depth level in a great variety of ways. It is not only a vector drawing application with interesting pixel editing capabilites, but also a basic desktop publishing solution, packed with features like wide-ranging Open Type support and print-ready PDF output (okay, that sounds like marketing talk, but it has worked for me that way). It can be used for the purpose of UI/UX development and design, for creating concepts and mock-ups, and these are just a few ways of getting creative with the application. But with a view of all these different possibilities, we will immediately have to ask ourselves, which one would count as “the” professional way of using Affinity Designer? This is hard to tell, and you will surely admit that in each of these use cases a different feature set of the application will be considered “essential.”

 

And to be clear, we are not talking about complex features like symbols and constraints here. It is rather a host of small features that is vital for the respective workflows. For instance, if you wanted to use Affinity Designer as a type (or glyph) design application, you would need to have the option of snapping Bézier handles back to a vertical or horizontal position, once they have been angled. Furthermore, you would need to have the option of snapping Bézier control points to a grid. Since these options, that seem so natural from a type designer’s point of view, have not been implemented yet (I haven’t checked the latest betas), an essential way of using Affinity Designer is barred. Considered from a different perspective, however, these snapping options are not as important for illustrators. For vector illustration purposes, it is certainly more important to be able to easily lock a Bézier handle in a given direction than to snap a control point to a grid. So there is a question of prioritising one feature over another, and the decision in this instance was made in favour of the illustrator’s needs. Though this seems natural, up to a certain point, personally I regret that, and I have been asking to add the other options for a while. And finally, there are signs that the respective area is receiving the interest of the developers. So I fear this is the way it works.

 

Of course, apart from such special examples, I could name two dozens of productivity features of a more general nature that would make sense to implement. Everyone who has to crop more than one shot of a photo session will enjoy sticky settings for the Crop Tool in Affinity Photo. It is simply annoying that we still have to reselect the aspect ratio setting over and over again. No doubt, this should have been implemented from the outset. But without being defensive about the developers’ decisions, I must say that there are, again, so many other important features which are far from “nice to have” only, so there must be a reason why this particular feature has not been found its way into Affinity Photo yet. We can only speculate about this reason, and I fear much of the disappointment that has been voiced on these forums recently is due to an ignorance of reasons. But again, I believe we must understand that it is hardly feasible for the developers to provide reasons for every single decision. Just imagine the discussions that would arise, the time it would take to come to a mutual understanding! Let’s be realistic here. Give them some time, and I am sure we will get there.

 

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On 18. August 2017 at 0:25 PM, A_B_C said:

“amateur versus professional”

 

We can understand that professionals claim “it is created for professionals with the claim to be the fastest, smoothest, most precise software available but some needed features are not usable because they are not corrected since years”.

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21 hours ago, MEB said:

Hi LCamachoDesign,

The Light UI was probably the most requested feature since the beginning of this forum. There's a huge thread where it was requested/discussed and i'm pretty sure it's easy to find. You may not find it that useful but there's quite a large number of users that requested it. We are not prioritising the wrong features - they may not be the ones you are looking for - but they are useful for other users. We are aware of most requested features (we track the feature requests forum) but some of these requests may depend on other/work features that are not finished/complete yet or that present issues in the current version and as such must be delayed until they are ready/fixed, or may have been delayed due to some specific issue that's not working as desired yet and that the dev team isn't happy with or are dependent on other development conditions/constraints or what's planed for the 1.x cycle. For those reasons a voting system doesn't help as much as you may think as we can't prioritise things based simply on user requests. There's other factors at play here.

 

Fair enough, if light UI is a top requested feature, then it's great that was implemented. I asked for voting, as light UI is the result of voting within the forum I'll have to accept it.

I also understand that some features aren't doable at the moment as they rely on functions not yet available, such as stuff that requires Affinity Publisher, yet I still think voting would help sort within the doable features, it would help inform users of what needs to wait, and what you won't do at all. Finally, UserVoice helps surface similar request very quickly, so that people with very similar requests can bundle together.

Anyway, thanks for getting back to us on these concerns.

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I'm coming into this a bit late, and I can't give you a graphics pro perspective because I'm not one.

 

However, as the average user who sometimes has to venture into the domain of design, you need tools to translate your needs and/or *cough* inspiration into results.  For a pro who has invested countless man hours into getting up to speed with Adobe and who can afford it, Adobe products may be a good choice.  For someone like me and others who entered into graphics later, going for Adobe instead of Affinity's AD and AP would be at best questionable.  That is not just because of the high cost & long UI learning curve* but also because of the far more modern approach which maximises the use of the resources that a modern computer offers (the feedback on Metal performance, for instance, is rather impressive).

 

Affinity's products allow me to quickly produce something useful at what I frankly consider to be a no-brainer cost (a total cost of under £100 for both makes it pretty much a default component of the system build when we are going to set up new offices), without penalising me for not having the time to build up UI expertise.  I don't have to dig through six different websites and watch 20 Youtube videos to get something done, what I need is usually right on the surface or demonstrated in a Vimeo video (preferred over Youtube, but I digress).  If I can't find something I have access to a forum that the company itself actively reads and participates in.

 

So, from my perspective and most of the people I work with, Affinity makes just about the best tools for the job.  Are they perfect?  Well, if there is an idea for a feature they actually listen (which may in itself be of sheer therapeutic value for the married people amongst us ;)), and if there is a problem they go and investigate pretty quickly - I  honestly don't think one can ask for more.  So from my perspective, I'm happy with what exists and excited about what is coming next.

 

So there B|

 

* One of the major issues with GIMP as well.


Regards, Binc

 

Warning: dark, twisted sense of humour.  Do not feed after midnight.

Wheat and BS intolerant.  Only use genuine Guinness to lubricate.

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44 minutes ago, BatteriesInc said:

average user

Just an example to explain the view of some professionals. The app is “created for professionals” and Serif claims “most precise vector graphic design software available”. If you work for horology as a pro like lenogre—to get back to the topic of this thread—you can run into trouble, because sometimes “expand stroke” is imprecise (criticized for years). If the result was produced in a high number of copies for an exhibition, the pro not only loses one customer, because people are not satisfied with the quality. We understand that some “average users” are very satisfied but also that some professionals (that must rely on the promised precision etc.) sometimes are disappointed.

 

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1 hour ago, Oval said:

We understand that some “average users” are very satisfied but also that some professionals (that must rely on the promised precision etc.) sometimes are disappointed.

 

...and there are the other types of professionals that it does what they need and are very happy with the product as it stands, of course. 

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