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Hi

 

Smart Guides

 

One of the very few features for which I'd kill, in order to keep. Nuff said?

 

Too big a feature for an app of this price point?

 

Thought occurred today "bet it ain't got these". Checked it didn't before posting this.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWnEkCm_vPs

 

(As an aside: Bit concerned how the more I dip into this app, the more MS Office-like things appear.... most designers run a mile at the merest whiff - will kill credibility if the similarities are siezed upon by any reviewers - beware.)

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Smart guides: Oh very good. That's shown me! Well done. Smart guides should be on by default right from the start.

 

MS Office: Your response is pure programmer weird speak. So here's some weird user speak - I'm referring to UI elements like the recent colour bar and the rotation handle sticking up from any shape for example. I've only encountered these things in Word/PowerPoint. I need to give them more time to see if they are indeed the same before I question them. There's no where to suggest removal/switching off of features is there ;-)

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Hi Damson,

 

The recent colour bar and rotation 'lollipop' (that's our internal word) are both really useful things that genuinely don't detract if you choose not to use them. The rotation lollipop acts not just as an obvious method to rotate the objects (which is particularly useful if you have a touch device) but it also serves to indicate the object's current rotation visually - I can easily see that something has been flipped vertically or rotated clockwise/anticlockwise by 90 degrees without even checking the transform page. I don't immediately see a need to remove them, or even have them as preferences options, to be honest? If MS Office has some good UI, then good on them! ;)

 

We obviously don't aim to be Illustrator, PhotoShop, Freehand or anyone else - we aim to be ourselves, but learning from what makes a good program 'good' and coming up with our own perspective on it :) Hopefully it's working, and hopefully we'll do enough to persuade you that we're worth sticking around for! :)

 

We're obviously not 100% there yet, but we are passionate about our product and I think we have a very good chance :)

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Question - if there are two reds in the recents with <10% difference in the yellow component (CMYK), how does one actually tell which one is the one you've used from such a small square? This is a problem with Word/PowerPoint's recent colours, and it's not the only one. Yes, a good tool for hobbyists and illustrators who do not need to be precise and structured about the colours they use, but of little use, so just visual clutter for the graphic design professional IMHO.

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


Regards and all the very-very best. Respect to you.

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You're definitely right that it's hard to tell which is which in this case, so for me it should show a tooltip when I hover over it like the other colours in the main palette area (I don't know why it doesn't at the moment). But aside from that, I don't have a problem with it and I do find it useful. At worst we could add to the Swatches page menu an item to 'Show recent fills' that can be toggled to show/hide to suit?

 

The problem is that 'visual clutter' to one person may be the 'really handy thing I use all the time' to someone else.

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Since the colors are just shown as swatches, at least they must show the values as a tooltip while hoovering over it with the cursor.

But, in my personal opinion, this is one of those places where I would not mind giving up on screen space. Having a list of colors with a name is VERY useful.

When a color is created, its name should default to the color values used (for example: 45c 30m 10y 0k or 120r 200g 70b). The user could then, optionally, change the name to anything he wants (for example: Orange or MainColor), by double clicking the name.

If the user, later, renamed the color and deleted all the characters, after pressing Enter, the name would revert back to the default color values name.

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I will provide another example of how useful is the inclusion of names of colors.

When creating corporative image, one must provide several variations of a logo's color so that it could be well reproduced in several different media.

One may have to provide RGB, CMYK and PANTONE versions of the same logo. If those colors (that may look very similar) are all in the same location and just show as a swatch, one must hoover over each one just to know what is the version of the color that it will be used. If names are present, it is much easier, fast and less mistakable.

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Adding tool tips means you now have two UI's doing essentially the same job. One lists colours horizontally, one vertically - except as Rui explains above, one needs a 'hover over' activity in order to "make sense" of it.

 

The recent UI is also cluttered with additional colours that may not be attached to any objects in the illustration. Colours mixed and applied to objects discarded, so effectively 'unwanted' colours. Second problem with this UI.

 

I've used Word/Powerpoint extensively in my time, I'm speaking from experience.

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You're actually missing a trick here if you think about it.

I'm still not sure what you think the recent colour UI adds in value, but it 'could'. Scrolling through a long list of colours is a bane - absolutely. So...

"10 Most-used colours" UI device. Would the 10 most used be the one's users are most likely to be searching for in the long list too? I suspect so. Also possibly quite a powerful creative tool - see at a glance what the colour temperature of your artwork is… too many cool colours when the client wants warm.

Or how about a 'favourites' where the user effectively builds a subset of colours themselves. Tag colours so they're 'sticky' at the top of the colour palette list ... or tagging inserts them into the horizontal UI in-front of the 'most used'.. the need to hover over would be reduced because the user would have decided what was in and was what not, though not completely if two very similar colours… er, [writing as thoughts come here] though if I could drag the order of the tagged colours around in the favourite/most used UI then I'd know which was first.. so wouldn't need to hover.

Not aware of any app out there does this and Adobe doesn't (CS6).

Just chucking in a couple of ideas because I'm not just about the negative stuff. Apologies if it's difficult to read - wrote as I thought.

 

Best.

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Tagging colors as favorites is nice. But, if the list is editable, meaning that the user can drag the colors up and down to reorder them, maybe makes the "favorites" redundant The user would simply drag the most used colors to the top.

Having a set of commands to order the colors would be nice though. Being able to order them from cool to warm, warm to cool, more saturated to less saturated (and vice-versa), spectrum, etc.

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Yes Rui, you're right. I'm just a lazy beggar when in the thick of production with a deadline to meet. Dragging colours up and down a long list, hanging onto the swatch so as not to drop it while the list scrolls (and it seems to tax InDesign particularly so it stutters a bit) is not as easy an activity as one might think. And new colours are added to the bottom of the long list so dragging right to the top is painful to say the least. I suppose I should swap pallette views back and forth from list to grid. But I suspect all this is why I tend not to do it. Right-click/two-finger-tap on the swatch to tag would be a lot easier. And it's more about keeping the brand colours at the top, rather than a creative warm/cold thing in my case. We're of the same world though thee and me.

 

But I think the Affinity team have moved on from this thread. Missing the point that pro designers spend the bulk of their time fashioning shapes, moving them about; mixing, applying and administering colour and outputting (usually to a file) - the rest is down to creativity with those things - so these are the paramount things to focus on and hone to the enth degree in order to make this a stand-out app. I don't beleive these guys understand that and the forum will suck their focus elsewhere and everywhere.

 

I don't know about you Rui, but I've found this an unproductive experience. I've raised only a few things, granted, but my experience is of being knocked back each time. Only to find the same request has been posted in triplicate by others afterwards. I could have written "deja vu" on a fair number of topics in here, but didn't as it'd be childish and would have the opposite effect to it's goal. So... as I've a heap of work in now anyway, I'm leaving it to your capable hands Rui (and the others of our world in here).

 

They may not have ported their app, but they need to ask themselves if they've ported their thinking.

 

I suspect what they're doing is following a diminishing user base over on Windows (due to the iPhone introducing Apple to the masses and a migration of their hobbyists over here to Apple) only they've thought they'd be clever and have the professionals too - niavely under-estimating the difference between hobbyists and pros, as well between the Windows and Apple 'way' (and it's the Apple way that's the reason the pros are here not on Windows). They'll not please both the hobbyist and the pro equally in one app, the gulf is too wide and they need to choose which horse to back - focussing on bettering the hobbyists Sketchbook Pro perhaps instead. This might seem unkind, but I say it with a heavy heart and a hope they'll be more open minded going forward (I daresay they think they already are) as there's a huge education job here - there are designers, including you Rui, who are having to explain stuff they really should have found out for themselves before now.

 

All the best

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I believe this is a kind of brainstorm session in progress.

Or, better yet, being able to bang on the metal while it is still hot (yeah, I'm very graphical. Even in the way I speak/write ;-) )

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...well, I was out of the house earlier - if that counts as moving on? Anyway, I'm back now.

 

Don't underestimate us as just 'these guys' - I'm a developer, but also a designer... not as a profession, but my work has been included in shipped products alongside work from other professional designers, so I do understand (and have constantly tried to reiterate) that the little things matter the most.

 

The whole team is genuinely passionate about the product and I think that's the main reason that Affinity is looking like it could have a great future by the time we're done with it! :)

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Well, I don't underestimate you guys. I'm a graphic designer but also a developer. I started drrawing when I as 2 years old and I started programming when I was 14 (I'm almost 43 now).

So, I know what it is to be on both sides.

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Yes Matt, here in Blighty my ears prick up too when a politician says 'these people'. I did not intend to infer any inferiority in the quality of personnel on the project, and am sorry if it reads that way. It's a difficult couple of words to not use together at some point and a shame politicians have tainted it. I actually think you'll be exceptional people taking this on - being exceptional though… well, Neo was exceptional, but still needed the red pill in order for him to understand the world. Being exceptional is not the only thing needed to get things right in business, unfortunately - if only it was that simple, eh.

I appreciate your good humour Matt. Take care.

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You have to also understand, we are in Beta right now.  The purpose of that is to both ensure that the features already in the product are bug free and to improve on usability where we can.  We do not dismiss anything that you are all saying, but we are mere mortals with only so many typing fingers and are getting features done as fast as we can.  We will also still be actively developing Affinity after first public release with regular improvements and new features.

 

Like MattP, I also have a multi-faceted history in both programming and design - I've been using Photoshop for decades, and InDesign for a number of years.  While we might not be at the 'expert' end when it comes to design and illustration due to our split professional disciplines, we are very experienced with a range of applications and we are trying to bring a wealth of experience and ideas to Affinity.  That said, there will always be areas of importance to you where we don't have the same experience, and where that happens we will listen.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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