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General Usability Issues

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Dear Affinity Mobile Team,


Hello and congrats for a great mobile application which bundles lots of useful functionality, which we're so far only used to from desktop apps! 

Unfortunately, I've to admit that trying to use the provided functionality in a productive way resulted in a frustrating experience pretty quickly...
I don't want to be too negative about it, but you have some obvious usability flaws in the app which somehow cause an unpleasant feeling about wasted potential :)


Let me name a few (using a IPad Pro 10.5):

  • The tool menu on the bottom edge of the screen
    • It is randomly subdivided in parts. Why? The subdivision is most of the time unnecessary (for an IPad), as all the menu entries would fit my screen. 
    • The navigation arrows are tiny
    • Often needed features are on separate pages. This is very frustrating...
  • Modifier keys
    • These keys are hidden on the last page of the tool menu. Sometimes i need to click three times on that tiny arrow to get the mod-keys (which are disabled by default!?). The associated functionality (on desktop apps) is bound to mod-keys because it needs to be available super fast and is used all the time (in parallel to other other tool options).
    • The position in the bottom middle part of the screen does not work at all. Did you watch the tutorial on mod-keys? It is obvious that this position doesn't make sense by looking at his hand while he is tying to hold the buttons while painting. Put them on left border in a separate area, always available (as in Procreate)
  • Undo/Redo
    • The position on the right side of the screen does make sense for left-handed people. As a right handed person, that's where I hold the pen. Pressing buttons with the exact same hand is pretty interruptive.  
  • Layer Menu
    • Layer selection via swipe is ok, but why in two directions? A swipe to delete-/or sub-menu is counter-intuitively missing on the other hand. This is by now a standard paradigm in mobile user interface design. Ignoring such things is really pissing off people. Please have a look at Procreate, they doing a more than great job with paying attention to these subtleties, what results in a very smooth workflow (also counts for positioning of UI elements like a configurable mod-key on the left center of the screen)
  • Selections
    • Very good job on selection tools! But using the selection once created is cumbersome. Switching personas continuously to be able to access features in different sub-/context-menus is very annoying and time consuming


So far, I used the application for a few hours only but my list of issues goes on. These were just the things which jumped right into my face. Maybe, I just haven't figured out some of the usage concepts/ ideas yet. But for some annoyances it just seems that basic principles of modern, mobile UI design have been ignored. Reducing number of clicks to access functionality and the use common UI paradigms would already solve many of the frustrating points...

Again, awesome job, keep it up! Looking forward for improvements ;)


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