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Mikeintosh

Enhancements for UI design and general feature requests

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Hi Serif team, 

 

I am currently in a middle of a transition from Sketch to Affinity Design. As much as I like Sketch, AD is quite superior and feels like a real proffesional tool. I mostly design apps and websites therefore my needs comes from UI design. Still there are some things I lack in Affinity Design and prevents me from using it as a main design tool.

 

1) Instant measuring distances - in Sketch I can always select any object, hold ALT and hover over any object and I instantly get distances from those objects in pixels. It also works for distances between layers, guides and borders. It works like magic and I really have trouble designing without it as it’s very addictive once you start using it. I know I can draw rectangles but it’s annoing compared to that. Please consider it.

 

2) duplicating objects with options - there is no easy way to rotate copies of an object in Affinity Designer. Say I have to put 50 copies of a rectangle with rounded edgest around a circle to create a tyre. Or a custom cog I can’t create with the shape preset. Or just simple "create 50 copies of this within selected area". 

 

3) Snapping to full pixels - Snapping to half pixels is usually useless for me in UI design (it results in blurry icons on mobile devices), I need to force snapping to full pixels.

 

4) Mirrored direction handles – couldn’t find any way to move the direction handles of a nod in a mirrored way. Maybe I am missing something or is this option missing? 

 

5) Eyedropper tool behavior - Whn using eyedropper tool first I have to drag it and once I am done I have to tap the small circle with the selected color to apply it. Why this unnecessary step? In Sketch I can instantly use the color when releasing the cursor. This behavior only slows me down.

 

6) Object style presets and smart objects - self-explainetory, it makes designing a UI with repeating elements a breeze. Any plans for that?

 

7) App for previews – you probably need to implement artboards first but it would be nice to preview designs instantly on iOS and/or Android devices. At least you can integrate Skala preview? Sketch app is killer for that.

 

Thank you for considering all this. Besides that AD is perfect app for design and looking forward to use it more. Sketch has so many bugs, limitations and it’s very slow compared to Affinity Designer.

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

Thanks for joining the forum and sharing your thoughts :)  I'm very interested to hear your experiences because our sights are about to squarely focus on UI designers in the near future by adding all the missing features required for this demographic to Designer. I don't know if you'd fancy trying the Affinity Designer Beta or not, but there have been a lot of tweaks and enhancements (Force Pixel Alignment button on the top toolbar in particular which will sort out your half-pixel snapping issues) and this may make you much more productive...

 

The beta is a stable, dependable product so don't be overly wary of it, just because it has the word Beta in the title - it's simply a means of allowing customers access to new features and bug-fixes without having to wait for the App Store submission process! ;)

 

You can often use Power Duplicate for tasks such as those described in number 2 in your list - although that's only an interim solution at present as we'll have proper control for this in the future...

 

You can add styles already if that would help? Just right-click your object and choose "Create Style" and it'll appear in the Styles panel. Select a new object and click the style to apply it.

 

We'll definitely refer back to your list as we make progress, thanks

Matt

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Another thing I'd love to see is the ability to use two pixel guides like Bjango's Skala will be using.

 

We've had this topic raised before....

 

I have to say that even though this sounds like really good idea - it's a totally flawed idea.  Just because we render our guides on pixel, the precision can be sub-pixel, depending upon your zoom level - we quantise the screen image just to make it look crisp. The "real" location of the object is a different matter.  The concept of where the physical boundary lies is actually not the issue.

 

The reality is - if we used two pixel guides - all our guides would look thicker, but nothing is gained.  The physical position of the thing rendered may not exist at the precise position between the two pixels of the guide.  So - what would you render if the position is half way across a pixel? A three pixel guide??

 

This idea only works if you can only place geometry on whole pixels, and view it at 100%.  If you have finer precision than that (as we do - see our 1,000,000% zoom!), the whole concept makes no sense at all.  If you zoom out so a document pixel is smaller than a screen pixel - how do you draw your guide?


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Regarding suggestion #7 - affinity is hiring an iOS engineer to port the affinity suite of products to iPad. No need for mirror if iPad has a full featured editor. 

 

However, if you want to mirror stuff today why not try xScope4 from icon factory?

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