Jump to content

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, R C-R said:

You must have a lot thinner or narrower fingers than I do. As it is, I can barely type on my iPhone 5s keyboard without hitting the wrong key by mistake. Even if use one of those blunt-tipped capacitive pens that work with it, I still have to be very careful to tap the correct key. 

Judging from that, I would find it just about impossible to get much done with a 'pocket' version of Designer or Photo on my phone.

Keep in mind, though, the iPhone version of Procreate does indeed use a different UI layout than the iPad version. It's not just scaled down to the small screen size. The layers, for example, have similar real world size and the checkboxes seem like exactly the same size on iPhone SE as on iPad mini 5. Just like I mentioned in another topic, this would require Serif to overhaul the UI so that it suits the iPhone experience. Just uploading a current build that's checked for iPhone as well wouldn't do.
That said, I don't face any problems using the iPhone SE digital keyboard. So you may be right about finger size. But even considering the OS keyboard may not be easily usable by everyone, you can still get away with UI of similar or the same size as there is on iPad. You just have to arrange it well. So even if the digital OS keyboard is a hurdle, which is different in size from device to device, third party developers may keep their UI scale on iPhone, so this doesn't become a problem.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, shushustorm said:

But even considering the OS keyboard may not be easily usable by everyone, you can still get away with UI of similar or the same size as there is on iPad. You just have to arrange it well.

On a screen the size of my iPhone's, I cannot see any way to arrange all the tools, personas, menus, & panels of the iPad versions of AP & AD on the screen, keep them all large enough to be easily tappable without errors, & still have more than a tiny amount of room left for the document. That would mean nearly constant zooming & panning to do anything, which would be a very inefficient way to work.

So the only alternative to that I can think of is to create even more fly-out tool icons, more panels, menus with even more sub-menus, etc. As it is, on my smaller screen iPad, the context toolbars that appear along the bottom for certain tools have to be split into left, right, & sometimes more panels that I have to choose among to get to all their options, & the popup 'calculator' display that some of them use already covers more of the work than I would like, as does the iPad virtual keyboard.

If nothing else, imagine working on a 50 layer document with long named layers, or scrolling up & down among 50 or more filters, or just entering text in a 500 word block of text, & somehow trying to keep everything large enough while not obscuring so much that you can't see how it looks on the document without constantly having to readjust the zoom & pan.

For that matter, even on my 27" iMac, I often wish I had more screen space so I could keep more panels open & a much longer Layers panel, among the things that more screen space buys to speed up my workflows.

Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo & Affinity Designer for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@R C-R
I also read your comment here:

I think the main issue in me explaining this is that Procreate has a very different approach of handling UI than traditional software UI, which is most of Affinity's UI. I do understand the concern about finger to screen size ratio, but that's just an issue with locked UI. Procreate is very excessive in showing you only what you need, which makes it very much both screen space efficient and workflow efficient.

Procreate uses a number of solutions to get the UI running on, for example, 4.7 inch devices, most importantly being:

Well structured menus
- Most UI only appears when neccessary
- Clear and understandable menu structure for easy and fast navigation
- High amount of layers by only showing layers on the whole screen, when opening, aligning view to currently selected, and being able to scroll

- UI easily accessible, with gestures for UI icons (for example, holding color button selects last selected color, 2 finger swipe right on layer alpha locks layer, 2 finger tap on layer - set opacity, 2 finger hold on layer - select layer content)
- There are quite a few gestures that give access to functionality (e.g. 3 finger swipe down opens menu for Copy, Cut, Paste), which is even faster than Affinity's tap & hold for cut, copy & paste.

- Can be invoked using a gesture (currently, double tap), can be customized to hold 6 individually selected features so you can choose which you need most for your workflow
- Swiping into direction of a QuickMenu item chooses that feature
- No unnessesary clutter, because most of the time, you probably only need a subset of what a software is capable of and for the cases of requiring something you rarely need, you can open a menu
- A lot faster than non-gesture UI, because you don't have to think about where which button or functionality is located at among all the rich functionality, you don't have to precisely aim at buttons, moving the hand, tapping that button

About seeing the artwork itself:
When using Procreate, I am only working on the canvas in full screen mode. There is only a small button in the top left (or right, depending on settings) that is there to show the UI again. Other than that, the whole screen real estate is used for painting.

Also, I don't know about your workflow and if those examples are neccessary, but I wouldn't use long layer names. For me, that would be a very artificial scenario. That just takes too much time to both write and read when working on that file later on. In fact, I don't explicitly name a lot of layers, especially using Designer, I am naming maybe about 1/50 of all layers, since I am using a lot of compound shapes and naming would just waste time and not even be useful.
Also, 50 layers is very few for Designer or Photo (not for Procreate, but that's not a UI matter, but the layer limit that has been introduced for faster file save and load). At least if you structure them into groups and subgroups, which you should do? You can easily scroll through, for example Group1 * 2 Groups * 5 Layers (10 layers), Group2, Group3, Group4, Group5 - that's 50 layers already.

Not meant for promotional purposes, but for reference:
Unfortunately, currently, there is no image of the app running in full screen mode. That mode hides the top menu bar.
When looking at the images, I hope it's obvious that the buttons aren't too small to be tappable. In fact, most buttons are larger on my 4.7 inch iPhone using Procreate Pocket than those of Affinity Designer or Photo (, which I do like the size of, since it's less cluttered now since one of the latest releases) on iPad mini 5.

Personally, I worked with 27'' iMacs and I couldn't stand it. I always had to turn my head to see different parts of the screen. Moving the mouse all over the screen was tiring or, when the mouse is set to a faster speed, it loses accuracy. I am using a 15'' Macbook and I do make excessive use of macOS's spaces, which I can toggle between.
When working with Designer on macOS, for example, I mostly use full screen mode, showing no UI at all, using keyboard shortcuts. I don't want to look at UI. I want to look at what I am working on and that's why I try to get rid of UI as far as possible and useful, which also works great for smaller screen sizes and seeing all the screen at once, or, for iOS devices, being able to carry a small, lightweight device wherever I go.

Anyway, just my opinion. I'm sure there are arguments to be made against iPhone, especially business wise.
I'm not online here very often, so I don't really get involved in a lot of discussion, just wanted to state my opinion.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, shushustorm said:

Well structured menus
- Most UI only appears when neccessary

I suppose our workflow needs are very different but for me, structured hierarchical menus are one of the things that slows me down vs. having a complete (& customizable!) tool set & contextual & main toolbars always available, with their items wherever I expect them to be. Plus, apps with UI's like Procreate never seem to get right the items I think should be immediately available instead of hidden away in a menu.

I don't even like that in the current desktop Affinity apps the View menu puts the zoom options in a submenu or that the items in the Studio submenu are not instead in a top level "Studio" menu. (I know they do that to accommodate smaller displays, but there are ways around that if the desktop UI was even more customizable.)

Gestures are fine for a tablet device if they don't require time-wasting press & hold actions, if there is a mechanism to prevent accidental contact with the screen from triggering them, & if the UI doesn't rely so heavily on them that it is hard to keep straight which one does what in what context. Also, I do not have the dexterity of a pianist, so the smaller the screen the harder it is for me to use them & the easier it is for my hand to cramp after extended UI use.

I can use the Affinity iOS apps running on my smaller non-Pro iPad with my Apple Pencil for hours without problems -- the tappable item sizes & spacing, the precision of the small pencil tip (& the ability to see items around it without my finger obscuring them), & so on feels natural & effortless, requiring no finger contortions or uncertainty about what was tapped. If I could not use the Pencil, this would not be true, & I don't see any way around that for iPhones.

I also would find it too time-consuming & distracting to have to constantly show & hide the UI controls, because I am constantly switching tools while zooming & panning around to check details or the overall look of the document. I love how the Affinity iPad UI automatically hides when I get near an edge & springs back into view when I am done. It is another of the things that makes working with that UI so efficient.

As for working with a 27" iMac, I have no problems with having to turn my head a bit to seeing everything -- I do not need to see every part of the screen at once, so the time & effort to turn my head slightly is negligible (& it even helps slightly to prevent my neck & shoulders from getting stiff during long work sessions). Moving the mouse long screen distances is no problem for me because I use a Kensington trackball with both customizable non-linear acceleration & physical momentum built into its large heavy trackball, so I can move the pointer from screen edge to edge with a single flick of the ball, yet still move it even precisely one screen pixel at a time when I rotate it slowly. I also have a Logitech mouse & an Apple trackpad, but I rarely use either one.

Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo & Affinity Designer for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now