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GarryP

Is there any reasoning behind the ordering of the Adjustments in Photo?

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When I look at the Layer Adjustments in Photo I get a very differently-ordered list to what I get in Live Layer Adjustments.

Edit: Oops. When I say Live Layer Adjustments, what I mean is the Adjustments menu that pops up after you press the Adjustments icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. For some reason I got a bit mixed up with Live Filters. However, my question still stands, and see my later post for more questions.

 

Is there some reason for the difference? It’s a bit confusing when looking for things.

I’ve highlighted some of the differences in the attached image but most of them are in different places.

I would suggest that they are either put in a basic alphabetical order or grouped in some way but then in alphabetical order within those groups (whatever those groups might be, I don’t know enough to say). Whichever, they should be in the same order in both menus.

I would also suggest that this order is the same in all three products to make it easier to switch between them.

adjustment-ordering.png

Edited by GarryP
Made a silly mistake.

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The Live Layer Adjustments have a grouping that in general make sense.

The Layer Adjustments options appear to have been compiled by someone in a passive/aggressive mood who was being perverse just for the sake of it!:32_expressionless:

Standardising on the Live Layer Adjustments layout across the board wouldn't hurt at all.


Affinity Designer & Photo  :  Win 10

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I’ve added a note to my original post as to my mistake in getting things mixed up a bit but I still think the menus needs to be more consistent. I don’t know how best they should be grouped/arranged as I don’t know enough to have any real opinion but some grouping seems like it might be beneficial.

It would also be nice if the menu items had their own little icons giving the user an idea of what they do, or maybe what the dialog looks like. I’ve attached some (very) crude samples.

On a related issue, can anyone tell me what makes an Adjustment different to a Filter and why something is one and not the other?
The Help gives me this:
“...adjustments which can be applied to your photo as a new layer for corrective or creative purposes”
“Filters can be applied to layers within your document for corrective or creative purposes”
It seems like adjustments are applied as new non-destructive layers onto an existing layer but filters are applied destructively to the original layer, but live filters seem to act like adjustments in that they are non-destructive. Is this the whole difference or have I missed something?

adjustment-icons.png

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26 minutes ago, GarryP said:

It would also be nice if the menu items had their own little icons giving the user an idea of what they do, or maybe what the dialog looks like. I’ve attached some (very) crude samples.

adjustment-icons.png

I agree. The funny thing is that the Adjustment tab shows such icons.

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28 minutes ago, GarryP said:

 

On a related issue, can anyone tell me what makes an Adjustment different to a Filter and why something is one and not the other?
The Help gives me this:
“...adjustments which can be applied to your photo as a new layer for corrective or creative purposes”
“Filters can be applied to layers within your document for corrective or creative purposes”
It seems like adjustments are applied as new non-destructive layers onto an existing layer but filters are applied destructively to the original layer, but live filters seem to act like adjustments in that they are non-destructive. Is this the whole difference or have I missed something?

 

I also find this confusing.

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I completely forgot about the Adjustments panel. I’ve not had enough time working in Photo yet. Thanks for pointing that out and reminding me.
So my question now changes to: “Can we have the Adjustment panel icons in the Adjustment menus?”
P.S. And maybe some icons for the Filters too, while we’re on with this?

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8 hours ago, GarryP said:

On a related issue, can anyone tell me what makes an Adjustment different to a Filter and why something is one and not the other?

The only really obvious user-facing difference I know of is that custom presets can be created for (most?) Adjustments but not for Filters ... but there is at least one exception to that: the "Invert" adjustment. I read somewhere that there is a technical difference that has something to do with adjustments being calculated on a per pixel basis while Filters are calculated on ranges of pixels & are thus more computationally intensive, but I don't understand much about that or what it really means. :(


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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Thanks R C-R. Presets and some kind of computational difference goes some way to explaining things.
It would be nice to get an explanation from the Serif team on this. That might make it much clearer to everyone.
This isn’t a huge problem, I just have to learn where each thing is, but knowing why there is a difference may help people like me know which menu to choose first when I'm looking for something.

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There is probably no smart logic behind. That was the case when Serif fixed the blend mode menu in layers. Serif openly admitted that the order was random. 

I have been involved a LOT in software development as a product owner and my team (and SCRUM Master) now bloody well knows that if I spot an unordered list anywhere in the product during a product review, the user story is not accepted unless it is fixed before the next morning. “Would you buy a dictionary without alphabetic order?” 

If no one can spot the logic behind a non-alphabetic order then something is obviously wrong with the user interface. Period.

It too should be fixed.


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for. Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can use it. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

Further... give up and please hire an UX (usability designer), Serif. It is how professional software is made in this century.

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One guess I had was that it could be ordered in a simple “next feature included/coded goes next on the list” order which would give a seemingly random order, but I couldn’t think why Invert would be so far down the list for such a basic function.
Another guess was this it could be ordered in a “most-used (by user testing) goes nearest the button” order but that doesn’t make sense either, especially as the list would have to be reversed on the main menu.
Yet another guess was that the most-used items could be spaced out so that it was harder to select the wrong one by accident (like typewriter keys) but that doesn’t really sound very sensible.
Alphabetical order is usually the best way to go if no-one can give a better alternative although I have (rarely) seen lists of options given in “length of text order” which strangely works if done well. I can’t remember the system but the basic options (at the top) had punchy short names while the complex options (at the bottom) had verbose names. You could guess where in the list you needed to look at by knowing how complex the function you wanted was. It sounds odd but it kind of worked in its own weird way. Not recommended though, especially as adding new functions is difficult.

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6 hours ago, GarryP said:

Another guess was this it could be ordered in a “most-used (by user testing) goes nearest the button” order ...

FWIW, Apple's developer guidelines have variously stated that functionally similar menu items should be grouped together & that the most frequently used items should be listed before less frequently used ones. Obviously, this only makes sense if there are obvious similarities among the items & general agreement on which items would most frequently be accessed from a menu that includes them vs. via a keyboard shortcut or some other method. This also means that even assuming this kind of listing makes sense, the preferred order could be different for drop-down menus than for pop-up or fly-out ones, so basically it is a crapshoot.

Alphabetical listings are not recommended because of the above & also because that would mean changing the list order for different language versions.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
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5 hours ago, R C-R said:

FWIW, Apple's developer guidelines have variously stated that functionally similar menu items should be grouped together

With reference to adjustments (Panel, Fly-out and Layer >) there would only have to be three groups—Tonal, Colour and Other. 

However, for example, what group would the B&W adjustment belong to—Colour or Tonal as it could be at home in either? 

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R C-R: Yeah, some kind of logical grouping would make sense to me as long as that grouping was from a user’s point of view and not a developer’s point of view. I.e. Group things the user would use together rather than group things that are coded in similar ways or are in the same code library. I don’t know enough about what all the features do so I will leave that up to other people to discuss, if they want to. I don’t mind if the grouping comes from a beginner’s or expert’s point of view, only that the various menus are consistent, and across all the applications too.

As you say, when you have the same menu that can be read up or down, depending on how it’s invoked (from main menu vs. pop-up), the ordering can have its problems. As far as I know, no-one has some up with a good solution otherwise we’d see it everywhere.

I keep forgetting about multi-lingual applications. Alphabetical listings aren’t too much of a problem in themselves as they can be procedurally generated (e.g. the Open Recent menu) rather than fixed but, as you say, they have the same problems as for grouped items when it comes to which way round to generate them. Also, some people watch tutorial videos in different languages – which they might not understand – and they might look for menu items where they see them in the video but alphabetising in their language has moved the menu item elsewhere, which wouldn’t be good. I’ve changed my mind; alphabetizing – in this case – doesn’t look like a good way to go.

PedroOfOz: Tonal, Colour and Other sounds reasonable but I’m not totally sure what a Tonal adjustment is/means in relation to Colour. They sound like similar things to me. That’s probably just my lack of knowledge though. In answer to your question, from a beginner’s point of view, I would say that B&W would be in the Colour group as, in using it, I would want to get rid of the colour so ‘colour’ is the word I would have in my head when looking for the adjustment.

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2 hours ago, GarryP said:

I don’t mind if the grouping comes from a beginner’s or expert’s point of view, only that the various menus are consistent, and across all the applications too.

Yes.


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Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.196 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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13 hours ago, GarryP said:

PedroOfOz: Tonal, Colour and Other sounds reasonable but I’m not totally sure what a Tonal adjustment is/means in relation to Colour. They sound like similar things to me. That’s probably just my lack of knowledge though. In answer to your question, from a beginner’s point of view, I would say that B&W would be in the Colour group as, in using it, I would want to get rid of the colour so ‘colour’ is the word I would have in my head when looking for the adjustment.

In hindsight Contrast rather than Tonal* may be more appropriate terminology for the group due to tonality being quite broad in its definition. Therefore in that group would be curves, levels, exposure, shadows/highlights (even through curves for example can alter colour). The Colour group is probably quite obvious ... and Other, what's left! :)

I tend to agree with you (with some slight reservations) that the B&W adjustment would be in the Colour group. Others may think differently in that the colour sliders, referencing the colour info, adjusts the B&W tonality* (ie luminance—lighter or darker) so would be more appropriate in the Contrast (Tonal) group ;)  

The bottom line is though, as you suggest, consistent menus regardless and across all applications. 

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19 minutes ago, PedroOfOz said:

The bottom line is though, as you suggest, consistent menus regardless and across all applications. 

Considering that Designer does not have any filters, live or otherwise, there is no inconsistency with Photo as far as filters go. :)


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

Considering that Designer does not have any filters, live or otherwise, there is no inconsistency with Photo as far as filters go. :)

I don't use Designer so I wouldn't have a clue what filters if any it uses. I'm just going by what Gary says as quoted by Old Bruce above my post and that is 'consistent menus'  :)

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On 7/28/2019 at 7:33 AM, GarryP said:

When I look at the Layer Adjustments in Photo I get a very differently-ordered list to what I get in Live Layer Adjustments.

Edit: Oops. When I say Live Layer Adjustments, what I mean is the Adjustments menu that pops up after you press the Adjustments icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. For some reason I got a bit mixed up with Live Filters. However, my question still stands, and see my later post for more questions.

 

Is there some reason for the difference? It’s a bit confusing when looking for things.

I’ve highlighted some of the differences in the attached image but most of them are in different places.

I would suggest that they are either put in a basic alphabetical order or grouped in some way but then in alphabetical order within those groups (whatever those groups might be, I don’t know enough to say). Whichever, they should be in the same order in both menus.

I would also suggest that this order is the same in all three products to make it easier to switch between them.

adjustment-ordering.png

Yes, please, add my vote to this too... Just feeling the pain of having to search a while before finding the option I wanted in the Layer Adjustments Panel... I see the point of Alphabetical not working, but some semblance of order would be helpful.

Thanks for your hard work all ye Affinity developers who make it possible for us to enjoy the software we use! 😊👍👍

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