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LostInTranslation

Two things Affinity can learn from Xara

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Dear Developers,

the more I work with Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher, the more I like them. There is a bit of a learning curve coming from other programs, but it seems worth the effort.

However, I am not completely happy with two things in particular. Those are the main reasons why I don't use AD exclusively by now.

Before I bought Affinity Designer, I was working with Xara Designer for many years.
Recently, I made myself use AD more, but when I need something done fast and intuitively, I still go back to Xara. And here is why:

a) Vector drawing
I do a lot of Vector drawing for logodesign and illustration.
While AD has some superior tools - just the corner rounding tool alone is worth the purchase - it lacks basic usability compared to Xara, at least for me.

Affinity Designer:
Lay out nodes: Pen tool
Bend curves: Switch to Node tool
More nodes: Switch back to Pen tool
Adjust curves: Switch to Node tool
Reposition node: Switch back to Pen tool

Xara Designer:
Lay out nodes: Shape tool
Bend curves: Still Shape tool
More nodes: Still Shape tool
Adjust curves: Still Shape tool
Reposition node: Still Shape tool

This makes working way faster and I really don't see why AD would need two tools for that.


b) Applying Colors
Honestly, I hate the way applying colors works in AD.
Fiddling around switching fill- and line colors to apply them just does not work for me.

In Xara left-clicking on a swatch changes fill color, right-clicking on a swatch changes line color.
I can recolor multiple objects with different colors in a matter of seconds this way.
AD feels way more complicated and tiresome.


This is my subjective view and of course I am biased from using other software for so long.
But I feel adopting those things would benefit AD greatly.
If only as alternative options, so people who like the current way would not be affected.

Please think about it,
Cheers

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3 hours ago, LostInTranslation said:

In Xara left-clicking on a swatch changes fill color, right-clicking on a swatch changes line color.
I can recolor multiple objects with different colors in a matter of seconds this way.
AD feels way more complicated and tiresome.

Also it's same way as in Corel. And of course it's waaay more logical, quick and intuitive than Affinity's approach.

Yes, I praise Corel for a lot of things, however it lacks in some areas, so there's your chance Serif :) There's nothing wrong with being "isnpired" by good and established solutions

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6 hours ago, LostInTranslation said:

a) Vector drawing
I do a lot of Vector drawing for logodesign and illustration.
While AD has some superior tools - just the corner rounding tool alone is worth the purchase - it lacks basic usability compared to Xara, at least for me.

Affinity Designer:
Lay out nodes: Pen tool
Bend curves: Switch to Node tool
More nodes: Switch back to Pen tool
Adjust curves: Switch to Node tool
Reposition node: Switch back to Pen tool

Xara Designer:
Lay out nodes: Shape tool
Bend curves: Still Shape tool
More nodes: Still Shape tool
Adjust curves: Still Shape tool
Reposition node: Still Shape tool

This makes working way faster and I really don't see why AD would need two tools for that.


b) Applying Colors
Honestly, I hate the way applying colors works in AD.
Fiddling around switching fill- and line colors to apply them just does not work for me. 

In Xara left-clicking on a swatch changes fill color, right-clicking on a swatch changes line color.
I can recolor multiple objects with different colors in a matter of seconds this way.

Although it's different in Affinity, I don't really see that these are major problems, or that they take any longer.

a) If you want to switch to the Node Tool from the Pen Tool just hold down the Ctrl key.

b) Click on a colour, hit "x", it swaps the fill and stroke swatches, click for the other colour.

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27 minutes ago, PaulEC said:

...b) Click on a colour, hit "x", it swaps the fill and stroke swatches, click for the other colour.

Which take far longer over the course of a day, week, month, year. That time adds up.

Really, of the things that are hold-overs from the Plus line (and Illy), this was not one of them to choose.

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9 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Which take far longer over the course of a day, week, month, year. That time adds up.

Really, of the things that are hold-overs from the Plus line (and Illy), this was not one of them to choose.

For me, they both take the same amount of time.  If you're using keyboard shortcuts all the time, then your free hand is always at the ready.  Pressing the X on the keyboard to switch fill/Stroke takes no time, unless you're having to look down at the keyboard over and over to find the X key and press it.  That's not the case for me.  My free hand is always in position so I can do it instantly.  This one is not an issue for me. Either way is good.

 

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13 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Which take far longer over the course of a day, week, month, year. That time adds up.

Well, it's a matter of opinion, but as right clicking is used for other functions in the swatches tab, I'm not sure how much it would complicate things to use it for selecting colours instead.

I appreciate that hitting a key may take fractionally longer than right clicking, but, in the real world the extra time it takes is way less than stopping to take a swig of your coffee once a day! It's the same argument as someone who was complaining recently about having to double click rather than single click something because it took so much longer, or the one complaining about having to hit a key at the top of the keyboard instead of the bottom! In reality there's nothing in it. There are much more important things for the devs to worry about before this sort of thing.

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1 minute ago, PaulEC said:

...There are much more important things for the devs to worry about before this sort of thing.

I agree there are bigger fish to fry, and at the end of the day, it is like it is.

That it is like it is statement applies to a lot of things across all three applications. Some of which make a far larger difference for productivity.

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This is not something devs should worry about. This is something an educated, professional user experience designer should worry about.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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