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Adobe to Unclutter Photoshop UI 403

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the time-for-a-facelift dept.
spotplace writes "It's not common to see a company blast their own product for failing to adapt to times and people's necessities, unless they're trying to give you a reason to buy the latest and greatest of said product. That's exactly what Adobe has done. John Nack, senior product manager at Adobe, says the old Photoshop interface doesn't cut it anymore: "I sometimes joke that looking at some parts of the app is like counting the rings in a tree: you can gauge when certain features arrived by the dimensions & style of the dialog. No one wants to work with — or work on — some shambling, bloated monster of a program.""
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Adobe to Unclutter Photoshop UI

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  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @04:56AM (#21292101) Homepage Journal
    Inspiration for new UI can be found here [blogspot.com]

    (I kid, I kid)
    • by mpathy (1067128) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:54AM (#21292685) Homepage Journal
      I read the article and I was sure, to find a GIMP joke here - because the UI of Gimp is really a bad joke ;) There was already a good GUI redesign - but because this guy was ignored by the GIMP developers (which are not really open-minded) he started "GIMPshop" - http://www.gimpshop.com/ [gimpshop.com] - a picure can be found via Google Picture Search. But they want to stay with their window policy which is IMHO unusable for a image manipulation program. I don't say that GIMP should orientate on Adobe Photoshop. But at least it should also do a complete redesign of the GUI. For a complex program like that they also shouldn't go to tight with the Gnome UI definitions, it is completely okay to go the "blender way" - a own UI for a program like the blender 3D program.
      • by budgenator (254554) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:18AM (#21293101) Journal
        don't say that GIMP should orientate on Adobe Photoshop. But at least it should also do a complete redesign of the GUI. For a complex program like that they also shouldn't go to tight with the Gnome UI definitions, it is completely okay to go the "blender way" - a own UI for a program like the blender 3D program.
        They did and you got it backwards, they made the GTK, Gimp Tool KitMiguel de Icaza, used that for the basis for Gnome. De Icaza used GTK because it was GPLed and the Qt toolkit from Trolltech was free as in free beer at the time. The Gnome supporters started a Holy-war against KDE because of this and now de Icaza is a Microsoft shill, ain't life strange?
      • by m2943 (1140797) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:34AM (#21293181)
        but because this guy was ignored by the GIMP developers (which are not really open-minded) he started "GIMPshop"

        The purpose of GIMPshop was to "replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop". Well, Adobe just told you themselves that the Photoshop UI sucks. So, clearly, redesigning Gimp to be more Photoshop-like would not have been a good way of improving it.

        I don't say that GIMP should orientate on Adobe Photoshop. But at least it should also do a complete redesign of the GUI.

        Phrases like "a complete redesign" generally just indicate that people have no idea what's wrong or how to fix it; they are not helpful. In fact, I see no indication that the Gimp needs a "complete redesign". What it needs is dockable palettes and better multi-window handling. If you can identify other *specific* problem areas, please do so; but comments about "complete redesign" are bullshit.

        I think what most Photoshop users don't like about the Gimp really is that the menu entries and shortcuts are so different from Photoshop so that they can't find anything. Well, tough. The Gimp menu structure is no worse than the Photoshop one, and Gimp users are used to it. At least the shortcuts are much easier to change on the Gimp than in Photoshop.
        • by kiddygrinder (605598) on Friday November 09, 2007 @09:13AM (#21293451)
          gimp doesn't need a redesign, it just needs a more moddable interface, that way everyone can be happy.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Quarters (18322)
          The purpose of GIMPshop was to "replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop". Well, Adobe just told you themselves that the Photoshop UI sucks. So, clearly, redesigning Gimp to be more Photoshop-like would not have been a good way of improving it. Yes, yes it would have. If you would read the guy's full blog post you'll see that he's saying the Photoshop UI fails *now*, not that it failed (*now* - x years) ago. GIMP isn't on feature parity with Photoshop 6, let alone CS3. Along with that feature disparity it is
        • by glpierce (731733) on Friday November 09, 2007 @09:48AM (#21293661) Homepage
          "I think what most Photoshop users don't like about the Gimp really is that the menu entries and shortcuts are so different from Photoshop so that they can't find anything. Well, tough. The Gimp menu structure is no worse than the Photoshop one, and Gimp users are used to it. At least the shortcuts are much easier to change on the Gimp than in Photoshop."

          Tough? There are a lot more people using programs like Photoshop than using GIMP. If the goal is to have them switch, you have to address their needs. GIMP is not successful because it's a superior product, it's "successful" because it's free, and people are willing to make sacrifices to save money (and yes, I'm sure there are five people who'd love to point out that they switched because they think GIMP is better, but that's hardly helpful). GIMP will be surpassed by a more user-friendly program if the attitude is "we have all the users we want". Unlike Firefox, which was always commended for its ease of use, GIMP has long been criticized for its interface (even by its own users). Oh, and for the record, I hate Photoshop's interface as much as I hate GIMP's (I'm a long-time Paint Shop Pro user).
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by GiMP (10923)
            I'm repeatedly annoyed by these calls for an "easier" interface. As others have said, the Gimp 's interface is quite 'moddable', tearable menus, tearable toolbars, configurable shortcuts... In my opinion, a lot of the "improvements" made to appease the Photoshop users have largely made Gimp 2.4 an unusable mess compared to earlier versions, especially for long-time Gimp users.

            If I had to complain about the Gimp compared to photoshop, the interface would be the *last* thing I would change. The first thing
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MonoSynth (323007)

        But they want to stay with their window policy which is IMHO unusable for a image manipulation program.
        They depend on a non-existent window manager that actually manages windows with distinctions between main windows and toolboxes and menus and stuff. I understand (and agree with) their ideals, but I hate their naivity. Window managers suck, so you need to make your own inside a window if your app demands a good one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ash-Fox (726320)

        I read the article and I was sure, to find a GIMP joke here - because the UI of Gimp is really a bad joke ;) There was already a good GUI redesign - but because this guy was ignored by the GIMP developers (which are not really open-minded) he started "GIMPshop" - http://www.gimpshop.com/ [gimpshop.com] - a picure can be found via Google Picture Search. But they want to stay with their window policy which is IMHO unusable for a image manipulation program

        I tried to use GIMPshop, but I couldn't use the windows decently. Scal

    • by monopole (44023) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:13AM (#21293065)
      ...PhotoGIMP!
    • by Dr. Cody (554864) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:24AM (#21293129)
      Oh god, OH GOD--don't do this to me!

      I've spend over 15 years figuring out; they can't spring a new interface on me just like that!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by moogs (1003361)
      you know what would be cool? it they could rework the UI based on Microsoft Office 2007. I know, i know, m$ is evil, blah blah blah, but hear me out. well, i just like it. i mean, i know i know, menu bar blah blah blah, but i've used office for years with the standard bar menu and got used and in fact, very familiar to it. then i switched to office 2007 (i got it for free, so figured might as well). the initial learning curve was there, obviously, but after you figured it out i just hate going back to the
  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SnowZero (92219) on Friday November 09, 2007 @04:57AM (#21292107)
    Good, now can you do Acrobat next?
  • by dominux (731134) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:02AM (#21292133) Homepage
    the Photoshop UI always confuses folk like me. They should drop CMYK support while they are at it.
  • by Waccoon (1186667)
    I'm still using 5.5 most of the time because I didn't like the last major overhaul with 6.0.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by solios (53048)
      I've been using 5.5 for the last several years - a forced upgrade from 5.0, as 5.0's SMP support didn't work under the G5, and 5.5's did. Now I'm forced to make a hard choice : Upgrade to OS X 10.5 and trade Photoshop 5.5 for Photoshop CS (forget CS2 or CS3, I like the idea that photoshop should load sometime today), or stick with OS X 10.4 and Classic, which gives me Photoshop 5.5, Illustrator 9, and a couple of other apps that just are not nearly as fast in "native" versions.

      I hate the hell out of the PS
  • Never mind a new UI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CrackedButter (646746) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:07AM (#21292159) Homepage Journal
    Allow photoshop to multitask. I cannot believe that still in 2007, with my Macbook Core 2duo with 3GB of RAM, I cannot edit images while I am using my scanner. Why can't photoshop scan negatives in the background while I work on other images in the foreground?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TheNetAvenger (624455)
      Allow photoshop to multitask. I cannot believe that still in 2007, with my Macbook Core 2duo with 3GB of RAM, I cannot edit images while I am using my scanner. Why can't photoshop scan negatives in the background while I work on other images in the foreground?


      Why are you using Photoshop to scan images in? Use another tool like iPhoto, Windows Scanner, etc to scan in your images so you can continue to do other work in Photoshop.

      I know a lot of imaging applications like Photoshop provide direct 'import/scanni
      • by denzacar (181829) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:26AM (#21292555) Journal

        Another thing that 'kills' me is that Photoshop won't allow itself to run multiple copies at a time.
        Photoshop takes up A LOT of memory. It does not just take it - it reserves it for its own personal use.
        Where are you going to get that other 95% of physical memory for your next instance of Photoshop?

        Running multiple Photoshops for multiple images... that is insane. Or running multiple PhotoPaints. Those are not Word or Notepad.
        Those are heavy-duty graphic editing programs.

        You do know that you can open and work on more then one file at a time?

        5-6 copies of PhotoPaint at once?
        Fuck... I have to print this - nobody will fucking believe me.
        • And some people say the Gimp is inferior to Photoshop.

          I can really see why thanks to that post.
          The Gimp doesnt chew nearly enough memory to be the best photo editor. ;)
    • The problem is Photoshop's fundamental interface approach: it's modal, so the program is constantly waiting for tasks to finish or dialog boxes to go away. Maybe that was good enough in the System 7 days, but it's lousy design nowadays. Poor design choices make me grit my teeth and grumble every time I use an Adobe product.

      A well-designed app today should not be modal; it should be multi-threaded, be capable of performing multiple tasks at once, and never bug the user with confirmation dialogs when an undo
  • Good News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bazald (886779) <(bazald) (at) (zenipex.com)> on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:08AM (#21292165) Homepage
    I'm always glad to hear of a serious attempt to clean up the user interface of a major application. All too often, keeping an interface clean comes second to keeping it similar to how it was in the previous major version. As it sounds like they will be splitting the existing functionality between modes for different classes of tasks, I just hope they don't mess up and force their users to continually switch between different modes to do everyday tasks.
    • Re:Good News (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wrook (134116) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:06AM (#21292461) Homepage
      Not sure if this is really on topic, but I fee like rambling...

      With respect to forcing users to switch between different modes, one of the things I find irritating about modern software UI design is that... well, that it's *designed*. Some guy (or girl or whatever) sits in a room and decides what I'm going to be doing.

      In the (good) old days, there was no fancy pants GUI. You had a command line and a shell. And you chained together useful tasks through the shell. When you were in "find a file" mode, you just used "find" and piped it through some filters to do what you wanted.

      My feeling is that these large applications are cluttered and bulky *because* they are designed to work in an integrated way. Instead, the functionality should be separated and the *user* should choose what they want to see and when. If the user wants a "photo touch up" mode then the user can create a mode for it and put all the "photo touch up" tools in it.

      But this becomes very complicated. Asking the user to create modes from thousands of features is ridiculous. So the application shouldn't show the user anything that they don't already know how to do. When the user wants to do something new, the application should teach them how to do it, and then the functionality should be available. Before that, it's invisible. Once the user knows how to use the functionality, they should put it somewhere.

      "Modes" and "known functionality" should be transportable with a configuration file that the user can take with them on a USB key. That way you can go to your mate's desk and have it work the same way it worked on your desk.

      I guess the key for me is that my software should work like my kitchen. I should have the tools I want, where I want them, when I want them. I don't care how great a kitchen designer you are. My kitchen is set up how *I* want it. Maybe I'll hire you to come in and give me pointers. But I *don't* want a predesigned kitchen with tools that can only go in one place.
      • by bateleur (814657)
        But this becomes very complicated. Asking the user to create modes from thousands of features is ridiculous.

        Isn't the answer to this simply to have sensible defaults pre-set? The power users will figure everything out. For everyone else, start them off with a static solution that's been pre-designed to be easily comprehensible.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by NekSnappa (803141)
        My first reaction to your post was, "but command lines don't work well with graphics programs." But then I thought about how I use Autocad. I've been using Autocad since 1988 or so. At the time there was a side menu, and a command line. The side menu could be turned off to free up screen space (a 17" EGA monitor was a still a pretty big deal on a PC back then), and since every command was available through the command line you were still good to go. Now over the years with the conversion to GUI based vers
      • Re:Good News (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Illserve (56215) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:16AM (#21293089)
        So the application shouldn't show the user anything that they don't already know how to do. When the user wants to do something new

        MS Office does this, with menus that hide unused menu options.

        It is THE WORST innovation in UI design that I can think of, off the top of my head.

        The user wants consistancy more than anything else. The UI should not evolve or change with the user because invariably, the developer will change it in ways the user doesn't expect.

        • by wrook (134116)
          Actually, this isn't quite what I had in mind. In MS Office the items are invisible, yes. But they aren't where the user put them. So when the user learns something new, they move around. Or when the user is searching for new functionality, the old functionality moves.

          Not showing the user functionality they don't need is good IMHO. Not allowing the user to put it somewhere where the user wants is bad. Moving it on them every 30 seconds is insane. The key is that searching for functionality is fundame
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Reziac (43301) *
          On that note, from TFA:

          "By leading people to best practices, we can start deprecating (and later removing) outmoded functionality."

          I totally HATE when apps do that. It's exactly like you say about mutating menus -- what they hide or remove is invariably something I use every day, but now have to either dumbster-dive** for, or find a workaround to replace. This is one major reason why I've become very reluctant to upgrade my major apps.

          ** "Dumbster-dive": having to root around in the bowels of the UI to find
      • My feeling is that these large applications are cluttered and bulky *because* they are designed to work in an integrated way. Instead, the functionality should be separated and the *user* should choose what they want to see and when. If the user wants a "photo touch up" mode then the user can create a mode for it and put all the "photo touch up" tools in it.

        In fact, Photoshop has several different modes and I believe they can be modified and new modes can be added. Those modes remove certain functionality a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        While I can certainly understand why you might want to work that way yourself, I think there might be a few practical difficulties with applying your reasoning more generally.

        For one thing, you mentioned effectively training the user on demand when they need to do new things, but both before-the-fact training and after-the-fact on-line help or support calls work much better if the context is consistent. I notice that the Microsoft Office team — who, for all their sins, are pretty careful about their

    1. everything you need, nothing you don't.
    2. make dramatically more configurable.
    3. I don't expect most users to customize the app--nor should they have to do so
    4. with the power of customizability, we can present solutions via task-oriented workspaces
    5. start deprecating (and later removing) outmoded functionality
    6. polish what's already present

    Yes, no, yes, no, yes, yes. Unfortunately 3. and 4. are direct contradictions

    The Original comments [adobe.com]

  • please don't (Score:2, Interesting)

    by deathtopaulw (1032050)
    this is a bad idea for 2 reasons:
    1) those who use it for real/business reasons will have to completely relearn the interface
    2) it will make it easier for untalented idiots to post their bullshit "art" all over the internet
    • Re:please don't (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RuBLed (995686) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:32AM (#21292291)
      1) This one is inevitable, everything changes sooner or later. Same with old arguments related to old interfaces.

      2) We would not have a shortage of this one. But at least they could make it a notch or two better than bs, either way I'm sure the talented ones would improve also...
  • Ribbon (Score:5, Informative)

    by Poorcku (831174) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:28AM (#21292273) Homepage
    Since I started with Word 2007 (using it on a daily basis) i must say, the ribbon is one of the best new features of Office. It saves me a lot of trouble and it is very intuitive. Maybe that is a good place to start. (now bash me for my Office simphaty :)
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      Actually the ribbon came to mind the instant I read this slashdot story.

      I tried office 2007 beta, and really liked it. I don't see why I should replace my current office XP though, since that still does everything I want.

      That's the problem I think, good as it is, it's expensive, and thus for most people, not good enough to warrant dumping something that still works.
    • by LingNoi (1066278)
      Too bad it's patented and only Microsoft can use it. It pretty much kills them from doing anything even slightly similar.
    • now bash me for my Office simphaty

      That would be "sympathy".


    • by langelgjm (860756)

      I sometimes joke that looking at some parts of the app is like counting the rings in a tree: you can gauge when certain features arrived by the dimensions & style of the dialog.

      Kind of like the "Add Fonts" dialog in Windows? I think they've forgotten about it since 3.1. When I had Vista installed, I didn't check - did they update it?

  • by inflex (123318) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:33AM (#21292297) Homepage Journal
    Must have been all the people in their forums bitching that their interface needed to be more "GIMP" like ;)
  • by jez9999 (618189) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:34AM (#21292301) Homepage Journal
    What I've always wanted is for Photoshop to use several windows for editing! One for tools, another for layers, another for the image, etc. The way Photoshop is, I can't use my window manager to manage the different components of the interface, and that bugs me. I'm unaware of any graphics editing software that does this.
  • use a ribbons!
  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:45AM (#21292365)
    Photoshop is one of those apps where the users (at least the ones who tend to pay for it), graphic designers etc. are usually power users who spend all day with it and make heavy use of keyboard shortcuts and are used to its quirky interface. Changing too much of the UI at once could affect the productivity of a whole lot of people. Not that it matter too much since photoshop is the only choice for them so they'll just have to learn it again but still...
    • As long as the keyboard shortcuts stayed mostly the same, and the pallets/tools didn't change *TOO* dramatically, most of those people will probably be okay with general UI changes... Changing shortcuts around pisses me off... Hell, between Crimson (my fav. text editor), Flash, FlashDevelop, and Visual Studio; I have enough trouble with keeping general shortcut keys straight... let alone having a single app change them on me... I wish editing shortcut keys in an app was simpler, and more intuative... maybe
  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:56AM (#21292413) Homepage Journal

    Few Photoshop profis I knew in past were telling to work effectively in Photoshop (or any other similar application for that matter), you need to learn (1st) keyboard shortcuts and (2nd) plug-ins menu.

    It always seemed to me that Photoshop professionals were unfased by the clutter of its GUI.

    In many aspects, Photoshop is optimized for several workflows and most newcomers work solely within one of such workflows: steep learning isn't much of problem then.

    But probably do-it-all freelancers would be happy with cleaner simpler interface...

    • Exactly right. The quickest way to work in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and to a lesser degree Quark, is to learn the keyboard shortcuts to switch between the tools and to learn the cmd-ctrl-opt-shift modifiers and how to use them. Often I'll open a document in Photoshop, hit the F key to switch to fullscreen mode, then hit the tab key to hide all the pallets. From there I just use the keyboard and mouse to do my work. If I need the pallets I hit the tab key again to bring them up. If I need the toolba
  • by binarybum (468664) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:05AM (#21292455) Homepage
    yes, photoshop is lacking in the wizards department. A few random wizards that pop up second-guessing what you're trying to do and that ask a bunch of silly questions ultimately resulting in the automatic execution of only two or three possible outcomes. Maybe they could even hire clippy to solicit help by drawing upon a database of five or six different help-topics incessantly.
  • Back to basics? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:15AM (#21292505)
    The whole floating windows and palettes system is fiddly and pointless.

    I used to use TV Paint on the Amiga, when you opened up an image it opened pretty much full screen except for a palette on the right. You could hide this with one keypress.

    Professional systems in the past have had this approach, full screen canvass with a palette. Think Quantel Paintbox and the like.

    An artist does not want to have to keep shifting windows around.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Doctor O (549663)

      The whole floating windows and palettes system is fiddly and pointless.

      Quoth the guy who obviously is working on a single-screen layout. Most professionals use two or three screens, and if I can't place the palettes on the second screen, all that space is unused. Floating palettes are *good*, but I agree it should be an option for those left in the dark ages or working on the road on their Macbooks.

      I used to use TV Paint on the Amiga, when you opened up an image it opened pretty much full screen except for a palette on the right. You could hide this with one keypress.

      To get fullscreen in Photoshop, press F. Hide/show palettes with Tab. I'm sure there are menu entries, but I do most commands via the keyboard.

      Professional systems in the past have had this approach, full screen canvass with a palette. Think Quantel Paintbox and the like.

      And Photoshop, see above. Then agai

      • always when I've just run out of mod points :(
        +1 inf

        @GP, flexibility is always going to be more important with such things, if you don't want to move your pallets don't, but what about all the people that do. No one should be so arrogant as to assume that their way is best for everyone, give people choice whenever you can.
        I did regularly have to move pallets around to work properly, testing the new CS3 UI I found I didn't have to as much, they really did a good job with that.

        Photoshop is used for countless
  • by owlnation (858981) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:18AM (#21292519)
    The irony that this product is THE most used among design professionals, and is itself an ugly monstrosity, designed by committee, very badly.

    This has needed to happen for a very long time. Although it does mean that those of us who are professionals are probably going to have retrain to rid ourselves of the esoteric plethora of keyboard shortcuts we've had to learn to use over a long period of time.

    Just one personal gripe about PS in case anyone from Adobe is reading -- why on Earth are the dialog boxes modal? When I open up a dialog box, decide that I need to move the picture underneath to see it better (since dialogue boxes are all sizes under the sun), but I can't do that can I? No, I have to close the dialog box, move the picture, and re-open the dialogue box -- that's just plain dumb!

    Like most people out there, I love what I can do with Photoshop (and most other Adobe apps) but I despise the product. I would jump ship tomorrow for a better product. I don't doubt for one second that I am alone. Adobe needs serious competition. Considering the preposterous cost of their apps, and the fact that they don't make them well, I don't really understand why there's not a long list of competitors, those guys can't be the only ones who know how to code this type of application.
  • John Nack is correct (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:23AM (#21292539) Homepage
    John Nack's ideas are correct. Photoshop still has a lot of problems but the UI is definitely the worst part. Today, this application is where Office 2003 stood a few years ago. Everything was cluttered and Microsoft needed to redesign it badly. They did a great job with Office 2007, and I picture something similar with the next Photoshop.

    I sincerely hope they will implement a skinnable UI. Not that I dislike the current theme, but somtimes when I work with really dark pictures, I would prefer a black menu, not grey. In fact, it would make sense if the UI could adapt its colors to the picture you're working on (user's choice function only, of course). Sometimes the menus are incredibly disturbing because they break the pattern.
  • Adobe, go out and license the Office ribbon. I know I'll get trolled, flamebaited, blah'd for saying that, but the ribbon is task-based and works really, really well in Office. While it may have come from Microsoft, the amount of thought and work put into it has really made a difference to Office; regularly used features are now effortless to find, and some older - but hidden away - features have been made more prominent as to actually be useable. Consequently, the addition of ribbons to Office has not re
  • Believe it or don't, but I still use PaintShopPro v. 7.0 for any photo manipulation, including personal photos, making silly manipulations and the like.

    The interface isn't very good at all, but that's what I know, and once you get used to a system you get used to it. Many end-users (including businesses) don't have the time and/or effort (as has been stated previously) to adapt to a new interface. However, the marketing department is always looking for new customers often moreso than supporting the existi
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mingle (1121231)
      Hi rackrent,

      You're not the only one - I too use good old PSP 7.04.

      After many years of Amiga graphics software - still remember those days fondly - I gave PSP 6 a try and then moved to 7.04. I tried PSP 8.x, but it was getting to look too much like PhotoShop - which I always found to be a bloated, whale of a program. So PSP 7.04 it is! I can do 80-90% of what PhotoShop can do and 110% of what I need.

      Long live PSP 7.x!

      And to all those harden PhotoShop users who're quaking in their booties at the thought of a
      • by Allicorn (175921)
        Amen to that. Also, I hear where you're coming from regarding Amiga paint apps.

        I'm mainly using PSP-X myself. The GUI is, at least, nicely consistent. The fact that PSP-X's scripting/macro system is all Python is very handy too if you happen to be a Python programmer ;-)

        I do find though that when aunts/uncles/grandparents want to do a little dabbling in image processing, PSP-7 is a very good bet. Not the most powerful beastie for sure, but the interface is relatively non-threatening and, in my experience, n
  • by killmofasta (460565) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:56AM (#21292691)
    ok. I want to quality myself as an expert. I have used Photoshop since it was Barney Scan XP. I have been certified twice to teach photoshop, and have taught classes on expert photshop. ( Color models, the layers interface and channels ). I had a hand in the design of the UI for a photoshop competitor, and worked for a year doing UI design/QA on it. ( and compairing to how photoshop worked and/or didnt work. )

    The interface for photoshop has devolved to the point that when they bring out a new version, You NEED to buy the help book. Hell, I do! Things just are so far from being intuitivly obivious, and the guys doing UI design, they used to be good. The early versions from 1.0.7 to 5.5.1 were all fine, but 5.5.1 started to get a bit messy. By CS1(PS8) they were a bit cleaner, but you spent most of your time, thinking that the tool was somewhere else. I remember that I put a note on my wall, as to where I would find things just to rememind me how they had changed. Dont forget that Photoshop 6s color models were extrodinarlly powerfull. You can still do wonders with color control though the workflow, but again, they missed on the UI/explaination. Integration of ImageReady was a tragic mistake.

    So many things could have been made easier, and now a simpler UI is a feature? Sucks Less? Suck how much less? Why did tney screw it up in the first place? FEATURE BLOAT, just like Microsoft word. How hard is it to manage a system of alacarte appliations? Its like Linux trying to integrade the webserver into everything, Like I.E.s integration into windows. Im going to stop here, beause I feel like smashing my computer.

    You want to see simple? Look at Coyote Linux. Simple, small does its job well. a 4k web server!

    Adobe get a CLUE! But the only way they make money is to redecorate the feature list...exactly how car companies sell new cars with diffrent tail lights. every year... diffrent tail lights.
  • by Kamineko (851857) on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:11AM (#21292787)
    I really, really, really, REALLY hope the have the option to switch between any new UI they create and the old one.

    UNLIKE FLASH MX. ._.
    • They bought Flash from Macromedia, who in my opinion made the worst UI in the creative industry. The problem with the macromedia acquisition is that Adobe has to try and find a way to take the Macromedia gimmick UI and make it more Adobe like. After all, the Adobe way IS the industry standard. All Macromedia was doing was trying to be different to stand out. Now that Adobe owns it all, they have a tough challenge in making the old Macromedia programs look liked Adobe programs (*cough*, flash, *cough)
      • by Kamineko (851857)
        Flash 5's interface was all I ever needed: Example. [webdesign-referenz.de] (Although, I would be using this in a higher resolution with the tool palette and the right hand side tabs moved further right as to not obscure the Stage.)

        I don't like the context sensitive rubbish that the later Flashes added; I liked my tools to stay where they were, and I also liked to set unapplicable properties when I have a certain object selected. (I think that you can't change some of the stroke properties or fill properties before you select the
        • Oops, sorry. I actually don't mind Macromedia's Flash UI, it's the other programs that I thought were really awful (like Dreamweaver). Adobe has an interesting problem now in appeasing long time Adobe users like myself who are relatively new to the Flash arena. How do you keep the old tools to keep the old users happy when you have to somehow now make them makes sense in a SUITE of Adobe tools? At work I use Flash, Fireworks, Premiere and Photoshop...often all at the same time on the same project. It d
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:16AM (#21292809) Journal
    Anyone who's ever had a look at their plug-in SDK can tell you that the UI is the least of what they need to overhaul

    -jcr
  • Cocoa? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lisaparratt (752068) on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:27AM (#21292857)
    I wonder if this has been catalysed by the need to move from Carbon to Cocoa for future versions of OS X?
  • Something like this http://www.naked.la/ [naked.la], might provide some inspiration for them. Basically this company is launching a beta tonight of a next generation photo editing toolsuite that includes non destructive and resolution & bitdepth independent editing.

    Apple only unfortunately.
    • by bhima (46039)
      That looks pretty cool, I'm going to try the beta this weekend.

      Thanks
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:51AM (#21292965)

    I've always found Adobe's programs useful, but for some reason I've found their interfaces to be counterintuitive, messy time-wasters. PhotoShop is just the worst of a truly horrible bunch in that respect. I absolutely love what you can do with images in PhotoShop, but I can't count the number of times I've had to get up and walk away from the computer in a rage because something that should be dead-simple is buried where no sane person would look for it.

    I can't wait to see what the re-design looks like. I only wish to hell they'd asked me first. Not that I'm a world-class expert, it's just that I have a feeling some guy from Adobe sneaks in every so often and has Audition or PhotoShop or Acrobat report on how I use them just so the next version can piss me off all over again.

  • The should KEEP the Photoshop UI since it is the standard for graphics professionals. What they should do is standardize the keyboard shortcuts better with the newly acquired Macromedia apps. I've only just started using Flash, but I've noticed that some of the normal Photoshop shortcuts don't work in Flash. Alt+t for Free Transform? Nope, try just the letter Q. Because Q makes sense? Shift key to constrain proportions? Almost. Unlike EVERY other program on the market (thanks to Photoshop v.1.0), when
  • #2 The crappy interface

    #1 The zooming with the scrollwheel does not work as I expect it to and I have not seen any options to customize it to my needs.

    Those two reasons alone keep me from using it and staying with Paint Shop Pro.
  • by DJoy (1112125) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:28AM (#21293149)
    ( a thinly veiled one at that ) to cut down on features as a pre-cursor to moving to their subscription based purchasing. A snr level spokesperson at Adobe laying the groundwork for cutting down on their development budget. The subscription based model means they remove the requirement to innovate continually to get new sales and produce revenue, as with subscription model revenue is a constant stream whether they release new versions or not. Win win for the corporation/shareholder, lose lose for the end user.
  • by andrewagill (700624) on Friday November 09, 2007 @09:45AM (#21293643) Homepage
    Did anyone else see the Adobe Notes [adobe.com] thing? John Nack basically admits that Adobe's help system is useless and wants you to write notes to remind you how to do things in Photoshop.

    Here's a practical example. Let's say you go into Photoshop's Unsharp Mask dialog box. "Amount" is straightforward, but what the hell do "Radius" and "Threshold" mean, exactly?

    I don't know, but you know what should be able to tell me? The help system.
  • oh jesus flash UI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Peganthyrus (713645) on Friday November 09, 2007 @11:57AM (#21295253) Homepage
    If you dig a little, it sounds like they're planning to rewrite most of the UI in Flash. Say goodbye to performance and to looking like a native citizen of your machine. Flash itself went down this route and its CPU requirements have increased astronomically.

    I am really, really keeping an eye on the emerging world of OSX-only lightweight image editors that leverage Core Image. The first one to merge a decent UI (which rules out Pixelmator and its fetish for illegibly-transparent palettes) with something akin to PS's adjustment layers will get my $30-75.
  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Friday November 09, 2007 @04:17PM (#21300019)
    I learned very early on that Photoshop's current UI is excellent if you have two monitors. It is horrible on one monitor. This is a critical point that most people trying to use it on one monitor seem to miss. You need one screen for your image and the other screen for EVERYTHING ELSE.

    I have a nice workspace saved with all the winlets / pallettes broken out and filling up the second screen. Even the new top bar that they have in CSx I put on the right screen across the top, since it is detachable / dockable.

    As another user commented, I am surprised by how good and how well thought out Office 2007's interface is. Usually when you try to contextualize stuff you end up making it frustrating for power users. This has not been the case with Office so far, and I could see Photoshop trying something like that.

    The big pitfall to avoid is making it difficult for power users to have access to all the features all at once. I have every palette activated and arranged on the second monitor, so I have instant access to anything I want at any time. The most used pallettes are on the left, near the edge of the screen that crosses over to the primary monitor.

    Keyboard shortcuts are also key with photoshop, as others have mentioned. There are some REALLY obscure ones, such as CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E to put a flattened copy of active layers into the current layer, but I use that one ALL THE TIME, less so now with the advent of adjustment layers but still frequently.

    I have used Photoshop for everything from broadcast television graphics to high end photo retouching and photo collage work / print layout design. It's like an extension of my being at this point. It will be interesting to see where they go with it. :)

    --Mike

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