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Adobe to Unclutter Photoshop UI

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the time-for-a-facelift dept.

Graphics 403

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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403 comments

Inspiration for new UI (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292101)

Inspiration for new UI can be found here [blogspot.com]

(I kid, I kid)

Re:Inspiration for new UI (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292147)

All joking aside, the Photoshop interface has been in need of an update for years. It'd be really nice to see a Linux version too, while they're fixing previous mistakes.

Re:Inspiration for new UI (5, Insightful)

mpathy (1067128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292685)

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.

Re:Inspiration for new UI (5, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293101)

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?

Re:Inspiration for new UI (1, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293099)

huh, you think gimp has a better ui? give me a fucking break it's a nightmare

No one? (1, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292129)

No one wants to work with -- or work on -- some shambling, bloated monster of a program.

Then how do they find people to work on Windows?

yes, they need to make it more like the GIMP :-) (5, Funny)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292133)

the Photoshop UI always confuses folk like me. They should drop CMYK support while they are at it.

Wht would they drop CMYK ? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292197)

CMYK is used for creating Pre-press output. Ok, not for Amateuts maybe buy the people in graphics shops use this all the time.
Perhap they need an expert level settings? CYMK enabled if you select Advanced user.

Oh silly me. They have done this already. For beginners, there is Elements...

Re:Wht would they drop CMYK ? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292625)

Ok, not for Amateuts maybe buy the people in graphics shops use this all the time.

Are Amateuts some kind of Aleut?

If they are, I suppose it make sense for them to buy their people in graphics shops. Warmer than an igloo, that's for sure.

Adobe knows UI design? (2, Interesting)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292151)

I'm still using 5.5 most of the time because I didn't like the last major overhaul with 6.0.

Never mind a new UI (5, Interesting)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292159)

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:Never mind a new UI (1, Interesting)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292323)

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/scanning' options, but with OS built in utilities that do scanning automatically, why 'reach through photoshop' to get to your scanner.

PS I agree more of Photoshop needs to be threaded out better with its UI and is one reason I often find myself in other applications for simple edits.

Another thing that 'kills' me is that Photoshop won't allow itself to run multiple copies at a time. This is like some crazy hold over from the 1980s single application metaphor.

Less powerful editing software like Corel Photo-Paint behaves like a modern application, and I sometimes will go back to it because I can have 5 or 6 copies of it running at the same time and working between them. What is so hard about the idea of having more than one copy of Photoshop running at a time?

Re:Never mind a new UI (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292387)

Why would you want to run multiple copies of Photoshop at the same time? There really isn't anything to gain from it but interface clutter and redundancy.

Re:Never mind a new UI (5, Informative)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292581)

The reason to run multiple copies is to scan and work at the same time. ( Scan, Edit, Print ). I run multiple copies at the same time, on diffrent machines. ( image production stations are set ups as ( fast littke hD space for scanning( I used the bunduled scanner softwarem, but there is also an educational versions there, from when I was a studient), EDIT is the fastest( 1st copy of photoshop upgraded from 1.0.7, Medium HD space, Print is slowest( Second copy of Photoshop purchased new ver 5.0.4), and a slow machine with an increadible amount of space for versions, backups, and FTP. ( No copy ).

I can scan and print while Im editing. and clients can browse the FTP site and can see work in progress.

Set yourself up right, and you can do a lot. ( Oh.. btw, the scanbox, printbox and server are all 1U sustems. They all fit under the 10/100 hub. ) The EDIT station is a 4U unit, and its all rack mounted. My Main screen is a SONY 21" and my tools pallette is some old bezarre IBM flat screen.

I am thinking of upgradeing to Photoshop CS2, but they want a lot for the upgrade, and I figure that IF I need to do raw color work, more than I am, I can get CS2 for like $250.

Did you ver think to scan into Photoshop Elements? or have ImageReady still installed?

Oh.. The reason you cannot run multiple copies of Photoshop at the same time? Two actually, 1. When its running it has to have full access to the graphic drivers for performance reasons. You want Photoshop to run as fast as possible right? When you switch it to backround, it freezes the GDI, and realeases its exclusive hold. Same with the file system your swap drive is on. It takes almost direct control of the filesystem on the swap drive, again for performance reasons.

Also scanning. Oh Jeez this is going to get technical...ok...There are two types of Photoshop Plugins, PIMI and PITI. The PIMI plugins all run inside of Photoshops memory space. A PITI plug in can allocate memory space outside photoshos memory space. It used to be that KPT powertools, and Mr Sa'ki's plugins were the only PITI plugins besides... ready? Scanner plugins. Scanner Plugins and the TWAIN interface have to be PITI plugins because when an image is being scanned, photoshop cannot allocate the memory for it from its space beforehand. Its left for the PITI plugin to allocate memory dynamically while its scanning. Ever notice how scanning a file, and saving it is a LOT slower than opening a file and saving it? And its not just the scanning part thats slower. its because a PITI plugin does not have full access to the filesystem. Did you get all that?
There are now 4 plugin types. but its not pertinant to this discussion.

BTW, everything I know about this technology I learned from the author of Mr Sa'ki's plugins.

You are running a seperate HD for swap space arent you? Yes?

Re:Never mind a new UI (4, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292555)

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.

Re:Never mind a new UI (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293003)

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. ;)

That is not Photoshop - that is your computer (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292447)

You CAN do that if you set your scanning application to scan your slides directly into files on the disk, and work in Photoshop while that runs in the background.
Which is the way you should be doing in the first place - scan to disk, not scan to Photoshop.

Now... when this might not work?

If your scanner does not support something like this - like if you have an old flatbed SCSI or parallel relic.
Get a new USB/Firewire scanner.

Or if you are blowing up slides to insane (a perfectly normal thing) proportions like from a 35mm slide to a B2 poster size.
Then you might have problems with your computer - working on large files might be hard because of all of those megabytes streaming through your USB port.

Which is why it is not wise to do that in the first place - not because it might slow you down while working in Photoshop.
Hell... you can always just stop for a second when that happens.
Its because your Photoshop work might overburden your computer and it might take a second or two to "think it over".
The scanner does not have those two seconds - it keeps goin' over the images with constant speed.

Now... do you really need to risk half or all your images coming out messed up just so you could save some idle work cycles?

But... there is a solution.
Get a cheap machine and a half decent monitor and set them up as a scanning/file server.
Dump images there, and copy them to your Photoshop station over the network.

Re:That is not Photoshop - that is your computer (3, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292615)

To you, "dual core" is what you've got left over after you've eaten two apples.

You have leftovers from your apples? (2, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292829)

Kids these days...

In my time, we were lucky if we had any apples, let alone two.
Two apples? Only for a birthday. If you have been good the whole year. Maybe.

Throwing away perfectly good apple core? Vandalism!

That is not Photoshop - that's your computer...not (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292633)

Only it is Photoshop, because that's the way he's doing it. The advantage of scanning directly into Photoshop is that it isn't saved to either an intermediary lossy or huge file and it is ready for you to work on in your interface once it has scanned. The majority of scanners I have used scan to JPEG to keep the colour at the slight loss of quality, which might not always be acceptable.

Photoshop's scanning seems to be modal for arbitrary reasons. Whether you want to scan to disk or scan and edit then with faster processors, more memory and dual core being common, why not take advantage and make things that don't have to be modal into non-modal operations? If your rig can't handle it then just don't do anything while the non-modal dialog completes and everyone is happy.

Re:That is not Photoshop - that's your computer... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292777)

The majority of scanners I have used scan to JPEG to keep the colour at the slight loss of quality, which might not always be acceptable.
They scan that way because someone set them up that way.
You can always switch to a lossless or LZW (still lossless) TIFF - which is what you SHOULD be doing if you are going for the quality.

BTW - scanning to JPEG means that it is the software that saves the file - not a direct stream from the scanner.
To save a JPEG, image first has to be complete in the memory - then saved with lossy compression.

TIFF allows (on professional scanners) for image to be streamed to the disk as it is scanned - one line at a time.

As for scanning directly into Photoshop...
What the GP said was "scanning slides". Plural.

On some higher quality (now even some cheap new ones) scanners you can set up multiple scans, each with their own size modifications, resolutions, sharpening, on-scanner color correction (very important when scanning slides done on different films) - and just hit "SCAN ALL".
You don't get one image scanned - you get up to 40 images, one after the other.

Now... being those are slides you are scanning you are probably blowing them up (not resizing in Photoshop... that is just adding pixels... talking higher resolutions here) to poster sizes.
It is never wise to scan couple of GB of images into a application.

Not to mention cases like "UPS! Your computer just crashed. What? You didn't save all those images? Tough luck."

Re:Never mind a new UI (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292907)

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 function is sufficient.

Good News (5, Insightful)

bazald (886779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292165)

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 (5, Insightful)

wrook (134116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292461)

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.

Re:Good News (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292701)

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:Good News (1)

tarks (529856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292941)

Sounds a bit like the Emacs. You have to actively go looking for a specific functionality if you want to use it. If you do not, it is invisible and you are not distracted by it. And finally, if you are a power user you can customize everything to your hearts desire.

Re:Good News (2, Interesting)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293031)

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 versions on windows, and the people coming into the trade who have only ever used GUI based OS'es. They all want to do everything by clicking on a menu to get at the command. While I still know all of the 2 letter shortcuts for the most used commands. I keep my right hand on the mouse, my left on the keyboard, and can work away without having to keep moving the cursor away from the part of the screen where I'm working. Makes things so much faster. Oh yea, and now I've got dual 19" displays.

Re:Good News (4, Insightful)

Illserve (56215) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Good News (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293111)

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 and alters what is immediately available. But that alone is not enough - there is still a lot of wasted screen estate and things are harder, less efficient and less intuitive to do than they should be.

bi2natcH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292209)

work th9a7 you of OpenBSD versus numbers continue

true (0, Offtopic)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292233)

3ds MAX comes to mind.

I'm talking to you, AutoDesk.  Your competitors are getting better and better, and with more modern interfaces.  It's not your fault your the oldest--but it is your problem.  Pick the best of your competitor's interfaces, and steal it.

Feel free to contact me to do this for you.  I gaurantee that with your functionality and a modern interface, you will be unchallenged again for another ten years.

Re:true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292263)

3ds MAX isn't the oldest. Indeed, it is one of the younger of the major 3D products.

Those design thoughts in brief (1)

giafly (926567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292243)

  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]

Re:Those design thoughts in brief (3, Insightful)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292295)

#3 Means "provide good defaults so regular users don't have to mess around with UI customization".

Re:Those design thoughts in brief (1, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292927)

Careful there - this is an open source kind of place, we don't want no heretics in here.

User configurable image editing? Ah, yes... (-1, Offtopic)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292249)

You're all invited to try out, and share, if you like, WinImages. It's free to download and there are no restrictions on your tryout other than technical support - unpaid copies don't get any. WinImages is an extremely powerful image editing and manipulation suite with a strong emphasis on layered image handling and efficient tool interaction.

With regard to the subject at hand, we've offered user configurable tool caddies for years now. You can select any tool that suits you for any particular type of job, drag it into a new or already populated tool caddy, name the resulting tool set, and save it for (re)use at any time. Adding a tool is as simple as drag and drop.

WinImages operates under Windows 98 and up, under Parallels or Bootcamp under OS X, and I suspect it probably works fine under Wine though I don't actually know that.

If you would like a copy, use the contact form here [blackbeltsystems.com] (except between 2:00 am and 2:30 am MST) and provide us with your name and your email. We'll use the email to send you your download information, and nothing else unless you contact us and tell us otherwise. Your name goes in the registration info for the program - and to anyone you give the program and registration info to (which is perfectly OK to do - just give 'em the whole thing so they're aren't w/o the docs or a properly working install, etc.) Or you can give 'em the program/installation and tell them to get their own free code from us, if that suits you better.

Re:User configurable image editing? Ah, yes... (2, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292963)

Oh yes, it certainly is "offtopic" to talk about an already existing configurable interface on a commercial image editing program in an article about a commercial image editing program's luminary writing about contemplating and preparing for a change to a configurable interface. Um-hmm. The humor is beyond the moderators, I'm sure. :-)

But what is even funnier is that this post [slashdot.org], which describes exactly how Winimages works, is modded +3 insightful. Yet when I posted that we had already done this along with an invitation to try it for free... zap. You gotta love the mouth-breathers.

This, people, is precisely why you need to read slashdot at -1. It certainly is why I read at -1.

please don't (2, Interesting)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292255)

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 (3, Insightful)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292273)

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 :)

Re:Ribbon (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292309)

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.

Re:Ribbon (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292485)

Too bad it's patented and only Microsoft can use it. It pretty much kills them from doing anything even slightly similar.

Re:Ribbon (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292509)

If you are competing against word , excel....etc. then yes, it would be royalty based but not forbidden to use. But photoshop is not a competitor in the Office market - and that would make it royalty free (according to Microsoft). Besides, the patent is problematic because of prior art.

Finally a good SW patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292853)

I want the Ribbon to be contained and not spread.

Really if MSFT had left my menus in place (or at least the option to display them, even it wasn't the default) I would be OK with the ribbon. But as it is forced down my throat I became a lot less happy about it.

The keyboard shortcuts are long gone. Especially the ones you kind-of knew but not by heart.

The Ribbon is great for people that hit spacebar 209 times to tab over, but for those us well acquainted with Word it is a fucking reset.

Re:Ribbon (1)

trenien (974611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292937)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong - I've never used nor even seen anything of msoffice 2007 except for a few pictures here and there. As far as I understand, it's interface groups various commands by relevant task and makes each of these accessible through what is, essentially, tabs.

If I got it right, could someone explain to me how a patent on such a thing could have any hope of standing up in court?

Finally, it happens... (4, Funny)

inflex (123318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292297)

Must have been all the people in their forums bitching that their interface needed to be more "GIMP" like ;)

I've always wanted... (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292301)

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.

Re:I've always wanted... (1)

slart42 (694765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292351)

Isn't that exactly what PS is like (at least on my mac)? Or is there some subtle humour i didn't get?

Re:I've always wanted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292473)

GIMP is like this too, even on Windows and Mac OS X.

Just don't change shortcuts (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#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...

Re:Just don't change shortcuts (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292457)

Because if they have to relearn an interface, many will switch to Gimp. Gimp 2.4 is just fine for over 99% of what is done in Photoshop, even for professionals. The only reason that people continue using Photoshop is familiarity with the UI. Same with MS Office vs. Open Office and IE6 vs. [Firefox||IE7]. Each suite has it's merits, the paid for suites aren't nesseccarily (how the fuck do you spell that?) better (or worse) than the free ones, yet they are continually bought and pirated.

It's all in the UI, baby.

Re:Just don't change shortcuts (2, Interesting)

AgNO3 (878843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292689)

No GIMP SUCKS I try it every new version. Please you can't even easily change brush sizes and spacing without digging down through several windows. F that. I do this all day every day. I try all the new programs. I even used Film Gimp on a couple of movies because it was my only choice to paint in 32bpc. F THAT. I am so sick on NON PROFESSIONALS saying how good gimp is. OK maybe for some web bullshit but not for real retouching, pre-press or video work. Jesus I can load film clips right into photoshop now do my paint fixes on my FRAMES in a video layer then kick them back out and right into SHAKE OR NUKE OR FUSION OR FLAME. Do that in Gimp. Obviously for pre-press its useless since no CMYK OR SPOT COLOR support. Really just shut the fuck up I am sick of reading this bull shit. I have been doing retouching longer then anyone on slashdot I would bet. Started doing physical image retouching with perless water colors in the 80's then Imaginator workstations in 1988. GIMP BLOWS. I hate adobe I still use Live picture as much as I can. I was part of the Design Team for xRes at Macromedia. I know what I am talking about.

Re:Just don't change shortcuts (1)

networkz (27842) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292817)

I think that was a really good troll. If not, you're quite the nut case that needs locking up pronto! Aneurysm coming soon?

Re:Just don't change shortcuts (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292991)

Whoa there. CMYK? Pre-press? Are you actually talking about printing stuff onto physical THINGS? We don't do that anymore since we have this new fangled thing called a monitor. Trust me, I can even program a vcr. I know what I am talking about.

Re:Just don't change shortcuts (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292847)

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 some preference defaults based on other common/older applications would be a good call for many programs that may have users coming from another app with similar purpose. Hell, I kind of wish they'd all settle on a shortcut for search and search+replace... F3, ctrl+h/r/s??? wtf! ... at least ctrl+x/c/v is common enough at this point... thanks for some small blessings.

Keyboard shortcuts? (4, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292413)

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...

Don't let him near it! (1)

telchine (719345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292433)

This guy uses underlines for things other than links on his web site.

I, therefore, think he's the last person in the world who should discuss how to improve a UI.

Photoshop interface sucks. Picasa does not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292443)

I've been using Photoshop since v1.0. The interface has always sucked.

I know why they're doing this: They took a hard look at Picasa, which is what I use 95% of the time for my own photos. Can you hear me now, Adobe? Photoshop professionals are using Picasa.

Why can I get beautiful, professional, artistic results in seconds with Picasa that would require weeks of training to even understand how to achieve in Photoshop? That is one of the questions Adobe needs to answer.

needs more wizards (3, Funny)

binarybum (468664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292455)

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.

100 times better than gimp (-1, Troll)

greggman (102198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292471)

even with it's current interface it's still 100 times better than the gIMP

Re:100 times better than gimp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292789)

I find it amusing you got modded Redundant rather than Offtopic or Flamebait.

It means what you said, that the GIMP is not a scratch upon on Photoshop, is so obvious to everyone it not worthy to be included in this conversation.

Please fix the installer while you're at it (-1, Offtopic)

nlogax (709388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292503)

I recently installed CS3, I checked Photoshop and Illustrator in the installer. Imagine my surprise when, apart from the additional Adobe crap I never asked for, I suddenly have two Opera browsers, in addition to the one I installed myself, for a grand total of three Operas. Hiding inside the Bridge CS3.app and Device Central.app packages, sniping torrent files, showing up in menues etc. Uh oh, now Photoshop is beachballing like crazy because I tried to "Save for Web & Devices"... I think it's on to me.

Back to basics? (2, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Hit TAB... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292635)

An artist does not want to have to keep shifting windows around.
But he/she might.

Like... I have this huge image opened, it has tons of layers that interact with each other, and I am trying to achieve a certain effect.
Or I am presenting multiple versions of the same design to a customer.

So I open the file, blow it up full screen, zoom on the details I want to present and then... I start turning layers on and off.
Now... If I could not move the palettes around, I would have to move the image around constantly. And if that image is a couple of hundred MBs, and couple of dozen layers... that might take some time to show on screen properly. Palette is much easier to move (and redraw on screen) right or left.

Not to mention all those people that like their tools on the right, or their palettes on the left, or what ever.

Re:Back to basics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292667)

You can hide all the tools in Photoshop by pressing TAB and adjust editing area by pressing F

g

Re:Back to basics? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292837)

Those of us that do use Photoshop on a bread and butter basis often have multiple displays or large ones, where room isn't much of an issue. Those 'fiddly' floating windows and palettes enables us to keep things handy, obvious and arranged to our convenience. Not everyone plays Arteest on a laptop where screen real estate is at a premium and they have to pop palettes off and on all the time. We're usually trying to do work; not hunt for things we use all the time. You're right about that, "An artist does not want to have to keep shifting windows around," nor do we want to have to dock palettes or hunt for dialogs.

I read the article and have mixed feelings about this. Ever since Adobe bent to the Windows model and stuck that omnipresent, non-optional [DELETED} options bar duo-menu in 7.0 (even if it did eventually become optional in later versions) the thought of them performing a total re-tooling of the UI brings a faint feeling of dread to me. Uniformity, clarity and shortcuts, even a completely different scheme, might be nice, but I've witnessed too many applications spruce up the interface into a stylish waster of time and uniform bringer of confusion, all forced to fit the author's individual vision of usefulness rather than the user's.

As for TV Paint for the Amiga: I take it you're still using that? {p.s. if you ever do finally use Photoshop, try hitting 'tab')

Re:Back to basics? (2, Informative)

Doctor O (549663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293091)

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 again, comparing Photoshop to a Paintbox is like comparing a Lada to a Ferrari.

An artist does not want to have to keep shifting windows around.
I agree, and I haven't seen anyone shifting windows around for years, except for the initial setup after getting a new machine with a new version of Photoshop. Then again, I'm only working with professionals who have professional screen setups. Even the road warriors with their notebooks leave their preferred palette positions alone and switch them on/off via Tab.

Just.. Please... (1)

chanchao (1017920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292515)


But please, *********** NO RIBBONS ***************! !

And whatever you change, make sure the old interface is still available.

Long, long overdue... (3, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 (5, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292539)

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.

Re:John Nack is correct (1)

michaelknauf (830252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292607)

why don't you just get the ui out of the way? the Tab key hides the floating pallets, and the f key toggles between grey and black backgrounds...

Re:John Nack is correct (1)

maestroX (1061960) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292737)

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.
Actually the first productive argument I've ever heard for skins.

Easy fix... (1)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292541)

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 removed any of its functionality, but it has removed the 'bloated' feelign of the interface, exactly where Photoshop needs to go. Now back to my first sentence; whether Adobe licenses it is irrelevant. They just need perform the same exercise as Microsoft and reach some similar conclusions.

PaintShopPro? (1)

rackrent (160690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292585)

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 existing ones, so this is not a surprising move on Adobe's part.

Re:PaintShopPro? (2, Insightful)

mingle (1121231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292643)

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 redesigned GUI - just stick with your current version! Just because an app gets updated doesn't mean you NEED to upgrade, particularly if it does what you need it to!

niGga (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292639)

you nned to succeed

Brainstorm (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292687)

Okay, Many users has always blamed Gimp UI, i just love it because it is intuitive and very clear and does things how you exept them to be done. (Still it miss few great things like smart objects what came on CS3 and smart layers what came PS 7(?)).

Now many users need to wakeup to that fact, Photoshop UI is more terrible than Gimp. Because Gimp does not try to be UI for everyone and for every task. It just try to be good photomanipulation application. No 3D, No video and so on. (You can add those edits with plugins).

Now we need open brainstorm to get better UI for photoshop users like gimp has http://gimp-brainstorm.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] . To get ideas from new users and old users. Photoshop UI should change to be better. There are stupid ways to do things, like almoust every edit goes trough image > adjustments, EVEN it would be done for layer or for selection. On gimp, this is done via menu color or tools. Image menu always does what you exept to be done for image and layer to layer. You dont do something to layer via image menu. And Gimp is better because it does not mix image and canvas meaning.

Like if you open 3 pictures to same picture in photoshop, everyone has own layer. Why you need to still edit them as "image" when you edit layer (gimp edits it as layer) and you edit image as "image". And you edit canvas as "image". No sense at all.

By usability in view, photoshop gets worse points vs Gimp. But by technical view, it gets better points (because 16/32bit and faster preview).

Now, lets hope Adobe gets better UI what could make SENSE.

ps. There is more 'stupid' usability errors on photoshop than Gimp, not because there are more options. Because Photoshop tryes to be best for everyones. Gimp allows very good customazion, it just rocks with good windowmanager (like compiz-fusion) because you have floating windows and dockers, you can have many pictures open and still you find what you want very fast. But it still has many entrys on taskbar!

Photoshops UI, from an Expert. (5, Interesting)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

I thought TURTLE was cool... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292753)

Why can't I manipulate graphics with text commands any more?

Hmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21292765)

Why do some comments have a black border around them?

Take a note from Flash (2, Insightful)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#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. ._.

Re:Take a note from Flash (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293039)

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)

Don't stop at the UI. (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292809)

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? (3, Interesting)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292857)

I wonder if this has been catalysed by the need to move from Carbon to Cocoa for future versions of OS X?

CS3 is hardly similar to new tail-lights (1)

director_mr (1144369) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292873)

Ability to refine edges and quick select alone made the upgrade for me worthwhile. I question your self-proclaimed power user status if you can't recognize the improvements they've made over time. I would rather jump in a lake than go back from CS3 to CS2. Anything before Adobe 7 would GREATLY improve my workload to the point I would need twice the time to do anything.

Naked Light (1)

jilles (20976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292945)

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.

Re:Naked Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21293053)

Interesting concepts. Can this be realized using GEGL?

If I didn't need it for work... (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Forget Photoshop, work on the newly acquired (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293119)

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 you constrain proportions, the image anchors and then grows/shrinks proportionately. But in Flash, you have to hold down the shift key AND the ALT key to keep the image in the same spot as you resize, otherwise it resizes all sides based around the center point instead of an anchored point. I know Macromedia always tried to stand out, since they were always second best to Adobe products, but their UI was just dumb in most cases. Hopefully Adobe will do a better job of integrating Macromedia tools with version2 of everything. Siderant: why have Dreamweaver AND GoLive now? Kill one and integrate the best features into the other.
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