Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Nov 2007 10:12 UTC, submitted by wakeupneo
Graphics, User Interfaces Adobe Systems wants to transform its flagship Photoshop software with an interface customized to the task at hand, a potentially radical revamp for software whose power today is hidden behind hundreds of menu options. A new user interface will help Photoshop become "everything you need, nothing you don't," said Photoshop product manager John Nack, describing aspirations for the Photoshop overhaul on his blog Monday. "We must make Photoshop dramatically more configurable," Nack said. "Presenting the same user experience to a photographer as we do to a radiologist, as to a Web designer, as to a prepress guy, is kind of absurd... With the power of customizability, we can present solutions via task-oriented workspaces," Nack said.
Order by: Score:
Classic Mode
by PLan on Wed 7th Nov 2007 10:39 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

My guess is that after Adobe have finished messing about with the Photoshop interface the first thing most users will do is to look for the menu option that allows them to switch back to "Classic" mode.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Classic Mode
by sard on Wed 7th Nov 2007 10:50 UTC in reply to "Classic Mode"
sard Member since:
2005-11-16

A la Office 2007.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Classic Mode
by google_ninja on Wed 7th Nov 2007 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Classic Mode"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I find the only people that bitch about the Ribbon UI are those that haven't used it. I really wish MS would extend it to Visual Studio.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Classic Mode
by systyrant on Wed 7th Nov 2007 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Classic Mode"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

I don't care for Microsoft Office, but I did like the Ribbon.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Classic Mode
by prokoudine on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Classic Mode"
prokoudine Member since:
2005-08-09

> I find the only people that bitch about the Ribbon UI are those that haven't used it.

Well, I was official MS Office 2007 beta-tester and I don't like Ribbon. What gives? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Classic Mode
by google_ninja on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Classic Mode"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Sorry, I'll correct myself.

The VAST majority of people who use the Ribbon UI very quickly start to love it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Classic Mode
by buff on Wed 7th Nov 2007 11:00 UTC in reply to "Classic Mode"
buff Member since:
2005-11-12

I love the classic mode idea. Let's hope they keep that option around but I doubt it will exist. This seems to be the new trend for flagship software: revamp the UI when you can't figure out what new features to add to sell a new version. The other day I was watching someone give a powerpoint presentation and they were hunting for the fullscreen slideshow button on the ribbon. It appeared more awkward for the person to use. I wonder how much usability studies truly factor into these decisions. Is it really that much easier to use?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Classic Mode
by CPUGuy on Wed 7th Nov 2007 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Classic Mode"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

The idea is that the ribbon changes to meet the task that you are currently doing. So if you making a table, then the options for tables are prominent.
This is instead of just having your favorite/most used functions cluttering up the bar, which can get cluttered very quickly.

A usability study doesn't really make sense until someone actually gets comfortable with the new UI.

A couple of studies that can be done is seeing how quickly someone can pick up the old-style UI compared to picking up the new style UI.
Or how quickly someone can work being comfortable with both UIs.

People just simply have to learn/train on the new way to use the given application.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Classic Mode
by stestagg on Thu 8th Nov 2007 09:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Classic Mode"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

This is instead of just having your favorite/most used functions cluttering up the bar.

That's right, having your favourite/most used functions readily available is really not such a great idea. If you hide all the functions that poeple find most useful, they they will have an excuse to lower their productivity, and get paid more for doing the same ammount of work.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[4]: Classic Mode
by CPUGuy on Thu 8th Nov 2007 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Classic Mode"
it ain't broke
by netean on Wed 7th Nov 2007 10:40 UTC
netean
Member since:
2006-01-08

don't fix something that isn't broke.

Photoshop works fine as it is...

Reply Score: 4

RE: it ain't broke
by DittoBox on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:25 UTC in reply to "it ain't broke"
DittoBox Member since:
2005-07-08

As a daily user of both Photoshop and of Lightroom, I have to disagree.

Maybe leave something there for classic mode but I would love a better interface. In fact something resembling a nodes/Shake interface for setting up layers, effects, styles etc would be nice. A better file browser a la Lightroom and perhaps a pre-press setup designed to make cropping and guide layout easier.

Then transfer this interface as best as possible to InDesign and Illustrator (the other two programs I use everyday).

What I need is something that makes being creative easier. Distractions and problems like trying to locate files, add the proper guides, moving around layers and doing tedious layer and effect swapping (even with actions), exporting etc are things that slow down my creative process and make my day longer.

Leave classic mode there, but do try to improve what's there!

Reply Score: 4

RE: it ain't broke
by Googol on Wed 7th Nov 2007 21:03 UTC in reply to "it ain't broke"
Googol Member since:
2006-11-24

That must be the reason then why people requested features that PS already had ten years ago... ;)

Seriously, only because it works does not mean it could work way better.

Reply Score: 1

People will use what they're used to using.
by cmost on Wed 7th Nov 2007 10:58 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I know several Graphics Designers who use older versions of design software because that's what they know. It's similar to why most of the world uses Windows and shies away from anything new (or different.) If one has the luxury of time to explore a newly redesigned interface and fully assess new features, etc., fine. Most people, however, want to be immediately productive. They don't have time to search through new interfaces looking for once familiar features. These people will avoid a major redesign of their favorite design software like the plague.

Reply Score: 3

Touvan Member since:
2006-09-01

That's true enough for established users. But Adobe really should take the advice of some at MS of all places (can't remember the blog post), and start to look at how to get new people on their platform.

For the established user base, I agree that they need to retain the current interface. But for new users, a more customized, and streamlined interface could really help them get up to speed much more quickly.

The trick will be how to get the old users, using their classic interface, to be able to interact with the new users, with their newer multiple customized interfaces, in a constructive way. And that will be some trick.

I think Flex Builder has been an attempt to do just that for engineering style Flash development. They also seem to be working on one that caters to designers, though I'd love to see one focused on the php/javascript/ajax crowd's "hacker" style workflow (Javascript 2.0/ECMA 4 seems very promising for those guys, I can't wait) - maybe a Dreamweaver revamp, or even a Dreamweaver plugin for Eclipse/Flex Builder 2+ - along with some tools for dealing with the platforms that Adobe participates in, but doesn't drive, like SVG and xhtml/css/ecmascript4.

/wandering thoughts

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Amen. It always makes me laugh when some of the more dogmatic FLOSS advocates write things like "Oh, but you can just use GIMP instead." That's no different from dismissing preference for the UNIX shell by saying "Oh, you can just use CMD.EXE instead" - that would be fundamentally unthinkable for the majority of folks who parrot the "GIMP is comparable to Photoshop" meme. Yet I would wager that the typical hardcore Photoshop user has spent at least as much time learning the habits of proficiency specific to their tool of choice (if not more - I've worked with people who are faster with Photoshop keyboard shortcuts than many folks are with touch-typing).

Reply Score: 2

Ribbons
by duckie on Wed 7th Nov 2007 11:10 UTC
duckie
Member since:
2006-04-10

Ribbons, yay!

And yes, i actually belive that would work great.

Reply Score: 2

Ribbons
by allo2u on Wed 7th Nov 2007 11:58 UTC
allo2u
Member since:
2006-03-20

Personally my attitude towards those ribbon-like interfaces as become more and more positive, after getting used to it, it works great, as long as you keep shortcut keys. A Photoshop version with both ribbon and classic interfaces would be great for me.

Does anybody know about any OSS developments in this area? I would be delighted if a DE like gnome or KDE would carry out this idea. Or are there any patents withholding such a development?

Hmm seems there has been quite a lot of work on this already: http://digg.com/linux_unix/Mono_developer_brings_the_Ribbon_interfa...

Edited 2007-11-07 12:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

They should port to a new toolkit too
by kragil on Wed 7th Nov 2007 12:03 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I think QT would be best ... with their Mac codebase not being future proof they must port anyways.
And i think those 6-7K US$ they have to pay per developer would be a good investment.

( My hidden agenda is a native Linux port ;) .. then they would see how much cheaper one multiplatform codebase is and port all their appz ...
awwwwww ... life could be sweet XD )

Reply Score: 3

memson Member since:
2006-01-01

But Qt uses the Carbon API under MacOS X and Carbon is dead. Yay, future proof your products (not)!

Reply Score: 2

tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Trolltech Qt 4.4/4.5
http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2007/10/qt-roadmap.html

Qt for Cocoa: 64-bit Mac version based on the Cocoa API

Reply Score: 6

axel Member since:
2006-02-04

They'll probably re-use/adapt the lua-gui code from lightroom, which if they have a public interface for could mean the ability for users to completely re-write the UI to suite their needs be it classic mode or what ever. Ah pipe dreams.

Reply Score: 1

Brmbolec Member since:
2005-07-23

If you want Photoshop on Linux, take a look at Pixel image editor. That will do it I guess.

Reply Score: 1

gimp
by FunkyELF on Wed 7th Nov 2007 12:37 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

lets see them copy the UI from the gimp. Then people could stop complaining that the gimp's UI isn't like photoshop's ;-)

Reply Score: 8

RE: gimp
by bannor99 on Wed 7th Nov 2007 12:54 UTC in reply to "gimp"
bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

That's what I thought!! And those praise
GimpShop for its Photoshop-like interface now have
an upgrade path - to classic Gimp

Reply Score: 2

RE: gimp
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Nov 2007 14:16 UTC in reply to "gimp"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

People don't hate GIMP's interface because it is different to Photoshop, its the fact that the interface just plain well sucks. Many of us are willing to learn new things, we're not going to tolerate, however, badly laid out GUI's designed by a cadre of programmers who don't like the input of usability experts.

Reply Score: 5

RE: gimp
by backdoc on Wed 7th Nov 2007 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE: gimp"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

I'm not a great GIMP user (I just get by). Having said that, I don't see why people don't like the interface for the GIMP.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: gimp
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Nov 2007 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: gimp"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Easy, first problem - bloody menu's everywhere for starters. Do we really need to have a menu on every damn window? honestly?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: gimp
by Coxy on Wed 7th Nov 2007 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: gimp"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

Plus the thousand floating palettes. Dock them, that's what I say.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: gimp
by somebody on Wed 7th Nov 2007 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: gimp"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Plus the thousand floating palettes. Dock them, that's what I say.

And which year was it on calendar when you last looked at gimp?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: gimp
by somebody on Wed 7th Nov 2007 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE: gimp"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Many of us are willing to learn new things, we're not going to tolerate, however, badly laid out GUI's designed by a cadre of programmers who don't like the input of usability experts.

And many of us would like it just the way it was.

A little background on me first. I was using Photoshop until I moved to Gimp (yes, cmyk I don't need), mostly because Photoshop interface and multiple monitors (read more than 2) plain sucks (or even better, not possible in any sane way). I like Gimp interface. And the fact that I would personally kill the one who designed the work with damn alpha f***ing channels. You could say I left Photoshop because of its interface.

And now here we are at standoff. Will Gimp go with interface for you who hasn't used it and screw me as old user (who still thinks that gimps interface is the best thing since sliced bread was invented)? Or will it go other way?

First a bit truth here. Even if Gimp changes interface there is still a chance you'll end up not using it. Lack of this, lack of that, Photoshop does this differently... But at the same time I would stop using it if change would be back to Photoshop for me. I would simply go with Cinepaint (no I don't need any function like vanishing point, etc).
But if they don't change interface... I will still be using it, you'll still bitch...

In my opinion last thing that any project needs is drastic interface change. Risk is just too big.

Any way, one will get screwed. But, neither me, nor you will play any role in that.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: gimp
by DeadFishMan on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE: gimp"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Would you mind mentioning who are these "usability experts"? I'm just asking this because applications like GIMP and Blender have taken a lot of flak from armchair "usability experts" for years that think that they truly understand UI design and yet come up with suggestions like "make it look like Photoshop" or "Photoshop does it differently" (replace Photoshop with Maya/Lightwave/whatever in Blender's case) ignoring completely earlier design decisions and strengths of these tools that lead to their UIs' current state.

I am not saying that the developers cannot or that they should not try to improve but just that the noise comes primarily from these self-appointed "experts" that get upset when the developers - who are truly experienced people in their respective fields, even if they might lack some sensibility when designing GUIs - ignore their gibberish with a reasonable argument.

My advice for people that are truly interested to help their favorite applications to improve is to get involved with the project through the proper means, joining the mailing lists and following the discussions closely and try to align their suggestions with the overall vision of the project instead of just dropping an e-mail on the mailing list and then venting their frustration on internet bulletin boards. And to keep in mind that they're not the first ones to suggest Fitt's Law, spatial memories and the likes: I am pretty sure that most projects are well aware of these methodologies by now... XD

Edited 2007-11-07 19:23

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: gimp
by prokoudine on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: gimp"
prokoudine Member since:
2005-08-09

> Would you mind mentioning who are these "usability experts"?

http://gui.gimp.org

This work has only started and you won't see results of tehir worj in any stable version of the application below. For instance, the rectangle tools in 2.4 are result of their work in collaboration with GIMP developers.

Reply Score: 2

Use features of sister apps
by RavinRay on Wed 7th Nov 2007 12:50 UTC
RavinRay
Member since:
2005-11-26

I have PhotoDeluxe, Photoshop 4, jumped straight to Photoshop 7, Photoshop LE, and got my hands on Photoshop Elements 1 and 2. Some features of PhotoDeluxe and Elements could come in handy.

Reply Score: 1

MDI
by mono on Wed 7th Nov 2007 13:01 UTC
mono
Member since:
2005-10-19

First things first! Just forget this MDI (Multiple Document Interface) model for Photoshop (and other CS apps). I really hate it. I can't find the windows with alt-tab / Flip3D. On Mac OS X you can use Exposť, and that's great but i'll never switch to Mac only because of Adobe.
In CS2 they introduced some fake method so users are able to move MDI child windows outside of the parent window but that's totally agressive. In CS3 these child windows now look like real parent windows but they are fake as well and don't show up on the taskbar / alt-tab.

In the popular irc client, mIRC, user has the possibility to dismiss MDI - the child windows can bet set to show on desktop. That would be nice from Adobe too.

I just don't understand why they force this MDI model when Microsoft itself doesn't recommend it for years now. I've read at the Adobeforums that they don't want to fill the taskbar with windows... now how's stupid is that! Taskbar can group windows...

I would kill for non-MDI Adobe apps. Period.

Edited 2007-11-07 13:15

Reply Score: 2

RE: MDI
by pandronic on Wed 7th Nov 2007 13:40 UTC in reply to "MDI"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I love having all my images inside one Photoshop window and not cluttering my taskbar. For the same reason I love tabbed browsing - all my internet needs are satisfied in one window. This is why I love Pidgin - all my conversations in one window. And I could go on.

IMO it's better to focus on tasks (like editing photos, or browsing the internet) instead of focusing on documents. Which sounds better - having in your taskbar 10 pictures you work on, 15 webpages and 5 conversations or just Photoshop, Firefox and Pidgin?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: MDI
by mono on Wed 7th Nov 2007 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE: MDI"
mono Member since:
2005-10-19

It depends on how much documents you have opened in one task.
The tabbed interface of Firefox is different because you have a clear feedback what tabs are open. If you look at the taskbar you might think it's a tabbar as well. They are ok.
But look at Photoshop, usually i have 10 or more images opened and i just can't find them easily. There should be an inner document-switcher in Photoshop at least...
I know there is 'Tile' in the Window menu of Photoshop but i hate it. I won't let Photoshop to resize and tile my windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: MDI
by B. Janssen on Wed 7th Nov 2007 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MDI"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

GIMP offers an "Images" dialog that displays all opened images in a handy tab or float. I would be surprised if PS didn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MDI
by eggs on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:33 UTC in reply to "MDI"
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

You can do ctrl + tab to cycle through open documents.

Reply Score: 3

I've got a better idea.
by w00dst0ck on Wed 7th Nov 2007 13:34 UTC
w00dst0ck
Member since:
2006-02-01

Why don't they use this opportunity to overhaul PS and make a native BSD/Linux port while their at it. Or even just a Linux port because even then it would work on the *BSD's through the compat layer.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I've got a better idea.
by bousozoku on Sun 11th Nov 2007 21:36 UTC in reply to "I've got a better idea."
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

Adobe won't go to Linux until there is one user interface available and metrics are precise. They've been burned enough by trying to make their software work with Windows.

They used to have a UNIX version of Photoshop because Apple had a Mac environment for UNIX. Of course, if GNUStep was strong enough, Adobe could possibly port their work to use it.

Reply Score: 1

more customers
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 7th Nov 2007 14:08 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I am sure they want to do this because they think if they make it easier to use, more people will use it. They are wrong! 99% of the users will not learn most of Photoshop's features no matter what UI they use. It just has more functionality then they need. For the 1% of us that use it for our work, we will take the time to learn it and will be willing to pay the cost of a program that will give us all the tools we need. Why piss off the 1% that pays you when most of the casual users you are trying to attract will simply get it for free from a warez site? Makes no sense. Put more effort into Photoshop Elements if you want more customers.

Reply Score: 2

Lame
by Xaero_Vincent on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:25 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

I'm currently taking a Photoshop course in college.

It sounds like all this money spent was for nothing.

Reply Score: 2

Heh
by Brmbolec on Wed 7th Nov 2007 19:51 UTC
Brmbolec
Member since:
2005-07-23

Now what apps like Pixel http://www.kanzelsberger.com are going to do? Copy it again or bring something even more inovative?

Reply Score: 1

Ha
by nevali on Wed 7th Nov 2007 20:47 UTC
nevali
Member since:
2006-10-12

So, this is how they're going to quietly discontinue Fireworks. I knew it.

Our designer won't be happy, but I will (the sooner he stops sending me bastardised PNGs instead of PSDs, I'll be happy).

Reply Score: 2

walnut tree
Member since:
2005-11-15

I've always felt that Adobe's products have horrible, clunky user interfaces. Microsoft (rightly) gets criticised for the usability of its products, but I'm always surprised that Adobe receives so little criticism.

In every product, they recycle the same tired floating palette interface. Everything is crammed into a never-ending profusion of dialog boxes, floating palettes and pop-out panels.

The main Adobe product I use at work is Illustrator. It's undoubtedly powerful, but the interface is awful and so inelegant.

Xara ( www.xara.com ) is an excellent example of an illustration program that doesn't copy the Illustrator interface and beats it hands down in the usability stakes.

Most people gravitate towards Adobe products because they are considered the "industry standard", but that certainly doesn't mean they're the best of their kind. Frankly, all of Adobe's products could do with a UI overhaul!

Edited 2007-11-07 21:10

Reply Score: 3

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I personally used to love Freehand better than Illustrator. I found it more straight forward. I also hate the adobe interface and really don't understand why so many swear by it. The actual interface has changed very little from when the program was first created. Fireworks was coming along nicely until Adobe had to mess it up.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. I remember searching in PhotoShop 5 for 15 minutes to find out how to draw a rectangle with a black border. Then I tried doing it in Corel PhotoPaint and found it in about 15 seconds.

Actually, I think PhotoPaint is on the whole underrated. It's too bad Corel seems like it might be abandoning it for Paint Shop Pro, but I guess that makes sense since that's the more popular program.

Reply Score: 2

850csi Member since:
2007-11-11

Agreed. Photo-Paint's interface was light years ahead of Photoshop in 1997. Remarkably, those old versions still put CS3's interface to shame.

Feature-wise, Photo-Paint was neck and neck with PS until a few years ago- but then Corel stopped competing for the pro market and development has languished ever since.

I now use PS exclusively because of its power- but it was sheer torture to learn.

Edited 2007-11-12 00:12

Reply Score: 1

Vis/Vapourware Interface Synthesiser
by rajj on Wed 7th Nov 2007 22:32 UTC
rajj
Member since:
2005-07-06

Perhaps they should read Tuomo Valkonen's paper on the subject. He seems to have the right idea concerning application/interface separation and end user customization for multiple UI paradigms.

Let everyone have their own interface, and then the whole usability debate is over. You have your style sheet and I have mine.

This is a major reason why I hate Flash applications. With well written XML/CSS, I can and do write my own style sheets so I don't have to suffer from someone else's design paradigm.

Reply Score: 1

Cocoa
by Pseudo Cyborg on Wed 7th Nov 2007 23:24 UTC
Pseudo Cyborg
Member since:
2005-07-09

There are plenty of reasons why Adobe would need to consider this route and all of them are necessary.

Apple is depreciating Carbon. Adobe needs to make as full of a transition to Cocoa as possible. Adobe's interface with Photoshop (et al) is becoming increasingly cluttered. Context-Aware/Sensitive Applications increase workflow, and reduce clutter and perceived bloat.

This is all evolutionary. With an overhaul like this they can really create a proper suite rather than trying to glue applications together with gum. This will benefit everyone.

Reply Score: 2