New VS user, help with the interface?

  • @Boldline Yes. Or would a(n optional) tooltip tied to the cursor be too much?


  • @b77 That feels like overkill to me. I'm not even a big fan of Affinity's model for doing that. Personally I feel like just listing the name and super pithy description is sufficient and then have a robust documentation pdf that explains more than what is in the current documentation. One small example of this for me is more use of the "breadcrumb" map- showing the steps to get to a certain item ie: Panels>Editing>Guidelines

    If @vectoradmin made available to the most dedicated VS forum members, the current documentation in a google docs shared file for example, could we all contribute to its expansion? Then at some point the developer could go in and copy and paste applicable new information and reworked sections to better expound on topics?

  • @b77

    Well, it might be difficult to choose what to mention and
    what not to mention. For me, a short note like "Double-click
    on Ellipse Tool for more Options" would already be enough

  • @Boldline

    You are right, the option for the Ellipse tool can be found
    by looking in the help file. But nowhere before is even the
    slightest hint that this option exists.

    Here is a picture of how easy it is in CorelDraw to find out
    such things. Create a circle. Look in the context sensitive
    toolbar. Done.

    0_1638981115340_Toolbar Corel.png

    Anyway, when I look up functions, my first path is not to
    look at the documentation. First I look in the
    contexsensitive toolbar. Then in the Menu > Objects.
    But I am someone who looks at the documentation bit by bit.
    However, I don't like that the help is only online and only works with Google search.
    ( Have already in a thread to vectoradmin suggested an offline (PDF ?) version. )

    If b77 hadn't posted this tip, I wouldn't have known about
    this option until today.

  • I work closely with usability specialists every day and I remember when we didn't. If I could only let them help VS for a months.

    But contrary to a stubborn company in Nottingham, leaving suggestions for VS results in an instant response and often in changes in the user interface.

    An observation I made this week that fits perfectly into this post is:

    If I select a new shape/tool: Context sensitive toolbar is currently updated to reflect a selected shape AFTER drawing the shape. The context toolbar should change to reflect the active tool every time I select a new tool.

    Consider UI update:
    This is a love or hate feature, so probably a preference: when a tool is selected, auto-show or activate the panel with further settings for the tool/shape. At least consider how to let the interface link the tool and the panel and help the user to discover it and use it in a workflow. Naturally. Of couse this shouldn't be necessary if the context toolbar (instantly) offers the relevant and most used features which I much prefer to the above automation.

  • @Subpath I agree, having buttons for each Ellipse mode, followed by their specific settings, all immediately visible in the context bar when you select the tool (thanks @Ingolf for pointing that) could be a solution:


    Some parameters would be shared among all modes, others will change depending on the mode.

    @Ingolf In my opinion this approach might be better than having the panel with the shape settings pop automatically when you select one of these tools.

  • @Ingolf In my opinion this approach might be better than having the panel with the shape settings pop automatically when you select one of these tools.


  • @b77 said in New VS user, help with the interface?:

    @Ingolf In my opinion this approach might be better than having the panel with the shape settings pop automatically when you select one of these tools.

    I agree that the contextual menu could/should be more dynamic, but I like the way the setup of things is now with a double click on the toolbar menu to bring up the panel for that tool for fine tuning settings.
    One of the things new users often mention is the idea that the UI of VS is busy and overwhelming. I can't imagine adding more to the contextual menu bar helps de-clutter the UI.
    Like I've said before, once you learn certain behaviors in VS, you can assume they carry over into the rest of the program. So knowing a double-click brings up a bunch of extra controls for the specified tool, you can safely assume that is built in to most other toolbar tools, etc

  • @GlassWorkshop Sorry for hijacking your threadโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Boldline Invoking the settings window/panel with a double-click on the tool and having special buttons for the different modes of the shape and its specific settings can both coexist.

    Also, I didnโ€™t want to suggest the developer should cram all the settings of each mode in the context bar at the top โ€” just the most relevant are needed.
    The special button to access them all in the settings panel should definitely stay, and also the double-click on the icon in the toolbox/single click on the canvas.

    I could say that the advantage of the visual buttons is that you don't need to consult the documentation for advanced or "hidden" features. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @b77 no worrys mate,. Im all back of the bus and paying attention to the conversations.. thanks for the latest video ..

  • Maybe a single button could be enough ?
    Something like this "Opt." ?

    Ore first alternative:
    A hint in the tooltips I still find a quite good idea.
    This would leave the interface as it is.

    Ore second alternative:
    Maybe a special ToolTip/Help mode for new user would
    be possible ? Which you can switch on and off in
    the preferences.

  • @Subpath Do you mean something else that the button that opens the Ellipse settings?


  • @b77

    Yes, exactly such a button. Thanks!
    I "swear" I was looking and searching, for something like that.

  • Common methodology:

    • Activate tool

    • Context bar updates to show essential options for this tool

    • Context bar has open panel button if a panel exists for this tool (far right)

    • If several panels are relevant (I doubt it, but if, button is dropdown with relevant panels listed, focus!)

    • Context bar has options button (far right)

    • Probably access to some of these features available via right click menu (for full screen work)

    • no double click on toolbar for other options, non-standard, certified confusing and often not discovered method

    • Keep it simple

    • Keep options within the workflow UI (see above)

  • @Ingolf

    Looks like a really usefull List.
    I guess that List is for UI-Design.