I can understand your arguments for changing the UI for future expansion. Please also consider reducing the ‘cognitive’ gap when using u-points (or control points) Right now, with the new UI, one has to scroll to the controls which are “off page”. I often move the u-point around slightly, adjust a parameter slightly, move point around, while observing the effect. The current UI makes this kind of fine tuning very hard.
One option to consider is keeping the UI simple by hiding those controls not in ‘current use’, or not directly related to a control point, when a control point has been selected on screen. I maintain that when a user has selected a control point that’s what they intend to work on. The point becomes active and all the controls for that control point should be “ready to hand”. This would create a form of ‘modal’ interface, and that too has its downsides, but somewhere is a balance between having so many controls that they don’t fit on a screen and having just the ‘current working set’ of controls on screen.
Yes - that’s the “killer” reason for shifting the controls over to the palette … As an important example; it’s not possible, with the current LA controls, to fine-tune slider values with the arrow-keys (and there are, as of now, 30 votes from users requesting this capability).
So the big question for me is if this new UI that separates the control point from its controls finally provides for easy, fine control of the warmth, hue and tint? It frustrates me no end that I cannot adjust warmth in anything less than 160K steps - IF I’m really careful. And that business of dragging out into outer-space to get your finer increments is absurd. It’s like trying to start your car in top gear. I don’t want to upgrade from v3 until that frustration is out of the way for me.
Craig, please tell me something: I also got to know and love control points via Nikon Capture NX and that is why I shifted to PhotoLab when Capture NX2 became defunct but I find the selection with PhotoLab is not as clearly defined as it was with Capture NX2. Is that your experience too?
I posted this comparison some time ago:
I have been using Control Points since I went digital with a Nikon D200 ay back when. . I used Nikon Capture that was based on Control Points with the changes made on the image area. I have tried NIK 4 in Silver efex and Vivesa with control point commands along the side. Yes it is different, but if that change means more or better control of local adjustments for a point on the image, I am OK with it. I also use DXO PL4 Elite, and find using Control Points right on the image area to be difficult sometimes (and my monitor is 30 inches). For me the important thing is getting the sliders to work the best. I can adjust to the location change if needed.
The ability to make quick adjustments right at the control point are one of the primary reasons I’ve bought and used the Nik plugins since they were still with Nik. It’s more intuitive. The tool and controls are right there at the spot you’re looking at changing. Not every adjustment needs the “power/fine tuning” you describe. You don’t have to have every tool appear in the point control. There have been two places to make adjustments for a very long time and it’s never been difficult. Just change the check box in the palette from “show or hide this slider” to “show or hide this function at the control point”. That way the user can limit their most used adjustments on the point interface and allow all the the rest and the fine tuning on the palette. It doesn’t take much “cognitive load” to know which functions are where, especially when it’s set that way by the user. You could always make them all off by default and have a preference toggle that turns them on for those that like them. A much bigger “cognitive load” is the fact that the different tools in the collection are getting interface changes incongruent with each other so now you have to remember how the U-points work in each separate tool rather than how they uniformly work in the collection as a whole. Being that the software is sold only as a collection the least you could have done when selling it as a full version upgrade would have been to upgrade the interface in each tool within the collection so that they were uniform.
I understand your point of view, and changing habits are always something we, as humans, prefer to avoid . Sometimes, to evolve and lay down the future roadmap of a product, you have to change things which were put in place years ago.
But you have a strong point: speaking of a “Collection”, a user might expect (perfectly legitimate) to have access to, according to a dictionary, “a group of objects sharing some particular characteristic or theme that have been brought together…” Even if we may concur that the Nik Collection’s plugins do share a common DNA and some other characteristics, at the moment, they do not fully share their UX/UI. In an ideal world we’ll love to iron out those discrepancies on day one, but realistically it has to be done with incremental steps.
But again, I can absouletly feel your frustration and disappointment.
Only realistically from your perspective, accompanied with a disillusionment about what your customers want and need… Realistically for your customers is a stable (which v4 was not) release with a consistent UX/UI across the collection. And did I mention stable. Oh yeah… I did.
I do agree with you about a consistent UX/UI across the collection, and this is what we aim for.
We are paving the way to achieve that, but it’s not already done: this is a long effort. In an ideal world, we’d love to always bring everything better and immediately, but it’s not always compatible with the reality. You need time and have to schedule your future updates over the next versions…
Having said that, in the real world, users and customers do want (and, of course, 100% deserve) a stable version, and with the latest update, in some cases, this wasn’t delivered! We are currently doubling down to fix what went wrong.
I know, I know, it shouldn’t happen (in the ideal world) in the first place, but unfortunately sometimes, odds play against you.
In such a scenario, the only thing you can do in the real world, is working hard to fix the issue.
That is quite possibly the worst change ever made to a unique tool. all that is required an option in preferences to control the adjustments either at the panel or the point. Then one has a professional tool fit for purpose. To remove the u point sliders is an act of vandalism.
Indeed we are… I am however bemused by the antipathy festering in some quarters … why buy a product with a unique point of differentiation and then proceed to make it look and feel the same as everything else in the market … strange… On my part I have been consistent with my criticism of this ever since it emerged that they had vanished without prior warning and despite the fact that the promotional material for the new version clearly showed the u points sliders very prominently. My criticism is simply on the basis of usability for the many of us who work quickly in a dodge and burn fashion, almost in auto mode without dwelling on images from afar of the screen. Ergonomically speaking I have yet to receive an argument which suggests that the eye and hand coordination, particularly or large screens is somehow improved by the removal of the sliders from the points. Instead all I have had back, have been comments about moving with times, new technology and and a fair bit of waffle. All of those changes, could and should been able to be controlled either from the panel or the siders. These are simply handles that control the tech, they are not THE tech. It would not be beyond the wit of a technology brand to offer customisation at the preferences panel and even dimming of points not being manipulated. Then one would have a truly flexible tool
I have no wish to debate this further. As I said - we are all entitled to an opinion. We all see things differently. A product cannot be all things to all people, so business/development decisions have to be made. There will inevitably be dissenters.
Photoshop is all things to all people some users use a bit some a bit more. Customisation is a trend beyond one sector of commerce, it allows diversity and brings in multiple income streams…myopic narrowing of possibilities is not a good strategy for any brand
I agree with colin_g. The change of UI is overdue. Yes, some people will be upset, that is inevitable, but the current UI is from around 2007 and much has changed in the software industry. DXO must be able to develop software to compete with the competition and sticking to a 14 year old UI which has space and UI/UX limitations, would hinder development.
To give an example of where the competition is, Capture One now has the Magic Brush which selects on colour and luminosity much like U-Points.Then you can use many more tools to make adjustments on the selection then U-Points offers because C1 uses a standard UI where the normal tools work on layers/selections. Progress is necessary, as users we need to accept this and support changes that are inevitable.
I have never been a fan of the on screen sliders in the Nik Collection so their loss is not an issue for me. However, I’ve softened my complete opposition to them and suggest that an option be implemented so that the onscreen sliders will be available to those who prefer them.
Nikon’s NX Studio software has U–Point/Control point functionality with both on screen sliders and identical right panel sliders. I recently downloaded NX Studio to use with my new Nikon Z fc camera because its raw files are not yet supported by Photolab. In NX Studio the onscreen sliders can’t be hidden as far as I can tell, but I still use just the right panel sliders to make adjustments.
If the Nik Collection, and future versions of Photolab, had the option to display and hide the U-Point (Control point) sliders on screen for those who want them, as well as panel sliders, everyone would be happy. It would seem like a win-win to me.