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4.0 Feedback: First 10 min with 4.0


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Hi!

 

I thought I would just give my initial gut reaction to the 4.0 version I just downloaded.

 

I am not a image/picture guru in any way and only have limited experience with previous versions, Instead I'm a windows software developer and has been so for 20+ years so I know what happens when you are involved in a project and I know you tend to get "blind" for some of the stuff a new user might seem find confusing or unclear.

 

So please don't take this as negative criticism and instead just the opinions of a non-graphic-windows-developer.

(well, OK, the moving of the cursor is rally criticism, that's really passing the line B) )

 

  1. Couldn't find Options/Settings
    With an "old" menu like the one in 4.0 I would expect Options to be on the tools menu...but there where not even a tools menu!, so I looked on the edit menu where it used to be way back...but not there either...and not in the files menu...Then I found it way off to the right.
    1. All commands/options should be accessible from the menus, putting settings like that on the right will confuse a lot of people.
    2. I can not reach Settings with only the keyboard, a big no-no in my book.
    3. Always try to do stuff the way people expect them to work, use "The Principle of least astonishment" whenever possible.
       
  2. MDI/SDI and Multiple images
    It took me a while to figure out what the little "stamp" in the menu was.

    Traditionally working with more than one file in windows was handled by just starting a new instance of the program and that was it. Later on MDI (Multi Document Interface) was introduced and let you have sub-windows within your main window, where each window could could be a new document (or a different view the same document, or combinations). The previous version where now referred to as Single Document Interface (SDI). Later versions of for example Office moved away from the MDI approach since it was too "advanced" for "normal" users and kind of went back to the SDI approach, where it now looks like there are, for example, many instances of MS Word running when you have several documents open.
    Modern Windows now groups the same program under one "button" in the taskbar and lets the user see the content of the different "instances" by hovering over them.

    The way this is doen in Paint.net 4.0 is compleatly new and does not resemble anything I have seen before. So in my opinion, there has to be a very, VERY good reason to go and do something that is so completely different from everything else. Because when you do this users will be frustrated when they for example, cannot put one image on one their left screen and another one on their right screen. Or why they don't see the different open images when they hover over the taskbar as they kind of do for any other program they have installed.  And even though the application displays a good overview of opened images when you hover over the taskbar, you don't get a similar functionality with the classical ALT+TAB which many users use since it gives a very good overview of all opened documents.
    So picking a completely new way to do something that has evolved since the late 80-ies is a big responsibility.
     
  3. The Settings Dialog
    First, never ever move my cursor (mouse-pointer)!!!  There is a mouse-setting in the control-panel in windows to position the cursor over the default button in a dialog. Users will use that if they want their cursor moved. The cursor position is READ_ONLY!!
    1. User Interface
      Perhaps an explanation in a tooltip what the different checkboxes actually do, and why you would want to select/not select an option.
       
    2. Tools "tab"
      The flowing-layout needs to know which elements belong together so that it moves all the stuff to a new line as a unit. As it is now it can be very hard to understand/see how different things in there relate to each other.  Perhaps one setting should always be on a line of it's own to remove any confusion on what label/setting (or part of a setting) belongs to what.
       
  4. No Gamma levels?
    I couldn't find any way of changing what I believe is called Gamma (again, not a graphing/photo editor)...perhaps it is in one of the curves or levels tools....but I am not really sure how to use them....a gamma level modification tool (like setting gamma in a game) would be good I think.
     
  5. Text
    Perhaps this is by design, but when I wrote text it kind of become one with the picture, and I couldn't move it around...like it does in MS Paint...I guess I am doing something wrong because I can't see why I wouldn't want to select the text afterwards and perhaps move it or change the font or whatever...
     
  6. Selection
    At some point I managed to get some kind of rectangular selection and it started living it's own life.  I never understood how it worked...I could move it around, rotate it and stuff...even move it outside the picture...perhaps this is correct and would be perfectly good/obvious for someone working with graphics....but when I move a selection in Word or Excel the data kind of follows....not just the area of the selection.....it seemed strange....but again, I'm a developer...
     
  7. View - Menu
    Can't find a way to hide or show the different utility windows, like the history or the toolbox....why they are not here I can't understand.  By only having them as "strange" buttons to the right, again, makes it impossible to turn them on/off by use of the standard way to interact with the menu in Windows.

 

OK, I'm sure I am missing a lot and that some of this will be understood when I click around a bit more....this is my initial impression after using 4.0 for 10 minutes.

 

/NUN

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GoSub: The time I took writing the above was longer than the automatic-inactive-user-logout-timer, which made my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels when I got an "post denied" message and noway of recovering the text...well, with some clever (if I may say it myself...and I may B)  )  use of fiddler and F5 I managed to recover the text.  But really, when something goes wrong in a post involving a textarea of any kind, you at the very least have to re-display the text back to the user.  This is the very least you can do.  And if you are worried about malicious code/text (which you always should be), then just html encode it before displaying it back.

I am not sure that just saying it didn't work and throw the submitted data away is ever the correct way to go.

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Hello.

Welcome to the forums. :)

 

For starters, I'm not sure what other programs you are using for defining "normal" but Paint.NET is not Photoshop. It is much closer to the classic MS Paint program, but with the ability for layers, and a long history of undos, plus it has lots and lots of plugins (some of which mimic photoshop abilities).

 

* For text, be sure to make any text on it's own layer, however take note that text is not editable once it is committed. You can move text by the nub when writing it, or after it's made you can select it with a selection tool and move it with the move selected pixels tool. This document is a little outdated, but it should still help, see more about text here : http://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/TextTool.html

* For the selection tools, I would suggest you get to know them and then hopefully you'll understand them. Here's an idea, play with them on actual pictures. Open up a picture on a new layer, turn the "Background" layer to a funny color, then test out the selection tools, plus the move selected pixels tool, on the top layer to help you figure out what they do. ;)

* For the settings window, there is a hotkey for it, hover over the settings icon and it's tool tip should tell you it's hotkey. For the tools window, colors window, etc, the icons in the upper right corner are for toggling those windows on and off. Again, they also have hotkeys.

 

----------------------------------------

About when you timmed out when writing your post, tips :

When you start signing into the forums, there should be a check box to click to stay logged in.

For some posts, write them in a writing programe on your PC first, then copy/paste it into the forum reply/post box.

Also, I think these forums do have an auto save feature, so check your profile for that too.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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7. Use F5, F6, F7 & F8

1. I think the cog icon is fairly universally accepted as the settings/options icon. Its just a little different, not impossible to get your head around.

5. Always put text on its own layer. Then you can move the layer.

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GoSub: The time I took writing the above was longer than the automatic-inactive-user-logout-timer, which made my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels when I got an "post denied" message and noway of recovering the text...well, with some clever (if I may say it myself...and I may B)  )  use of fiddler and F5 I managed to recover the text.  But really, when something goes wrong in a post involving a textarea of any kind, you at the very least have to re-display the text back to the user.  This is the very least you can do.  And if you are worried about malicious code/text (which you always should be), then just html encode it before displaying it back.

I am not sure that just saying it didn't work and throw the submitted data away is ever the correct way to go.

 

We actually rent the forum software from a company called IPB.  You'll have to take it up with them.

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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GoSub: The time I took writing the above was longer than the automatic-inactive-user-logout-timer, which made my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels when I got an "post denied" message and noway of recovering the text...well, with some clever (if I may say it myself...and I may B)  )  use of fiddler and F5 I managed to recover the text.  But really, when something goes wrong in a post involving a textarea of any kind, you at the very least have to re-display the text back to the user.  This is the very least you can do.  And if you are worried about malicious code/text (which you always should be), then just html encode it before displaying it back.

I am not sure that just saying it didn't work and throw the submitted data away is ever the correct way to go.

 

 

http://getlazarus.com/download

 

Form recovery! Invaluable when websites inevitably malfunction.

 

 

My number one annoyance so far - I see they've cleaned up the top panel, leaving it rather bleak... All the wasted space at the top of the screen with no way to customize it annoys me. No magnifying glass and zoom level buttons up there, which I used all the time. I never ever ever used the magnifying glass tool on the tools panel (it's worthless except for novices IMO) - I only used Ctrl+Mousewheel to zoom, and then used the dropdown list if I wanted an exact percentage. (or the buttons beside it to jump to an exact percentage) The dropdown list is gone (just a text box now), and I preferred it up top. Just my opinion, but the status bar is for info only - all the mouse accessible controls should be clustered fairly close together for mouse movement efficiency... not way over in the opposite corner of the screen.

 

VmQjVZJ.png

 

https://i.imgur.com/VmQjVZJ.png

 

 

I'm not fond of graphical only buttons, but the gear or a wrench is logical enough for settings. I'm not ready to declare the author crazy yet, unless he follows in the footsteps of Firefox and Chrome, Windows and Android. Replacing something logical with say... a horizontal line or three, which absolutely nobody thinks to click on is a fine example of crazy. What would follow after that? Why, the company publishing productivity studies citing that the best interfaces are responsive ones that give users clues such as outlines, tooltips, mini descriptions, etc., and then said companies removing such features (no highlighting animation or button outline visible) to "clean up" the UI even further. Y'know, "this is most productive, so lets do the opposite." That's crazy, and that's your favourite OS vendor and favourite worldwide search leader at work for you.

 

-BikeHelmet

post-89933-0-73054500-1404630326_thumb.p

Edited by BikeHelmet
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I'm not fond of graphical only buttons, but the gear or a wrench is logical enough for settings. I'm not ready to declare the author crazy yet, unless he follows in the footsteps of Firefox and Chrome, Windows and Android. Replacing something logical with say... a horizontal line or three, which absolutely nobody thinks to click on is a fine example of crazy.

That's called "hamburger menus," and is actually quite well accepted as good interface design.

Do you actually have a point, or are you just griping?

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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That's called "hamburger menus," and is actually quite well accepted as good interface design.

Do you actually have a point, or are you just griping?

 

I fix computers for people (primary income) - so right there I'm dealing with those that are not power users.

 

Regardless, perhaps 5% (if that) figure out the menu button in Chrome and Firefox. It's actually the main gripe that I hear. ("Where the hell did the menus go!? I hate [Chrome, Firefox] ever since it updated!")

 

Most drift back to IE because they can't find the print option, so now a chunk of my time is just explaining where things went. Yet when it was a wrench, or there were fallback menus to use... no problem.

 

Someone working with a paint program is probably a bit more technically savvy, but still - I can't believe how many users the main web browsers ostracized by using 'hamburger menus'.

 

It doesn't bug me, as I figured it out immediately - but I do pass judgement based on the number of struggling users that I see. (Out of hundreds, a very high percentage.) Try to think of who your target user is before making an interface change - in the case of Chrome and Firefox, it's everyone. They are not catering to everyone.

 

The number one complaint that I hear of with iOS and Android is that people can't figure out where the trash, archive/move-to, etc. options are in the email. The icons are plainly visible, but people look at them and don't understand them. They don't seem to understand that they are buttons, and don't understand the symbols. It's unfathomable for anyone posting on this board, because we are so far beyond that - unless you deal with it daily like I do. Luckily in Samsung tablets, you can just hit the menu button to get all the options available in text form, which everyone can easily understand.

 

I think some people are not as proficient with devices as us, and we're not even cluing in. I can look at a screen and take in everything within miliseconds - but I suspect a lot of users are still at the stage I was at when I bought my first car. I got in, then I had to look around for about 5 minutes before I "saw" everything on the console. (Quite a few minutes before my brain processed all the input.) With symbols and icons, not all people are at the 'glance once, process immediately' stage - but everyone in North America should have pretty strong language skills, so unless facing a disability like dyslexia, text gets processed immediately by most people's brains.

 

 

O_o oooooookay .....

 

Yeah, I might be one of those drop-in crazy 'hit-n-run' forum posters, or I might have a point based on what I observe within my own life. You're the dev - do what you will with my feedback.

 

-BikeHelmet

Edited by BikeHelmet
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You're assuming a lot of negative things about my design process and you're not exactly trying to give me the benefit of the doubt on anything. You have a high and mighty attitude about your opinion and are not treating me with respect.

 

I'm not ready to declare the author crazy yet...

 

Just leave. You are not welcome here.

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

Donations are always appreciated! https://www.getpaint.net/donate.html

forumSig_bmwE60.jpg

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You're assuming a lot of negative things about my design process and you're not exactly trying to give me the benefit of the doubt on anything. You have a high and mighty attitude about your opinion and are not treating me with respect.

 

 

 

 

Just leave. You are not welcome here.

 

I'm sorry - my writing style clearly offended you. I wrote it pretty late at night, so that probably contributed to its lack of tact. I'll stop pestering you - but I do want to be clear that any negative tone you picked up was not intentional.

 

I love your program (why else would I be using it?), but I'm probably falling into the common trap of 'being the most critical of the things we use the most.'

 

Keep up the hard work - it's much appreciated by many people, even if they don't say it - or drop in and say the opposite. (Whoops)

 

-BikeHelmet

 

Edited by BikeHelmet
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Thanks, sorry, it's hard to tell sometimes -- I get a lot of e-mails from people treating me like a customer service representative at Wal-Mart or something (no offense to anyone who is, I just mean you get walked all over with "the customer is always right" entitlement). There really aren't that many UI changes in 4.0 and the ones I made were very carefully chosen in order to simplify and consolidate things. I assure you it's not crazy. A lot of people get irked when tiny things change and they don't bother to even try taking a few minutes to learn it.

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

Donations are always appreciated! https://www.getpaint.net/donate.html

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I get a lot of e-mails from people treating me like a customer service representative at Wal-Mart or something (no offense to anyone who is, I just mean you get walked all over with "the customer is always right" entitlement).

 

There really aren't that many UI changes in 4.0 and the ones I made were very carefully chosen in order to simplify and consolidate things. I assure you it's not crazy. A lot of people get irked when tiny things change and they don't bother to even try taking a few minutes to learn it.

 

Oh, you don't have to tell me. I had to start taking written instructions with most repair jobs to protect myself, as quite often customers demand something (Like three separate antivirus programs - against my advice/recommendation - "It will cause blue screens of death, system reboots, extremely slow performance, etc.; they are known not to work properly together."), and then when delivered as requested, they want you to correct it on your dime/time. 'The customer is always right' is an annoying attitude, especially when they don't understand what they're asking for, and if I came off like that... gah... seppuku! (Not really - but I am in the service industry. I'm all too familiar with that. I'm rereading my post now, and... gah. I bungled that one.)

 

Note to self: Resist urge post late at night. Hold off and re-read when morning arrives.

 

 

Also, I didn't call you crazy - I said I was not ready to call you crazy. I implied the Firefox devs are crazy. I see now I should've selected a more positive wording!

 

In regards to Firefox, I've watched them over the years remove features, cause users confusion and anguish, then re-implement the same feature 3-5 years later as an improvement. I think they have too many cooks with hands over the fire. In Chrome I witnessed first hand the confusion that the wrench becoming a 'hamburger' caused, and now I'm witnessing confusion over the Firefox button disappearing in place of a 'hamburger' on the opposite edge of the screen. But if Mozilla holds true to pattern, 3-5 years from now it'll revert to something else (like a logo or Firefox button), right on time to confuse the average user yet again.

 

 

It sounds like the changes you've made to PDN's interface are important to properly support the features you've lined up and are lining up. GOOD - that's a great reason to make changes! I like the reasoning behind the floodfill changes. People will learn it over time and be fine. I also like that I can see which file corresponds to which effect now, as locating a crashy plugin via trial and error would've been more time consuming than necessary. But please consider carefully when making changes that require relearning, but do not actually enhance features, as those are far more likely to irritate users. (Doubly so if it was something that they used regularly.) Firefox and Chrome are great case studies for that since they're on 2/3 PCs, and Win8 lacking a start menu and proper 'classic desktop' mode is another great one to analyze. Win8's start menu is almost the sole negative cited against Win8/8.1, and the main reason a fine OS gets smeared so much in reviews and articles - lacking a capable start menu and a way to set the Desktop as the main interface. (Classic Shell to the rescue!)

 

-BikeHelmet

Edited by BikeHelmet
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BikeHelmet, bear in mind that as a computer repair professional you're dealing with people at the lowest level of computer understanding.  Remember, Google did months of focus testing and quality assurance before changing the shade of blue they use by just a few hues.  They did years of testing and review before editing their logo by two pixels.  They have data that suggests that people prefer the screen real estate gains inherent in putting everything on one line, and they have data that proves that they don't lose users from switching it from a wrench (inexact, since they use it for not only settings but actions and diagnostics as well) to a "hamburger" (more correct for its final function).  They have hundreds of thousands of data and diagnostic points, interaction studies, visual heat maps, hands-on studies, and market research crossing market segments, age groups, cultural demographics and locations.  All you have are anecdotal stories from several dozen people who are already frustratedly having trouble with their computers anyway and want nothing more than to just complain.

 

With Firefox, you may have more of a point, but speaking as someone with friends working at Mozilla, the hundreds of changes that happen are sent through so many quality checkpoints that work they accomplish in July often won't be seen in a final end-user product until December, so it's not exactly a fast-and-dirty job.

 

So your customers, while understandably frustrated (and frustrating, I've worked IT also), don't necessarily represent an accurate bellwether of public sentiment.

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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So your customers, while understandably frustrated (and frustrating, I've worked IT also), don't necessarily represent an accurate bellwether of public sentiment.

 

Very, very true.

 

With Firefox, you may have more of a point, but speaking as someone with friends working at Mozilla, the hundreds of changes that happen are sent through so many quality checkpoints that work they accomplish in July often won't be seen in a final end-user product until December, so it's not exactly a fast-and-dirty job.

 

Oh, I agree - it takes a while for anything to make it through the QA process. I used to participate on bugzilla, but after seeing poor changes pushed through only to be revised, then revised again, then finally revised close to the original suggestion... well, I grew tired of having too many cooks with hands over the fire. Much respect to your friends, if they can tolerate that environment. It's probably better on the inside than it was as an 'anonymous' bugzilla poster.

 

 

BikeHelmet, bear in mind that as a computer repair professional you're dealing with people at the lowest level of computer understanding.  Remember, Google did months of focus testing and quality assurance before changing the shade of blue they use by just a few hues.  They did years of testing and review before editing their logo by two pixels.  They have data that suggests that people prefer the screen real estate gains inherent in putting everything on one line, and they have data that proves that they don't lose users from switching it from a wrench (inexact, since they use it for not only settings but actions and diagnostics as well) to a "hamburger" (more correct for its final function).  They have hundreds of thousands of data and diagnostic points, interaction studies, visual heat maps, hands-on studies, and market research crossing market segments, age groups, cultural demographics and locations.  All you have are anecdotal stories from several dozen people who are already frustratedly having trouble with their computers anyway and want nothing more than to just complain.

 

Yeah, I mentioned that in my post - target user matters. PDN users are going to be more savvy than users seeking computer repairs.

 

I was aware of Google's methodical decision making process before changing their logo. Read a long and interesting blog article about it. :D But I didn't get to see the Wrench to Hamburger debate - was it published publicly, or is that all internal info? I would be curious to read over the reasons for the change, especially now that Mozilla has adopted it too.

 

All you have are anecdotal stories from several dozen people who are already frustratedly having trouble with their computers anyway and want nothing more than to just complain.

 

Hundreds of people - not dozens. But yes, people do love to gripe, especially when stressed out. Usually the griping and the stress have nothing to do with each other - it's just a way to vent frustration. You were in IT, so you're probably also all too familiar with it. :P

 

-BikeHelmet

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I was aware of Google's methodical decision making process before changing their logo. Read a long and interesting blog article about it. :D But I didn't get to see the Wrench to Hamburger debate - was it published publicly, or is that all internal info? I would be curious to read over the reasons for the change, especially now that Mozilla has adopted it too.

You know, I read an article on it a while back, but now I can't find it.  I'll let you know if I track it down.

 

Hundreds of people - not dozens. But yes, people do love to gripe, especially when stressed out. Usually the griping and the stress have nothing to do with each other - it's just a way to vent frustration. You were in IT, so you're probably also all too familiar with it. :P

Painfully so. :)

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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