Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: LR usability frustrations  (Read 7670 times)
afx
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 89


WWW
« on: January 20, 2013, 06:23:26 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,
warning, long frustrated rant follows....

I have been using Bibble and then AfterShot since 2005 and have been one of the core beta testers. It was the oldest independent raw converter and the first to show a decent work-flow concept.
Previous incantations of Lightroom never held my interest as they did not deliver any significant advance in image quality and the UI was always unappealing.
But now Corel is successfully turning AfterShot into a Zombie (no camera updates since the fired the original developers last summer) and the image quality of LR 4 has made a huge leap to the front.
I sometimes prefer the Capture One colors, but functionality wise, LR has more to offer.
So I started to look at LR again.

After a few weeks with Lightroom, I wonder how one can design such a counter-productive UI.
Looking at LR from a work-flow perspective, it is full of inconsistencies and deficiencies.
If it where not for the quality of the raw conversion and tonal control (which finally with v4 got to a very good state), I really would not want to deal with this showpiece of UI torture.

Looking at a standard work-flow starting with downloading from the CF card, there is already the first issue. Why does LR impose a policy on naming the directories? Why can't I have a decent structure with job names in the directory names instead of just an anonymous date?
So I either need to use another application for downloading or go through manual renaming to get to my usual structure (which has been working fine for me for a decade now):
/YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD-JobName/JobName-YYYY-MM-DD-###.ext

Looks like Adobe thinks everyone still sits at an old 4:3 screen instead of the currently commonplace wide formats. Or why I can't I have a vertical thumb strip instead of wasting precious vertical screen height?

Next is going through the images for first culling. While I do like the SHIFT-X functionality, the use of P and X - which are wide apart on the keyboard - for Pick and Reject makes it impossible to work efficiently with the keyboard. Pick and reject keys should be next to each other so that one does not need to move the hand.

Speaking of hotkeys, they are generally quite inconsistent, and references to them in menus are sometimes shown and sometimes not. If there is a hotkey for a menu item it should always be shown in the menu. No matter whether that function is reached by a context popup in any of the modules or via the top menu bar. (for example the rotate function CTRL-[ and CTRL-], which do not even work on my German keyboard...)

And why do we have to endure a fixed keyboard layout instead of user definable hotkeys to fit the users needs? Especially as this is linked to a US keyboard layout which only a subset of users have anyway.
The keys do not follow any discernible logical scheme, so they have to be memorized explicitly.
Give the user a choice to set them up according the user's needs...

So Adobe thinks it is good to force everyone to use a library. Wouldn't be so bad if the library where functional complete.
But selections seem to miss simple things like NOT (ever tried to select a monstrous list and then exclude one entry, not really efficient).
How can I find all shots of Lions that where made neither in Tanzania nor Namibia?
Or things like scripting to automate tasks and a private metadata name space for metadata that is for internal use in contrast to the exported meta information (See iMatch hierarchical categories for example).


And why do we have the module switching on an extra wasteful bar at the top instead of in the top menu bar. Even folded away, it takes up valuable pixels of screen estate for no real gain.

The copy previous is quite useful as well as the sync functions, but why is there no simple copy&paste of image settings, only selective copy?
Yet another additional mouse movement and click or a move to the enter key.

And why do I have to press the shift key to paste image settings?


When adjusting sliders, why do I have to click on a slider to enable the mouse wheel? Just hovering should be enough. Yet another useless interaction requirement that slows the user down (if you do not hit the slider control precisely but somewhere on the slider, the setting jumps there, so the mouse needs to be positioned quite precisely, before the mouse wheel can be used)

And where are the thresholds for the auto functions defined?
Most of the time this function gives me extremes on the bright or contrasty side.
And if one follows the recommendation to work the sliders from top to bottom any clarity adjustment after auto will usually result in clipped blacks (D700 NEFs)


This whole artificial separation of Library and Develop module seems to serve only one purpose, to annoy the user.
Thumbs have different information and buttons depending on the mode instead of
being consistently configurable according to the users needs.
Of course, the actions that work on thumbs are also not consistent. Why?!
The left-hand panel should be consistent across all modules and the metadata management is just additional tools for the right hand panel.
Then the whole confusion would be gone.

When looking at things like the compare view it becomes even more ridiculous. Why can I look at two images in comparison, but there is now way to edit one of them? (unless I have a second monitor which hopefully close enough in color to the prime screen to make comparisons meaningful)

Why is the image name only shown when the thumb strip is active?
How about using the window title bar? It already displays the module name, why not the image name?

After having read Jeff Schewe's book (highly recommended!!) it looks like I have  to blame him for the crop panning madness ;-)
Why break existing UI paradigms for a crop tool? For people who routinely use a wide range of applications, this is an extreme slowdown as one constantly has to mentally switch the tool behavior.

And why is there no hotkey to directly activate the straightening tool?
Why no auto correct after a straighten adjustment? The auto adjustment of the crop works at the first use of the straighten tool, why not when one adjusts it?

ALT-Space N is disabled, so what is the alternative under Windows to iconify the app quickly?

Why can't regional adjustments be toggled on or off?
And why do I still need to branch out to an external editor when I want to clone out parts. Currently the clone facility is not even sufficient to effectively correct some of the more extreme sensor dust-bunnies that refuse to be contained in small spots let alone serious cloning out of distractions. 

While some of the dual-screen functions are useful, being able to move all panels over as needed would help quite a bit to make it more efficient.
The setup of Capture One work-spaces is a much better example on structuring UI parts for multiple screens.


And when I finally want to generate output, why do I have to go through a hierarchy of menus instead of just hitting a hotkey for my desired output target?
And why do I have to buy a plug-in to generate output on a mirror path?
How hard is it to have some path name variables for the output definition?

Or when I prepare for print, why can't I soft-proof to CMYK? Which also brings up the question about the Blurb book module. Why is this castrated to sRGB? After all, Blurb does support proper PDFs with CMYK images.

Or the DPI settings for the printers, those are easily calculated values for the printers, that have been discussed on LuLa often enough, why not default to the appropriate values, after all, LR thinks it already knows how to sharpen appropriately with the available settings?


cheers
afx
Logged

D Fosse
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 336



« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013, 10:04:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Personally I'm very comfortable with the Lightroom UI, but these three points I happen to agree with:

(...) why I can't I have a vertical thumb strip instead of wasting precious vertical screen height?
(...) why do we have to endure a fixed keyboard layout instead of user definable hotkeys to fit the users needs? Especially as this is linked to a US keyboard layout
(...) when I prepare for print, why can't I soft-proof to CMYK?

Those three are daily annoyances. The others either don't bother me, or there are ways around them. Like module switching, which you just do with G and D shortcuts (couldn't be faster than that).


Logged
Schewe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5474


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 06:30:13 PM »
ReplyReply

After a few weeks with Lightroom, I wonder how one can design such a counter-productive UI.

Hum...a "few weeks" of use? And you want to completely change the nature of the application...Really?

I would suggest learning how to actually USE Lightroom before wanting it completely redesigned...you may actually find that the current UI and usability are actually rather robust and efficient–once you learn hot to use it and quit fighting the current set of behaviors.

For example, your first usability complaint regarding import indicates you don't know how to configure Import to accomplish what you want to do. You can either have new imports from a card go into folders named by date or into a single folder that you can name anything you want. It all depends on how you set up your Destination panel.

I'm really not terribly interested and reading you laundry list...way too long and not in a form that makes it easy to answer. I understand you are frustrated because you have a workflow that was dependent on an application you can no longer use. Life's a bitch and then you die...move on, learn how to use LR and be prepared to adapt your workflow to your new application...or not and keep being frustrated–your choice, no skin off my nose :~)

If you have specific questions (instead of long winded rants) come back and ask them, again, your choice.
Logged
Glenn NK
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 289


« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 06:49:20 PM »
ReplyReply

...you may actually find that the current UI and usability are actually rather robust and efficient–once you learn hot to use it and quit fighting the current set of behaviors.

Jumping to conclusions based on limited experience is a common human tendency.  I have noticed this tendency with experienced PS users that try LR for a few days.

One of them (a moderator somewhere else) said:  "having separate XMP files is dangerous because they could get lost".

My response - "I've never lost an XMP in six years of use - it could only happen on purpose".

Glenn
Logged

Economics:  the study of achieving infinite growth with finite resources
afx
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 89


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 12:59:56 AM »
ReplyReply

Hum...a "few weeks" of use? And you want to completely change the nature of the application...Really?
Been in IT long enough to identify usability issues quite quickly. ;-)
Used to sell my own UI libraries as a student quite successfully.

Quote
I would suggest learning how to actually USE Lightroom before wanting it completely redesigned...you may actually find that the current UI and usability are actually rather robust and efficient–once you learn hot to use it and quit fighting the current set of behaviors.
Why adjust to one single application that has behavior that is different from all others that are I use.
This takes a lot of mental resources to switch to the mindset to a specific application when it breaks standard UI concepts. Breaking established concepts should only be done if there is a significant gain, which I fail to see here.

Quote
For example, your first usability complaint regarding import indicates you don't know how to configure Import to accomplish what you want to do. You can either have new imports from a card go into folders named by date or into a single folder that you can name anything you want. It all depends on how you set up your Destination panel.
That still does not allow me to automatically import into the structure I use without entering more than just the job name. I have to do it all manually. After all the job name is the only thing the computer can not find out automatically, the rest is the job a computer should do (may I remind you of the last paragraph of page 254 of your digital negative book?).

Quote
I understand you are frustrated because you have a workflow that was dependent on an application you can no longer use.
Actually, the base workflow translates nicely into others like CaptureOne (apart form pick reject, as C1 does not support this).
And apart from the import/export, my issues are not workflow but usability of controls related.

Quote
If you have specific questions (instead of long winded rants) come back and ask them, again, your choice.
Let's just put it that way. I have been searching the docs and the net for solutions.
None of the issues I point out seem to have any.
It is just deficiencies that people who are totally tuned to the app probably no longer realize, but which are obvious to those that are used to work with a wider range of applications.
This "my way or the highway" attitude of Adobe is definitely the most irritating part.

cheers
afx
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5885


When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 02:04:30 AM »
ReplyReply

Anxiously awaiting a Lightroom competitor, designed by afx, with a perfect UI (perfect for afx, that is).
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
D Fosse
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 336



« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 02:40:21 AM »
ReplyReply


I would suggest learning how to actually USE Lightroom


Obviously, but in all fairness: the three points I quoted have nothing to do with Lightroom skill or experience:

1. Thumbnail strip locked to the bottom: With today's wide aspect monitors there is always too much space horizontally and never enough vertically. Even more so if you have dual monitors.

2. Fixed shortcuts: The point of customizing shortcuts is not to change them all. 98% of them are fine as they are. The remaining 2% is where individual workflow would be more effective if you could change them to your specific needs.

3. Soft proofing to CMYK: Blurb is one thing. But when I prepare for print, it's for offset and ISO Coated (eci) 300% or something similar. It would save me much time if I didn't have to take the files an extra round into Photoshop. Deadlines are tight enough as they are.

Other than that, I fully see Schewe's point.
Logged
Tony Jay
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2117


« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 03:28:08 AM »
ReplyReply

Perhaps this is all on a no sh!t Sherlock basis but:
1. It is easy enough to minimize the filmstrip and the bar at the top to maximise screen real estate.
2. Shortcuts - issues accepted.
3. Try ColormatchRGB - it has a gamut very very close to CMYK.

Tony Jay
Logged
stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2700


« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 03:45:47 AM »
ReplyReply

Anxiously awaiting a Lightroom competitor, designed by afx, with a perfect UI (perfect for afx, that is).

Then someone will post a rant that states they don't like the UI and why didn't they create one that suits them? Adobe created a UI that is being used by tens of thousands of photographers, everyone an individual that has an opinion. Impossible to please everyone that uses it. Personally I am very happy with the UI but I don't have a technical background in commercial photography, and that is the point. Sometimes a product is that good that the competitors are jealous of the accomplishment but instead of praising it then condemns it. Sad  
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 03:55:07 AM by stamper » Logged

stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2700


« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 03:54:36 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote afx

When adjusting sliders, why do I have to click on a slider to enable the mouse wheel? Just hovering should be enough. Yet another useless interaction requirement that slows the user down (if you do not hit the slider control precisely but somewhere on the slider, the setting jumps there, so the mouse needs to be positioned quite precisely, before the mouse wheel can be used)

Unquote.

Obviously hasn't learnt to use the sliders properly.

>Just hovering should be enough.<

Hovering is enough if you hover and use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to make fine adjustments. Even finer adjustments can be made using the keyboard if desired. I think user ignorance springs to mind?

Logged

mburke
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 38


« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 06:05:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Stamper,

What a great tip on the hover/up-down idea. For whatever reason I have had trouble grabbing the slider with my Wacom tablet and adjusting the slider. I tried your tip about hover/up-down and it worked great. I use an Intuos 5 and with the hand gesture it is real easy to hover over the tab and then use the up/down keys to move in 5 step increments. Thanks,

Mike
Logged
stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2700


« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 06:12:32 AM »
ReplyReply

If you are using Windows then press Alt and the up & down arrows for even finer control.
Logged

Jim Pascoe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 788


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 06:17:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,
warning, long frustrated rant follows....

cheers
afx

Hi afx

I didn't bother to read your whole list - I just have too much else to do (not a personal thing aimed at you).  I get the general gist of your dissatisfaction though and can see that some of the points have foundation, but others are obviously unfounded (such as the ability to hide the menu bar) and are because you do not know the software well enough yet.  You say "after a few weeks with LR......", and that sums it up for me.  LR is not a direct replacement for your previous applications and you have only scratched the surface.  It's not like jumping into a different car and picking up the new controls in a few miles.  Yes, software should be intuitive - but you can't make such a complicated application all intuitive.

Surely we can all agree that no software will be perfect, and even less likely to suit every user perfectly.  Therefore we all have to benefit/suffer what the designer has provided.  I've used Lightroom since version 1 and I think it rocks.  It has gradually been improved and added to and each version seems to build in some way on the last.  Being a busy photographer I also struggle to find the time to learn new software and LR was no exception - in fact I am still learning it after several years.  Would you have it re-designed?  If so, I think many photographers will be seriously pissed off at having to re-learn it all.  No matter what the designers do, somebody will not be happy.  

Perhaps it would be better to cast your previous experience aside and view it as an amazing and new application, that has it's flaws, and just use it for a few months. In any case it would be better to send your list of flaws directly to Adobe so they can work to improve LR.

Starting a long post full of 'Rants' just doesn't make sense with such a successful piece of software.

Jim
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 07:42:27 AM by Jim Pascoe » Logged
john beardsworth
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2791



WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2013, 06:35:35 AM »
ReplyReply

Long-standing users might not take the OP's "glass half empty" line, but are we as satisfied with the UI as we should expect?

Just take one common UI feature - lasso selection. Why isn't it anywhere in LR? Why can't you select multiple images / folders / keywords / adjustment points by lassoing them?

John
Logged

Jim Pascoe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 788


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 06:52:19 AM »
ReplyReply

John, unless I am misunderstanding you, cannot you just use the shift or Command keys (on a Mac) to achieve this?

Jim
Logged
stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2700


« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2013, 06:53:09 AM »
ReplyReply

John it is very difficult, or more likely impossible to cater for everybody's wishes when it comes to including features. They have to make "balanced" decisions between features and a speed, or lack of it when they decide what to include AND how much does someone want to pay extra for? I actually thought of starting a thread about what features should be stripped out of LR to make it more user friendly such as video. Then again I have a perverse nature. Grin
Logged

john beardsworth
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2791



WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 07:00:21 AM »
ReplyReply

John, unless I am misunderstanding you, cannot you just use the shift or Command keys (on a Mac) to achieve this?
You do understand me, Jim, but my beef is that we are forced to switch to the keyboard because of the absence of such a very well-established way of making selections.

A similar "elephant" is the lack of inline editing of folder and collection names, keywords too. Don't we just get so used to such UI weaknesses that our expectations are reduced?

John
Logged

jferrari
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 231


« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 07:19:15 AM »
ReplyReply

Obviously, but in all fairness: the three points I quoted have nothing to do with Lightroom skill or experience:

1. Thumbnail strip locked to the bottom: With today's wide aspect monitors there is always too much space horizontally and never enough vertically. Even more so if you have dual monitors.

2. Fixed shortcuts: The point of customizing shortcuts is not to change them all. 98% of them are fine as they are. The remaining 2% is where individual workflow would be more effective if you could change them to your specific needs.

3. Soft proofing to CMYK: Blurb is one thing. But when I prepare for print, it's for offset and ISO Coated (eci) 300% or something similar. It would save me much time if I didn't have to take the files an extra round into Photoshop. Deadlines are tight enough as they are.

Other than that, I fully see Schewe's point.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that LR will ever evolve into a single, complete solution for professional photographers/printers. I think Adobe enjoys the revenue generated by selling multiple products/packages. I would personally like to see a way to do mirror wraps in LR. If that feature existed I would never have to go to PS for routine, day-to-day client printing. Currently I just accept the workflow that starts in LR for Library and Developing, then in to PS for adding the wrap then back to LR for printing.      - Jim
Logged
Rhossydd
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1925


WWW
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2013, 08:32:28 AM »
ReplyReply

I actually thought of starting a thread about what features should be stripped out of LR to make it more user friendly such as video.
Go for it!
I'd be very happy to see video support dropped.
Logged
john beardsworth
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2791



WWW
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2013, 08:53:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Don't hold your breath....
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad