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Author Topic: LR usability frustrations  (Read 8586 times)
D Fosse
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2013, 09:33:06 AM »
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3. Try ColormatchRGB - it has a gamut very very close to CMYK.

Tony Jay

Just a minor point, but - which CMYK? ISO Coated is very different from, say, Web Coated SWOP. If I had to pick a "close" RGB space for that, it would have to be Adobe RGB.
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afx
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2013, 12:27:07 PM »
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Obviously hasn't learnt to use the sliders properly.
...
Hovering is enough if you hover and use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to make fine adjustments.
Not on my keyboard. I still need to click somewhere on the slider first.

If I do not click, the exposure value is changed by default

And why should I use +/- when I want to use the mouse wheel? After all, the mouse is already there, using +/- would require me to use the other hand that might be hovering over the ALT key for hopefully obvious reasons.

cheers
afx
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afx
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2013, 12:30:44 PM »
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Don't we just get so used to such UI weaknesses that our expectations are reduced?
That is exactly the point.
Once you are attuned to a piece of software, you are just so accustomed to work around flaws that it becomes second nature.

cheers
afx
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kikashi
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2013, 01:22:28 PM »
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Once you are attuned to a piece of software, you are just so accustomed to work around flaws that it becomes second nature.

As, I imagine, you did in the past with Bibble and AfterShot and may do in the future with LR, or Capture, or Bridge, or whatever you end up using. Life's like that.

Jeremy
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2013, 01:33:07 PM »
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That is exactly the point.
Once you are attuned to a piece of software, you are just so accustomed to work around flaws that it becomes second nature.
Equally, I agree with most of what has been said against your initial post!
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Schewe
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2013, 04:56:05 PM »
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This "my way or the highway" attitude of Adobe is definitely the most irritating part.

I guess you don't know much about the genesis of Lightroom huh? If you did you would realize the engineers and the UI designer were predisposed to doing things in completely different ways that previous conventions...that's actually been a strength of Lightroom development from the beginning even though it rubs some people the wrong way. Just understand that the views of some will do nothing to alter the way Lightroom is developed (unless you happen to be influential).

To get a better understanding oh how and why Lightroom was developed you might want to read this article...THE SHADOWLAND/LIGHTROOM DEVELOPMENT STORY. You'll see that given a choice of doing something in a conventional manner vs a new and unique manner, new always won.

Whether you like it or not doesn't really matter...it is what it is and you'll need to either adapt and adopt the "Lightroom Way" or move on to a different application. And...I gotta say, by and large, the way LR was developed and has evolved has been very successful...hard to argue with success.
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Damon Lynch
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2013, 07:36:28 PM »
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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.

I think both Jeff and afx are correct. On the one hand, one needs to know application pretty well in order to be able to make suggestions, one of Jeff's points. On the other hand, once one has become acculturated, it can be difficult to make an effective assessment. Because afx has not yet become acculturated, he can more easily see problems others cannot.

Anthropology has decades of experience with this dilemma. When you first enter a foreign culture, you can develop remarkable insights because everything is new and sometimes deeply surprising. Often you can see things that local people cannot, precisely because they are so unfamiliar to you and so mundane to locals. However, at this early stage you also risk really screwing things up because there is so much you don't yet understand. To do truly effective anthropological work in a foreign culture can take many years of hard work until you develop sufficient understanding.

Like afx I am stunned that I cannot assign a hotkey to assign images to a particular publishing output, whether hard drive or an online service or whatever.  It seems ridiculous to me that I have to select images and drag them to an exact place in a left hand column that can contain a long list of different outputs. I too came to use Lightroom only with version 4. If someone can show me how I can do this with one keystroke I would be most happy!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 09:50:05 PM by Damon Lynch » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2013, 10:36:02 PM »
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Anthropology has decades of experience with this dilemma. When you first enter a foreign culture, you can develop remarkable insights because everything is new and sometimes deeply surprising. Often you can see things that local people cannot, precisely because they are so unfamiliar to you and so mundane to locals. However, at this early stage you also risk really screwing things up because there is so much you don't yet understand. To do truly effective anthropological work in a foreign culture can take many years of hard work until you develop sufficient understanding.

Interesting perspective...and it may have a certain application toward Lightroom except for one thing. In the case of software, you aren't necessarily looking for specific feedback regarding how to change a culture. That's kinda where the analogy falls down.

Lightroom has been a success in spite (or some might say because of) of an abnormal UI and usability. Adobe knows the shortcomings of the LR UI but the way the application has been developed has set a trend and dictates how the application will evolve. Don't expect a lot of major philosophical changes–ain't gonna happen. The die has been cast.

Could LR add customizable command keys like Photoshop? For sure...but so far the use case for that has not risen to the level of "just do it".  Could LR change the modularity of the task based functionality LR is designed to address? For sure..but, again, the use case has not been made so the odds of that happening are just about nil.

Again, I'll point out that much of the non-standard UI and usability has been seen by Adobe as a net plus. So, one would need to defeat or change inertia to have any potential massive change in behavior and philosophy incorporated into LR 5. Sorry to say, the current thread not withstanding, there simply isn't enough incentive to the current dev team to make massive changes ain't there.

One might hope to make a small step in certain directions but massive changes ain't gonna happen because some guys posts an overlong diatribe against LR's break from conventional wisdom. Again, ya gotta remember, LR's success is due in part because LR is "different". Another factor in favor of LR 5 moving in the same general direction that inertia dictates...

Sorry, but the case for massive changes in the next version of LR has not been made by agx.

So, the choice is, either learn to use the workflow LR offers, or not. If not, good luck trying to find an alternative. Ain't something I'm gonna worry about :~) I'm kinda locked into the Lightroom Way and kinda like it...
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stamper
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« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 03:15:20 AM »
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Not on my keyboard. I still need to click somewhere on the slider first.

If I do not click, the exposure value is changed by default

And why should I use +/- when I want to use the mouse wheel? After all, the mouse is already there, using +/- would require me to use the other hand that might be hovering over the ALT key for hopefully obvious reasons.

cheers
afx

If there is something wrong with your keyboard you can't blame Adobe. You should complain to the keyboard manufacturer but if you do so with the attitude that you used towards Adobe then I fear you won't be successful. When you hover and use the +/- you only use the one hand to carry out the operation. You hover and as long as the cursor is pointed at the particular operation and remains highlighted your other hand can do what it wishes. It looks as if you haven't done it properly or you think success might spoil your rant. Wink Smiley
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 03:38:58 AM »
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After a few weeks with Lightroom, I wonder how one can design such a counter-productive UI.
Not everyone thinks that way. I've always found LR, since the first beta, to be a brilliant design concept that's easy and fast to use. Sure there are plenty of ways it can be improved, but the core ideas work very well for me.

Reading through your 'rant' a very large amount is tiny nit picking based on your own ingrained work practices. Saying "The keys do not follow any discernible logical scheme, so they have to be memorized explicitly. " Well sorry, but that's been the way since day one with computers, why is Ctrl-V paste ? or Ctrl-Z undo ? Whereas the most common short cuts I use in Lightroom are G=grid, E=expand, D=develop seem pretty logical to me, but I speak English. If the localisation of Lightroom doesn't work for you, that's another issue.
There are so many functions in modern programs it's inevitable that some short cuts won't be perfectly intuitive, but ultimately that's why we use Graphical UIs, not CLI now.
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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?
This doesn't make sense. You can put your files anywhere you want, in any directory you want. Yes, the ability to create a hierarchy of folders from within LR beyond the simple subfolder option might be beneficial, but it doesn't impose any particular name or structure on you.
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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?
Just hover over the selection box and you get a tooltip that says "Enter text search here. Add"!" to the front of a word to exclude it"
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(See iMatch hierarchical categories for example).
iMatch is about as intuitive and user friendly as plumbing a nuclear reactor. NOT a good example.
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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.
It hardly takes up much room, but provides the visual cue to activate it.
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When adjusting sliders, why do I have to click on a slider to enable the mouse wheel? Just hovering should be enough.
Which wouldn't be very helpful behaviour if you want to scroll up and down the panel with the mouse wheel. Click to engage a control makes perfect sense to me.
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Why can't regional adjustments be toggled on or off?
Switch bottom left of the panel.
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And why do I still need to branch out to an external editor when I want to clone out parts.
Because its not designed to do everything. Already the range of options is intimidating some users, but still many of us want/expect greater functionality.
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How hard is it to have some path name variables for the output definition?
Adding scripting options looks to be very far away in the developers minds and with good reason. Very, very few users want to get involved with scripting in any application.

The bottom line is Lightroom is different and most people find that distinction to be part of it's appeal.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 10:46:15 AM by Rhossydd » Logged
Stephane Desnault
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« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2013, 03:55:32 AM »
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I'm reading this thread, and I'm feeling quite dismayed... I also do know about GUI design, and I find the UI in LR especially friendly and consistent - global/contextual settings on the left pane, local actions on the right pane... it works well and it is very efficient. It certainly doesn't deserve the rant of the initial post - or else just shom me the application that it is so much better and that you would recommend Huh

One peeve though: Keyboard assignments are efficient on the US layout - and when you move to a different one, it seems you actually lose many features. I especuially miss what the "\" does in library and develop mode, and I'm not seeing equivalents for the french layout in the on-screen help.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2013, 04:34:24 AM »
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Compared to the other stalwart in the stable - Photoshop - learning the layout and interface of Lightroom was a breeze.
Without knowing a lot about Photoshop I was able to quickly get down to business with Lightroom when I first acquired it (Lr2).
It is true that there are an enormous number of possible approaches to workflow in Lightroom and so not everybody needs to pull and push all the levers (the Book module is still only of esoteric interest to me personally but is a key module for some). Even in the Library and Develop modules I am still finding new ways to do things after several years of fairly intense usage. Interestingly I do not use a lot of shortcuts - I find getting around using the mouse very adequate.
Overall, I find the layout, and the workflow arising as a result, actually rather logical and intuitive.
Is the GUI different, yes! so what! It certainly does not mean it is wrong.

My $0.02 worth.

Tony Jay
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2013, 05:07:27 AM »
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See http://vimeo.com/1286064 for a bit more about the thinking behind the UI.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2013, 06:14:28 AM »
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See http://vimeo.com/1286064 for a bit more about the thinking behind the UI.
If you watched that without knowing what LR looked like, I'd expect you'd get a surprise given the UI examples shown of Bryce and KPS being influential and talk of clean sheets for design and different approaches.
Maybe the key influence from those two was "Don't make it look like this"

Looking from outside the organisation, LR doesn't exactly break many conventions of GUI design. A cynic could just describe it as a combination of existing options from Adobe with a couple of ideas taken from elsewhere.
Which of course is actually a VERY GOOD thing and made it easy to get on with.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2013, 06:56:06 AM »
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I'm not sure I would agree with you there. Granted, they looked very juvenile but I recall using one of their apps called Kai's Power Goo (?) and could see the influence of its way of working through "rooms" on LR's left-to-right workspaces. You always know where you are in Lightroom.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 07:02:22 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

jeremypayne
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« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2013, 10:26:45 AM »
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I'm reading this thread, and I'm feeling quite dismayed... I also do know about GUI design, and I find the UI in LR especially friendly and consistent - global/contextual settings on the left pane, local actions on the right pane... it works well and it is very efficient. It certainly doesn't deserve the rant of the initial post - or else just shom me the application that it is so much better and that you would recommend Huh

+1 ... as someone who tries to solve UI/Workflow problems on a regular basis, I give the LR team the highest marks.
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Simon Garrett
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« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2013, 10:45:24 AM »
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And another +1 to the LR approval. 

I started using LR at about the same time as Photoshop (LR2 and CS3 as I recall).  I find LR intuitive, and Photoshop quirky, idiosyncratic and inconsistent.  To me: LR feels like something benefiting from several decades of UI design, Photoshop feels like the 23-year-old program that it is. When I learn how to do something in LR, it usually sticks.  When I learn something in Photoshop, next time I need to do the same thing I find I often have to look it up again.  With PS, it feels as though rather than learning things, I follow complex cookbook recipes (e.g. from Kelby worked examples) to solve particular problems. 

Each to his own, I guess. 
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afx
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« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2013, 10:47:05 AM »
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If there is something wrong with your keyboard you can't blame Adobe.
There is nothing wrong with my standard German keyboard. Noting special here.
Hovering alone does not activate a slider. They always need a click (tried it on various different Windows machines).

And plenty of keys do not work, as Adobe in their wisdom has plenty of hotkeys that do not work on a non US keybord like CTRL-/, CTRL-[, CTRL-] ....

See screenshot. This is what I see when hovering over highlights. Exposure gets adjusted...

cheers
afx
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afx
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« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2013, 11:11:14 AM »
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Sure there are plenty of ways it can be improved, but the core ideas work very well for me.
I don't doubt they work well for quite a few people, doesn't mean they are flexible enough to accommodate a wider range.

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Saying "The keys do not follow any discernible logical scheme, so they have to be memorized explicitly. " Well sorry, but that's been the way since day one with computers, why is Ctrl-V paste ? or Ctrl-Z undo ? Whereas the most common short cuts I use in Lightroom are G=grid, E=expand, D=develop seem pretty logical to me, but I speak English. If the localisation of Lightroom doesn't work for you, that's another issue.
So why is crop R and not C?
Why is B add to quick collection and not Brush?
Why do I need to press SHIFT-CTRL-V and not just CTRL-V to paste?

The point is, there is a limited amount of keys on a keyboard. Having them fixed and on top of that bound to the US keyboard layout (which removes them for use on non US keyboards), is an impediment for the user. Most other apps let the user adjust they keys to the users needs to allow the user to have a consistent use across multiple apps.

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You can put your files anywhere you want, in any directory you want.
Only with repetitive manual work entering directory names.
Weren't computers introduced to reduce that?
Again, that functionality is provided by plenty of other imaging apps that offer download/import.
And this is not rocket science to implement....

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Just hover over the selection box and you get a tooltip that says "Enter text search here. Add"!" to the front of a word to exclude it"
Yup, but how to I qualify which files to search in? That text search field is all or nothing.

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iMatch is about as intuitive and user friendly as plumbing a nuclear reactor. NOT a good example.
Not a good example for an intuitive UI, yes, but still a good way to show how a secondary, private name space is used.

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Which wouldn't be very helpful behaviour if you want to scroll up and down the panel with the mouse wheel. Click to engage a control makes perfect sense to me.
But it is slow.
Click to focus is what is the most annoying misfeature of Windows and MacOS. Way too many clicks...

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Swich bottom left of the panel.
That switches all regional adjustments, not single adjustments, sorry, should have been more clear.

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The bottom line is Lightroom is different and most people find that distinction to be part of it's appeal.
And then there is plenty who will not use it because of its UI...

cheers
afx
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Stephane Desnault
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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2013, 11:28:11 AM »
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And then there is plenty who will not use it because of its UI...

Mh... I'm not sure "plenty" is the correct word. From what I can see LR is actually a true steamroller in the field of DAM + photo retouching, even displacing Aperture on Mac by a factor of 10. "plenty" ARE using it.

Even specialists tend to put it at the center of their workflow, supplementing it with packages that would otherwise be very happy to take over the whole workflow. For example, sports and media shooters use photo mechanic for quick photo selection, and advanced retouchers rely on Photoshop or some specific, preferred Raw editors (DXO, Bibble, NX2, C1...) - but I get the feeling that the common denominator to bring the workflow together is VERY often LR4 and, most importantly, that there is no other viable candidate on the market.

It's especially telling that the design team at Apple wasn't able to crack that particular nut.
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