Photoshop CC 2015.1: New user interface lacks contrast and many usability cues, lots of other problems

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I just updated to Photoshop CC(2015) version 2015.1. Adobe changed the UI to the flat look you see on phones and tablets. I do not see any way to select the classic interface, which I'm sure many desktop users of PS prefer.

This feels yet another attempt by Adobe to be trendy without caring about what users want or need. Didn't they learn anything from the dumbed-down Lightroom import fiasco?
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John Isner

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Posted 4 years ago

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John Isner

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The version I complained about in my OP is the Nov 30, 2015 version. Help -> System Info says

"Adobe Photoshop Version: 2015.1 20151114.r.301 2015/11/14:23:59:59 CL 1053036 x64"

Today there is an update available from Creative Cloud, but the "What's New" only mentions an update to Camera Raw. Has anyone installed it? I have not. If you have, does it do anything to the UI?

Adobe obviously considers their changes to the UI to be so minor that they didn't bother to mention it in the release notes for 2015.1 -- not even under "Other Enhancements" (see https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/usi...). So I wouldn't be surprised if they reverse the change, they do so once again without mentioning it!
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Carola Clavo

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I'm using CC 2015.0.0 and NO WAY I'm upgrading this to find that Slow UI again.
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Bob Laughton

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Yes John, I've installed it - more in hope than expectation that things might have improved.

I don't usually update my software immediately, but I just figured they couldn't make it any worse. After all, what kind of muppet would decide to do a thing like that?

Anyway, no difference whatsoever that I can make out so far.
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Roger Gauthier

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I've said above, John and Bob, if you are on Mac, following Greg Justice's advice, I fetched version 15.0.1 in Time Machine avec copied the folder alongside 15.1. This gives me back the previous version and that one is perfectly OK. I will ditch the 15.1 folder entirely tomorrow. This 15.0.1 version is perfect for me and I will stick with that version as long as I can.

Nobody will force me to squint all day long at two 30 inchers because I can't read what's there. Nobody.
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Bob Laughton

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I've now done that Roger and am happily running the older and "proper" version - but it really shouldn't have to be this way, Adobe.

Incidentally, is anyone from Adobe picking up on this, as the silence is deafening?
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Robert Tarabella

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Thanks for your comment, David. I think there is a widespread dissatisfaction with Adobe's insistence on creating a non-standard interface for each platform. Mac software should look like Mac software, and Windows software should look like Windows software. Adobe is delivering a weird Adobe-specific interface, which is frankly a pain in the butt for everybody on both platforms.
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Bob Laughton

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I'll echo those thanks too David, but how on Earth did this abomination ever get out into the wild? I've rolled-back to 16.0.1 via Time Machine and I've never had to do anything like that before with any software programme in 20 years of pro use.

If this issue hasn't yet caught the gaze of people who have the influence to improve things at Adobe, could you please make sure they do.
Many thanks again for taking the time.
Bob
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Roger Gauthier

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I also thank you for your input, David. But I must agree with Robert entirely. I'm sure that you as a team didn't come with this for the fun of it. However, the absolute need to blend into the operating system as much as possible should be one of your major goals. None of us are doing this kind of thing for fun. We're working, and for that we're ready to pay month after month for good software.

I can understand that you want to accommodate users that work with touch friendly devices. But I, for one, a working with two 30 in monitors that absolutely nobody has any right to touch. Nobody. Precise work is done with a Wacom tablet. This is the kind of setup many pro photoshop users will use. Your product is for professionals, don't forget it.

I have already gone back to 16.0.1 which is OK. If I'm OK for a year or two with this one, and as long as it goes well with my workflow. I will not update, I cannot take the chance, I've lot enough time over this already.
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Antonio Starace

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Thanks for your comment David. You talk about much design work and planning, and I'm ok with that, but what about user testing? Considering that, from what I've been reading over the internet and from my own experience with the software, I'd say that the 90% of the user base is unsatisfied with the latest update. Who are those users that tested it?

Moreover, "Some other changes were made to make the UI more touch friendly". Who asked for it? Is the touch-based user base so important? More than the pro-user base?

The UI that makes us happy is the UI we are used to. Period. This is not a joke and I think this is the first time that a UI change has got such a huge dissatisfaction.

Thank you.
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Marco Pallotti

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I reinstalled PS 2014 after a day or so of frustration and annoyance with the new interface. The capper was how the frame and image sizing (CTRL-0, CTRL-minus key) work differently--I do a lot of cropping, so the 2015 way of doing things was really, really annoying. Also, it now appears I can't drag images from another application (e.g., Explorer), and drop them into PS. WHY? This does not improve my workflow, it hinders it.

I've been using PS since 1998, and can't understand why Adobe had to fix something that wasn't broken--particularly with something so critical to their users--the interface and the way it functions.
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Sascha Meurer

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at least put some depth in the boxes like the preview morris did. it makes it way easier to read / see what's going on. or just make the old ui optional.
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Paweł Róg

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Why would you change something that noone complains about. If you have to add new interface colors give us a choice to go back to the old ones. Let there be 6-8 different choices. I have to use bright colors but cant see nothing on the flat crap version. I have used it since the beginning of Adobe CS3. Why did you change it????????

This is the first time I was looking for an alternative to Photoshop because stupid thing like this and I am already testing Affinity.
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Dylan Rogers

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Hi Fellow Frustrated Photoshop Users,

I chatted with tech support and got this link, telling how to download previous versions from the CC desktop app.

Scroll down to #5
https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-clou...
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Roger Gauthier

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And if you're a Mac user, you've got an even more precise way. By using Time Machine, you can go back to any version you want - including CC 2015 version 16.0.1, which is more recent and has the same interface as 15.0.
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Robert Tarabella

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Good idea, Roger. Do you just need to enter TimeMachine from the Applications folder and roll back in time, or do you also need to do the same thing for the Application Support folder, too?
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Bob Laughton

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You'll need to get the support folder too Robert, rather than just the Photoshop app itself.

Good luck - it's a very simple procedure using Time Machine.
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Carola Clavo

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Please chat to an Adobe representative, they will help you online and control your computer to downgrade. I did it and it was a really good support but it took more than an hour. I suggest all of you do this so they know this is a very big problem for many users that will need a serious fix.
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Jared Wilcurt

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It's not a downgrade if it's an improvement :)
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Jared Wilcurt

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@David Tristam



I've created the above graphic to help explain an important UX concept your team doesn't seem to understand. I'm focusing on the dropdown box, but I really want it to be clear that this isn't the sole problem. The new iconography itself is too similar to each other and vague. I've been using Photoshop since version 6 and with every new UI change I've either really liked it or hardly noticed. But I've NEVER had issues finding something that hasn't moved before.

While making the above image I had enough time to say out loud "Where's the paint brush at", as I scanned over the general location that I'm used to finding it under. Several times I thought it was the History Brush, or perhaps hidden behind another tool. For some reason the design of the new icons cause my focus to be drawn away from that area.

Iconography is a very difficult task and it typically only works after training someone on the meaning that those symbols are meant to represent. What you have is decades of training on how to recognize the symbolism of the application destroyed for trendy styles that will NEED to be replaced again in a year when they look dated and old. Changing them gives no benefit to the user, and in fact is detrimental as it forces you to re-train loyal customers on a worse version.



I'll note that when the toolbar is in single-column mode, it's much easier to find things that are difficult to find in two-column mode. But I will NEVER be in single column mode. The overall context of icon grouping is better conveyed in two columns and it worked great in every one of the previous versions.

There are no redeemable features to this change except perhaps a technical foundation for better supporting different HDPI resolutions. But the visual affordances lost do not assist in this gain. The harder to visually digest icons, do not have any bearing on this (seriously, no one would know that's a bandaid or eraser, just awful). The lower contrast does not help you on a technical level. The loss of identifier cues used to differentiate modes, like Quick Mask, don't help you on a technical level.

Everything about this update needs revised. Hire me to do UX for Adobe. I will work cheap, and you guys obviously need a sanity check in the room.
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Jared Wilcurt

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The first graphic also indicates why the new rounded corner buttons are bad. Despite looking straight up ugly, they have a smaller clickable surface area and require greater accuracy, as their hitbox is obscured with arbitrary UI embellishments.
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Robert Tarabella

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Plus, the rounded corner buttons are wildly inconsistent. Select "New..." and you get the strange new interface buttons, but select "Open..." and you get the old familiar OS-based open dialog.
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Roger Gauthier

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Robert and Jared, I'm in awe. This is tremendous work, it sizes up perfectly the nature of the beast.
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Roger Gauthier

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Hello Chris, David and David from Adobe,

May I respectfully ask why a number of posts were deleted last night? I understand that this is Adobe's right as this is a private website, maintained by Adobe to help customers. But it would be nice if we had a way to consult the contents of the deleted entries, as is done on some other discussion groups, unless of course they're downright offensive.

I have a reasonable idea about what was in them through my emails, but I can't be sure. From what I can see, most of us are very loyal Adobe customers. I for one have been a Photoshop fan for twenty-five years. Strangely, we possibly care more about the product than you do. We are your bread and butter, pros that know quite a lot about UI and ease of use. Please use your right of deleting entries as rarely as possible. Once again, you may have been right, I'm not sure.

MY LAST WORD ABOUT THE UI
I'm making myself a promise: this will be my very last entry in this thread.

I'm not sure at all that Adobe on one side, and us on the other, really understand each other. Consider the following points:
• You absolutely MUST roll back that horrendous interface. No way around it, it's a huge, terrible, disconnected mistake.
• You should integrate with OS X and Windows. You've chosen otherwise, we can live with it even if we don't like it... as long as it is usable, which it is not right now.
• You've mentioned "touch-friendly". I don't know for sure, but I'm ready to bet that most of us are not interested. Don't demolish the UI for THAT. See, the one that gets too near my 30 in monitors immediately gets a warning! Don't touch to my beautiful, glare-free monitors! So you may have such a problem, but so sorry it is none of our concern.
• Don't go halfway, it's too late for that: roll back the entire interface, whatever the cost. If you choose not to, we will do it for you as many of us have already done including me, by installing a previous version, either 16.0.1 (my case) or 15.

This is no laughing matter. I could not stretch the point too much: you have absolutely no choice. If you choose to keep even part of this horrible UI, the furore of your customers will deafen you.

Nobody wants you to go down in the History books as having created the worst interface ever. Back to work now, I've lost too much time already. And with 16.0.1 installed on my Mac Pro, the smile is back in my face.
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Chris Cox

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Posts that are off topic, or violate the site's terms of usage are removed. The posts in question were way off topic.
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Roger Gauthier

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Thanks for the info Chris. I now have the feeling that you guys are really listening to what we have to say. I also understand that Adobe's employees like you are between a rock and a hard place. Your team has worked hard on this but we reject the result... not easy.

At the same time, I will never stress the point too much: all in all, over the years Adobe has come up with a very good, very solid piece of software. Most of us I'm sure like Photoshop very much and want to keep on using it. Most off us have used it for a very long time, in my case more than twenty years. That's one loyal customer. I write this to put things into perspective. It's not Photoshop per se. I like the steady progress Photoshop is making on many fronts, it's important to say this.

The only thing really wrong is this interface, I will never use it, over my dead body.

You know what would make me, and probably most of this raucous bunch that we are, very happy? Simply tell us: "OK guys, we got the point, we'll do it".
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Chris Cox

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All I can tell you is that we are listening.
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Bruce Thomas

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Chris..."We are listening" sounds like a politician who then actually does nothing. I can say that 100% of PS CC users I know truly can't stand the new UI. It is confusing, inconsistent and just plain hard to use...it's just like a bad Beta project. Just provide a 'classic interface' option so we can get back to work.
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Brenton Edwards

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He is a politician, but I have noticed some small things that suggest they _are_ listening for a change in regards to this issue. They screwed up, hopefully they learn from this mistake. I think we'll see some fixes/options soon.
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Bruce Thomas

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Dear Adobe, you have to admit that when Microsoft Paint looks better you guys got it wrong.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The flat style is what Win10 has for it's system icons. The advantage Windows has over Photoshop is color. If PS had lots of colored icons it'd distract from the image being edited, so the monochrome flat is it.

As for the lines under instead of boxes around, yeah, that's different, but really is it that bad? The drop-down selections don't allow clicking on the item text, anyway, just the little arrow at the right, so the graphic, earlier, about confidence isn't really applicable to DDLs, to type-ins, yes.
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Bruce Thomas

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Nothing will EVER convince me this current PS interface is anything but a grand failure.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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After working for the last days with the new UI, there are two things that need to be changed or improved.
First
The visibility of quickmask layers
Second the two steps it takes to change numeric values with sliders.

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Kris Hunt

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I don't understand what you can't do now that you could do one version ago. As far as I can tell, only the look of the UI has changed; not the way it works.
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Roger Gauthier

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You don't understand, Kris? It's rather simple: You are right. And wrong.

Yes, you can do all the things you could do. Bravo, I hoped for at least that.

No you're wrong, because, see, that is not what we are talking about. It as nothing but nothing to do with the Photoshop machinery, or engine if you want.

Oh yes it works. It works like an ugly car with dirty windows in the middle of the night. It's killing my eyes.
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Robert Tarabella

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One doesn't expect to pay a lot for an ugly car.
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Roger Gauthier

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"One doesn't expect to pay a lot for an ugly car" You got that one right Robert.
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Kris Hunt

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I'm referring to Andi's claim that she can no longer change opacity values with one click. We both seem to have confirmed that it still works the same way as before; it only looks different.
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Roger Gauthier

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OK, I admit it, that's the second time I break my promise to stay away from this thread. It seems to be a pointless promise, so sorry.

Bob Laughton, in a comment just above, brings a very important point I think. I would perhaps put it in slightly different words, the meaning being the same though:

• What kind of setup does a certain customer use? A laptop? A 21-23 in monitor? One or more 27-30 in monitor? And what's the resolution?
• Perhaps more important: is it a glossy screen or a matte one?

One or two big matt screens will give you a greater challenge than a smaller glossy one as far as reading small text is concerned. I'f I'm not mistaken, the pros will use bigger, often matte monitors, and those will end up like me squinting at small gray text on a palette away from them in a corner of a big screen.

At the end, it's all about not breaking habits uselessly for one, and more important, legibility for two. For comparison purposes, I include here 3 screenshots:
1. A pane from OS X System Preferences
2. Part of the Smart Sharpen pane with its small greyish text
3. An iPad screenshot from Adobe Photoshop Mix, in which text is absolutely, deliriously perfect!







Interestingly, depending on whether the title is for a checkbox, or field text, or drop-down menu, it will be difficult to read, or not. It depends, and I don't see any reason why. All text should be legible and gray is rarely easy to read.
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Antonio Starace

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It seems they tried to do something cool rather than usable. Of course they failed both tasks.
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Rob K

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I was one of 3 retouchers elected to test the latest CC2015 at the retouching studio I work in. We have all rolled back to the previous version.

The UI is simply too hard to work with. Menu items and buttons we use constantly and instinctually, have been changed to look greyed out - the universal language of all things unavailable or broken.

The level of concentration it takes to focus on this conflicting and unintuitive UI is directly in conflict with our worlkflow and speed requirements.

The fact that we can barely tell the difference between a selected layer and a selected layer in quick mask mode is reason enough to roll back. Active selected layers need a MUCH more differentiated appearance from quick mask.
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Antonio Starace

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So you tested it and you were not satisfied with it? Right? And as you were unsatisfied, I think also many other pros were unsatisfied as well, so how did this abomination pass?
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Rob K

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Yes, many are obviously unsatisfied. However, I see no point in using disparaging language to describe the efforts of Adobe's design team. Is it hard to work with? Yes. Will my team of 50 be using it? Not in its current state. But a more calm, reasoned explanation of the issues will get Adobe's ear than a bunch of name calling and foot stomping.
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Andi@redfishblack.com

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Thanks Rob, that's exactly what I was trying to say. I still keep wondering why I got an answer that seemed to be written for a beginner. (I do have a retouching company in New York since 7 years, and work with Photoshop 8 hours a day).
Andi
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Roger Gauthier

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Rob, I for one never said it was an abomination, though I can understand the exasperation, which comes mainly from the feeling that this thing is s-l-o-w moving.

I have been very vocal in saying I would never accept this UI. Politely. And with examples (others are coming later today. And the truth is that I cannot understand how this UI came to be "inflicted on us without any warning" if this is polite enough. And the best answer I got, which was much better than nothing at all, was "We are listening".

That is, I mean, before you. What you just wrote is one gem of info and is says quite a lot. It is polite but very,m very direct. It is, plain and simple, the equivalent of "Guys, what have you done!".

Remember Windows 8.0? Remember the clamour? Microsoft understood the message pretty fast. I hope that the same will happen here.

Because, you know, this UI cannot be easy for a guy like me.

Not at my age.
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Ann Shelbourne

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled don't like the new Photoshop UI.

I have serious problems with the new UI.

I do not like dark interfaces (I do a lot of work that is destined for the Press) and the new grey-on-grey UI is giving me severe eye-strain: so much so that my eyes stream after a few hours.

InDesign is even worse!

The type is FAR too small; and grey-on-grey may look elegant to the UI designer who was responsible for it but it is a total nightmare for the customer who is trying to work with it.

Also, the new icon designs are deplorable:
I do everything with KBSCs but I often cannot distinguish which subset of a tool I have actually selected from those really badly designed icons.

The previous UI was both elegant and practical: unfortunately the new one is not.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: PHOTOSHOP CC 2015.1.1 - Problems with UI and crashes.
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Chris Cox

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Don't forget you can change the UI brightness in Photoshop's preferences.
Yes, a lighter interface is more appropriate if you are working on something destined for print. And darker interfaces are generally only useful for people doing video and film production.
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Ann Shelbourne

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Indeed you can (and I have); but the type is still at 48,48,48 which is too light to provide sufficient contrast.
The background grey of the second-lightest skin is much too dark at 183,183,183 to be viable against the type which, in that skin, is even worse and appears to be running at 63,63,63 on my machine.
That skin would normally be my choice but I am now having to use the lightest version from necessity.
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Carola Clavo

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Changing the UI doesn't help because all the elements have too similar color. Lines separating the layers, for example, are almost the same color as the background in the panel, so the names of the layers are easily readable but not each item as a separated thing themselves. I'm not interested in reading the layers name as much as seeing the different items in a panel and items in a glimpse.
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Carola Clavo

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I had to contact Adobe customer support to downgrade, the actual UI is unusable, plain as that. Everything is a gray blurry mass where I can't find the actual buttons or options quickly as before.

All the panels look inactive!

It is a disaster!!
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Carola Clavo

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In the new UI, the layers look like a paragraph, not like a list of items, this is my main problem. The lines separating each item in the layers panel are too dim, and do not have enough contrast, so it takes effort and time to differentiate between elements. Way more than in the previous UI.

Also, the input fields also look like any other regular label or element, so it's difficult to point and click quickly to change a value as before, where I had a withe background and before my eyes got to the filed my hand already was in there.

You know, in my laptop 13" and my iMac 27" even though I'm so used to work with Photoshop, my eyes need visual hints to pint and click more than the real content, I don't want to be reading the panels to use them, or pay much attention to them. It's like using them almost in an unattended fashion. Sorry for this awkward explanation but it's my best sentence in English which is not my mother tongue :D

Bottom line: All the UI colors are so similar that I can't find things in a glimpse like before, there is no visual hierarchy, more contrast is needed. Lines and items are not clear to the eye, everything looks the same color like it is inactive.
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Carola Clavo

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+ Even in the white option, lines, buttons and elements are in a too light gray that makes everything look the same. And I don't like the white or dark options, dark theme is tiring for my eyes and white is much too bright after a long use.
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Carola Clavo

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It would be way easier for me to use the new UI if it was like this:
http://cl.ly/2J0N0C0Z0d2O
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Carola Clavo

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Aside from the new buttons in the dialogs which are not like the rest of the system UI, but at least changing this it would be great.
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Carola Clavo

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(Sorry for the edits, I'd like to paste the image directly but can't and it's not really friendly to rearrange anything you posted in here...)
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Martin Kührer

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I updated today and its not just ugly, its a pain in the a** to work with PS now.
WHY CHANGE A WINNER???
I hope its possible to change the interface back.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Because Apple and Microsoft changed how their OS icons look which is flat and without color.

As far as usability, is it the lack of color or the lack of shadows that make the icons hard to work with?

The program icons are flat but still have color to them.
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Bruce Thomas

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Personally I don't feel comfortable (as many others have also said) with the whole gray on gray look. My entire PS workflow has slowed down as I now have to squint to read almost everything. Toolbar boxes have become underscore lines, as one example, and many other items are almost illegible. Not happy.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I have either white-on-dark or black-on-light unless things are disabled then they're gray. This is on Windows 10 on a 1680x1050-res monitor. Maybe a much higher-res monitor is harder to read if the anti-aliasing is too strong and the text isn't crisp.
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Roger Gauthier

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"I can only bring specific issues to discuss with the XD team who designed the new UI."

Hello Chris,

This is exactly what I feared. If I understand you correctly, and feel free to correct me, there is no special move inside Adobe, no sense of urgency, about this UI that we have repeatedly qualified, not very elegantly I admit, as a disaster. I am sorry but there should be such a movement right now. Or maybe there is one, and then who would be in the know? Are we all losing time and effort here?

To put it bluntly, if Photoshop was a car, it would have a lot of competition, and it would not sell at all in this state. Period.

Always bluntly: Photoshop is a monopoly, and this means that Adobe must, it's a moral obligation, gives us a product we can use. It's a matter of ethics.

Not I need to write an intro to the arguments that will follow. At the end it will be rather longish. Print it and tell THEM to read it.

INTRO
Over the last two decades, monitors have become bigger and bigger. With 30 in. monitors, specially when you have two, that means that some palettes are way too far in their actual state.

At the same time, pixel resolution has gone from around 72 dpi to around 100-110 for 27-30 in monitors that are not 4K or 5K. This means that not only things are now farther, they are also smaller, WHILE THE USER IS FARTHER AWAY.

To compound all this, a portion or your users are now older as is my case. While I still have a very good eyesight at 70 years old, it's no way as good as when I was 30!

If, on top of those well known trends, the interface becomes way harder to read and use, when grey becomes the norm and text size 9 becomes the norm, disaster strikes.

This intro is in no way specific.

It is simply crucial.

Print it and hammer it on the walls of the UI designers' offices. Find the guy that is in "the need to know" and tell him. We need a link of some sort, a direct link. Or choose some users you could trust in this bunch. I for one would spend a couple of days free of charge to explain the extent of the damage that has been done.

MAJOR CHANGES NEEDED
It doesn't matter much to me that the UI be Mac-like or Windows-like. They are very similar nowadays anyway. Create a UI along those lines, somewhere like Mac and/or Windows, and you will be back on tract.

Do not use grey on grey, not for text, it's such a pain that one wants to cry. Black on white, you know, like books, Or almost all good, major websites like Microsoft, Apple, lapresse.ca, lefigaro.fr, lemonade.fr, the BBC, the Guardian, ad nauseam.

A text field is a text field is a text field and should look like such. Idem for a pull-down menu, a checkbox, and BUTTONS. Gives us back buttons, real buttons.

Tell somebody in the need to know that they must do all that.

SPECIFIC CHANGES
By God, I'm overwhelmed. There are too many. They are all about the UI, not the main Photoshop machinery that gets better and better.

1. In the Preferences, crank up one point the text size in the left column. While you're at it, do the same thing everywhere in the interface where you got text that is too small. It was the same in the preferences in the previous version but at least it was black on white, not black on grey,

2. In the Prefs and elsewhere, get the char size the same as the rest for the title of a pull-down menu. No reason to make our lives harder for that specific type of control.

3. In the Prefs look at "Recen File List Contains:" You just went from small black to almost illegible.

4. You give the choice of four "skins". In fact, the two in the middle are unusable because their grey on grey is too much of a stress.

5. Everywhere in the interface: Go back to buttons we can relate with. A default button must be clearly a default button. Its colour or something should be clear.

6. When the user hits Return for the default button, the button should flash for a short period of time, showing the user that there is no mistake. None of the default buttons react visually to a keyboard shortcut at the moment.

7. Let's have a look at the HDR Toning dialogue, it's an example in point.
• Do it any way you want, but bring bath the text as legible as it was. Bring it back as black as it was!
• Bring back the old sliders. The new ones are greyer than a bad November day in Northern Québec.
• The buttons...

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That should be enough for the time being, don't you think?

And you know what? I'm now ready to bet a bottle of Château La Tour Carnet 2010 from my cellars that I am losing time and effort here, and it fills me with sadness. There is absolutely no feeling of complicity, of being part of something. Let's not this thing become THEM against US.

As said before, my tool is not 16.0,1 that is quite good.
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Sam Asante

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When the time comes for a User Experience Design team to consider themselves too high & mighty to actually read and respond to floods of real *user* feedback then surely a change of job title is in order?

As a power user spending upwards of 10 hours of day in the shop I am not only extremely disappointed with the latest update, but astonished at the level of incompetence involved in some of these unwarranted visual changes that have had a detrimental effect on overall readability and accessibility.

Respect to you for having the decency to follow this thread and respond personally Chris, but as I expressed in my initial reply - they should be ashamed of themselves. If nothing more I would be very grateful if you could relay that message to them.
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Bruce Thomas

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Chris (and I also thank you for being involved), just one of the many UI 'bugs' that is a workflow negative is the simple omission of a 'hover' state on buttons. There is no indication whether or not a button is clickable until it is actually clicked. Small I know but soooo annoying. There are many 'improvements' (lol) that now require a double take to proceed and each one takes a little more time and frustration that adds up at the end of a busy day. As someone else said keep Photoshop for the pros who use REAL monitors, needing a fast, accurate, easy to read interface and save the cruddy flat gray on gray touch interface for the cheaper cousins of PS. We don't want it!
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Chris Cox

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Bruce - thank you for the specific issues.
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joshua withers

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Chris, can you give us a clue as to what or when a remedy might be in the future? As a teacher and one who records screen captures, if this interface is only temporary, I will revert back to a previous version. But if our future will remain gray, I'll suck it up and deal with it.
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Chris Cox

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Nope. We have to talk about the issue internally to see what can be done.
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Rob K

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Having rolled back to the previous version, I can't give a play by play breakdown of the UI issues, but I can say that the overarching theme of my sense of alienation in 2015.10 stems from an overall degradation of intuitive interaction.

When you become proficient at something, it's very much a result of practice and familiarity. If you play the clarinet, you get good by becoming so familiar with the physical instrument that you no longer even think about the individual keys, freeing you to play efficiently and proficiently.

With Photoshop, it's no different. Us working professionals have come to expect specific visual cues and differentiations as we navigate the application. We rely on the continuity from version to version, and over the years, Photoshop has almost always delivered that continuity.

With the latest version, it's as if several keys of the clarinet have shifted position. Buttons don't act the same way. Drop down dialogs require more concentration. Things are harder to click because we don't see the target. Selected layers have taken on the visual language of previously different modes, e.g. Quick Mask.

It's no longer possible to use familiarity and intuition to utilize Photoshop's interface...one must move focus from the most important thing on the screen - the pixel image - and for the first time in several years, pay more attention to the buttons and menus than to the image.

The UI team has done a bang up job of keeping the interface fresh and relevant, and looking like an iPhone, at the extreme cost of learned, intuitive interaction and the ability to use the software out of the corner of one's eye. We must now stop and stare directly at the buttons/menus to be sure we are playing the instrument correctly.

This is profoundly preventing those of us who have become excellent players from making beautiful music.

Please keep Photoshop a professional application. You have plenty of products aimed at enthusiasts and amateurs. If that demographic wants to learn the complexities of Photoshop, by all means, they are welcome to do so. But please don't dumb it down for the Instagram/iPhone set. The interface for Photoshop should be anything but trendy. Asking imaging and design professionals to embrace the latest version of Photoshop is like asking Hollywood film editors to switch to iMovie.

You shouldn't need a detailed laundry list of what doesn't work in the new Photoshop. You should simply roll the interface back, or at the very least, offer the option. Going forward, you can strive for an interface that feels fresh, lean, and relevant, but it must maintain usability above all else. Photoshop should never win a visual design award for its UI. I feel that's what the UI team was aiming for in the latest version. They should concentrate instead on supreme usability first and foremost.

If the UI team goes back to the drawing board and nixes any element that does not respect the legacy of Photoshop and the universal language of good UI, they will realize that much of what the previous versions of Photoshop offered, from an interface standpoint, should not have been tampered with drastically.

Apple's iOS faced much of the same blowback with the introduction of iOS 7. Eventually, people got used to the changes. But not many people make a living using an iPhone. A lot of people make a living using Photoshop. The new Photoshop UI seems to come from designers more interested in being "current", based on an irrelevant metric set by the ubiquity of cell phone interfaces, than in actually being usable. An Apple designed cell phone, made for the masses, has that luxury. Professional imaging software does and should not.
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Roger Gauthier

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Chris, if this may comfort you and the whole Photoshop team, you're not alone in making huge mistakes in user interface design. Everybody recalls Windows Vista and Windows 8.0, right? Never widely adopted because Windows users did not want to use them.

Now let me tell you a story you perhaps already know. It is the story of Apple's Disappearing Scroll Bars Folly, of which you can still find some rotting remnants in El Capitan. This whole stupidity was born out of a desire to integrate iOS with Mac OS X.

In the summer of 2011, Apple introduced OS X Lion. Many users including myself installed it immediately, only to discover to their horror that their beloved scrolling bars had disappeared! There were numerous and frantic exchanges on Apple's Discussions that this was a Designers' Choice to "make the interface look cleaner", à la iPhone and iPad. This was stupid as a small screen's dilemmas have nothing to do with a big monitor.

But in their magnanimity, the guys had made a concession and had included a second choice in Preferences. It was not by default, but you could choose it: it gave you narrow scrolling bars with a pale grey, hardly visible thumb (called scroller in OS X). Of course not a single customer was happy.

But I saw through the evolution of each Apple app that many at Apple disagreed and overrode that stupid choice. Either Mail or Safari, I don't remember, came up with scrolling bars resembling very much what we have nowadays, with a grey thumb that goes dark grey if you get near the scrolling bar. We were slowly getting back in business.

Over the years, without much ado, the scrolling bars came back by default. It took a year or two before the idea of a dark thumb when you get near the scrolling bar became the norm.

In El Capitan, you can still make your scrolling bars disappear. I know of absolutely nobody using that option. It's a matter of face saving, I guess.

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Now look at what you did with your scrolling bars, at least on a Mac. Don't know why, but you overrode OS X interface for windows. Those are your own scrolling bars, and guess what? The thumbs are so pale grey that they are hardly visible! Why in the name of God is it necessary to do that?

This is just another source of vexation in this interface.
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Robert Tarabella

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Interface elements such as scroll bars, buttons, fields, pop up/drop down menus, etc, come for free for developers when they program their apps using Apple's free development tools. When I hear blowback like "you don't understand how much work we've put into redesigning all this stuff" it jus makes me shake my head.
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Ann Shelbourne

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I fear that the problem here my have stemmed from Adobe hiring slick young designers, who are more in tune with iPads and smart phones, than they are with the requirements of professional-level production programs like Photoshop or InDesign?

Chris asks for specifics so lets start with READABILITY.

Readability for anyone using professional-level 30-inch monitors, went down the drain in the new UI. The Background greys are simply not sufficiently differentiated from the Type (which needs to be fully 100% BLACK ) in the lighter skins; and we simply MUST be given a way to enlarge the SIZE of the Type and the Icons to suit our individual screens and the needs of our eyesight.

Many of the icons are now meaningless and indecipherable scribbles and we need an experienced UI Designer (who has real expertise and experience in this field) to be put in charge of this project.

Another area which needs immediate attention is the visibility of both Paths and active Selections. Use of the Pen tool has become almost impossible unless you turn image-opacity down.

I really can't believe that the people who were responsible for this appalling UI have had much experience in using these applications for real-world Professional Production Output?
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Roger Gauthier

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Chris, here is a screenshot made from a 27 inch monitor I just received and put alongside my two 30 in. This image will tell you what I think ion the most general way I can think of. But looking at this image, you will also see all that is wrong with the new interface.

This image now has a title: How to go too far.

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Nothing will change, you say, if we don't do the work ourselves? Really?

I don't really care. My wife just told me to stop this useless thing, and I've been married for a very long period of time.

I don't car, now that I have reverted to usable 16.0.1, and I encourage everybody to do exactly the same.
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Bruce Thomas

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Chris, the big issue here is that Adobe has suddenly alienated a very large number of long term customers (and now subscribers) by thrusting upon us a UI change that was not required and with no option to retain the 'classic' look. This very web page we are currently writing on is a fine example of legibility and function, the new Abobe UI's are definitely not. There was a time I enjoyed clicking on the 'Update' button to see what Adobe had improved. Now I am afraid of that button...very afraid.
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Rob K

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I keep reading "we need specific feedback".

"Please roll back or allow users to opt out of the new interface" seems pretty specific to me.

Tell your UI team to stick their heads into a commercial airline cockpit the next time they fly. Will they see panels of touch screens with low contrast quasi-stateless buttons? Of course not. They will see row upon row of analog dials and physical switches with bold colors indicating various states, because a professional technical environment requires foolproof visual cues.

Photoshop is a professional technical environment. It does not need to appeal to millennial Instagramers or soccer moms...that's what Elements, and myriad other tablet/phone apps are for. The latest Photoshop has stripped out much of its formerly foolproof visual cues. THAT is the specific feedback.

Do you guys really expect US to take dozens of before/after screenshots of YOUR interface to prove our point? That's what beta testers, focus groups and professional UI designers are for.

When an angry mob with bats and torches is outside Frankenstein's monster's window, they're not there to discuss the finer points of the monster's faults. They are there to run the monster out of town.
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Вадим Благодарный

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Totally agree. We professionals do not have time to point every aspect of this new crippled interface. Do they expect us to forge our own interface by spending all of our free time on this forum? Well ok, make software open source then.

Many of us disappointed with the new UI. This "sudden new interface" is acceptable within a separate public beta-testing branch, but not within a stable release branch, why can't Adobe admit it?

As for me, I use Photoshop much less than Lightroom in my workflow, but this situation shows me what can I expect from Adobe in the future. I can expect countless moves that ruin my workflow. Clients' trust is earned by years and decades, but can be ruined in a moment.

I'm probably quitting Creative Cloud when my yearly plan expires, and have already purchased and using another product from a different company, which has already replaced my Lightroom workflow with minimal efforts. Photoshop replacement is on the way too.