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 3 years ago

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Bruce Thomas

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I'll be sticking with CC2014 until Adobe actually releases a decent UI. And that sucks Adobe :(
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Marc De Champagne

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I'm leading a UX Designer team in a bigger company and I would fire everyone for providing results like this. Seriously! That's a complete fail on basics of UI design.
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Ann Shelbourne

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I am frankly astonished that a company of the size and standing of Adobe could have allowed these incompetent amateur, but decidedly arrogant, "Designers" to have touched the UI in the first place—let alone allowing this charade to continue.
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Richard Missin

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It's fine when you have a feedback forum, but when you actively and deliberately ignore users who pay for your software, what's the point ?
Your a class act Adobe...second class.
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Kurt Triffet

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Adobe feedback forums have traditionally been more about bug fixes and validation for their products than constructive criticism that lead to rethinking it in a better way.

They'll fix the bugs, but features that they like? Etched in stone.

We saw this with Dreamweaver after they killed the wonderful Golive. They never brought its best features into Dreamweaver as they said they were going to do. The Golive forum was in uproar for a few years, to no avail.
(Edited)
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Ann Shelbourne

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  • I still prefer to design web sites with GL instead of DW and I retain an older Mac tower on my network for only that purpose!
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Kurt Triffet

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LOL, me too for some of my legacy sites. Faster and quicker by far than DW.
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Robert Tarabella

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Here is the funniest thing to arrive in my inbox today.
https://edex.adobe.com/pd/course/UX2U...

Adobe is inviting us to come learn about UX design. I think they should attend someone else's seminar on this topic first.
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Designert

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relies heavily on an understanding of users needs
LOL
(I laugh but I could be crying just the same...)
(Edited)
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Kurt Triffet

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;-)
(Edited)
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Roger Gauthier

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Wa ha ha ha... It's not funny at all in fact. Too near the truth I guess. But I did laugh a lot. :-)
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Kurt Triffet

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Cristen Gillespie

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LOL
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Stas Smirnov

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Photoshop CC UI evolution
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Mark V.

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Photoshop "2015.5" came out yesterday and it's clear that Adobe is sticking with the janky new amateur interface. 
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Kurt Triffet

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With the software rental scheme firmly in place, they no longer have to listen to the user to keep profits up. 
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Cristen Gillespie

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Sure they do. They know there's competition out there as well as we do. But they're an aircraft carrier compared to a 40' yacht when trying to change course. We need to try to be specific when we don't like something. And we need to hope a lot of others will agree with us.  Worse for us of course— getting us all to agree on what's wrong and what a good fix would look like is herding cats.

I'm sure we've all looked at our exit strategy if the benefits of using the apps stops outweighing the negatives and the bugs we deal with. Their financial plan hasn't completely blinded them to that fact. Slow to maneuver they may be. But I'll bet they're listening, and as many of them as there are, I'll bet getting them to agree on anything is as much herding cats as it is us. I don't know how they decide—maybe top down—it's the CEO's whim or their 5 year old's preference— maybe draw straws, throw darts at a list, or hold mud wrestling contests.

But truthfully, I find the 2nd lightest UI so dim I'd never use it. I find the darkest UI has almost too much contrast. The Goldilocks UI for me is 2nd darkest. It still has some issues. I wouldn't have changed it from the last UI, if I were Emperor and didn't know more than I do now about why they changed it. However, I can live with one out of the 3 options, and I can't live without the features the competition doesn't have. So for me, the best thing to do is just chip away at what's worst — hint — those OK and Cancel buttons in dialogs are difficult to see just which one is active.
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Kurt Triffet

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Although there are now a couple good alternatives to Photoshop out there, many of us use it in conjunction with the other programs. Aside from the ever-abysmal Dreamweaver, the other main programs, Illustrator and Indesign are solid and efficient. You even still have Save for Web in AI and the old excellent UI in both of these, although I haven't looked at the new updates. I don't believe Adobe ever mentioned that they changed the UI in their list of additions to Photoshop. I don't even bother with the new "art student" tablet-toy programs they are putting out there, although I do use Adobe Draw. 
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John Isner

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I don't recall Adobe saying anything about a re-designed user experience in the CC 2015.1 release note, which is astounding considering that it was the first thing that many people noticed.  But now they proudly list it on their "new features" page:

Modern user experience on desktop and touch devices

The updated UI delivers a clean and consistent look throughout Photoshop, and you can quickly perform common tasks using a new set of gestures on touch-enabled devices like Microsoft Surface Pro.

The important thing that many posts in this discussion seem to be missing is that Adobe does not care about the relatively small number of people working on desktop computers with large monitors.  They're targeting the mobile crowd with their tablets and touch screens.  they always mention that the Surface Pro is fully capable of running Photoshop, and I believe the Surface Pro is probably their platform for UX testing.  Furthermore, it's a lot cheaper to maintain a single UI development toolkit that works across all platforms.  So everyone gets the same flat non-skeuomorphic interface, whether they're working on a tiny tablet or a giant 30-inch monitor.  

The Creative Cloud $10 a month plan is selling like hotcakes.  It accounts for two-thirds of Adobe's revenue (as I recall, but  please check me on this).  The vast majority of that money is coming from the mobile market.  So why wouldn't they cater to it?

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Cristen Gillespie

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> the other main programs, Illustrator and Indesign are solid and efficient

Don't get me started. LOL I can complain until pigs fly about Illustrator. I love it for what it does that only AI does, but for basics, I use Astute Graphics plug-ins to enjoy using AI. It's been getting better, slowly, but some features are still languishing while they get the Cloud and iPad and Android stuff up to date. You want a list of what I think they should be working on instead, just ask.  '-}

I've used first PageMaker, then InDesign when they brought it out. It pretty much does everything I need, but I'm not a production artist. I know people who are. They'll complain to you all you can stand to hear.  '-} And some of the features are fabulous—until they get in my way or bog my machine down. Can't live with them, can't live without them.

And as for the interface—it's system-wide. That's why I talk about the aircraft carrier not exactly turning on a dime. And even if you think the interface is awful, there's a very good reason for it being the same awful in all the apps, along with some other features, like CC Libraries and the Start screen. We've complained since the dawn of time that moving between apps was giving us whiplash. We need the apps to be as integrated and alike as possible. — Since we'll never get the default kbsc to be the same in every app, each app, and that includes Bridge and LR, need to let us customize kbsc, and all the apps need to let us assign kbsc to pretty much any command we want to assign it to. Then we won't trip ourselves up so much moving from AI to PS to AE to . . .

We may have quibbles about the exact UI and feature set that they all include—or downright brawls—but there's not a heck of a lot of point to a CC subscription if it remains a bunch of apps that look and act as if they belonged to different companies. The idea is that you may almost never use AE or PP or DW, but when you have a reason to, the inexpert user can get around and do many of the basic things s/he needs because it's a familiar environment.  It's an attempt, not always successful, at being user-friendly, and mainly user-friendly to the many, many who now subscribe to the entire group of apps, and don't want to find it difficult to make the occasional use of any of them. Otherwise, really, what are you paying for?

Adobe is, I think, trying to say, hey, you buy the lot and we can make it easier for you to move about using the features you want to in whatever app is best suited. We'll make the basics of every app feel like home so you can use all the apps you're subscribing to with your CC subscription.  And what home is without a few flaws.<G>

They can prove me wrong. But they'll lose a lot of customers if they do.
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Kurt Triffet

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The important point is that just as the developer team is young, born into the insane multitask world now dumped into our laps, so are all the new and future users. They are developing for these people, often discarding tried-and-true usability as they try to hedge their bets on what the next big trend is going to be. Adobe is still a follower, not a leader in this realm.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> born into the insane multitask world now dumped into our laps, so are all the new and future users. They are developing for these people>

If that's true, they're in for a world of hurt. The bar to competition for the mobile apps and cloud-connected everywhere is very, very low. Again, not being a fly on the wall in their corporate offices, I can't say why there's such a strong move towards mobile at the expense of more professional features, although I will say that PS has done a pretty good job of creating a balance between the trendy and features the rest of us want. The choice isn't the team's to make, either, I don't think.

But I think they're trying to keep people swimming in the Adobe pool. (It's very hot in this drought-stricken region, and all I can think about is cool, cool water.<G>) The mobile/Cloud stuff plugs in to the main apps. It's maybe, just a guess here, maybe better to have people use Adobe's playtime apps and then bring them into the desktop apps to finish, than looking at anyone else—and with iPhone and Android out there with more apps than I would think there are people to buy them, there's plenty to look at. All the major graphics apps I know about have at least one mobile app tied to their desktop app.

As for being a leader. No, I think they're trying to keep up, but not leading in this area.  But you have to admit, CC Libraries, if they keep on developing them, are a pretty good response to getting assets that work in multiple apps. Capture is a good mobile feed for that, as is Adobe Stock, so the tie-in is starting to happen. See a layout you like? Instead of having to be at your desk or with laptop in hand, grab your mobile device (usually handy) with Adobe Comp on it, and "jot" it down with your finger. Just the bare bones, but with CC Libraries, you can even play with color and graphics.

Just because most of what I do I wouldn't do on a small screen doesn't mean I don't appreciate the ability to do those things that can be done on a small screen—and then send them over to my desktop when I'm there. But I completely agree that they're going to have to be carefully focused on the high-end features that keep us at the desktop. If they pull an Apple and forget about their desktop users, they won't have anything to sell that is head and shoulders above the competition and keeps customers buying the subscription to all Creative Cloud. A much tougher world for them then.
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Kurt Triffet

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Roger Gauthier

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It sure feels that way!
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Rob K

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The thing that kills me, is that as a professional retoucher on a Mac for the past 17 years, my professional requirements (you know, just minor things like quickly being able to discern between Quick Mask mode and a selected layer...almost impossible with the new UI) are taking a back seat to the "modern interface" requirements of millennial Instagrammers on Windows tablets, who probably don't even know what a mask is, and weren't even born when so many of us "old school" Photoshoppers were keeping Adobe in business.

Thanks Adobe.  
(Edited)
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Kurt Triffet

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Retouching, prepress and serious print production is a huge industry and not done on tablets. Somebody has to take those files the kids give us and fix them. ;-) Larger tablets are not even the answer, since the ergonomics for doing serious work looking down, instead for looking forward, really prevent them from being as efficient.
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Jeff Sass, Official Rep

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Hi everyone,

I wanted to update this thread on the progress that the Photoshop team has made to the UI in the Photoshop 2015.5 release. The numbers below refer to specific issues brought up on this thread and include the additional ones that have been added over the last weeks. 

2) The Adobe Camera Raw plugin now has the same UI as Photoshop and is shipping with version 9.5 or later.

4) We have improved the centering of the text in buttons. There are some cases where it could be off by 1 pixel until we complete some further foundational work in the codebase.

5) We have fixed the font style dropdown in the character palette to no longer be clipped on the right edge. In a future release we will be investigating further improvements to this panel.

6) We have addressed the contrast of the text in the second lightest stop. We still have further improvements to the contrast coming in a later release.

7) The quick mask color has been fixed. The layers panel now correctly indicates that you are editing an alpha channel using the rubylith color.

10) We have filed an internal bug for the issue with the separator lines (e.g. layers panel, channels panel, etc.) we will look at addressing this in a future release.

In addition to the issues previously in this thread we have had a number of conversations directly with customers over the past few months and will be looking at the following issues:

11)  We will be investigating some of the tool icons that have had their internal fills removed. Some customers find them harder to distinguish.

12) We are investigating the selection colors. For example, the selected layer color that was light blue in the previous release.

13) We are investigating the look of the popups and edit fields for a future release.

We are reading this thread so please continue to be specific and we will look at addressing the issues in future releases.

-Jeff

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Kurt Triffet

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You do know that a return to the 2014 UI would be the best solution. It was a good combo of form following function. I think that you guys are trying to constrain yourselves too much within the current UI trends. Next year, it will be something else, and then 10 years down the line, some young design team will "discover" and reintroduce the old one. ;-)
(Edited)
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Bruce Thomas

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The 2014 version suits me just fine. No 'upgrade' since then has been easier to use or even understand.
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Designert

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Jeff,
Thank you for your update.
(It really did feel no one was listening anymore.)

But for now I'll stay with version 2015.0.0.
I don't trust the new interface will suddenly be better now than the good old one
(Edited)
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Tom Hockersmith

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While we're at it, can anyone explain to me why Adobe updates "legacy" versions?  I currently have both PS CC2015 and CC2014 installed, and the cloud is constantly nagging me to allow it to update 2014.  Update what?  One of the many things I hate about this whole cloud deal is the blind updates.  Like Forrest Gump says, "you never know what you're gonna get," only it's rarely chocolate.  This thread is about an "update" no one here would have allowed if they had seen what the result was going to be first.  Needless to say I haven't allowed the 2014 update.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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The Camera Raw plug-in is updated for all versions of CC.
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a.lo

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Until or unless Photoshop reverts to using OS-standard UI widgets for buttons, checkboxes, etc., I'll be staying with Photoshop 2014 for as long as I can. I'm on Mac OS - I don't need Photoshop to have a UI optimized for touch.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> I currently have both PS CC2015 and CC2014 installed, and the cloud is constantly nagging me to allow it to update 2014.  Update what>

If you click on the What's New below the name of the app the Cloud will update, you should get a response to what's being updated, or a link to find out more. Usually what is being updated is Camera Raw stuff— cameras supported, that sort of thing. Every time cameras get updated, the earlier, eligible apps all get updated, so you can wind up with 4 or 5 updates you can ignore if you don't need Camera Raw support.

But it's a good idea to read what is being updated  in case there's a bug fix. You can rest assured they won't be updating your entire UI.
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Designert

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Hi Guys,

Question: Is every one following this topic now using the new user interface and do you like it?
Is it save to update already?
(I'm still using: 2015.0.0)

Thanks in advance
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Richard Missin

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If you consider bland, drab, lifeless, unreadable & grey "safe" then go ahead ;)

I'm still on 14.2 and  staying there.
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Roger Gauthier

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It depends quite a lot on what you're doing, Designert. And to what extend are you ready to suffer without any reason while doing it. Say for example that you want to use the new Select and Mask tool and workspace which is good IMHO, even if it still has issues, then you have to go to the newest version. Bear in mind though that you will have to suffer some true interface indignities surely created by Satan in order to punish the lot of us.

I've stopped complaining because those people are worse than American politics nowadays. They will not listen, they will admit almost nothing. You just can't discuss with not-yet-grownups. I will illustrate what I mean with a single, specially abhorrent example of an unreadable dialog.

Good luck anyway.
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Designert

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Thank you both, Richard and Roger, for your useful and honest reply's!

(Gosh, why do I hate I hate those rounded buttons so much? Maybe it's because it's used on
Mac and not so much on windows??... Please, please, please don't make Photoshop look like Mac (or other trendy UI) and keep it's own characteristic look and feel!)

Keep your reply's coming guys!
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Question: Is every one following this topic now using the new user interface and do you like it?
Is it save to update already?
(I'm still using: 2015.0.0)

Well, I'm using the new interface. . . my computer hasn't exploded and my home's not burned down yet. I guess it's safe. <BG>
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Designert

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Better save than sorry...
;-)
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Kurt Triffet

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The program is stable, but that's never been the problem. The problem is the poorly designed UI - especially replacing visually intuitive (and contrasting) field boxes with ambiguous underlines. Nothing to do with being a "trendy Mac" thing, just Adobe hell-bent on needing to reinvent the wheel.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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> The problem is the poorly designed UI - especially replacing visually intuitive (and contrasting) field boxes with ambiguous underlines. >

Yup, got it in a nutshell. If you use the narrow options bar, as I do, try telling active from inactive icons at a glance. In the dialog boxes, try seeing at a quick glance what the default action is if you press the return/Enter key. In general, it's perfectly "safe" to use. It's just not easy when you're working quickly to have to stop and peer at the interface to figure out what has the focus — and I don't consider adding a lot of bright colors to the otherwise flat interface a good solution. A bit of very dull blue highlighting might work, though. Then flat wouldn't be so flat.
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Kurt Triffet

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Would it kill them to ditch the underline and just put back white box? The solution is so easy.
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Ann Shelbourne

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Fragile Egos would probably obstruct such an easy, sensible and practical solution?!
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Robert Tarabella

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Somebody at Adobe is smitten with Google's "material design" theme. It has the same lame underlines in place of text entry fields.
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Kurt Triffet

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It's bad design anyway you look at it. Are these guys just lemmings following others, or thinking for themselves?
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Are these guys just lemmings following others, or thinking for themselves?>

I suspect the UI designers have read all the justifications for the type of design they created and have memorized why it's a better design than anything that's gone before. I suspect they believe in it, or at least those in charge do. They just don't use our software to create the sort of things we create with our apps.

But looking at past history, we can rest assured that something new in UI design will soon be given to us. We can hope we like it. <BG>
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grauenwölfe

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Somebody at Adobe is smitten with Google's "material design" theme. It has the same lame underlines in place of text entry fields.
Bingo! Toddler Design is the new Swiss Design.

Here is the stolen "inspirational" source for our nifty new entry fields:


Here are a few more examples, extremely popular with users from age 6 months old to 3 years old. Fisher-Price was so ahead of their time.



Have to admit though, at least they're not afraid of a little color which is good, but this goes a little far.
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Designert

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Aha, your reply's answer my (not so good formulated) question and confirm my suspicions.
No upgrading for me... yet.

I also suspect the UI is designed only (OK, mainly) for the dark color theme and is even worse in the (2nd) lightest color theme where I work in.  (So much better for my eyes. I get tired a lot sooner when working with the dark color theme.)

Anny way...
Thanks for the reply's all!

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Designert

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Aha, your reply's answer my (not so good formulated) question and confirm my suspicions.
No upgrading for me... yet.

I also suspect the UI is designed only (OK, mainly) for the dark color theme and is even worse in the (2nd) lightest color theme where I work in.  (So much better for my eyes. I get tired a lot sooner when working with the dark color theme.)

Anny way...
Thanks for the reply's all!

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Jonas Madsen Rogne

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Yeah, contrast is worse on the lighter themes. Adobe has replied that they are aware of it and is working on it for a future version.
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Robert Tarabella

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Sure. It's been a year since they foisted the swampy mess of gray upon us. It would not take more than a few weeks to add some contrast -- unless of course, they have no plan on doing that.
My bet is the delicate and fragile egos of the Millennial UI designers have been bruised and they have retreated to their safe spaces so our words can't trigger micro agressions against them.
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Designert

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Is there not one (big)  shareholder that uses Photoshop and thinks: WTF?!
:-)
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Kurt Triffet

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It's like Adobe made a deal with Google to fold Google's material design standards into theirs, even if they are detrimental to the user experience. 

Adobe has lost sight of the primary design rule: form follows function.
Any first semester art school student knows this.
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Cristen Gillespie

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>  and is even worse in the (2nd) lightest color theme where I work in>

Oh dear. That one, imo, is the only scheme that is unusable. You might try the lightest scheme. It's really not as light as people who want the light scheme want it to be. I think it's much closer to what the 2nd lightest scheme would be. The light schemes aren't good for my eyes, and the darkest scheme still has too much contrast in too many places (with not enough where no one seems to see enough differentiation).

There are some lovely features (Select and Mask being a great idea but not making the grade yet as lovely feature), so it's mostly nice to work with the latest release. But not in that 2nd lightest. I'd work in broad daylight or blackout before I'd work in that muddy environment.

Just be sure, if you decide to try it for yourself, you click on Advanced in the Creative Cloud app when it asks you about installing, and say DO NOT REMOVE previous apps. Maybe someday that design team will understand how dangerous and unnecessary it is to put anything under Advanced in the Installation screen. (sigh)

By installing the one without uninstalling the other, you can try for yourself, even jump into the latest if there's a feature or two worth it, and then back into an earlier version for the rest of it.
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Robert Tarabella

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Since this product is used by people who are very sensitive to design issues (and presumably Adobe knows this), they could have given us a more expressive "interface" prefs panel. Instead of boxing us into the several gray-on-gray options (don't get me started...) I would have liked the ability to use a set of slider controls to set the background color, text color, and highlight color for the entire interface. That would have prevented 90% of our griping.
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Jeff Sass, Official Rep

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Hi everyone,

Adobe employees continue to read this thread. Thanks for your feedback.

We are focusing our efforts around the selection color right now for the next release. This is specifically #12 from our list in my previous post. We are looking at making that a user preference.

12) We are investigating the selection colors. For example, the selected layer color that was light blue in the previous release.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Kurt Triffet

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What prevents you from simply returning to the easy to read white text field boxes?
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Cristen Gillespie

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@JeffSass 12) We are investigating the selection colors. For example, the selected layer color that was light blue in the previous release.>>

Please, please look at After Effects. You don't do yourselves any favors if you force a brightness level of blue highlight upon us (or any other color, but blue has generally been satisfactory). 

I know AE doesn't have to deal with as wide a range of interface brightness levels as the print apps do. But I'm able to use a custom brightness setting in AI as well, and I'm not hearing people complain. In fact, to the contrary.  I've heard text is the issue, but AI's text simply flips from white to black at 51% brightness and up, and it seems to work fine, perhaps because we can adjust the brightness level of its environment so we can still read the text without difficulty.

AE came out first a version or so back with a single, rather garish "light blue" hightlight,  and immediately fixed it with a slider, the outcry was so large. I use custom brightness in both AE and AI, and PS could have spared themselves a lot of this if they'd considered the slider approach for brightness plus a sliding highlight color. Something that makes what is active stand out a bit more without blinding us with contrast. But "blinding" is in the eye of the beholder, which is why there need to be as many options as possible.

Also, while you're at it, keep the layer labels desaturated, as you have done, and double the number. AE can offer a boatload of label colors. Surely PS can think about offering a few more to those of us who organize our layers panel with color.
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Robert Tarabella

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I agree. Excellent description of what I suggested earlier. Although I wouldn't mind a light blue highlight, I'm sure many would not like it. Letting the users choose will put this issue to rest. Yes, Adobe would need to cede some control to the users, but isn't the customer ultimately right?
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Kurt Triffet

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You guys are overthinking this whole thing, Adobe included. The interface should be simple, intuitive, and across the board. No need for futzing with colors (or even agonizing over them) when well designed monochromatic with maybe a few variations to allow for user contrast would work fine. Adobe had a fine interface for years that worked extremely well. The more options for this sort of thing is a waste of employee resources and does no one any favors.
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Herbert

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@Christen, I like the idea to choose if I want to keep the older app when installing an update. Following your suggestion 4 hours ago above here I just checked my CC app and could not find the 'Advanced' button/tab to select 'DO NOT REMOVE previous apps'. Where do I find this? Thanks.
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Robert Tarabella

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@Kurt, one man's well designed is another's poorly designed. I suspect it is similar programming effort to create four variations (it seems like it was a sincere effort to make everybody happy) as it would to just add a few sliders for customization.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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@Herbert: 
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Herbert

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Awesome, thanks. I had looked at settings without actually updating anything ...
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Herbert

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OOOOPS.

I was holding out updating InDesign, my go-to app over all other CC apps, for fear the interface may be mutilated like Photoshop. I just now I clicked the update button in the CC app but I did not see the dialog you're showing and it went straight into downloading the update. 

Eventually this resulted in an error and the update was aborted. Strange.

Not sure how to resolve this.

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Cristen Gillespie

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> You guys are overthinking this whole thing, Adobe included. The interface should be simple, intuitive, and across the board. No need for futzing with colors (or even agonizing over them)>

That hasn't worked well, and it's not for aesthetic reasons. All of us respond differently to varying amounts of brightness and contrast. If we work in these apps for hours on end, as many of us do, we need the brightness and contrast to be tailored to our own visual needs. I have lived with many an aesthetically ugly interface — I used Windows for some time, after all.

Futzing, as you call it, for me has been set it once and forget about it. I don't feel any agony doing that.  '-}
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Kurt Triffet

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My issue was more about the overthinking of the color nuances. I also work for "hours on end" (mainly between PS, AI & ID), and, at this point, just want to see some simple common sense come back into the UI for PS.
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Martial Boulguy

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Just moved to the new interface.
I agree with the comments. Huge visibility pb especially with "the  background of the dropdown boxes and input fields is the same color as the background of the UI panel itself and there are no borders separating the area distinguishing what can and cannot be clicked on". 
So painful for the eyes.
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Jeff Sass, Official Rep

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Hi Martial,

We just fixed this and gave the latest version of Photoshop to our prerelease team for feedback. This will be fixed in the next version of Photoshop.

Thanks,
Jeff
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edward.caruso

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I was using CS6 side by side with CC2015.5 yesterday and the UI difference is striking. The older UI is so much more usable, especially when working quickly. I even remember complaining that CS6 had less UI contrast than CS5 at the time. Please get away from this flat UI fad and give your real users (not your marketing target group) what we need to work. Its obvious that you are really stumbling about with it.
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Kurt Triffet

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Yes, I'm constantly looking for the field input areas now that they have been reduced to faint underlines, which is reducing my productivity. It's obvious that they have a management directive to push this poorly executed UI fad despite what long-time professionals want or need. The problem always lies at the top with these sorts of things in the corporate world.
(Edited)
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Philip Krayna

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled New Photoshop UI - TERRIBLE! Poor visibility, contrast, icons still too small..

Dear Adobe,

You created this online community for our input, but I really don't think anyone at your offices is actually reading or listening to our comments. I was part of a similar thread about this topic that to date has literally hundreds of comments about the poor user interface and contrast in the new version of Photoshop. That thread did not receive a single reply from Adobe.

As someone over age 40, with eyes that focus on your software all day, the new "look" of Photoshop is absolutely unusable and a step backwards. In addition, you still have offered a larger icon set and text/menu fonts for those on a retina screen. That is a simple fix and your party line is "change your monitors resolution". If my shoe doesn't fit, I don't change the size of my foot. 

I am writing this thread with the hop you will ADDRESS our concern and FIX the interface and restore it to it's somewhat legible previous version. You have a monopoly on design software and are starting to behave like Microsoft. And look where they are now...
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Jeff Sass, Official Rep

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Hi Philip and everyone,

Myself and members of the Photoshop read this thread every day. I have replied with a specific list of things that we are fixing. I then updated that list with even more things that we are looking at. This work was done based on feedback from customers on this thread and via direct phone conversations with other customers.

Just today, our internal prerelease team received the latest build where we have improved in 4 ways.
1) We added a user preference to change the highlight color from grey to blue. 
2) Increased contrasts of the lightest 3 color stops.
3) Edit controls and popup/edit controls now have frames instead of underlines
4) Character panel is cleaner, divider lines removed for easier visibility

Thanks,
Jeff
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Kurt Triffet

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Super, nice to see we're finally making some good progress!
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Philip Krayna

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Hello Jeff-- thank you for taking the time to reply. I look forward to the update and hopefully the improvement. You may detect an undercurrent of frustration in my emails-- I have suggested numerous simple improvements to your software only to have your developers reply that it couldn't be done.Yet amateur coders have simple shortcodes and hacks that accomplish these fixes. Your team should be more than happy that people who have used the software since beta 20+ years ago, are seeing things with a long-term perspective and take their time to point out improvements. I encourage your team to try and innovate and listen to their base of users, or risk going the way of Microsoft.
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Martial Boulguy

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Thanks for taking some of our comments into account. Looking forward to try the update.
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Bruce Thomas

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In future just please don't let the CC2015 designer you hired (I won't mention his name) anywhere near Adobe. Oh, and please sack whoever gave him the design brief. Thanks.
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grauenwölfe

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Just today, our internal prerelease team received the latest build where we have improved in 4 ways.
Sounds like a good move but do you mind giving a quick breakdown of what excalty your prerelease team consists of?
  • Verified professional users or randomly selected focus group?
  • Long-time, familiar users or new, inexperienced users?
  • Users who legitimately know how to and DO use Photoshop to earn their living or teens and college kids with iPads?
To cut to the chase here, is this prerelease team going to have any relevance in representing those who use Photoshop as a tool to sustain their incomes?
(Edited)
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Kurt Triffet

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Only verified professionals with a minimum of 5 years of solid Photoshop experience should even be considered.
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Kurt Triffet

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Had to chuckle when I saw this come from the same company that defied design logic with the new Photoshop design.

https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/ux-management-7-steps-to-set-up-an-ongoing-training-process/?t...
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Robert Tarabella

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Can't wait to try it. Thanks, very much for staying with this, Jeff.
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Richard Missin

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Bruce Thomas

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Nailed it Richard!!
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Richard Missin

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CC 2014 version:

I just tried 2015 again, it’s a slight improvement but still has a LONG  way to go to match 2014’s readability.
Switching between the two, 2105 still looks like it's been through the wash a few too many times.
It wasn't broken Adobe, you ruined it and are now slowly (and reluctantly) putting things back, it's too little too late.
Mess around with the UI all you want, but a "Classic UI" option is the only acceptable solution.
The sooner you accept this the better for all concerned.
(Edited)
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Jeff Sass, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hi everyone,

Adobe has released Photoshop CC 2017 today. This update contains the following 4 specific updates from this thread:

1) A new user preference to change the highlight color from grey to blue 
2) Increased contrasts of the lightest 3 color stops
3) Edit controls and popup/edit controls now have frames instead of underlines
4) The character panel is cleaner, divider lines removed for easier visibility

Thanks,
Jeff
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Robert Tarabella

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THANK YOU!
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Roger Gauthier

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I'm downloading everything right now, will comment later. It seems that you've made some steps in the right direction. I will wait till I've tried it before saying thank you.
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Rob K

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Installed and liking things a lot more than the last few updates.

I wanted to try the new cmd+F feature, but I just get the normal Filter command from that combo, and I don't see an option in Keyboard Commands to map for "Find".
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Ann Shelbourne

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The function is actually called "Search" and it is listed in the Edit Menu.

I changed my KBSC to "Cmd Opt /" because I prefer to keep Cmd F for "Last Filter".
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Cristen Gillespie

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> I wanted to try the new cmd+F feature, but I just get the normal Filter command from that combo, and I don't see an option in Keyboard Commands to map for "Find".>

If you have custom keyboard shortcuts, as I have, Photoshop won't arbitrarily replace any of them with its own. The keyboard command you're looking for is Edit > Search. Not "Find."

They've gone quite a ways to making the basic UI much more legible and the new Search is easier and more versatile than using Search under the Help menu (which still works, btw). I think this is one feature many of us will be glad to use.
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Designert

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Thank you for keeping us posted!
(But I don't think I'll upgrade soon.)
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Richard Missin

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Just a reminder, all they have done is fix features that were ruined by the new UI design that nobody asked for.
Keep up the pretence of "listening", your not fooling anyone.
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Brenton Edwards

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You may have polished the turd, but it still a turd.
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Rob K

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As someone who has been very vocal about the UI issues with CC, having installed 2017, I can say that many of the problems have been resolved.  Have you even installed it?  I think your comment is a little unfair, but totally out of line if you haven't even tried it.
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Richard Missin

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Yes totally out of line, a turd has uses beyond being a turd, you can fertilise plants with it, PS UI on the other hand.....
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Kurt Triffet

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The problem is that most of us were very happy with the original UI. Form followed function and it worked extremely well. Then the flat trend came alone and Adobe went crazy with it. All we are seeing now is repair to the flat UI to try and get it semi-functional again. If that is "many problems being resolved", with respect to the inferior flat UI trend, I might agree. Adobe is trying to throw us a few bones, but they still don't seem to understand what made the original UI so good. If they do, it's because of management directive to be trendy to "keep up" with what Google is doing, and still figure out how to make it work. I'd be having a hard time as staff caught in the middle on this, too. 
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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> most of us were very happy with the original UI.>

I think so, too. But it would appear that someone at the top of Adobe wanted even more similarity between touch apps that have gone flat, and our desktop apps. Probably in the name of consistency because people, myself included, do find too many differences between interface elements in different apps difficult to adjust to. It's unfortunate that their first choice of "consistent interface" wasn't very usable, to say the least about that. "Consistent" can be achieved without being "identical."

 At the same time that Adobe wanted this new look, the PS team had been trying to get it all on the same page, dialogs and main window, so they took what they were handed and have really tried to compromise between the CC "look" and what makes us happy enough. From being around this long, I know that almost every change is met with "WTF?" often followed by people getting used to it, so they don't leap to fix everything. They wait for public response, and good for this site keeping at it to get the changes we needed most.

I still think the difference between OK and Cancel could be better enhanced so I didn't have to look. I think they've improved the contrast, but we have the nice dull blue highlight option, so couldn't they use that to indicate the command that has focus?

Other than that, the main purpose of an interface is to get out of our way visually without impeding our ability to identify the elements we're working with, and I think they've just about achieved that. It may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but it serves some company purpose that we've got no say in, and we can probably get used to it now until the next WTF? UI comes down the line.

At least they didn't bring back those horrible sideways-tabbed docking systems they loved briefly. Something to celebrate.<G>
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Roger Gauthier

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It's still a turd, I agree completely. I'm working with it right now. True, they're repaired a few really stupid things like the fields and such. But by Jove, this UI is so drab, so hard to read that I can hardly stand it.

Pray tell me: why is the Preferences window so small that they have to put ultra small text in it? Why is it so drab? Why no colour like a decent interface? Why the charades that are supposed to be OK, Cancel and other buttons? Why not give me my preferred interface which is built in the computer OS anyway and available to every programmer, even not very good ones?

I could mention about any dialog window except, quite miraculously, the Save As window that seems to come out right from my Mac OS! Oops, I just made a mistake. I should not have mentioned that one, they probably simply did not think of it.

OK OK, maybe the word "turd" is a bit vulgar, I don't know. But the idea behind the comment is right on.

If I may, I will shout it: STOP TRYING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL.

Because, you see, your wheels are kinda squarish.
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Richard Missin

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MY god, the slow enforced transition to a bland, flat, drab, grey, harder to read, lifeless UI continues. ..resistance is futile.

And to rub salt into the wounds there's a "Use Legacy New Document Interface" checkbox in the settings...seems it's a simple process to switch..go figure :/
(Edited)
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Kurt Triffet

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It's not going to change - they've now applied this same UI to Illustrator. They are Hell-bent on this and seemingly nothing is going to stop them.
What we now have is trade-off between UI functionality and new features. You can't get one without the other. Since we all are forced to rent Adobe programs now, the vast amount of users longer have the choice to "vote" by not upgrading, as we did in the past.
(Edited)
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Richard Missin

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Fortunately I use PS mainly for 3D texture work and dds, I can't see me needing the "new features" for a long time coming.
I'd happily pay and upgrade was it not for this enforced UI "following the trend" 2D bland drab nonsense.
Nobody asked for this, and you could have a legacy checkbox that overrides all the new grey dysfunctional fluff.
As Adobe only seem capable of following the latest trend, ruining the UI and making things more difficult for the end user, I hope it's a trend that dies out sooner than later, or a viable alternative appears in the meantime.
Adobe have clearly and cynically taken away the choice, that just makes me want to dig my heals in ;)
Enforced renting means they can do what they will, as and when they please, employ their entire user base as paid beta testers.
I wish they'd drop the pretence of "listening" they clearly have a roadmap and everyone's on it.
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Kurt Triffet

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I'm having display issues when I first open a file. Image opens (slowly) off-center and out of window visibility.
Very wonky.

Anyone else having this issue? Mac 10.11.6
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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I would start a different thread if you're still seeing this issue. A video to show what you're seeing would be helpful as well.
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Kurt Triffet

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What I'm seeing now is just a massive slowdown with a file opening, even a small one. Makes it unusable at the moment.
Will go back to the previous version until I have time to beta-test the new version for you. ;-)
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Anyone else having this issue? Mac 10.11.6>

I've updated PS on El Capitan now, and I'm not seeing images open off center or slowly. Sometimes trashing prefs helps when you change full versions, if you didn't do that already.
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Jared Wilcurt

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@Jeff Sass

I'm one of the people who left long, and detailed criticism explaining all of the terrible UX decisions that had befallen poor defenseless Photoshop.

So today I just updated to the latest versions of all this CC junk.

And behold! Most of the stuff I pointed out has been changed.

It's like you guys actually listen or something.

And though this IS an improvement. It feels more like doing the bare minimum. I'll get more into that stuff later, but first... there is a wayyyy bigger issue that needs attention, pronto. This is "uninstall and go back to old version" level of broken. I bitched a lot about how terrible PS had gotten, but I still used it... but this...

This NEEDS to be fixed. For almost 20 years every time I open Photoshop I press CTRL+N,Enter. And I have a new document. This is is done everytime I open the application. Hundreds of thousands of times a year. And now it's broken. How do you break "New File"? You have to go out of your way to break this. Why? Is this new window that great to make it worth 10 seconds of waiting for it to load?

This is unacceptable. Flat out broken and needs hotfix patch. Either give me an option in the settings to go to the "classic" way of creating a new file, or fix this so that it loads instantaneously.

CTRL+N,Enter should instantaneously give me a new file with the size of the clipboard.

Currently I can press the Enter key over 50 times after hitting CTRL+N before the stupid UI is responsive. What freaking decade is this? Does Photoshop have to go to space on a dial-up modem to load the New File dialog?

I don't think my laptop got 50 times slower over the course of 10 mintues while installing the latest version. I'm pretty sure Photoshop just got worse.

On to design. Seriously though, fix that, you just took the premier Photo Editing application of the world and made it not worth paying for.

The new file window design:

So these new tabs and thumbnails are better than the dropdowns we had before, but they make the overall experience of the New File menu much worse. They are not, and absolutely never will be my primary focus. I want my actual settings front and CENTER. I'm going to repeat that. The settings should be centered on the screen. and I shouldn't have to scroll to see them. I never had to before, why do I have to now? Why are you making what was easy, now harder and slower?

I understand that most newbies don't understand DPI, or screen resolution, or pixel density, or have all the common dimensions for print and screen devices memorized. I get that, I empathize with them. They need a better option, and this is it. And it is very good for them (I won't say great, because the icons on the thumbnails are completely pointless and could have been done much better to supply some actual utility). But it's good. It's not bad at all, and I see what you were going for.

But they are of no use to me. Do you know how often I use the templates in Photoshop? Like maybe once a year? and even then I go through and make sure the actual settings it gave me are what I want, and even then they aren't and I modify them based on the original supplied suggestion.

I want a little divider/separator with a little arrow on it. And when I click on it, alllllllll that template bullshit goes far far away where I won't ever have to look at it agian. And THEN the dialog can be centered! So I can look directly at the settings, which are what I actually care about, and not have any of them needlessly obscured because the size of the settings can adjust to put everything in view, so I don't need to interact. I can just observe the settings all in one quick glance, and then press enter to confirm, OR if I need to change something, then interact with it. This should be a very low effort, passive task. There should be no reason to introduce scrolling into this.

Example: (clicking on the "Clipboard" dropdown would cause the giant "newbie" mode to show)



But again, most importantly... I don't even want to see this screen at all 99% of the time. I just want to hit the keyboard shortcut and within less than second I should have a document.

Note, I changed the Close/Create buttons. Despite the rounded corners just being flat out ugly, they are also completely unreadable in the current version. Here is a comparison between CC on the left and mine on the right



If I can't do the following, you have failed.

Print Screen,Ctrl+N,Enter,Ctrl+V

I should have a new document with a screenshot in it. And I shouldn't have to wait to input those commands. I should be able to do all of them as fast as I possibly can, and when the program catches up, I can see it did what I told it. Create a macro for it. That is your new benchmark. This isn't "can we make it better than the previous version" it's "can we at least not make it worse".

I'm still waiting on a version that is better than CS6. Please make it.

I'll leave my comments for the changes in the stuff I brought up in the last version for another day.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Preferences > General... and check "Use Legacy New Document Dialog"
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Rob K

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I'll leave my comments for the changes in the stuff I brought up in the last version for another day.

Maybe do us all a favor and play around with the preferences before you post another novel.   Just sayin'.  :D
(Edited)
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Jared Wilcurt

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My hero. Now that I see this, I recall this isn't the first time Adobe has given me a new dialog I had to turn off. But in the past there was at least an option in dialog itself.
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Jared Wilcurt

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I had checked under the UI settings, since this was a change to the UI.
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John Isner

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I looked for the option in Preferences > General but I do not see it.  

Photoshop 2015.1
(Edited)
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Jeff Sass, Official Rep

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Hi John and Jared,
The new "New Document" dialog is new to Photoshop 2017.0 (18.0) so the preference is only present in that version. It might be easier if we move discussions around that dialog to a different thread specifically for that dialog: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/new-image-dialog-is-sluggish-would-love-to-sw...

Thanks,
Jeff
(Edited)
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John Isner

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Since I update using the Creative Cloud desktop app, I would expect the option to be found there, but I do not see it in the preferences and I won't risk pressing the UPDATE button unless I know I'll be asked because I hate surprises.   It's unclear to me what purpose it serves as a Photoshop option unless it will protect my old version the NEXT time I update, assuming  Creative Cloud checks the Photoshop option.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Since I update using the Creative Cloud desktop app, I would expect the option to be found there, but I do not see it in the preferences>

The ACC has absolutely nothing to do with the various application preferences. So I don't know why you'd expect to find them there??? It WILL, however, protect your old version if you click on Advanced and choose not to uninstall it. It will also keep your old preferences, which do NOT cover new features, if you ask it to, but enough people have been seeing odd things, those old preferences in the NEW version may be corrupt enough to generate some issues.

Perhaps you meant something different?
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Roger Gauthier

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The New document dialog is so ugly and fuzzy that I can hardly read the text in there. What's going on here? Fuzzy text in a dialog? Are we going back to the '90s?

I hear that I can get rid of it... temporarily. Not sure that I understand that twist. Come on, guys,  I've no time to lose on this. You cannot expect that such an ugly and fuzzy and confusing dialog (at least on a mac pro) will go unnoticed? You're not trying to tell me that you put out this horror and didn't know it was an absolute no go?

Guys, the scare the bejesus out of me.