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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Patrik

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled What happened to the Photoshop GUI in 2015.1 ?.

I like improvements but I don’t think this look good at all.

Was there a very good reason for changing it? Was the most important thing to make it more user-friendly and clear?

I work many hours in PS almost every day so it’s a very important tool and I guess for many others who use it in their work. A clear user interface and a legible typeface is very essential, at least for me.

Many of the icons don’t look clear enough (tools icons, the ”eye” in layers to mention some). The icons have a lot of different line widths, I think this makes the GUI messy.

The typeface looks similar to Apple’s San Francisco. I guess the reason is to look familiar, it’s a good thought, but I don’t think it works very good in PS. In my opinion the font is too wide and a bit thin. It’s also odd that the ”old” typeface remains in some places, the ”headlines” of Window items (3D, Actions, Adjustments... etc).

The type ”OK, Cancel, Prev, Next” in Preferences are not even centered in the ”buttons”. And why are the line around ”OK” only a tiny bit thicker than the others, almost not visible?

For me it’s difficult to read white type on dark gray or black so I have been using the light gray color theme. But now everything just looks flat (too narrow value between gray tones) and it’s very hard to get a simple and clear overview of all settings, percent of opacity etc, etc. There is no ”separation” between the content.

I hope there is still some work to do, to make this better.

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David Dales

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I couldn't  agree more! Extremely hard to read all menu items. Very small and lack contrast. Please change it back!! The problem is that 20 somethings are designing this stuff and want everything to be as hard to read and small as possible.
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Deborah Bradseth

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I completely agree - I want the interface to go back to having contrast and being easy to use. And I AM a 20 something year old and I have trouble seeing and using it. And my eyesight is still good, so that's not a factor. I need contrast, I need to quickly be able to see what I am clicking on, and what I am changing. After about 1 day of trying to use it, I rolled back to the previous version because I lost time while working due to the lack of contrast slowing me down. And time is money. I don't use photoshop because it looks "nice", I use it for it's functionality. But when its appearance affects my ability to use it, that's when I have an issue with it. I don't care if it looks "modern" or not, just give me the ability to use it without having to second guess my clicks or make sure I'm selecting the right item. 

Even if you don't give us the old interface, please add contrast, and not this grey-on-grey hype. Gives us some color. Color = Good 

It's not admitting you were wrong, it's admitting you're willing to compromise with your customers who are paying you good money for your product.
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David Dales

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Thanks for that. The other issue is you can only go from 100% to 200% to make menu items larger.One is too small and the other too large. How did you go back to the old one? That sounds like the solution. Thanks!
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Deborah Bradseth

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Ann Shelbourne shared this yesterday (on page 8 near the bottom if you want to see her original post). If you go to your Creative Cloud desktop app, under Apps you should see this:

I personally rolled back to the previous 2015 version, but a lot of people seem to really like 2014. When I reinstalled the previous version, it uninstalled the new version for me. 
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David Dales

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Thanks!
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Marius Renberg

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Dear Adobe team

I usually give a new software GUI (or update) a weeks worth of use before giving it the thumbs up or down.
After about eight hours in Photoshop and Illustrator I feel pretty confident in describing the 2015.1 GUI changes as a bizarre gaffe.

This is not ment as a snide comment, but was this new GUI actually tested on any substantial UX test group? And if so, did any of them have less than perfect eye sight?
Patriks comments above pretty much sum up the new GUI's usability issues.

Please bring back the previous GUI ASAP.

Yours sincerely etc ...
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Patrik

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See link below to revert to original PS CC 2015.

https://forums.adobe.com/message/8236012
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Balogh Gábor

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This new flat GUI simply doesn't work :(

Please bring back the previous GUI ASAP.
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Jared Wilcurt

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This is just awful, I'm only able to move about due to muscle memory of where stuff is. This UI is like flying blind. I feel really bad for any newbies just learning with this as their first experience. I'd be lost if I had to start on this version. There's no more affordance around anything to infer it's purpose (is it a text field that I type in or a button I click on?). If I didn't know to expect where the magic wand tool was, I'd have no idea what that new icon is.

It feels like an old man trying to be hip. "Oh you kids these days, you like that flat design, eh? Yeah I can do that, look, I'm hip, I'm cool".

steve buscemi as a high school student

You're not fooling anyone, either change it back to the status quo or change it to something that is an actual improvement. All I ask is for the same or better. If you can't do better than what you took 3 decades to craft, then don't change it. It really was good. This is objectively bad. The rounded corner buttons are ugly, but at least I know they're buttons. Most of the program feels unusable. And it doesn't even feel like a program anymore, it feels like an App. Which by their very nature are not powerful.
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threecp

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For those of us who have, for decades, been using Photoshop, the new UI is too jarring.

We really need an option to choose a 'Classic' UI.

I've recently retired from commercial photography and am trying to decide whether I need Photoshop. This change is helping my decision making process.
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Roger Gauthier

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Adobe folks,

Please be kind to us all working guys and bring back the old interface. Or at least give us a choice. That way you will be able to get rid of the new one in a year or two without losing face, and without anybody shedding crocodile tears over its demise.
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Вадим Благодарный

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New interface is really ugly, very close to unusable. What is happening to dev. team recently? After that Lightroom Import fiasco, they keep on making the same mistakes. People actually pay Adobe, why behave so outrageous?
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Designert

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I especially agree with: "There is no ”separation” between the content."

Take the Character Window for example.
Why is the background of the entry(/Drop down) boxes grey?
The dropdown box for the language and antialiasing are much clearer to me.

A flat UI is not necessarily a good thing...
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Cord-Patrick Neuber

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I fully agree. More hipster-flat-design-stuff - less usebilty. More Marketing - less customer needs. What ever it is good for - not for us, the designers. But we have to pay for it - every month. That is modern business. Thanks.
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Юрій Зелененький

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Very BAD interface. Photoshop - it's PROFESSIONAL instrument, not for mainstream, geeks or teenagers with IPhones, and you must respect your users. If you wish to add new functionality - do it, please, but allow professional users keep earn money and do everyday job, instead of wasting time with this "fancy" interface.
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Greg Justice

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Hey Adobe!

Bring back the old look and feel of the user interface, this is to hard to SEE, READ, and FOCUS on when your trying to do actual production work in Photoshop for 8 - 10 hrs a day. I’ve been using photoshop for 20+ years and have seen a few things you have changed along the way that I might not have agreed with but this is COMPLETELY STUPID!

NEVER been so DISAPPOINTED in an update as this Photoshop cc2015.1
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Kris Hunt

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The poorly centered text on buttons bugs me, too. Also, replacing the white boxes of input fields with a black line is a big step backward, since it's harder to tell at a glance where to click. It almost makes it look like everything is grayed out and unavailable.

The toolbar icons don't have the same style throughout. Most of them are bold and dark gray, but there are still some like the Ruler, Smudge and Healing Brush that retain the thinner lines with subtle shading. Generally, I like the old style icons better, but the new bold ones aren't that bad.
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Bruce Thomas

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Title:That new interface :(.

The UGLINESS of the latest PS CC version is astounding. Please send the designer(s) back to design school and learn how to shape an attractive interface. Even the tool icons are UGLY. All the dialog boxes are UGLY. Bring back the previous interface.
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Derek Holiman

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Yeah, this is garbage. (And I like the flat style. When done well.)

Seems like Adobe isn't practicing what they sell. These apps should be beautiful in their design.

It's not like they don't have the software...

I'd be fired if I presented this crap.

And we pay for it.
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Cord-Patrick Neuber

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled New Photoshop Interface - more style, less usebility?.

Hello there,
today I made the update for the new Photoshop CC Version. After several updates with new technical gadgets und cool tools, now adobe has changed the interface.
More flat design, more purity, more APP style ... I can imagine why they have changed it - but I have to work with photoshop everyday and for me it is a big loss of usebility and comfort and it is not possible to change it back.

What do you think?
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Вадим Благодарный

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Just want to add: another trick like this one, and I'll quit using and paying CC. There are alternatives out there, and pretty good ones. One thing holding me now is habit. And patience. This is not forever.

BTW I think they will revert UI back to original, this is obvious. New UI is so ridiculous. It's just fubar. It's like alpha-stage software that's gone to masses by mistake. How this can be happening to a professional tool?

Angry
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Jonas M. Rogne

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With CC they have started to push out too much new features before they are actually done and properly tested. :/
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Emilio Gonzalez

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Dark grey on dark grey is an awful UI.

The new input interfaces are unbelievably bad. The preferences dialog, character styles, basically anything with a form input is now much harder to use. Dark grey elements on dark grey backgrounds are indistinct, low contrast, hard to find, hard to focus on, and hard to read. I can't move through the UI nearly as fast as I used to; now I have to directly focus on everything I want to interact with rather than using peripheral vision to quickly find high-contrast click targets.

Adobe has made a lot of bad UI decisions over the years, but this one is so fundamentally off-base that it's shocking. Who approved this? I imagine it was quite an internal debate, and the wrong people won.

Please let me change all the buttons, checkboxes, and text inputs back to REAL, STANDARD UI elements. I'm no UI traditionalist, but using contrast to highlight interactable elements is a fundamental aspect of usable visual interfaces.
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Jared Wilcurt

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David, you're not understanding what he's saying. The Color theme doesn't do anything.



All affordance is gone. 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. There is no identifiable target area to click on, it's literal guess work. This is just one specific example but the entire UI revamp is bad across the board. I know you guys track metrics, had a "classic" UI mode been included, you would see that, even among users who have never used Photoshop before, Classic UI would be the preferred option, because at least it isn't broken.

This is objectively bad design. Ignoring that aesthetically it looks bad, it's just plain not functional.
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Morris

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Great job Adobe!
Now I have a tiny User Interface (HiDPI not fully supported yet) with a modern ugly flat design. Great!
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Antonio Starace

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I went back to the previous version and now I have my classic and right interface back. Just disappointed that now I have Camera Raw 8.
I'd have preferred not to revert to one version back but just get rid of the last crappy update.
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Brenton Edwards

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I was fortunate to have a Time Machine backup. You could try to source the 2015.0.1 files elsewhere such as torrent and have a shot at activating it with your Adobe CC account somehow?
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Andrew Birch

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nah. Adobe is on a path that alot of us simply dont want to walk. Its lack of real innovation that will choke them eventually.
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Brenton Edwards

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Great job Adobe, if you don't fix this absolute disaster and show signs of taking notice of your Professional user base then I'll have no option but to move away from Adobe products entirely.

Sincerely,
A Creative Cloud COMPLETE (All-Apps) Subscriber
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Morris

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Maybe something like this, @Nathan
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Nathan Pollard

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What a difference! Thanks for doing that Morris, it really illustrates how much easier it is to identify the boxes.
Now can you make the icons work too :)
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Designert

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Adobe: Please revert to the old interface (or design one complete new.)
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Jared Wilcurt

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To be clear, it's not just the dropdown boxes, it's interface as a whole that is bad. There are no redeemable changes I've found. I looked through thinking, "what can be salavaged. If we went back to the last interface what good things can we keep from this new one". I couldn't find anything. There's nothing worth keeping here.
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Antonio Starace

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You are perfectly right. The classic interface worked just fine and is in common with others apps in the suite. So, why change it?