Photoshop: Simplified color picker

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I made a concept mockup of some ways the color picker could possibly be simplified: http://dribbble.com/shots/494926-Phot...

1. It could be shown in a popover. This could be especially useful if you were, say, in the Layer Styles > Gradient window, and you already have a ton of in-app windows open as it is, and you just want to quickly change the color on one of the gradient sliders.

2. It could hide the color values, and provide a button to people who need to bring them back, because they take up a lot of space and I don't think most people need to see them all the time.
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Tyler Murphy

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Posted 6 years ago

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Tyler Murphy

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Chris, I know that there are people out there who use these color values, but I am suggesting the same idea as OS X showing people a simplified calculator by default and making the scientific functions optional. If you can hide half of the stuff in an interface (the other stuff can be optionally revealed with a button), cutting its size in half, and it would still meet the needs of the majority of people, go with that.
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Chris Cox

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You're making a common mistake of assuming that what you use is the same as what everyone else uses, that what you need is the same as everyone else's needs, etc. To design UI for a widely used application, you really need to know more about all the users and usages.

Also, there are no "scientific functions" in the color picker - it's all trivial stuff, but needed by different types of users and when people want to think about colors in different ways.
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Tyler Murphy

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There are vastly different types of professionals who all use Photoshop to meet their goals (photographers, designers, artists, etc.) Some only need certain color models; some web designers may only need HEX, some print designers may only need CMYK, some digital painters may not need to see values at all. Suggesting that values are "trivial" or not depends on who you are asking. I do not know without doing a usage study, but I would guess that certain color models are used about as infrequently as sin and cos in a calculator. By that, I mean in use by less than 50% of users. There were certainly people responding to me in Dribbble and Twitter expressing support for the idea as well. Perhaps you have collected usage statistics and know that well over 50% of people need these values and it would be a waste of time to offer flexibility to users. I just believe that it is this type of flexibility that Photoshop needs to consider in order to be more appealing to all of the different types of professionals who use it. I am not just making suggestions to you so that the app can be perfected for my own needs.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, I do know more about Photoshop users and how they use the app.

Flexibility is generally good -- but not when it makes the app more difficult to use. Unfortunately your suggestion falls squarely in the category of "helps a few, hurts a lot more".

Any given UI design will get some people's support - usually only because it's different, sometimes because they make the same bad assumptions that you do, or because they lack the same knowledge that you do.

BTW - a popover on a gradient slider would not be fun. Think about the cursor movements necessary, and the precision with which the user would have to make those movements to avoid causing problems.
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contactliam529

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Awesome design Tyler! I hope the developers over at Adobe take this change into consideration.