Scriv 3, the Forum and the new 'Flatter' look

Ta
Tacitus
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:40 am Post

Once I'd started to get used to it the new layout is actually quite good, but am I the only one that really, really, doesn't like the new 'flatter' look? Whilst most on here may have 20/20 vision, many of us don't and need all the help we can get. A skinny typeface allied with grey text on a slightly greyer background is not conducive to easy working especially under less than ideal conditions. The same goes for the new forum. I understand it helps battery life on a laptop but there's not much point if you can't see what's going on without generating a lot of eye strain..

Can I enter a plea for more contrast and perhaps a slightly bolder font for all UI items in the next release please? The font for binder items may be buried somewhere in the labyrinthine depths of the new prefs layout, but the desire for greater contrast between text and background still stands.

Evernote made the same mistake when releasing V6 of their desktop app rendering it more or less unusable but they gradually altered it and currently it's a great improvement.

Otherwise many congratulations to Keith and the team for all the hard work.
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br
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:08 am Post

I sympathise with the need for clarity in a UI.

Scrivener does give you a lot of control over the appearance though. You can change the binder font and background easily: they're on Preferences > Appearance > Binder -- not at that labyrinthine... The rest of the Appearance section gives you a lot of control over the fonts and background colours for User accessible areas (cork board, outline etc).

AFAIK the rest of the screen furniture(eg menu items / tool bars etc) uses Sierra's standard fonts and background -- to me they look exactly the same as in Safari, for example. Do you change the system contrast in System Preferences > Accessibility - that can help.

The design of the forum's a different thing of course.
Last edited by brookter on Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KB
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:59 am Post

We *love* the new flatter look. It fits with modern Apple UI design and we spent a long time over it. If you don't like it, you have control over fonts and colours in the Preferences - which we worked hard to make less "labyrinthine". So no, this will not be changing in the next version. Honestly, I think a bit part of it is just that people find it hard to get used to new things - there are always complaints from some when you make UI changes. You carry on using Scrivener 2 if you prefer it, though.
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:24 am Post

For me, I also love the look 'in general' but I will make an argument for the case of Accessibility. I do this because the OP mentioned poor eyesight. Now, I no longer own a Mac, so I can't attest to the software, but here on the forums, I find the new font very straining on my poor eyes and differentiating between commas and full stops is nigh impossible. I can only imagine how hard it must be to navigate for someone with dyslexia or legal blindness, but can generally still "see" well enough to type write with clear fonts.

Yes, changing fonts is possible with modern software solutions, but is it an optimal solution? There are plenty of other "flat" fonts that are more usable to people with Accessibility needs (such as the ones used in iOS).

Again, I'm right with you, KB that the overall theme of the new look is great! And on the Windows Beta, at least, things are easier to see due to the updated QT version that scales better with modern HD resolutions. Congratulations on Scrivener 3, but please do spare at least a thought to users with Accessibility needs. If that thought is an "Accessibility mode" that is a toggle somewhere and the "main" UI stays as is, that would be a great solution, for example.

**Edit** that congratulations seems... sarcastic on a second read through of my post. It's not meant to be. I genuinely love the new version, even though I can only play with a beta right now. Seriously, Congratulations to the team on making and launching an amazing new version of the best writing software out there! :)
Last edited by FadedStardust on Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nontroppo
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:27 am Post

I actually disagree that S3 is "flat", it still uses very colourful icons and in many places the UI icons are actually bigger and clearer than S2, and they all seem "sharper" (higher resolution source image?):

Compare.png
Compare.png (609.19 KiB) Viewed 1290 times


[open image in new tab to see it full resolution] Please focus on:

  • Bottom binder icons are larger and clearer/sharper.
  • Formatting bar is MUCH clearer now, text is larger (on a lighter background) and icon contrast higher.
  • Toolbar icons are simpler, BUT still full color and with button backgrounds to identify them.
  • Subjective but I think Binder collections are clearer, keeping coloration away from title text etc.
  • Inspector icons are larger and clearer, as are the specific panel icons.
  • The ruler tab stops are higher contrast now.

I like my Binder font smaller, and as brooker mentions, many fonts in the UI are configurable.

Ki
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:38 am Post

Tacitus, in terms of contrast perhaps OS X's inbuilt Accessibility features might help here? If you go to (Os X's) System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and then check the box labelled 'Increase contrast'. That will give greater definition to the Binder, Toolbar, etc.

If anything, I think that the new Scriv Preferences pane is more easily navigated, because rather than put everything on screen at once, it now uses tabs. Granted it takes a click or two extra to find things, but there is less information on screen to sort through at any given time.

With respect to the forums, I agree that its font is difficult to read. I have near 20/20 vision, and can't tell the difference between commas and full stops. Also. sometimes the caret effectively obscures letters (such as an ell, an i).

That said, I think that some patience is in order here with respect to the forum. Yesterday was a big day for Scriv, and support is probably snowed under with more pressing concerns from users. Adjustments to the forum, if indeed Lit&Lat are inclined to make any, will probably have a lower order of priority.

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KB
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:41 am Post

I can understand that some might find the new forum a little harder to read, because of the lighter, sans-serif font. We'll consider that.

But I don't understand any complaints about Scrivener itself! nontroppo is right - we put work into making everything *easier* to read and see. The font in the binder is now bigger, and there is more space around everything. Inspector headers are taller and every UI element has been given more room to breathe. Fonts in the UI are still dark and used against light backgrounds.

And we worked hard to come up with a toolbar that fit with Apple's modern flatter look without sacrificing colour (one of my bugbears of modern toolbars - I rely on colour).
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:46 am Post

KB wrote:I can understand that some might find the new forum a little harder to read, because of the lighter, sans-serif font. We'll consider that.


Would having some curated font choices that can be selected in the user profile be a reasonable request?
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nontroppo
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:22 am Post

I love the new font (Effra-light, especially the gorgeous section symbol § and paragraph ¶), so I second devinganger's request to have a style option (it seems you have already changed it to ugly tahoma :cry: ) — ha you guys can't win!!! :?

Ta
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:34 am Post

KB wrote: Honestly, I think a bit part of it is just that people find it hard to get used to new things.....


I'll admit it's partially that since I've got so used to V2 over the years. Nonetheless, I'm sorry, but I don't really like 'flat' as a look and never have, but each to his own - it's certainly not a personal attack on you or your design choices.. I certainly wasn't suggesting wholesale changes but over time perhaps some minor tweaks to the contrast and stuff which can make a significant difference for those with less than perfect eyesight.

As for labyrynthine, the extent of the customisation of which you are rightly pleased and users find welcome, inevitably means sacrificing simplicity to some extent.

FWIW I imagine some of those making very helpful suggestions on this thread have been on the Beta team and had the opportunity to find their way round and discover the necessary tweaks to get things to their liking.. No doubt in time I'll do the same.
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br
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:41 am Post

Tacitus,

You’re right that as a beta tester I’ve got used to the new look and I prefer it.

And when I first saw the new preferences I was a little lost — that’s why I gave you the direct path to where to change the fonts.

But I did find very quickly that the overall layout of the preferences is a lot more logical than v2, so finding what you want is easier first time around and easier to remember next time.

Personally, I think ten minutes just skimming through the options now to see the various main sections will help a lot when you want to find the detailed choices.

Good luck!

Ta
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:49 am Post

Kinsey wrote:Tacitus, in terms of contrast perhaps OS X's inbuilt Accessibility features might help here? If you go to (Os X's) System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and then check the box labelled 'Increase contrast'. That will give greater definition to the Binder, Toolbar, etc.

Good tip thanks - I'd forgotten the Accessibility prefs. Also I think my display could do with recalibration so I'll do that first and then tweak the Accesibilty settings
Kinsey wrote:If anything, I think that the new Scriv Preferences pane is more easily navigated, because rather than put everything on screen at once, it now uses tabs. Granted it takes a click or two extra to find things, but there is less information on screen to sort through at any given time.

Quite possibly but over several years I've got used to the old system and the new one certainly takes some effort to find your way around.
Kinsey wrote:With respect to the forums, I agree that its font is difficult to read............
.........That said, I think that some patience is in order here with respect to the forum. Yesterday was a big day for Scriv, and support is probably snowed under with more pressing concerns from users.

I agree entirely.
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Ki
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:55 am Post

Glad to help. Non beta tester here, like you I've just been working my way through v3, having carved out some time to do so.

It's still taking me time to get used to everything. For example, I went through the preferences myself several times in a fruitless hunt for the place to change the background colour of the footnotes and their text marker, before I consulted the manual and found what I needed in 2 minutes. I'm sure Compile will take a few tries to set up correctly. I'm also working with Layouts a little, and think that the Dual Navigation layout looks fantastic.

I must say that Scriv has the most incredible user manual I've ever come across. Kudos to Ioa and Keith (and anyone else who wrote it).

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KB
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:04 pm Post

The manual is Ioa's hard work. I just create the app.

nontroppo - we haven't changed anything and the forum is still using Effra, so maybe it's a refresh issue?
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Ta
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:45 pm Post

Kinsey wrote:Glad to help. Non beta tester here, like you I've just been working my way through v3, having carved out some time to do so.

Some people seem to have found their way round the new layout quicker than me but things like real work to tend to interrupt matters :D
Kinsey wrote:I must say that Scriv has the most incredible user manual I've ever come across. Kudos to Ioa and Keith (and anyone else who wrote it).

Yes I'm resorting to the manual and it is very good. Whoever wrote it knows their stuff, writing long manuals and making it all come together is not easy so congrats to those members of the team who worked on it.

One other point. I noticed on some of the video tutorial some binder icons that appear to be new. I've looked in ~/Library/app support/Scivener and can't see any of them. Possibly there's a new set and they've been installed elsewhere for some reason. I'm big on icons for sorting stuff, so do you know of anywhere that supplies custom Scriv icons? There used to be some years ago, but no idea now.
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