One of my top frustrations with PhotoLab is that its user interface looks (and sometimes feels) worse than most of the competition. Even Lightroom 3 had a more solid design language and usability. To speak in designer terms: better readability and contrast, better affordances, better click areas, better keyboard use (e.g. one tiny detail that breaks workflows: the Tab key hiding palettes in PhotoLab instead of focusing the next control when the current focus is on a text field).
And visually, it’s not bad but it’s not great either. It’s also rather inconsistent in different places in the UI, with small variations in style and with misaligned buttons and icons for instance.
Which is why, when I saw this demo of ViewPoint 4, I was actually impressed by the design of its UI controls. It uses more neutral tones (less blue all over the place), has clearly visible strokes and good contrast, more consistent-looking icons, feels more modern (which is kinda subjective), and while it’s a bespoke design language (not Mac or Windows-looking) it feels like it won’t be totally out of place in either Windows or Mac.
As a UI designer, I was impressed by what I saw, and reassured that DxO does have it in them to design great UI. ^^
So I kinda wish this design language will find its way into PhotoLab one day. Maybe for PhotoLab 7? One can hope.
What do you think?
- Love the current UI? Hate it? Don’t care much?
- Would you like the ViewPoint 4 UI (buttons, sliders, etc.), or do you think it’s worse?