31 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 4:59 PM by station_one RSS

    Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6

    nickna12 Community Member

      I use the lightest interface in CS6 and I notice that the symbols and labelling fonts are less clear and black in CS6 compared to CS5.  I assume that this is not intended.  It would be good if Adobe (or anyone else) could check this, please.  My eyes are not new and may be deceiving me - here are the toolboxes side by side. 

       

      CS5_CS6_print_definition_Jpeg.jpg

      I find the CS5 symbols and fonts much easier to read.  Please can the magicians at Adobe give me my old CS5 fonts and symbols back in CS6.  Hopefully, there is still time.

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
          Pete.Green Adobe Employee

          Which symbols and fonts are you referring to?

           

          Mainly the image titlebar?

           

          There isn't any further time to change the UI for this time around, but we're always open to suggestions, and eager to hear what folks think about the current version.

           

          You can change the UI Text size if that's what you're after, in the Preferences > Interface at the bottom

           

          Here's a screen of the Small, Medium, and Large options, and how they look on my screen.

           

          Note: You will need to restart Photoshop to see the changes made.

           

          UISize.gif

          • 2. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
            nickna12 Community Member

            It's particularly the tool icons in the toolbox.  They are substantially less easy to read in CS6 than in CS5  - the CS6 icon images are thin and indistinct - compare the brush icons for example. You don't have to squint to see the difference - it's obvious.  I don't understand why Adobe felt it had to fix something that wasn't broken.  I already am using CS6 (and 5) with fonts set to "Large".

            • 3. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
              Danny Smythe Community Member

              I have to agree with nickna12 on this point. It was the first thing I noticed when I opened CS6 for the first time. I thought it was because it was an unfinished beta version, but now I realize that it is how it's going to be.

              Very weak!  Please return back to bolder Tools please!

              • 4. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                Pete.Green Adobe Employee

                Thanks for your feedback on the icons.

                Unfortunately we're late enough in the cycle that the UI isn't going to be having any major changes, but appreciate your feedback.

                Please feel free to add your ideas or vote for other feature ideas here: http://phtshp.us/Feature_Request

                • 5. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                  nickna12 Community Member

                  Pete - Is it possible for you to tell us why Adobe decided to change the tool icons?  What was the reason?  I assume it was a conscious decision.

                  • 6. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                    station_one Community Member

                    Pete,

                     

                    Thank you for giving users the opportunity to comment on this.

                     

                    The new interface is, quite simply and literally, an atrocity.  I agree with other posters in this thread on the size and appearance of the tools. 

                     

                    As far as the dark interface, your screen shot, reproduced below, is for me a vivid reminder of the blood-curling scream I let out when I first saw that default dark mess, a cry that woke up my wife in the middle of the night, even though she, a sound sleeper, was at the opposite end of the house and one floor away from me at the time.  Thank goodness the default dark interface is only an option and Adobe provided alternatives thereto.

                    Pete.Green wrote:

                     

                    …There isn't any further time to change the UI for this time around, but we're always open to suggestions, and eager to hear what folks think about the current version.…

                    UISize.gif

                     

                    I've been a loyal Adobe customer since at least 1985, and it physically hurts me to see the steady downfall of Adobe roughly since the time of the Macromedia acquisition.  Adobe went from being a shining example of good design down to the antithesis of both usability and good taste, especially compared to Apple.  One needs only to hark back to the long-gone times when Adobe produced and distributed for free such gems as the superb "Font and Function" series of publications.

                     

                    Public opinion and the press often wondered who acquired whom, and from the many examples of the face you now present to the public through your applications, brochures, web site, corporate publications and media events, one has to conclude that Macromedia was the corporation that swallowed and absorbed Adobe, gutting what the founders of Adobe built up over many years of hard, competent and professional work.  Only the corporate name remains.

                     

                    I recognize that the Adobe engineers have increasingly less latitude and influence these days, and I appreciate your comment to the effect that its too late to change anything in CS6—and presumably CS7, on which you must inevitably be working already.  Still, your invitation to comment is a good opportunity to let you know how many of your users feel.  Thank you for that.

                    • 7. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                      Noel Carboni Community Member

                      station_one wrote:

                       

                       

                      The new interface is, quite simply and literally, an atrocity.

                       

                      As far as the dark interface, your screen shot, reproduced below, is for me a vivid reminder of the blood-curling scream I let out when I first saw that default dark mess

                       

                      You and I agree on a lot of things, station_one, but not this.  My ears always perk up when someone has such a different impression than I do...  In my case the first thing I did when I saw the "light text on dark background" interface was think, "ahhhhhh, finally".

                       

                      I know that personal preference plays a part, but is it possible that we're actually seeing this differently on our respective monitors?  For me the light text and icons are crisp and very readable.  FAR better for me than the forever "dark text on light gray background".  But I would never go so far as to call either "atrocious".

                       

                      I'm not being critical of your preferences, and frankly reducing contrast of the tools when the lighter theme is chosen does seem a step backwards...  I'm just striving to understand what others see and perceive (I design software myself, and so the interest is more than just curiosity).

                       

                      I know it's next to impossible without physically visiting one another to describe what we're actually seeing, but I'm genuinely curious whether there are differences in our displays or whether this truly is just a big difference in personal preference.

                       

                      -Noel

                      • 8. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                        Noel Carboni Community Member

                        I'm not sure a macro photo can help, since you will necessarily be viewing the photo on your monitor, but are you seeing the Photoshop UI elements as clearly as this on your monitor?

                         

                        Toolbox.jpg

                         

                        -Noel

                        • 9. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                          charles badland Community Member

                          I actually like the Toolbar icons better in CS6. Less "3-D-ish" makes for a cleaner look, IMO. I see what you mean about them not being as "black". My guess is Adobe did this so when the icon values get inverted for the new dark UI, they would not be a glaring white.

                          • 10. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                            nickna12 Community Member

                            Each to their own of course.  I don't find the new look "atrocious" just the tool icons are for me irritatingly indistinct when viewed at a normal working distance.  One gets used to anything I suppose, even if it's a backward step.  Incidentally, I don't like the black and dark grey themes - it is much harder to judge values accurately against a black background than against a mid or light grey one.   

                            • 11. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                              Pete.Green Adobe Employee

                              Here's some info from one of the UI Engineers:

                               

                              When we implemented the new UI in Photoshop all of our icons had to be redrawn from scratch so that there was a version for both light and dark background. In the process of redrawing the icons the did inadvertently lose some contrast -- but by the time this became an obvious issue there wasn't enough time to change the 2000+ icons for the CS6 release.

                               

                              The icons team is aware of this issue and they are making some adjustments to add contrast in the future.

                              • 12. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                nickna12 Community Member

                                Pete - thank you for following this up.  I understand now.  Will wait hopefully for some contrastier, chubbier icons in due course.

                                • 13. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                  Pete.Green Adobe Employee

                                  Sounds great

                                   

                                  Cheers

                                  • 14. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                    station_one Community Member

                                    Noel,

                                     

                                    It's not just one single thing.  There are many factors that make the new interface less palatable, but, yes, the white text on a dark background is a huge one.

                                     

                                    There are more than enough legibility studies out there, beginning in the mid 18th and 19th centuries showing that nothing, absolutely nothing beats black on white for legibility, and the farthest you get away from that, the worse it gets.  The absolute worst is red text on a black background.  Adobe itself used to provide us with examples of those studies in the Font & Function series of publications I cited above.  It has been discussed with Adobe ad nauseam.  There are of course many standard textbooks and other works on typography teaching the same principles.

                                     

                                    Along the years, ever since the beginning of the "macromediatization", other stuff has crept into the Adobe applications, Macromedia Flash being among those invaders, along with barely-visible microscopic flags to get at drop-down menus, scroll bars so narrow that they're so hard to grab or even see, close icons on the right-hand side of tabs and windows (anathema to Mac users, though that's understandable given the bad blood between Apple and Adobe)), etc. etc.  The list is very long.

                                     

                                    No need to discuss it further here.  You can be a very reasonable fellow, Noel, but the Adobe higher-ups have their ears, eyes and hearts shut.  Resistance is futile. 

                                     

                                    I took the opportunity to comment at the express encouragement of Pete Green.

                                    • 15. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                      station_one Community Member

                                      Another factor to keep in mind is our different perspective on monitor calibration.  I calibrate to 6500ºK, with a Black target of 0.30 and a White target of 95 Candelas, and I end up on my main monitor with a ∆E Color Temperature (Luv) of White Pont = 0.0843 and 50% Gray = 0.089.  This is perfect for my prints.

                                       

                                      I have a strong suspicion that your monitors are very substantially brighter than mine. 

                                      • 16. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                        station_one Community Member

                                        Noel Carboni wrote:

                                         

                                        …are you seeing the Photoshop UI elements as clearly as this on your monitor?

                                         

                                        Toolbox.jpg

                                         

                                        This is how I see them for now (screen shot from my laptop, will install the final release on a desktop machine):

                                         

                                        100%  ------------------------------------------------------------------>    200%

                                        below

                                        Ps_CS6_Beta_ToolBox_02.jpg Enlarged 200%: ===>>> Ps_CS6_Beta_ToolBox_02_lge2X.jpg

                                        • 17. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                          station_one Community Member

                                          There's no real reason to keep arguing over the optional dark interface, since adequate alternatives are offered.

                                          • 18. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                            Noel Carboni Community Member

                                            A screen shot isn't really helpful, unfortunately.  What I was wondering about was whether your actual display might be blurred or something, causing the light-on-dark UI to be more difficult for you to see. 

                                             

                                            I don't care what studies are out there, MY eyes find light UI elements on a dark background MUCH easier to see.  Maybe this is because of 35 years of computer work (before graphics became ubiquitous, terminals pretty much always did light text on a dark background).  I may well have read more on computer screens than from books in my life.

                                             

                                            I've been down this road before; it's incredibly difficult to discuss what we actually see on our monitors, because invariably we are using our monitors to discuss it (and share images, etc.).  What I've learned is that not every system/monitor is equally good at displaying things.  The variation is FAR larger than you might think.  I have debated this a fair bit with a friend of mine, whose preference is like yours.  However, in his case, his monitor actually makes visibly sharper looking dark text on a light background than the other way around.  It must have to do with his video card, the signals on the cables, his monitor brands, or something.  In my case, every pixel is discrete whether light or dark, as I have shown in the photo above.  Such differences could certainly influence preferences!

                                             

                                            A macro photo is about the only thing, short of having someone over for a beer to actually look at another's screen, that I've found useful for portraying what someone is actually seeing.  Even then, it must be kept in mind that it is being viewed on anothers' monitor.

                                             

                                            I'm glad Adobe chose to offer UI coloration alternatives, though I personally would have liked it better if they'd allowed the user to specify how dark the dark parts would be separately from how light the light parts would be.  I might have chosen a wee bit more contrast myself.

                                             

                                            -Noel

                                            • 19. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                              station_one Community Member

                                              As I said before, we're wasting our time arguing a non-issue, as Adobe gives us options.

                                              • 20. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                Arguing?  I's just tryin' ta unnerstand.

                                                 

                                                So you're saying your monitor is plenty sharp?

                                                 

                                                -Noel

                                                • 21. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                  station_one Community Member

                                                  It hadn't even crossed my mind that the comment on monitor sharpness was directed at yours truly.  Your post with the macro photo was in response to another post of yours.    I was not the one complaining about the appearance of the tool icons, it was nickna12.

                                                   

                                                  But yes, all my monitors are "plenty sharp", although, admittedly, the CS6 beta is not on any of my desktops; the final release will be.

                                                  • 22. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                    station_one Community Member

                                                    Oh, and I have had occasion to see the beta running on other machines, not just mine.

                                                    • 23. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                      station_one Community Member

                                                      2nd addendum:

                                                       

                                                      Incidentally, I would appreciate it if you post a screen shot of your dark interface, just so I can compare it with mine showing the lighter interface.  Just from a design point of view, rather than a hardware comparison.  (Although, I realize I can just switch momentarily to the darkest interface and make my own screen shot.)

                                                      • 24. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                        Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                        No problem, here's how I like it set up...

                                                         

                                                        PSCS6Setup.jpg

                                                        -Noel

                                                        • 25. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                          eclic Community Member

                                                          i agree with the many users here that the new interface lacks contrat and the new icons are harder to use b/c of this

                                                          i do not see why considerable time and resources was spent on yet again changing all of the icons.

                                                          CS6 UI's are a considerable step back in usability.

                                                          i hope that when the contrast is added back to the lighter UI's it is a free update.

                                                          • 26. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                            nickna12 Community Member

                                                            Me too.

                                                            • 27. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                              Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                              Out of curiosity - and BY NO MEANS AM I TRYING TO BE A PAIN HERE OR CRITICAL OF THE WAY YOU LIKE TO WORK - I'm just trying to understand everyone's viewpoints... 

                                                               

                                                              For those of you who prefer the light background and wish to have more contrast:

                                                               

                                                              • Have you calibrated your monitor so that it is displaying pixels at Gamma 2.2?
                                                              • Is your monitor nice and sharp (i.e. is every pixel a discrete element, sharply defined)?
                                                              • Do you work in a brightly lit office or room?

                                                               

                                                              Thanks for indulging me.  My intent is to understand others' needs so that when I create software UIs I don't optimize them just for my own likes.

                                                               

                                                              If you're curious how I work I have two well-calibrated sRGB LCD displays that are 1600 x 1200 pixels and moderately bright.  My office has only natural light coming in from a side window (I guess you'd say it's somewhat dimly lit).  During the night I turn on a single lamp over in the same direction as the window, less than 100 watts.  What's important is that behind the monitors and behind me there are no light sources.

                                                               

                                                              -Noel

                                                              • 28. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                                eclic Community Member

                                                                Noel - I have an optimal setup and I work in a few professoinal retouching studios.

                                                                no natural light (unfortunately!) NEC multisync monitors calibrated with spectraview.

                                                                the issue in the lighter UI's is that there is much less contrast overall in CS6 than CS5.

                                                                • 29. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                                  Danny Smythe Community Member

                                                                  "I'm just trying to understand everyone's viewpoints..."    Our viewpoints are that it was better in CS5. No amount work adjustments, on our end, can get it back to that level.

                                                                   

                                                                  Pete has already reported:  "The icons team is aware of this issue and they are making some adjustments to add contrast in the future."

                                                                  • 30. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                                    Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                    Thanks.  I am more interested in the issue where folks prefer the lighter interface over the darker.  And I fully agree that even with the darker interface I prefer that the UI elements could use more contrast (I may have said that already above).

                                                                     

                                                                    -Noel

                                                                    • 31. Re: Clarity of menu font and symbols in CS6
                                                                      station_one Community Member

                                                                      Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      Out of curiosity - and BY NO MEANS AM I TRYING TO BE A PAIN HERE OR CRITICAL OF THE WAY YOU LIKE TO WORK - I'm just trying to understand everyone's viewpoints... 

                                                                       

                                                                      For those of you who prefer the light background and wish to have more contrast:

                                                                       

                                                                      • Have you calibrated your monitor so that it is displaying pixels at Gamma 2.2?

                                                                       

                                                                      YES (of course!)

                                                                       


                                                                      • Is your monitor nice and sharp (i.e. is every pixel a discrete element, sharply defined)?…

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      YES

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      • Do you work in a brightly lit office or room?…

                                                                       

                                                                      NO.  The one single window is always covered with both a shade and neutral white room-darkening curtains.  The only light is FEIT daylight fluorescent coming from above, slightly to the left and behind the monitor, reflected from the pure white, textured wall and ceiling.

                                                                       

                                                                      I read about your computer-oriented background and your rejection of legibility studies, so I understand where you're coming from.  I would last about three minutes in such an environment. 

                                                                       

                                                                      Thanks for the screen shot.