4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2009 1:54 PM by ppbpdx

    Feedback

    ppbpdx

      Beta Feedback

      I have used the beta now for a couple of wireframe projects . My usage pattern is to design the wireframe in Illustrator and then move the components to FC and work on button behaviors and states to create a "functional" wireframe. I am using a Vista machine with about 8 gigs of memory and a Dual Core processor. Here are some comments after a couple of weeks:

      Import of Illustrator Files

      -This works well for the most part although the editing of text is cumbersome and not intuitive. I ended up converting most of my text to vectors and simply cutting and pasting between the two applications.

      -I have noticed that the text handling (kerning etc.) is often messed up when the files get imported into FC.

      -My workflow tended to use Illustrator as a place to create elements and FC as a place to put functionality on them. My two files diverged pretty fast as a result. It would be really nice if I could export a state as an Illustrator file add to it or change layout and re-import.

      -Importing Illustrator files with a lot of elements is a long process. It seems as if it would be good to allow the user to selectively identify layers at import time that could be optimized.

      General Application Performance

      -Running the application on my laptop was a waste of time, too slow.

      -The current machine I have has ample resources but I would say that it bogs down and the application become very slow with a project that has 8-10 pages each with a lot of components.

      -I have had several (2-3 times a day) times where the application simply vanishes without any error message and I need to start up again.

      -Operations such as re-ordering layers are very slow and seem to take up a lot of processor and sometimes cause the application to fail.

      Features

      -The initial feature set is very nice but there are a few things that I think will be essential very soon.

      -Drag and Drop--a lot of applications need this. Even if you just let people define simple drag objects and drop zones. Without it many of my wireframes have a lot of notes explaining that this should be a drag object.

      -Need to make it easy to make a component draggable for the end user such as a floating window.

      -Many people have pointed out the need for some of the other components like dropdown etc. , I am sure these are in the works.

      -As mentioned by others it would be nice to have the ability to put simple conditional logic on buttons. I assume in future releases I can do this in the code view. One thought to make this easy for non-coders is to provide people with a simple variable setting option for button and simple logic to check the variable. Often for wireframing this is sufficient to create interactive specifications.

       

      Usability

      -Need to have multiple select on the timeline. Dragging a bunch of elements individually to the 1 second mark makes me crazy.

      -It would be nice to have context menus on items like Fade to easily set options (in/out, etc.)

      -The layer control and the implications of grouping is somewhat hard to figure out. It would be nice to clarify the component/subcomponent/layer/group world for the user.

      -The component preview never works for me

      -The align option does not seem to work correctly. Trying to align 3 checkboxes resulted in a skewed alignment.

      -The add object and add action options took a while to figure out but seemed usable once it was clear what the right order and usage was. Again being able to put conditional logic around which actions occur in the timeline would be useful.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Feedback
          Nate B. Level 2

          This is excellent feedback.  We're working on optimizing performance and memory usage.  Some of the items you've mentioned are in the works for our next release (though I can say that a drag and drop component didn't make the cut for this first FC release).

           

          That's a good point about the layers, groups, components, parts, etc. being similar and needing better explanation.

          • 2. Re: Feedback
            njadobe2 Adobe Employee

            Hi there--thanks so much for the detailed feedback!

             

            A couple of questions about your Illustrator issues...

             

            • Did you try the "Edit in Adobe Illustrator" feature to roundtrip content back into AI? Did you run into any problems with this?
            • We definitely want to preserve as much text fidelity on import as we can. Could you post some AI files that show some of the issues you were having with text not looking right when imported into FC? We know there are limitations currently, but we're planning to improve the import fidelity for text before we release, and having real test files from customers is very helpful.

             

            Thanks!

             

            nj

            • 3. Re: Feedback
              nat.b Level 1

              I am working with FlashCatalyst in stand-alone mode and creating my

              "art work" with the onboard tools.

               

              You've stated elsewhere that text processing will be getting better.

               

              I'm assuming that the tool set will also be enhanced - if this is not planned, 

              allowing the alpha channel to be set independently for stroke and fill would

              avoid doubling up the number of objects. Also dashed and hairline for lines

              woud be pretty basic wishes.

               

              It would be desirable to be able to set my own defaults: font, corner-rounding etc.

               

              I agree highly the Usability section in the original post:

              - Regarding multiple selects on the timeline, an "insert seconds" feature would

              also speed up the process

              - With options, might it be possible (without going into elaborate path-stuff)  to

              have a motion-tween broken into its horizontal and vertical parts, that could then

              be offset on the timeline - to let objects "move around corners"?

              Also, on resizing an object, it is redrawn from left to right. If the old center and

              the new center are the same, could one ask the tween engine to expand outwards

              from the center?

              - I have alignment problems getting a triangle to line up with a rectangle of the

              same height and vertical coordinate. It jumps either 1 pixel above or below.

               

              Further points:

              - Is layer-locking forseen for a future version?

              - The ordering of objects on the timeline seems to follow the order they were

              introduced. If you have many objects, a late addition may appear far down the list

              from it's fellow objects - Would it be possible to be able move it upwards in the list

              to avoid constant scrolling back and forth?

              - If I'm making a sequential presentation, the "steps" are actually the transitions.

              If I jump back from step-8 to step-4, I'm just getting the end-state view of. "step"-4.

              Could the HUD perhaps also offer a 'replay "this" state using the transition from

              state "step-3" option ', which I can assign to a replay-button on the page?

              (If there's a better solution, please point me to it.)

               

              Are there any examples available of how to use the 'add actions' option of the HUD?

               

              This input is very much at the working-details level - If it's not the kind of feedback

              you want, please just say so.

               

              And thanks for a very interesting product !!

              • 4. Re: Feedback
                ppbpdx Level 1

                Thanks for the response, I'm glad the feedback is helpful.

                 

                -I did try the Edit in Illustrator option. When I do this a get a dialog that says "Editing Selection in Illustrator" but nothing seems to happen. Eventually I canceled and gave up on that path. What is supposed to happen? It could be I am missing something.

                 

                -I attached a simple example of text problems I am having. You'll see that the text is very readable in Illustrator, however in FC it looks as if the text loses the same look and when rendered into a SWF it does not look acceptable at all. My work around has been to convert the text to vectors which does a good job of preserving the letter shapes but has the problem of losing the kerning and leading at times.

                 

                Thanks.