Expression Blend Sucks
Wow, I’m a real Microsoft fan, but this product totally sucks — and I have to use it. I can’t get over this. What the heck happened to them ?
Why does this product suck? Mainly because the skins are awful, the layout is cluttered and disorganized, the on-screen cues are terrible, and the documentation is thin.
Here’s the start of awful. This comes up and you have no highlighting or hourglass so can’t tell what you’re clicking.
The skins are awful
Don’t tell me ‘if you were an artist or a 20-something you’d like this’. Bull. I am an artist, my best friend is an artist, I’ve employed artists, and I’ve produced best selling software for artists and these skins suck. I don’t really mind the color scheme – and you could make an argument for using a black scheme for creating art – but give me a choice of color schemes without needing to edit an XML file. Put some color in the icons for god’s sake. I thought that went out with the Next.
Changing standard controls into non-standard controls for the sake of ‘artiness’ is dumb. Reducing the contrast of an application is stupid – it makes it that much harder to find things.
The point of a user interface is to help new users and experienced users understand how a product works and allow operations quickly and easily. The blend gui doesn’t do that. Every time I want to slide a panel down I spend 10 seconds trying to figure out where the !@#$ separator is because you’ve hidden it. Figuring out that the little dots next to items actually handle much of the functionality is stupid and sometimes they’re actually tough to click. Why should I have to be pixel perfect with a mouse?
The layout is cluttered and disorganized.
Just look at the screen shot above. There are no images on any of the tabs so you’re left with the couple of characters…. You can’t see this but most of the tabs are actually being clipped so you end up dragging panels up and down all the time to get any work done unless you’re on a large display (and sometimes I actually need to work on a laptop, sorry).
There are so many little icons on this screen that you just want to scream in frustration. Maybe if you use a product 24/7 it comes natural but a well written product should also work when you pick it up once a month and this doesn’t.
The on-screen cues are terrible.
Sorry but tiny little wavy things aren’t on-screen cues. I know that gray and black and dark gray look nice but they don’t do much for ease of use. They’re tough to distinguish and not that easy to remember (let me see, that little wavy things means xxx – sure). We’ve got non-standard arrows and things that look sort of like eyeballs and things that are eyeballs and dots everywhere and … wow.
It’s not at all standard
And my gosh it’s totally non-standard. Look at all the flack android is getting for ‘fragmentation’. Please remember that. Why the !@#$ does ctrl-mouse-wheel not default to zoom the draw window? I don’t mind providing a non-ctrl option but by default?
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