I don’t have the time to write a full review of this new app but I thought I’d share my initial impressions. I didn’t reposition the windows in this post. I just happened to read the review on TUAW, downloaded the trial and this is how the app appeared on my screen.
The bottom line is that the negative UI + transparency is really really not made for pros. It’s probably really tempting to go after all the Apple UI Candy they produce in every app but sometimes you have to deviate in favor of increased usability. Case in point, here’s the New Document window:
Here are some more:
This next one really got me. I have to use the built-in OS Fonts panel to handle type? That’s a big deal breaker for me because it offers very little control over type layout. If you create a text object in Pixelmator, it’s a line by line deal, not a resizable text box. A big piece of most design work requires the fine handling of type, and this app wouldn’t be able to do the job for my work.
This screen shows that the Type tool is active. Again, the dark background with the dark icon + transparency makes it very hard to quickly identify which tool is active. This goes for the Move, Crop, Magic Wand, and Magnifying Glass tools as well.
This last item is somewhat strange. I can’t believe this is considered acceptable by their dev team. To have the unnecessarily large graphic overlay the title bar of the palette is beyond me. It looks like such a mistake.