Adobe CS3 UI Debate

Now that CS3 is finally getting out there, some people are waxing on about the UI “inconsistencies” so now seems like the right time to add my two cents on something I’ve noticed:

First let me say that I think alot of effort was put into addressing the management and display of palettes. It’s a tough problem to solve because everyone works differently.

With that being said, I liked Adobe’s idea of the docking well at first glance. But then after closer inspection, I believe there are far too many targets in close proximity of each other. Here is an example that shows a closeup of the docked wall of palettes to the right and the Character palette on the left as it is fully expanded.


After with my target count:

Here’s a quick breakdown of the number of functional items versus logistical according to my little chart:

Logistical (moving, closing palettes):
1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17

Functional (palette specific functions):
4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14

You may argue that numbers 10, 11 and 16 are the same but they’re not. They all have different results if you engage them even though they appear the same.

As you can see, there’s a very high chance of click error when working quickly on deadline. There must be a better way to relocate the more logistical things and make them less obtrusive. But the bigger issue is this. Has the new UI scheme really simplified anything at all? Is it really easier to work with palettes? I would love to hear from someone at Adobe on just how many iterations and revisions were made prior to coming up with this solution.

Edit: A colleague suggested I link to a definition of Fitts Law for the uninitiated.