Adjust the UI color & contrast

  • 194
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 months ago
  • Planned
  • (Edited)
(This idea comes what what we’ve heard here in this community as well as from other customer feedback methods we utilize. The feedback we gather here will help us gauge how well it fits our users’ needs. Please let us know what you think)

The Problem:

The Dark UI for Camtasia does not appeal to everybody and for some, it makes working in Camtasia unproductive due to issues with contrast and text legibility.

Potential Solution:  

An option in Camtasia to choose a lighter UI or choose your UI color.
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Posted 2 years ago

  • 194
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Roger N. Shane

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Can it possibly be?! I had already totally given up!

Well, I guess I can cross fingers but if you don't mind, I don't think I will hold my breath. :-)
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elmurray

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I agree, the background color should be lighter, or at least an option to change it.  The interface is so drastically different from Camtasia 8 that I have not recommended users upgrade to Camtasia 9.  I think the light gray text on the darker gray background is too difficult for most people to see.
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Jim Reed

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I don't know if it's related to the new goth interface, but I struggle to find/activate the vertical scroll bar on the right side of the timeline area.  Other programs (e.g. some Microsoft products) that only render the vertical scrollbar when the mouse hovers over the right edge drive me insane.  It's like an Easter egg
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Sharyn

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OMG! I have just come back in again after time away to read the forums and see this is STILL going on?  AND my two previous posts on this issue have been merged into a new topic AGAIN! Speechless!
I have been using Camtasia 8 since this UI issue began and it looks like I will be doing so for quite a while yet. 
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Joe Morgan

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LOL, yes it's still going on. My thoughts exactly.

I've asked them to define what choose your UI color would actually look like.  They ask you to vote on it, but they won't clarify what your voting on.

They won't answer me for sure. Maybe because of my reference to the fact that pigs might fly before they actually change the UI. I've grow impatient and let it be known.

But what would Choose your color look like, if you choose Purple? Would it look like this?

 

Maybe their willing to tell you?

Regards,Joe
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Mal Reynolds

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This is my concern as well. We are getting to vote (for the umpteenth time) resulting in those of us who are subscribed to the many previous topics getting hit with a tsunami of notification e-mails from the topic merger in the small hours of this morning, my time. 

THAT, I can live with. But what I don't like is the vagueness of the proposed solution: "An option in Camtasia to choose a lighter UI or choose your UI color. ". The "or" gave me a slight "someone walked over my grave" shiver.

"Choose your UI colours" (plural) is what I'd like to see but to customise every aspect of the GUI would take a stack of coding. To be honest I don't expect to see it in version 9. What I fear is that we're going to be given two whole options; the current one, and a pale grey with dark grey lettering combination notwithstanding that the problem is not so much the darkness as the low contrast. And then, to top it off, be told "Hey, that's what you guys voted for!"
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wendy.hamilton, TechSmith CEO

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Mal and Sharyn, I wanted to respond about the merging.  Yes, we are merging related customer requests.  It felt important to have all the discussion in one place, and to see the big picture of total votes on a pain point.  The intent of the merging was also to respect customer time - so that customers did not need to retype what they have already told us on a topic (or revote).  But these merges also meant the hassle of notifications sent to customers, as well as confusing threads, and I apologize for that inconvenience.

On the UI, we do understand it's a contrast issue not just color issue although I appreciate why the vagueness of the solution description caused concern.  We are committed to working with customers throughout our development processes to ensure effective implementations - for any idea that we proceed with. 
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Sharyn

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Hi Wendy, 

Thank you very much for responding personally.  The fact that the Techsmith CEO is actually responding to this issue shows that maybe we may be getting somewhere.

The method of thread / post merging may make sense for Techsmith but it leaves me chasing my tail. I don't get it - but, if that means something might get done about it then I am happy to accept the morning inbox influx.

I understand the software development life cycle so I know that there are checks and balances to go through that can contribute time to software updates so if Techsmith are working on this, perhaps that is the reason for the delay in making a change to the UI or introducing options for us to change it. 

As a longtime customer of Techsmith I hope this issue will be resolved relatively quickly because I have just been told that my work will not continue to support a product that is taking this long to get an issue addressed. It is not good business sense. 

If I cannot use the product (and I pretty much cannot because of the visibility issue) then we will have to move to another product. 

I don't want to go to go to another product because Camtasia has almost everything I need (the only thing lacking is better quizzing options). Also, I love the new behaviours and animations - they rock my world and thanks so much for including them in C9.

So why would I go pay a thousand dollars a year for Premiere when I could keep using Camtasia?

Pretty soon though that decision is going to be taken out of my hands if the UI is not fixed.
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Joe Morgan

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So Wendy,
 you took the time to post this.....

On the UI, we do understand it's a contrast issue not just color issue although I appreciate why the vagueness of the solution description caused concern.

We all understand that it's a contrast issue not just color issue.

How does acknowledging the issue, lend enough clarity to the proposed solution?

Your still expecting people to vote for this based on an idea that resides in their imagination. That a very subjective place.

Here was Ricks response to this Idea. He may think you've created a Master Piece.

Rick Stone

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yes, Yes, YES!!!! (cue famous diner scene from When Harry met Sally)
 

I'm still not sure what you mean. 2 tone blue UI? 2 tone Purple UI.
Pale Gray text on Light Gray Background?

Regards,Joe
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Sharyn

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My choice for options:

I would like to see the following choices available inside the Preferences menu:

1. High contrast light background - (Camtasia Studio 8 UI)
2. Current C9 UI
2. High Contrast Dark background - Dark background with coloured elements and light text (like Premiere Pro)
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Oz du Soleil

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I'm very happy with the C9 interface. So, if there's a change, I'd prefer that users are offered choices rather than take us all to something else.
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Arturo Toledo

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Dark UI is a standard of creative software. If you do address - do so but do not remove the current dark them. Add options for the ones who don't like it.
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Gary Gile

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Just because it is a "standard" does not make it the best or the most practical.
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Arturo Toledo

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Its the most practical and scientifically the best for most people - anyone in the creative space has dark background in their apps. If you don't like it, that's cool - continue to advocate for TechSmith to add extra themes (which is the right solution). Like Adobe - they offer 4 themes varying from dark to light.
(Edited)
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pjonesCET

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The issue not necessary the Black Background. It everything else is in Charcoal Grey.lime Green , Or Red  So that you can tell the difference between the Background It should be an a direct opposite contrasting Color such as bright Yellow or Bright Green (not  the day glow lime green like school libraries are painted) or bright orange. If I get time I'll take a screenshot and use a program like Photoshop to colorize the charcoal gray. It may look Garish looking  but at least you be able tell the difference between Background  and everything else.

Why is Black so Kowl? Everyone don't have the eyes of 15 year old Teenager. Look through the eyes of someone in 50's 60's 70's. Everything  in no about being about being stylish and Cool. It about getting work done. And if your straining and burning your eyes out strain to see what you are supposed to do. And go home with Dry eyes and headaches. What does that do for you.
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response

Since the release of 9.0 the darker UI has been a hot topic in the Community. We’ve thoroughly read all the responses on this topic from the release of 9.0 through this June round-up.  While this idea didn’t make the top tier, we felt that the UI, as it is, is difficult or even unusable for some users with visual challenges. To that end, we intend to engage an outside expert in the field of accessibility to help us refine our understanding of the problem and advise us on possible solutions. When potential solutions are available (like a prototype, mock-up, or similar), we will seek feedback from users both on this Community and outside to inform on our design decisions.


This is something that has our attention and we intend to put further the effort to make an informed decision.


Here are the definitions of what the statuses mean for Ideas.

Here is the overall vote count for the rest of the Ideas in this round up.

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Here's Johnny

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I’m thoroughly disgusted and I’m tired of the 100% inaction on this subject.

Camtasia 9 was released nearly 10 months ago. People have been complaining about the UI ever since its inception. There are 171 other people that have cast their vote for an improved UI.

So what has your outside expert you’ve hired told you about this issue?

From a usability perspective, you’ve pretty much shoved this under the rug. That part that extends under the sofa. In the back corner of the room in the attic upstairs.

I have zero confidence at this point that, you intend to do anything until Camtasia 10 is released.

I will walk away from Camtasia forever if TechSmith thinks they’re going to lure me into buying Camtasia 10 just to get an improved UI.

Tired of the excuses, you can collect data and ideas until the cow jumps over the moon. That doesn’t help anybody using Camtasia now does it.

10 months of complete inaction on a well-documented problem with Camtasia. At most places of employment. After 10 months, if employees were incapable of carrying out their jobs and correcting problems. They would be looking for a new one.

John

PS. What happened to the Camtasia Monthly Feature Request Round up this month? It appears you skipped over that as well. Last I checked you were supposed to release that on the 15th of every month.

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Mike Shaw

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Afraid I am in  total agreement with John.  It isn't a new feature or an adapted feature being asked for - but  simply to change the UI colours.  Changing the UI colours in many video and photo editors is often a user controllable setting.  If one could hack the code it would be a simple matter of changing one  number (representing the colour) to another.  No discussion is needed:   the UI colouring in Camtasia is abysmal and goes against all the recognised guidance for these things.  It is rather horrifying to hear that this has to be discussed and debated - at great length over an exceptionally long period, apparently, when it would probably take 5 minutes to simply change the colours to something more acceptable ... and probably no more than an hour of coding  to actually provide the user with a choice or the ability to set up their own colours.  Enough is enough ... just do it! 


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Joe Morgan

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Exactly,
John and Mike hit the nail on the head.
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Mal Reynolds

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Changing the UI colours in many video and photo editors is often a user controllable setting.
This. Just this.

This whole business of navel-gazing outside experts (I swear, I put my face into my hands and started slowly shaking my head when I read that) and "research and development" and mockups for testing and what have you is starting to sound like foot dragging.

If I were to sit down now and do a GUI, even in a language as primordial as, say, VBA, it would take me AT MOST 30 minutes to knock up some buttons for foreground colour, background colour, text colour and maybe one or two other elements, then hook a system colour picker dialog up to it. 

Do that, and let US find the colours that work for us. I won't even bill you for this blindingly self evident piece of coding insight that your outside expert will probably hit you up for a 5 figure sum for.
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davemillman

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Oh high and mighty lords of Techsmith, hear our plea:

If you did a release tomorrow that contained JUST this one enhancement (user selectable GUI colors), we might start to think you were listening again.

Throw us a bone, dudes!
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Joe Morgan

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When a dog begs for a bone, on the surface it's cute.  If the dog could talk, I'm thinking it would chose dignity over behaving in this manner. 

When a customer asks for a bone because their eyes burn, they can't see the UI well, etc.,  so forth and so on, whatever the reason.
At these late stages, it sounds even less dignified.
Why?
This is an ancient request that's fast approaching 1 year old, month after month, after month, excuses offered,  excuse in and excuse out.  Without so much as a temporary  maintenance release..................
 

 
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Here's Johnny

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Techsmith has already thrown us a bone davemillman.

The problem is..........
 A. Where that bone seems to reside.
B. They are insisting they are technologically challenged and to confused to move forward with changes at this time. They literally have no idea what should be done.
C. They can't even release a temporary improvement until a more sophisticated version is developed.
D.This is nothing more than a nonsense excuse to do absolutely nothing. Techsmiths inaction is indisputable proof of  that    
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training

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Well, isn't this just what causes the demise of the top software programs. Others will see the slump and jump to fill in the gap, causing serious competition if Camtasia doesn't fight to hold its position in the market.
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training

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A good example of what I said is with Screenflow. I just received an upgrade notification and one of the new features allows playing videos backwards, another frequently requested feature for Camtasia. 
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madeno

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Without a  mock up posted  from TechSmith.
I don't see how anybody knows what they are voting for.
 
Are we going to wait for weeks on end to see who votes for this.Then base Camtasia's UI on what people THOUGHT they might be voting for.

more info
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vwaldeck

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I am so disappointed with Camtasia because I can't see the wording on the black background. What a sad waste of money! I saw so many good reviews of this software. How long is will it be before something is sorted out?
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Mike Shaw

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This request has been going on ever since the launch of the this version.  So I guess the answer will ne 'never'.  It would be so easy to just change a few numbers - or better, give the user the opportunity to change the numbers (select the colours) to get something they find more usable.  But the developers seem to think the colour system id OK.   Very sad. 
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jsaxon

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My usage of Camtasia is down at least 75%. I choose any other tool I can before going to the 'dark side'. Maybe the developers think it's cool and modern, and maybe they have black walls and ceilings at home. Too hard on the eyes to work in that environment for long.
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Rick Stone

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Personally, I find myself reverting to 8.6 for most production.
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david

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I learned Camtasia on 8.6 about 5 months before the release of 9.x, and never migrated due to the continuing aggravation about the "UI color and contrast" I've read here since its release. 

Seriously, I don't think I've seen another software company "talk" about an ongoing client issue/request for so long, without resolving it.

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Tim Frost

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jsaxon,

I suggest that you do what I did. Take a look at Corel VideoStudio X10's suite of software.  It includes a screen capture program that does everything that Camtasia does but with a UI that is ACTUALLY USABLE.

My guess is that TechSmith's programming team and management realized that Camtasia 9 is a USELESS TURKEY and that they are, right now, working on a complete re-design for Camtasia 10 and that Camtasia 9 will go down in their history as their version of  New Coke and Windows ME did for the Cocoa Cola and Microsoft corporation discovered.

Unfortunately for TechSmith I could not wait another 2-3 years for the next version of Camtasia to come out and I began using Corel VideoStudio X10 6 months ago and now I am entirely into using that software...exclusively.
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Mike Shaw

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I see 'solutions' from everywhere being 'change the background colour'. But that alone will NOT be the answer I'm afraid.  The text colour must also be changed (yellow text on a black background is recognised - in the advertising biz at least - as being the most visible) - but even then, that isn't the total answer. That's my opinion of course, but based on a lifetime's experience.  The typeface needs to change for something more pronounced - a little bolder or more defined - or the text of the current typeface needs to use an emboldened font.  Techsmith talks about calling in 'outside specialists' to resolve the issue, which I personally find absolutely incredible, verging on the unbelievable.  Changing the colours in a programme is (usually!) little more than changing LUT* numbers.  With a tiny bit of extra effort, it would be possible to provide a small sub-routine that allows the user to choose selected LUT numbers ... in other words, to customise ALL relevant interface colours.  Enabling users to choose a more suitable typeface would entail a little more work (because some typefaces would mean lines of text may no longer fit allotted spaces) - unless a small range of suitable faces were offered as options.   Like many others here, I have given up using Camtasia and instead use one of my two video editors - Avid Media Composer or, for quick and easy jobs, Edius.   I would rather use Camtasia as it has tools tailored for producing tutorials.  But they are useless if you can't see what you're doing.  Incidentally BOTH of the editors I use (can) have dark grey or black backgrounds, both allow customisation, and both are infinitely more visible and easy on the eye in use.  To wish to visit 'outside specialists' to help resolve the issue is to turn a blind eye to simple facts and to ignore the obvious.  In my opinion.

* LUT = Look up table

(Edited)
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media

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Hey Mike

Thanks for your comments. I agree. Note also that Apple has adjusted the UI for Garage Band. It too was quite dark, but in a recent update, they've lightened it up a bit, and now it looks awesome.

The only thing I can say at the moment that keeps me using Camtasia, is that on a Mac with retina display, the colours are easier to determine because retina display is, well, gorgeous. My MBP has a brightness of 300, and my work MBP has a brightness of 500. At 300 its bearable. But that's in my home studio. 

When in the office I have to use the old horrible cheap TN panels at 1080p. That's just plain awful. I don't know how anyone can use Camtasia on a standard monitor at 1080p. But then, not everyone wants to go Mac, or get a 4K display.

Please, please Techsmith. Hear our plea!

Colin
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Oz du Soleil

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I love the dark display. I even use a dark display on my versions of Excel.

But, it's interesting that Microsoft gives 3 choices for theme colors for Office, but Camtasia offer NO choice.
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media

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Indeed, choice is the issue. If dark is your thing, then go for it. I don't mind dark either....just not that dark.
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Chris MacBain

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Can we please get an official update from Techsmith on this issue?
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Mike Shaw

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Many of today's low cost video editors (e.g. Pinnacle Studio) and even some photo editors (e.g. Paint Shop Pro I believe) are now capable of capturing video direct from the screen.  You could also edit the captured video in Pinnacle studio of course (available now from Corel), although in my opinion Serif's MoviePlus is far more stable and more reliable low-cost video editor than Pinnacle's.   Needless to say, the GUI on both these (and other low cost) editors is perfectly OK - even though they use the 'dark look' approach attempted so badly by Techsmith.  SnagIt, if you have it will also capture video.  I think that and Camtasia use a Techsmith codec for capturing: as long as you have the codec on your machine you should be OK when it comes to the editor.  Otherwise, it is a very simple and easy matter to transpose to a suitable codec.  Another low cost and simple editor is provided min the Nero package and of course, there is always Windows own Movie editor. I now capture with Camtasia and edit in Edius or Media Composer - but these I already have for video (movie) editing: they would be rather expensive to get just for editing screen captures.  As for ease of use - again, I'd recommend Serif's MoviePlus - very short learning curve compared with most other video editors.  The only advantage of Camtasia is it is 'tailored' to create Tutorials, training videos and so on.   But bnif youj can't see the screen ...

Good luck!

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Tim Frost

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Chris,

I have said many times before in this forum that I am migrating all of my work to Corel VideoStudio X10. They have a program named Live Screen Capture and their main editor, Corel VideoStudio X10 Ultimate Edition comes with many, many great features.  And the price is right as well. Corel's tech support is responsive and always correct. 
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ChrisM

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Funny enough...I hate to sound like I am bragging, but...price doesn't really matter to me. I work for a huge manufacturing software/hardware company and just need to make fast, high quality videos. I will reach out to Corel support this week and see if I can get a free trial to see if it will do what I need. Thank you SO much.

And for the record; I am not anti-Camtasia. I have used it for about 10 years. I am just pro "get my job done". The new release of Camtasia slows me down and there is no sign whatsoever of them caring to improve it.
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Mike Shaw

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It isn't just the cost - the learning curve for these editors is also pretty steep and lengthy: Media Composer is the editor used by Hollywood Studios, as well as film studios and production and broadcast organisations round the world, and is pretty complex.  It would be a bit like having a massive sledgehammer to crack a peanut!  Edius is a mid range editor, but still extremely  capable and used professionally by film makers.  They are in a totally different league to Camtasia. I didn't know that Corel's own latest offering (VideoStudio) also now does screen captures - that would be an excellent choice I think.


(Edited)
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ChrisM

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Thank you so much for the input Mike!! I will post here my experience with Corel as it unfolds.
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response

Hello,

We’ve spent some time over the last couple months exploring a few options to address concerns related to the darker Camtasia UI. We have a prototype of Camtasia Windows with adjustments to the color contrasts that may help those whose vision is somewhat constrained or that find the current UI difficult to use.

We'd like to ask for volunteers to test this prototype and give us feedback. Below is a link to a form where those that are interested can sign-up to participate. The form will include details about the study. The participation sign-up will be open until October 6th at 23:59 UTC. 

Camtasia UI Contrast Study Participation form

On the topic of Accessibility with Camtasia, a cursory evaluation might suggest that video creation is an inherently visual process and, perhaps, not for those with visual impairments; but it’s actually more nuanced that. The accessibility of software is tested with a scale of visual abilities. With that in mind, we are taking a deeper dive into the accessibility of Camtasia.

We’ve contracted Michigan State University’s Usability Accessibility Research and Consulting to test the accessibility of both Camtasia Windows and Camtasia Mac. Our purpose in conducting an accessibility study and consulting with the outside experts is to help us make an informed decision about what level visual ability will be supported with Camtasia. We expect it take 2 to 3 months to get the results then make decision on how that should impact Camtasia.

It’s our intention to first focus on optimizing current UI. Results and feedback from both the prototype and the accessibility studies will help guide us toward an optimal UI.

Thanks.

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Donna.Lettow

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I have a visual impairment , but I am by no means blind -- hopefully your accessibility specialists will give some education about the difference.   Video creation is an inherently visual process, but a process that I employ quite frequently in the creation of training and other videos as an accessibility specialist for a government agency.  Since the release of Camtasia 9 and its inaccessible color contrast, I've had to go back to a Windows 7 machine running the visually accessible Camtasia 7 to get my work done.
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ChrisM

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David, 
Thank you so much for the update. I can only imagine that your team is working hard at finding a way to make your user base more satisfied. Sometimes we users feel a little left out. I really look forward to helping improve Camtasia. I heavily rely on it to make a living and want to see it be the best product possible. In my opinion, that is where a lot of this animosity and anger comes from; People rely heavily on your product to make a living and care deeply about it. Thanks again for the detailed response. Oh yeah and, GO ILLINI! :)
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Tim Frost

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Nice try to make it look as though TechSmith is doing something and trying to listen to your customers, but TechSmith already has a huge number of comments from current and former customers on what changes we want from TechSmith concerning the UI.  This entire "Contrast Study Participation" is simply a way to kick the can farther down the road without actually doing anything to improve the current UI. Then we are expected to wait ANOTHER 2 TO 3 MONTHS for the accessibility study of Camtasia to be completed and THEN you will have a meeting to decide what, if anything, to do about Camtasia's accessibility? How long are we supposed to wait for that decision to be made?

You know something else? I received an email from MaintRenewals@TechSmith.com telling me that my maintenance agreement for Camtasia is expiring on October 1, 2017 and I was asked if I want to RENEW t hat maintenance agreement!!!! Are you kidding me? It has been nearly a year since Camtasia 9 was released and in that year I have seen NO IMPROVEMENT in the UI, nor have I read ANYTHING on this forum from TechSmith management even HINTING that a change was in the offing. Nothing will convince me that TechSmith is in dire condition over the failure of Camtasia 9 and that the evaporation of TechSmith as a viable business entity is nearly complete.

All that TechSmith has done is to tell us in previous messages that the current UI is "professional looking" and it was already recommended by someone prior to the development and final release of Camtasia 9. You have consistently disregarded the complaints of your customers who are the REAL judges of how "professional" Camtasia 9 looks and no effort whatsoever has been demonstrated by any of the comments from TechSmith that anyone is listening to your customers at all.

I hope that this dose of truthfulness doesn't violate any of your rules and does not get removed from the forum.
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Joe Morgan

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I believe David D. 100%

I for one, have posted several mockups that I’ve created myself.

Made many suggestions, complained on several occasions about TechSmith dragging their feet. I’ve doubted their sincerity in dealing with this particular issue. My patience for change, has been pushed to the brink on this matter.

However, I intend in taking part in their study. Provided they let me participate.

 I use Dell Super Sharp Monitors. I’ve never had an issue using the dark UI. I’ve never experienced eye strain, or had any of the other issues people are reporting. The tool and editing Icons, timeline/time and frame indicators, text, could be a little larger.  I would also arrange things differently but that’s another issue.

What bothered me was reading the sheer volume of complaints being posted. Probably has something to do with growing up in the 60’s LOL. Couple that with the lack of any adjustments or controls within the UI to deal with it. It’s a serious problem for a lot of people.

So I don’t mind pitching in and giving my opinion, letting things unfold and see what happens.

SnagIt 12 was to Dark when it was first released. It still is.

They rushed a Light Version out to appease the masses who were complaining. They inverted the Black and Gray color scheme. It looks worse than the dark version in my opinion. It’s way too bright, unless the room you’re in is lit very brightly or your poolside with a laptop.

So rushing Camtasia 9 could be a mistake as well, let’s hope they came up with something extremely nice. Michigan State University is a great place to tap for advice, but I’m prejudice. I grew up in Michigan.

Regards,Joe

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pjonesCET

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I wouldn't mind testing the Mac version that is just as messed up.
(Edited)
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joe.stefanelli

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In my opinion, the extreme caution with which you are proceeding is a much greater risk than the ongoing irritation of your customers.  A band aid hot fix could have been made to improve the UI readability months ago.  Though perhaps not "optimal," it would not preclude further improvements down the road, and it would reduce some of the customer outrage.  Color me baffled.
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ChrisM

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I see your point Joe, but I have seen first hand software companies institute a hot fix just to have it piss off the user base because it was "enough". I just want to be in the loop. 
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Arturo Toledo

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davemillman

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ROFL!!!
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Mal Reynolds

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Arturo Toledo, that is so, so cruel.

But as accurate as a laser guided missile aimed at a neon sign that says "Target Goes Here".

(Worse still, that sign has been mounted on Techsmith's own collective backside by Techsmith itself. And by whoever it is in there who has an almost religious fervour that there must be only One! True! Way! of doing a GUI, and that this One! True! Way! must be kept out of the users' hands at all costs. Or at least that's the way this situation is looking from out here.)
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joe.stefanelli

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Funny.  I love the William Shatner-like delivery.  :-)
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kayakman, Champion

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Like many others, I find the CS9 UI very fatiguing to work with; my biggest concern is font clarity, contrast, and size; selection indications are also a concern

Made a short A/B compare video of CS9 UI vs. Adobe Lightroom UI; captured at 1920x1080 on my 24" monitor; best viewed with browser at full screen; to me, differences are very obvious ...

CS9 UI Usability Issues
http://www.screencast.com/t/tPFOzoM7

CS9 UI vs CS8 UI
https://www.screencast.com/t/TkyTbza7P
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I couldn't understand why you used Lightroom as a comparison so I threw together a Side by side  Camtasia 8 and 9 image.I see you posted a video with a Camtasia 8 comparison while I was doing that.
Oh well, here's my image.

Regards,Joe
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kayakman, Champion

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your image makes the point excellently

I used Lightroom as a quick compare because it presents a somewhat similar UI look, but to me, it's so much easier on the eyes
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Donna.Lettow

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This illustrates my point very well.  LightRoom interface:

Camtasia 9 interface:
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wendy.hamilton, TechSmith CEO

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Official Response

I recognize that this is our most active topic in the forum, and while it’s not our customers' top prioritized issue it’s an issue that some customers are extremely passionate about.  I apologize that you are unsatisfied with the interface, and that we haven’t responded faster to the issue.  As Dave indicated, we’ve listened to the feedback and are working on an updated UI that we will test with interested parties, and we’ve accelerated this work ahead of the MSU evaluation.  We have been increasing the amount of dedicated resource on Camtasia and this will help us not only respond to forum issues, but other customer requests as well.

Many of the comments in this thread are incredibly helpful and useful.  We are fortunate to have customers so engaged and committed to us that they take the time to help us really understand the root problem and the alternatives.   Thank you.

Unfortunately, some of the comments, are inflammatory, offensive and inaccurate.   Twice I’ve had to request comments be removed on this post specifically because they contained personal attacks.  So I want to make clear that while you are always invited to criticize the product, any comments that attack our employees personally will not be tolerated and will be removed.  What helps prioritize an issue is less the passion in a single comment, and more the the sheer number of customers raising the concern.  We have been reaching out to our enterprise and institutional customers, who generally don’t use this forum, to confirm their feelings on the interface.  If we see that more customers are having the concern then we will increase the prioritization.       


Wendy Hamilton

CEO, TechSmith

(Edited)
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Tim Frost

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Maybe TechSmith management should attend some of the UX (Adobe's abbreviation for User Experience) and maybe TechSmith can learn something from a company that really understands UX. Check out this link for an explanation of what UX is: https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/what-does-a-ux-designer-actually-do/?segment=design&tracki...

Then TechSmith could go farther and read about "11 tips for UX SUccess" from Adobe at this link: https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/11-tips-for-success-in-your-first-ux-design-job/?segment=desig...

It will probably be uncomfortable for TechSmith to read about this information and even more uncomfortable to see that what we have been saying about the Camtasia 9.0 UX is so horrible.
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kayakman, Champion

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interesting articles; thanks for sharing
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Bob Lewis

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Sharyn & Tim Frost,

You seem to understand what so many of us understand. Thanks for the input.

It speaks volumes when employees of any company seem to Simply justify why they are Right and are more interested in Not getting there Feeling hurt by users of their product when they have a different opinion or have far more experience.

I completely agree that No foul language should be used.
That does say how frustrated some users have become.

All of the staff that I have personally communicated with to seem to really listen and want what we want and do Not agree with the wording of some of the staffs comments.

I is obviously a bigger listening and learning curve for some. I look forward to watching how the staff handle the present and future frustrations of their users.

Still a loyal user of Camtasia, Thanks for listening,

Bob
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joe.stefanelli

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Well stated Sharyn.  My interpretation of the TechSmith response is identical to yours.  Good reading between the lines.  Another interpretation:  "We have to make sure that our third-class customers aren't crazy by consulting our VIP clients." Or, probably more correctly:  "We have to see if any of our big-buck clients are irritated, because they're the only ones that matter."

There are none so blind as those who will not see, nor so deaf as those who will not hear.

-Joe

(Edited)
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ExpertNovice

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Sharyn, I worked for a major US convenience store.  The store personel really didn't like the IT department.  (Even though I was a programmer I would talk to store managers and suggest they make a point about what they need and not give up.)  I explained to them that upper management told IT what the stores "wanted".  The store managers told us what they got made more work and was not helpful.

Seems to me, if they talk to managment they won't be talking to the users but will get positive feedback.  The users will simply say, this is all I have to work with.

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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response
Hello,

We updated the status of this idea to Planned. Just as a reminder, if you wanted to participate in our study, the sign-up for that study is open until October 6th at 23:59 UTC. Thanks.

Camtasia UI Contrast Study Participation form

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Jess

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I upgraded from Camtasia 8 a week ago and seriously considered returning it because the GUI is so dark I squint all the time. Using Camtasia is a small part of my job and the GUI slows me down tremendously. The only reason I am not returning this version & going back to 8 is because of this post, promising a solution. I look forward to a fix and sure hope it is soon. (All you have to do is look at what Adobe does in Creative Suite: user's choice of black and shades of gray.) Thanks
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director

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Omigosh!  I have C8.6 and have been bombarded with Facebook ads over the last several months to upgrade.  I use and absolutely LOVE SnagIt, but have never really used Camtasia since I started with Sony Movie Studio 12 for some small video projects.  It's somewhat of a hassle to learn and switch to a different software, which is why I didn't really use Camtasia.

However, just tonight I upgraded to Vegas Movie Studio 14 and it has the EXACT same problem: the interface is way too dark and they took away the ability to lighten the interface (similar to the ability to choose a lighter UI in SnagIt)!  Worse, all of the text in the interface and menus are a bit fuzzy, so it all looks slightly out of focus.  Together, it makes the user interface so difficult to read and use.

So now I'm furious with Magix/Vegas Creative Software and came over to see if I had the choice to use a lighter color scheme for the UI in Camtasia....

...And found this thread.  :/    So glad I didn't upgrade!

I've requested a refund for Vegas Movie Studio 14 and will NOT be upgrading to Camtasia 9 either.  I'll just keep using the old versions.

I'm also getting emails about the new SnagIt 2018 already. 

Ummmm....  Please don't make it worse!  It's great as is, so don't mess with it.  In fact, leave SnagIt alone and put those resources into fixing Camtasia's UI.

I'm glad this issue is at least being acknowledged, but the talk of "We need to do a study with usability experts..." is utterly absurd.  Your customers have spoken.  And don't tell me it's oh so complicated.  It's not.

You've already given us the choice to choose a light color scheme in SnagIt. (I LOVE that and use it.) Do the exact same thing in Camtasia.  Boom.  Done.

Michelle

P.S. I was absolutely delighted when you gave us the ability to toggle between the camera and the desktop (screen capture) while recording a single video in SnagIt.  BRILLIANT!  :)
(Edited)
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davemillman

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@Tim Frost,
It seems unfair to criticize a product you have not seen.

If you have moved to another product and "not looked back since," why are you here? It sounds like you have a soft spot in your heart for Camtasia and want to return!
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Tim Frost

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Dave,

I do have a soft spot in my heart for Camtasia. I wish that they had not ruined what was a great interface design that we had in Camtasia Studio  8.6 because I believe that Camtasia Studio 8.6 was and remains a fantastic product that everyone should embrace. However, Camtasia 9, even Camtasia 9.1 (yes I did upgrade to 9.1 only because it was FREE and I was hoping against hope that they would have improved the UI as we have been asking for 11 months now) is a total waste in my opinion because TechSmith ruined the UI and they dropped the ability to produce MP3 files. Why then, you may ask, am I replying to these posts in this forum? The answer to that is easy. I am hoping, no make that, PRAYING every single day that I will read a post saying that Camtasia 10 is making its debut and when I see Camtasia 10 (and you know that TechSmith is working on this even now) the new UI for Camtasia 10 will be one that is usable, and contains a setting that will allow each user the ability to set their own standards and colors that BEST FIT the customer's needs and desires rather than using the opinions of any other group other than TechSmith's customer base. Take a look at Adobe's products. I have them all in my Creative Cloud subscription. If you want a black interface in Adobe, then you can have it. If you want an interface that  is lighter and has higher contrast levels because either you need it or if you just WANT that higher level of contrast, then so be it. Adobe doesn't force me to use settings that Adobe locks me into. Maybe someone from TechSmith should call someone at Adobe and ask them for a suggested solution rather than calling YET ANOTHER "standards setting" consultant for advice.
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davemillman

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@Tim Frost,

I also recently bought Creative Cloud. I was a Premiere user back in the 1990's and Premiere is just as hard to use now as it was then.

I agree that Techsmith has been dragging their feet on the interface colors thing. Recent postings here by the CEO and others indicate that they are aware of the problem. I don't think it makes the product unusable. 3.X is a big advance over 2.X. 

It was nice to be able to reverse a clip easily in Premiere last week, something we have been asking for in Camtasia for years. But I always turn to Camtasia first for video because it is so easy to use, and Premiere doesn't have any screen capture capability at all.
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Tim Frost

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Dave,

If you need screen capture as I do  and a UI that is easy to work with, plus a ton of other easy to understand and use video tools, then download a free trial of Corel VideoStudio X10. And while you are checking things out there, give their tech support people a call and give that a trial run as well. 

I agree with you that Adobe Premier Pro CC 2017 is difficult to work with, but there is a terrific learning resource for all things Adobe at www.lynda.com which is a subscription service. For $375.00/year you receive access to nearly 100,000 videos (that is not a typo) and all of the exercise files to go along with the video lessons. They have a great course for Adobe Premier Pro CC 2017 that covers everything. For a little more than $1.00/day this is a virtually bottomless pit of training for you to delve into.
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davemillman

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Corel? You can take my Mac when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers. Life is too short. Just my opinion.
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Mal Reynolds

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 Yes, learning to use Premiere Pro well is as easy as climbing to the top of Everest from the wrong side. BUT... in PP I can go to an EXACT position by just typing the timecode in, I can go to another exact position by typing a further timecode in, I can mark both of those so that I get the EXACT length that I want, and I can copy that and paste said selection.

Techsmith, on the other hand, can't get its head around the idea that "all clicky-clicky-draggy-draggy all the time" is NOT the epitome of user-friendliness. That's why we're stuck with ridiculous things like having to use the mouse to mark audio points (no keyboard shortcut for you, nosiree! These mousy things are much cuter and more user friendly!), using the mouse to adjust audio levels (sure, getting it to within 5% of where you want it to be is almost impossible but hey, at least we're so user-friendly that you don't have to type a number in!) and why precise selection on the timeline is about as quick and easy as doing brain surgery while wearing welding gloves.

When you can do something as basic as these things in a monolithically complex program like Premiere Pro more quickly and more efficiently than you can in Camtasia, then something is wrong.
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Off-topic response in an existing thread, separating into its own post for merging into relevant topic.

Please reference the new conversation here: Hotkeys Discussion