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.
An option in Camtasia to choose a lighter UI or choose your UI color.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We just wanted to give a quick update on the UI Prototype Study. We are just about finished collecting feedback on our prototype. Based on the feedback we received thus far, we intend to make changes to the prototype. When that second prototype is ready, we'll ask our participates to give us another round of feedback on the new prototype. Thanks to those that are participating in our study for their time and candid feedback. It is much appreciated.
We wanted to provide an updated to the UI color & contrast idea. Over the past few months, we've been testing prototypes with volunteers from this community to measure improvements to the UI contrast. After a couple iterations with prototypes and feedback, we've found marked improvements in usability with our most recent prototype as compared to the current production UI. Based on that feedback, we plan to implement those improvements on Camtasia Windows first. We expect those improvements to be released in the first half of 2018 if not sooner.
We are confident these changes will improve the experience for those that found the current UI fatiguing and difficult to use. As with any change, it may not be what some expect. At this time, we are staying with a single optimized UI and do not plan on implementing an adjustable or switchable UI (i.e. user adjustable UI colors or a switch between light and dark UI themes). We believe that the long term costs to maintaining either adjustable or switchable UI's is not as beneficial as focusing on a single static UI optimized for the larger majority of users.
We'll continue to listen to the community as we the implement and release the UI improvements. When these changes become available, we'll provide an update here.
Some things to make clear here:
#1 We read these posts frequently. It’s not fun to see users expressing this much pain and frustration, ever. It puts a bad taste in everyones mouth. As a product team we want to make software that helps users make a difference. We’re a super passionate group and we want our customers to love using the product.
#2 In March of 2018, we adjusted the UI contrast on Windows in a maintenance release to Camtasia 9 as a direct result of this feedback. Camtasia 2019 for Mac will ship with similar improvements to contrast (I’m very appreciative of those changes as a predominantly Mac user who spends a ton of time staring at a screen). The point being that during the last 12 months we’ve been making an effort to improve things for users on the UI contrast front.
#3 The dark UI polls very well among users. The vast majority of the users we’ve surveyed either prefer it or don’t have a problem with it. I’m not saying we are ignoring you folks who don't like it, but there’s a very large contingent of users who would prefer us to do work in other areas.
#4 Camtasia sits on several different UI technology stacks and the codebase has been actively developed against for ~20 years. It’s not easy to turn desktop UI with that kind of code legacy on a dime. I’m saying this because the decision to focus on a light UI will mean less work on other features and that makes most of our users less happy. I hope folks can at least see the position we’re in, recognize the tradeoffs and come to a reasonable understanding that our decisions aren’t based on how little we listen or care for our users.
#4 I’m a bit uncertain what’s a good enough compromise to win over folks on this thread. Some folks seem to want a myriad of color choices they can choose from, others want something that looks more native, still others just want something not quite so dark with good contrast. I’m not in favor of a complete UI overhaul at this point. That would be a significant undertaking we just don’t have the bandwidth to do (always be leery of full UI rewrites is a principle I hold dear).
#5 I think we’re in a bit better position from a UX and technical perspective to deliver a lighter colored UI in the future. I’ll be looking for opportunities to fit it in, but our current 12 month schedule is very tight, so I can’t make any guarantees.
So the million dollar question—would a lighter UI that you could toggle to and required a restart be enough? If so, that's what I'll be attempting to scope and angle toward in the future.
Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
I’m one of the UX designers on Camtasia. I have been working on some UI color changes that are focused on addressing some issues in this thread and I would love to get your feedback! This will require you to be able to install a version of Camtasia (Windows only) and submit some feedback in a survey.
If you are interested in participating please fill out this short form: https://forms.gle/TGXuh5DcFeLiVnjw6